Raiders

Josh Jacobs not sure he wants life story getting Hollywood treatment

Josh Jacobs not sure he wants life story getting Hollywood treatment

Josh Jacobs is a self-made man. He didn’t have much growing up, often sleeping in cars and motels with siblings and a father trying hard to make ends meet.

He added hard work to freak athleticism and made the most of his gifts as an elite running back, moving up from virtual anonymity in Tusla, Okla., to the University of Alabama. Now he’s a first-round draft pick the Raiders took at No. 24 overall, and he soon will sign a multi-million dollar contract.

Hollywood loves a story like that. Fits in well with the American dream, so much so that producers already are trying to acquire the rights to Jacobs’ rags-to-riches tale.

“I don’t know how it came about, honestly,” Jacobs said. “I was just being hit up by big-name producers, like three or four of them about doing a movie. I don’t know if I’m going to do it or not.”

Jacobs is weighing whether or not to get into the movie business, but he knows one thing for sure.

Not right now.

“I feel like there’s perfect timing to everything,” Jacobs said, “and I just don’t feel like right now is the right time.”

Jacobs is solely focused on becoming the Raiders' feature back. That’s expected in his first professional season, with Jon Gruden being over the moon about inserting this dynamic, versatile talent into his offense.

That will mean a higher carry count than his college days, where he split time with other top talents. Doug Martin’s a reserve option in Oakland, and Jalen Richard will get touches in specific situations.

Jacobs is Plan A. He knows it and is ready for that level of responsibility.

“It’s definitely huge,” Jacobs said. “That’s definitely something that I push myself towards every day. I try to work hard every day so that I can be able to withstand that. But, it’s also something that I have been looking forward to for myself to see if I can handle that, take on that challenge. So, it’s definitely going to be fun. We’ll see how it goes.”

Despite being the new guy expected to take the lion’s share of the work, Jacobs says his position group has been welcoming and helpful since he showed up.

“It’s crazy because I didn’t come in thinking it would be like that,” Jacobs said. “But they’re all loving and we all have the same common goals.

“It’s definitely competitive, but it’s just like, at the same time, we’re just all working towards a common goal – that’s to win games and be the best that we can be as a running back unit. We always try to set the tone, set the pace even if it’s at practice. We just hold each other to that kind of a standard every day.”

Jacobs doesn’t believe the NFL draft was his Hollywood ending. There’s more story to tell, and Jacobs wants full focus on that at this time.

[RELATED: Worley ready to find top form in important Raiders season]

There’s also an element of creative license brought even to real-life biographies, something Michael Oher didn’t often appreciate seeing his life on screen in “The Blind Side.” Relinquishing rights also means filmmakers dig deep, telling not-always-flattering portions of a story. There’s a lot to weigh when making such a decision. Jacobs isn’t taking it lightly, which creates a proper amount of hesitation.

“Because it’s taking the story into a deeper level,” Jacobs said. “It’s saying some things that I left out in the story that would probably be shown in the movie and I don’t know if I want to do it. I still have to talk to my family about it and see how they feel about it and things like that. But I haven’t really thought about it too much.”

Raiders' Jon Gruden ranked as 15th-best veteran head coach by NFL.com

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AP

Raiders' Jon Gruden ranked as 15th-best veteran head coach by NFL.com

Just win, baby.

Twice in his career, Jon Gruden has been given that directive as head coach of the Oakland Raiders. He was considerably more successful the first time around.

Gruden never finished below .500 in his first go-around with the Raiders, but in making his return to the franchise last year, he led Oakland to a 4-12 record -- tied for the worst record in the AFC.

Right after Gruden signed a 10-year, $100 million contract to move out of the Monday Night Football booth and back to the sidelines, many questioned whether his time away from coaching would put him behind the eight-ball. Given how the Raiders performed last season, it didn't exactly silence that noise.

And yet, at least one analyst believes Gruden is still an above-average coach. NFL.com's Elliot Harrison ranked the 32 NFL head coaches Monday, and Gruden came in at No. 15.

Here's what Harrison had to say about Chucky:

"As [Gruden] shipped out star players and cut ties with front office execs he didn't want in Oakland last year, the Raiders managed just four wins. That's why '19 should be the tell on what kind of coach he is going forward. New GM Mike Mayock helped Gruden begin to rebuild the roster after stockpiling picks, providing an infusion of talent that should at least make this team more competitive. Given the strength of the division-rival Chargers and Chiefs, simply leading Oakland to the playoffs should be a ringing endorsement for the coach."

[RELATED: Raiders given 20th best outlook in future power rankings]

Indeed, if they make the playoffs this coming season, that's an undeniable success for Gruden and the Raiders in their final season in Oakland -- one that would be worthy of Gruden ascending on next year's coaching rankings. But, as Harrison suggests, it's not going to be easy.

Future NFL power rankings: Raiders given 20th best short-term outlook

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USATSI

Future NFL power rankings: Raiders given 20th best short-term outlook

How bright is the future for the Raiders?

Well, according to the good folks over at ESPN, it could be a little brighter.

On Tuesday, ESPN published its "Future NFL Power Rankings," which ranks the outlook of all 32 teams over the next three years.

And the Raiders came in at ...

*drumroll*

No. 20.

Hey, for a team that went 4-12 a season ago, it could be worse. 

The Colts, Patriots, Eagles, Chiefs and Seahawks made up the top five.

ESPN ranked each team based on its roster (minus the quarterback), head coach, front office, quarterback and draft to determine their outlook for the next three campaigns.

The Raiders checked in at

  • Roster (minus QB): 20
  • Front office: 15
  • Head coach: 17
  • Draft: 17
  • Quarterback: 25

Well, not a rosy outlook for Derek Carr.

Field Yates, Louis Riddick and Kevin Seifert all believe the Raiders' outlook will be determined by whether or not the Carr-Gruden connection is a fruitful one. In Year 1 of Gruden's second reign with the Raiders, Carr had a rough year. With a lack of offensive weapons and a line that had issues with the zone blocking tendencies, Carr only threw for 4,049 yards, 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Carr has shown he has the ability to be a top-tier quarterback, and with the weapons, the Raiders collected in the offseason, 2019 could be a different story.

[RELATED: How Raiders' defense stacks up against rest of AFC West]

Riddick lauded the Raiders' draft picks and offseason moves. Oakland added Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams, Trent Brown, Josh Jacobs, Ryan Grant and Hunter Renfrow on offense. Lamarcus Joyner, Clelin Ferrell, Johnathan Abram and Trayvon Mullen came in to help a defense that was awful last season.

Things are looking up for the Silver and Black. If Carr can rediscover his MVP-level form, good times could be on the horizon.