On Sunday against the Washington Redskins, we finally got our first real glimpse of Rashad Jennings in a silver and black uniform. While Jennings had a mediocre 3 yards per carry, he did have seven receptions for 71 yards. It was puzzling to see Jennings get only six carries during his first three games but after Darren McFadden’s 235832th injury expect to Jennings carry the rock a bunch this season.
Many people forget that Jennings started his career off with a bang in Jacksonville. Jennings averaged over 5 yards a carry during his first two years with the Jaguars. It seemed like Jennings would be the perfect complement to Maurice Jones Drew in Jacksonville’s backfield but injuries derailed Jennings career.
The 6’1 231 pound Jennings has actually looked better than McFadden this year for the Oakland Raiders. Although Jennings lacks the burst that McFadden has, Jennings has used his big frame to break tackles and move the pile. In his first real action with the Raiders, Jennings had over 100 yards of offense against the Redskins. While his seven receptions against the Redskins were mostly because of the awful Matt Flynn throwing to the check-down receiver, Jennings proved he could be a receiving threat out of the backfield.
It looks like the Raiders will be forced to play with an atrocious offensive line all season long. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor was the only player that was able to get running yards behind the line and that was mostly because he ran away from pressure on designed passing plays. While Jennings won’t be a game breaker, he will probably be their most effective running back behind the offensive line. Unlike McFadden who goes down after the first hit, Jennings is a big back who can get a few yards after contact.
Pretty much everyone on the roster is playing for their careers this year. If Jennings can continue to impress this year he might be resigned to part of a committee of running backs that replace the oft-injured McFadden.