Raiders running back Latavius Murray had a small segment on ESPN’s NFL Live Friday and he was asked what part of this Raiders team should scare opponents most this season. His answer might be what you would expect.
“Maybe I’m biased but I have to say the rushing attack,” Murray said. “I’m gonna have a big year this year, I’m working really hard. The offensive line’s been working hard, did some great things in the offseason, so just be aware of our rushing attack.”
This may not just be lip service from Murray, who ran for 1066 yards in 2015 en route to making the Pro Bowl as an alternate. He was the AFC’s second leading rusher behind Chris Ivory of the Jets.
Even if Murray doesn’t duplicate or exceed his 2015 numbers, he should have some help this season which he didn’t have last season in the form of rookie fifth round pick DeAndre Washington.
The two couldn’t be more different in both stature and running style. The 6-3, 225-pound Murray is an upright bruiser, one cut and go type runner. Washington is a stocky 5-8, 205 pounds with a juking ‘make them miss’ style. The ideal change of pace for Murray.
But arguably more key to the success of the rushing attack is the bruising interior line of Kelechi Osemele, Rodney Hudson, and Gabe Jackson. They should clear out many lanes inside to give Murray and Washington the room they need to get to the second level. Add Donald Penn at left tackle and either Menelik Watson or Austin Howard at right tackle and the Raiders have one of the biggest and most impressive lines in football.
“Those are some big boys,” Murray said of his offensive line during OTA’s. “Sometimes I kind of take it away because I am a big guy myself. I try to put myself in other guys’ shoes and that’s a big O-line, a big group of guys in front of me. I’m definitely excited to have them.”