Las Vegas, Nevada 2021-11-25 05:00:00 –
Thursday, November 25, 2021 | 2:00 am
One of the league’s best tight ends (Darren Waller), Pro Bowl running back (Josh Jacobs), and traditional fullback (Alec Ingold before a recent knee injury), a short range to attack the Raiders. There is no shortage of options.
Still, their dependable man in such situations was a small receiver that many thought was too late to make it in the NFL all season. The 5-foot 10, 185-pound Hunter Renfroe was Las Vegas’ most reliable weapon throughout the first half of the season, leading the team with four touchdowns in nine games.
“He’s like Gambi,” Raiders interim coach Rich Visatch said at a recent press conference. “He can’t be touched at the phone booth.”
The Raiders noticed Renflow’s shift as soon as he took Renflow out of Clemson in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft and took advantage of it in each of the first two seasons. “Third and Renfrow” became the team’s tagline, and Las Vegas frequently targeted slot receivers in the 2019 and 2020 third-down situations.
Opponents knew there was a look designed for Renflow, but they still couldn’t stop them. It continues in his third season, but he can just as easily have the new nickname “Red Zone Renflow”.
The Raiders, like any other player, go to Renflow near the goal line and make a strong return. All his touchdowns are pointless, using elaborate footwork with double or triple moves to shed coverage of selected routes that have autonomy as to which direction he will eventually go. It features a juke on the defender.
“As they become more confident in me, I can change things in the system so that they deviate a bit from my parameters,” says Renflow. “Not too many at the same time, but I know what I can avoid. I think it’s an advance in becoming a better player every year. It’s learning what I can avoid.”
Some of Renflow’s successful hygiene in the game include quasi-tap dancing and fake fallovers, but quarterback Derekkar says the receiver actually goes even higher. According to quarterbacks, in a one-to-one drill when other receivers are running a car and a traditional route, Renflow uses time to “push the envelope.”
Renflow tries some things that confuse even a car that has to refuse some movement because timing and protection don’t work. But he is grateful for all of them.
“It’s fun to come up with those ideas, and it’s fun because he boosts my creativity,” says Kerr. “He’s probably the most creative teammate I’ve ever met.”
Kerr also calls Renflow one of the best route runners he’s seen, and he’s not the only one to admire.It’s been a book about Renflow for a long time, and the main reason he took professional shots is NFL.comA scout report that goes into the draft because he “lacks size and speed” knocked him.
However, Renflow is incredibly agile from the line to take advantage of his frame and cover the disadvantages of playing against faster defenders. He is also skilled in getting the balls and missing them by adopting his unorthodox angles and movements.
“Being in the slot position gives us more space, which is sometimes easier,” says Renflow. “You can see where the defender is by looking at the paint itself.”
Distracting the compliment is the vintage Renflow, whose soft tone attitude matches his petite height. He’s as unpretentious as a professional athlete comes.
Entering the season, he only talked about the trash can a couple of times and then joked, “I felt it was bad.” But his abilities are enough to irritate the enemy, so he doesn’t have to share words.
Renflow played so many big names in six catches in his first week victory over Baltimore Ravens, so in the eyes of the Raiders coach staff and front office, the Defender had a series of dirty and late hits. I retaliated.
The organization complained to the NFL and the league did not impose discipline, but the news of the complaint may have helped prevent other teams from becoming overly physical since then. In any case, he stays healthy in the middle of the breakout year.
Renflow has used his lifelong sporting experience to improve this season. He cites playing basketball and soccer as the reason for his “spatial awareness” of various reporting schemes.
Kerr and Bisatcha say it was another time since he was young that he reached out to Renflow as a receiver. He was an outstanding preparatory quarterback who played under his father Tim Renflow at Socastee High School in Myrtle Beach, Florida. According to Bisaccia, this gave Renflow a better understanding of where he needed to be in order to be most profitable to the car than most recipients.
Instead of attending a small college and continuing his quarterback, Renflow walked Clemson and became a legendary receiver. He is part of two national championship teams and caught a touchdown that won the 2017 title game with Alabama.
He may have profiled as a type of college star who couldn’t stand the more physical and fast-paced NFL, but he quickly exceeded those expectations. He is more than the Raiders could have imagined.
“I think he’s one of the best pure soccer players in the NFL,” says Kerr. “I think he is a special talent.”
This story appeared in Las Vegas Weekly.