Las Vegas Raiders safety Johnathan Abram is determined to have a big 2021 season and prove that he was worth a first round pick in the 2019 NFL draft. Abram hasn't had an impressive start to his NFL career as he suffered a season-ending injury in Week 1 of the 2019 season, while last season he didn't impress in his return to the field.
Last year, Abram finished with two interceptions, six passes defensed, three tackles for loss, and four quarterback hits in 2020. “Just learning a day at a time, learning the system, helping the defense get better,” Abram said, via Ed Graney of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, who also noted Abram’s tone with the media was more subdued than it’s been in the past.
“I don’t think about things like the [fifth-year option]. Things like that don’t really matter to me. The only thing I’m worried about is learning the defense and getting better every day”.
Abram willing to do whatever needed
“I’m looking to do whatever they ask of me,” Abram said.
“If they ask me to play deep, I’ll do it. If they ask me to play near the line of scrimmage, I’ll do it. I’ll do everything to the best of my ability”. Meanwhile, Raiders head coach Jon Gruden insisted that he's happy with quarterback Derek Carr.
“Well you just can’t worry about some of the swirling conversations,” Gruden said, per Pro Football Talk. “I was a part of those swirling conversations for nine years. You know, we have to earn our money.
So don’t pay attention to everything that’s being written. Derek knows what he’s all about and what kind of quarterback he is. So just try not to listen to the elevator music and worry about the things you can’t control.
“He’s a heck of a guy. He’s a really mentally tough guy. And he’s a really good quarterback that is really starting to play great for us. And I think people are starting to recognize that”. Also, Gruden revealed the team is planning to be much more demanding of star tight end Darren Waller.
“We got to continue to build around him,” Gruden said. “We got to get some of our young receivers to take pressure off of him and we’ve put some more things in our playbook. We are going to be a lot more demanding of Waller going forward.
We got to continue to try to probe some matchups and get him places where we can get him the ball. “He’s just got to keep being Darren Waller. He has done an incredible job of playing wide receiver, tight end, in the slot.
He’s come out of the backfield. He’s smart, he’s versatile. He’s a complete player. He can block, pass protect. I’ve never been around a guy that is that unselfish, that talented and that versatile and that complete”.