Raiders’ backup tight end preparing for expanded role

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To accidental Foster Moreau’s ears perked up erstwhile Raiders caput manager Jon Gruden precocious compared him to Rob Gronkowski is an understatement. But astir apt not for the reasons galore mightiness suspect.

Granted, anytime a young choky extremity gets compared to 1 of the top to ever bash it it’s rather the honor. Moreau is besides omniscient capable to recognize it astir apt means he’s connected way to play much arsenic helium approaches his 3rd twelvemonth with the Raiders.

That is euphony to immoderate player’s ear.

The world is, determination were besides fiscal implications to Gruden’s compliment. See, determination is simply a moving and costly gag wrong the Raiders choky extremity country going backmost to Moreau’s rookie play successful 2019. Anytime helium gets compared to Gronkowski, it’s clip for him to spell to the slope and retreat immoderate cash.

“My ears bash perk up a small spot erstwhile helium says Gronk, lone due to the fact that I cognize I’m going to get a $10 good successful the choky extremity room,” said Moreau. “Which is benignant of funny.”

All jokes — and fines — aside, Moreau knows Gruden has large plans for him this year.

“Coach has been precise honorable and forthright astir what helium wants my relation to beryllium connected this shot team,” Moreau said. “He wants to get maine snaps. He wants to get maine connected the field. He wants maine to spell produce.”

That accumulation volition travel chiefly arsenic a blocker successful the tally crippled “because we are a tally squad first,” Moreau said. “That is the Raiders. That is our identity. We tally the ball. And that’s wherever I request to marque my niche connected this team.”

But arsenic his playing clip increases, Moreau said “the much opportunities I’ll get to nutrient successful stat categories arsenic well.”

His expanded relation is the effect of a mates of antithetic dynamics. First, Moreau is wholly steadfast aft spending portion of past twelvemonth moving his mode backmost from the nasty genu wounded helium suffered precocious successful his rookie season.

“He’s bigger. He’s faster. He’s stronger,” Raiders violative coordinator Greg Olson said. “And we person existent precocious expectations for him this season.”

Also, Jason Witten, who the Raiders signed past twelvemonth to assistance offset immoderate clip Moreau needed to get backmost to afloat strength, is nary longer connected the team.

That means much snaps and perchance much accumulation from Moreau aft helium caught conscionable 7 passes for 140 years and 2 touchdowns past season. It was a measurement backmost from his rookie play erstwhile helium had 21 catches and 5 touchdowns, but somewhat expected fixed the circumstances,

“I’m excited” astir the possibilities, said Moreau, who takes umbrage astatine the conception that Witten’s beingness stunted his maturation past year, arguing the assistance and guidance the aboriginal Hall of Famer provided wholly negated immoderate snaps helium whitethorn person taken distant from him.

As Moreau explained, it’s uncommon erstwhile idiosyncratic gets a accidental to walk invaluable clip with a subordinate they grew up idolizing.

“For me, that was ever Jason,” Moreau said. “When I recovered retired the quality that helium was going to travel with us, I was shocked. But I was astir apt shocked successful the champion of ways. Imagine the accidental to get to walk a twelvemonth with your idol? It was an unthinkable accidental for me. Jason was precise unfastened astir sharing his experiences successful this industry.”

Often those interactions would travel successful impromptu skull sessions.

“There were decidedly times wherever Whit would beryllium you down. And it would beryllium you and him connected a whiteboard,” Moreau said. “Just benignant of aft a meeting, if you had immoderate spare clip and helium was talking ball. You conscionable sat astir and you listened. That was evidently the champion mode to learn.”

The much they got to cognize each another, the much Moreau recovered himself studying Witten.

“You’ve got to larn from him arsenic the time goes by,” Moreau said.”Kind of by observation, successful a way, and that’s a weird happening to accidental due to the fact that he’s a teammate and friend. But he’s besides a titan of the industry.

“For me, thing helium would say, immoderate constituent helium would make, thing helium felt the request to interject, was thing that you request to jot down. That’s a enactment you request to take. That’s thing that you request to larn because, obviously, he’s a Mt. Rushmore-level talent.”

Contact Vincent Bonsignore astatine vbonsignore@reviewjournal.com. Follow @VinnyBonsignore onTwitter.

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