Raiders’ Hunter Renfrow counting wins, not targets

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, West Va. — Wide receiver Hunter Renfrow isn’t the type of player to measure success by his stats. That’s a good thing after a day like Sunday.

The Raiders’ season-opening win over the Denver Broncos marked the first time in his career he has not been targeted in a game. He never had been targeted fewer than two times in 56 games and hadn’t been held without a catch. “The main thing is to win,” Renfrow said after Wednesday’s practice at The Greenbrier.

“That’s the objective. It’s why you play the game. ” Renfrow said it’s an attitude that was instilled in him growing up as the son of a high school football coach.

The questions he asks himself after a game are whether he was a good teammate and helped in his team’s pursuit of victory. He answered yes to both after Sunday’s win, giving him all the satisfaction he needed. It’s why he is still happier and more confident than he was last season when he admitted he wasn’t always in the best place mentally.

“I feel good,” he said. “It’s a lot different from last year. There’s a lot more excitement because I’m just more comfortable with everything and ready to keep it going.

“Sometimes you can still help the team win even not getting the ball and not getting thrown at. I feel like I did that. It’s week to week and a new week every week, so I have the same optimism I had last week.

” The Raiders employed a lot of two tight end sets against the Broncos, limiting their amount of three wide receiver formations. That left Renfrow on the sideline for much of the day. A 100-plus catch receiver two seasons ago, Renfrow was on the field for just 13 of 59 offensive plays.

He ran nine pass routes and was not targeted. “(Renfrow) was a big part of the game plan in Denver. He’s always a big part of the game plan,” offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi said.

“He ran some really good routes on third down, and he was open on the last play of the game when Jimmy (Garoppolo) scrambled. “He’s done great in terms of doing his job in practice, and we look forward to kind of getting him integrated as we move forward. ” That could happen soon if wide receiver Jakobi Meyers is forced to miss any time after suffering a concussion in Sunday’s game.

While Meyers plays mostly on the outside and Renfrow lined up in the slot for all 13 of his snaps, Meyers’ 10 targets would have to go to someone else. But the Raiders aren’t going to force the ball to Renfrow or anyone else. Coach Josh McDaniels said the game plan each week and the individual reads on each play will be what dictates where the ball goes.

“There are games where certain things happen, and the ball gets targeted to different guys differently,” he said. “We’re trying to tell our quarterback to read the defense and then try to go to the best spot with the ball as opposed to read the defense and go to one particular guy with the ball. ” So it could be different when the Raiders play at the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

Renfrow will be prepared whether he gets the ball thrown his way or is asked to block or run routes to free up other receivers. “My goal is to be ready when my number is called, but also to help my teammates any way I can,” he said. “Part of what my dad kind of ingrained into me is that it’s still about the team even in the NFL with all the publicity and the things that can happen if you do well (statistically).

” Garoppolo appreciates that attitude. “We had a good training camp together,” the quarterback said. “He has a good feel for the offense, for the space that we’re trying to get it into.

He knows what the whole field is doing, what we’re trying to get on each play. When you have a guy like that, it’s almost like having a quarterback playing receiver. ” Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.

com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on X. .

Adam Hill4-5 minutes 9/14/2023
Filed 09.14.2023

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