Michael Bush he isn’t. Taiwan Jones might not ever be capable of carrying the rock 30 times in an NFL game while being relied upon to pickup the blitz and protect his quarterback. But that doesn’t mean Jones can’t be an incredibly valuable weapon for the Oakland Raiders.
Last preseason Jones put on a show against the New Orleans Saints that had Cris Collinsworth making Chris Johnson comparisons.
Yeah, I realize that in the preseason Kyle Boller also looked like an NFL quarterback. Things change when it gets real and nothing is more of a wakeup call than the speed of regular season NFL action.
Still, you can’t deny what Jones brings to the table.
We constantly hear the term change-of-pace-back when Jones is being described. He’s absolutely in the third-down/scat back category but to me Jones could be so much more.
Given all of the weapons the Raiders have on offense imagine the things you could do with Jones, Darren McFadden and Jacoby Ford all on the field at the same time. Just the threat of having to pick your poison creates pre-snap advantages few teams have in this league.
As mentioned at the top of this piece Jones does have his shortcomings. So it will be on Greg Knapp to figure out the best way to get Jones involved. It will also be beneficial to McFadden’s health if he can take a few extra plays off with an expanded role for Jones.
For Knapp it will be all about getting creative. Jones is more than just a Darren Sproles type. He can be utilized in a multitude of ways other than screens and draws. Split Jones out wide and you’ll likely get a favorable matchup with a linebacker trying to keep Taiwan in front of him. Line up McFadden in the Wildcat with Jones at his side. Suddenly the defense has a real dilemma on its hands.
Whatever it takes just get Jones more involved. Even as a decoy he has real value.
At this point you get the feel that the only thing standing in Oakland’s way to becoming an elite NFL offense is…well…Oakland itself. With all the rules favoring the offense there is no excuse for the Raiders to not be one of the top 5 producing offenses in the league. Getting Jones more involved with certainly help propel Oakland into the elite level of NFL offenses.