Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden has coached a plethora of talented players over the course of his career, but it appears the best player he has ever had the privilege of coaching is on his current roster.
Following a thrilling win over the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night, Gruden was asked about tight end Darren Waller’s workload. He was targeted a whopping 19 times during the season opener, hauling in 10 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown.
Gruden said that Waller had a few miscues during the Raiders’ season opener, but that won’t change how large of a role he has for the team on offense. Then, Gruden admit that he believes Waller is the best player he has ever coached.
“We threw it 60 times, and if you threw it 60 times you would probably target him 29 times,” Gruden said. “I thought he mishandled a ball or two, uncharacteristically. He had a penalty called back on a big catch-and-run. He’s the best player I have ever coached, so I am going to continue to look for him.”
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) September 14, 2021
That’s high praise for Waller, who is on track to have yet another Pro Bowl season.
Waller, a former sixth-round pick from Georgia Tech, missed a lot of time early in his career due to his off-field behavior. Thankfully, he managed to correct those issues and get his career on the right path in Las Vegas.
If the Raiders are going to snap their postseason drought this year, Waller’s production will be a huge reason why.