The Oakland Raiders have done restoration to the offense this offseason with the additions of players like quarterback Matt Schaub, running back Maurice Jones-Drew and wide receiver James Jones. The team also rebuilt the offensive line to give the new players a chance to thrive. Another important piece to the offense will be 2013 sixth-round pick Latavius Murray. He was lost all of last season with an ankle injury that landed him on injured reserve.
“We’re looking for big things from Latavius Murray right now, coming off the foot injury,” Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson said. “He’s shown, to me, the biggest upside right now in what we’ve seen thus far, if he can stay healthy.”
This season, the Raiders expect to bring Murray along and have firmly placed him into the running back competition through OTAs and mini-camp. The plan seems to have Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden share carries while Murray developing as the third back. However, he is still a factor in the competition. He will have the ability to earn carries and see his share of touches. Murray is a different back than Jones-Drew or McFadden. At 6-3, 225 pounds, he brings a different element to the running game.
Oakland had success last season rushing the football, finishing 12th in the NFL. The team averaged 125 rushing yard per game in 2013. With an improved offensive line and more weapons in the passing game to open up the run, the Raiders could have more success in 2014. The stable of Jones-Drew, McFadden, and Murray is bringing higher expectations.
Murray will see loads of work during the preseason. The team is trying to bring him back up to speed after missing all of last season. He is an intriguing piece to the running back puzzle. He has already shown Olson enough to convince him he has potential. Once training camp and the preseason begin, Murray's role will become more clear.
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