Raiders offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi says WR Hunter Renfrow 'not deterred' by one target in two games

Hunter Renfrow was hoping 2022 was a “fluke.”

One catch, 23 yards and 38 snaps into the 2023 season, it certainly doesn’t appear it was.

Nevertheless, Las Vegas Raiders offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi insists Renfrow hasn’t been left out of the game plan, and with a team-first approach his wideout remains steadfast in his approach.

“Over two games, it is what it is, we always look to get everybody involved. Hunter was a big part of the game plan in Week 1 and Week 2, and every player in a skill position will be in Week 3,” Lombardi said Tuesday. “He’s not deterred, we’re not deterred, we’re just gonna go out there and keep going and try to get some production. And really at the end of the day, we care about team production, not individual production, so if we’re seven of eight on third down and he doesn’t have a target or Davante [Adams] doesn’t have a target, they’d much rather win the game than get the individual production.”

Renfrow was a Pro Bowler in 2021, having hauled in 103 receptions for 1,038 yards and nine touchdowns. A season later, head coach Josh McDaniel took over and took the offensive reins.

Renfrow has now played 12 games in McDaniel’s offense and accumulated just 37 catches, 353 yards and a pair of TDs.

A subject of trade rumblings during the offseason, Renfrow admitted before the season kicked off that he felt he “let a lot of my teammates down last year.”

So far this season, he hasn’t really had much of a chance to lift anyone up.

In a Week 1 win over the Denver Broncos, Renfrow barely saw the field. He registered just 12 snaps and wasn’t targeted. Against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, he saw an uptick in playing time with 26 snaps and pulled in his only target from Jimmy Garoppolo, tallying a 26-yard reception.

Though it’s puzzling why Renfrow has become an afterthought after showing he’s a Pro Bowl-caliber talent, this season has been a drive on the struggle bus for the Raiders offense as a whole.

Las Vegas has put just 27 points on the board in two games total. Jakobi Meyers, who missed the Bills’ game with a concussion, had nine catches in Week 1 and Adams has 12 in two games. Beyond that, no other receiver has more than one catch. If the offense gets going and starts moving the chains, Renfrow will get his chances — or at least that’s Lombardi’s way of thinking.

“I think just overall in terms of the passing game we’ve got to stay on the field a bit more on third down and sustain drives and present more opportunities on drives moving forward,” Lombardi said. “The coverage can dictate one thing and the ball goes to a certain player, or we misread something at quarterback, miss a blitz pickup. All those factor into the passing game.”

Regardless of the explanation, Renfrow hasn’t factored in the passing game so far. Perhaps he’s just a bad fit for McDaniels’ and Lombardi’s offense, but getting a former all-star more involved in a skidding attack might not be a bad approach.

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