Gruden never, ever let the pass game get completely out of hand. His career coaching average of calling pass plays 56 percent of the time was exceeded six times, but never more than 59 percent.
It brings the conversation of running backs full circle – Gruden has had a running back total 1,000 yards 10 times, and seven different backs have scored at least seven total touchdowns. On four occasions, a back has done both in the same season. One additional running back had 995 total yards and three other players scored six times in a single campaign.
We took a deeeeeeeep dive into Gruden’s history of calling plays for the Raiders and Buccaneers to get an idea of what we should expect from the players on his teams.
There’s also the track record of No. 1 receivers under Gruden. You want more consistency? He had a wideout top 1,000 yards and six touchdowns in 10 of his 11 years. No one is in a better position to do that than Amari Cooper, obviously. Coop’s career-highs of 83 grabs (2016), 1,153 yards (2016) and seven touchdowns (2017) could get challenged starting in 2018.
In years of studying play callers’ tendencies, we’ve never seen anyone lean on running backs as pass catchers as much as Gruden has. Practically a third of his quarterbacks’ completions have gone to the position! For some context, 30.2 percent of the Panthers’ receptions went to running backs this season, when Christian McCaffrey led the team in catches.
As for the running game: