LAS VEGAS, NV – In a town best known as the place where the likes of Elvis, Liberace and Frank Sinatra once performed, Las Vegas may have discovered its newest showstopper in Las Vegas Raiders tight end, Darren Waller.
In a setting that would have made the late Raiders owner, Al Davis smile from above, the Raiders debuted their new $2.5 billion domed stadium, appropriately named ‘The Death Star’—Allegiant Stadium—in prime time against Drew Brees and the visiting NFC contender New Orleans Saints.
In catching 12 passes for 103 yards and one touchdown, the former 6’6 250-pounder out of Georgia Tech, who was once almost out of the league to substance abuse, may be perhaps it’s biggest comeback story and biggest breakout star.
In Vegas, they say everyone loves a winner, and last year in Oakland, Waller proved his worth in catching 90 passes for 1,145 yards and three touchdowns. While many in NFL circles talk about San Francisco’s George Kittle and Kansas City’s Travis Kelce, Waller quickly emerged as one of the NFL’s top TE’s in 2019.
With the Raiders now 2-0 and coming off a big 34-24 win in their new home out in Sin City, the once-maligned head coach/GM duo of Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden, whom were dragged for trading away edge rusher Khalil Mack and WR Amari Cooper are suddenly beginning to look like geniuses in surrounding Pro Bowl QB Derek Carr with some weapons in RB Josh Jacobs, WR’s Henry Ruggs III and Hunter Renfrow, TE Jason Witten and Waller.
If one knows Gruden’s history in being a WCO (West Coast Offensive System) disciple, and it’s historical featuring of tight ends, look for Waller to go on a Vegas-style heater all season long, as the Raiders may have finally found it’s identity on offense and Vegas has found it’s newest showstopper on The Strip.