ALAMEDA – Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson doesn’t watch opposing offenses on film, and certainly doesn’t scout guys rushing for the other team.
He has a respect and appreciation for his brethren running for other teams, and highlight shows offer a good idea of which backs are doing what.
Raiders third-year pro Latavius Murray wasn’t well-known before this season, understandable for a player with just 82 carries to his name. Murray has been good this year, with 630 yards on 132 carries. That’s a 4.6-yard average, padded with eight explosive runs over 20 yards.
That was enough to make Peterson take notice.
“I don’t get to watch film on him but I’ve caught highlights, and he’s a guy that’s caught my eye to wonder, ‘Who is this guy?’” said Peterson, long considered the NFL's best back. “Because he’s running the ball hard. I would say he’s a physical back. I would have to watch more film on him to really establish that. But he’s getting the job done, that’s one thing I’ve learned throughout the season.”
Whether Peterson watches Murray work in person remains uncertain. Murray is working through the NFL’s concussion protocol after taking a big hit in a loss to Pittsburgh. He wasn’t cleared to practice on Wednesday, though early tests in the protocol were encouraging.
Murray has averaged 5.6 yards per carry, and while he had some ball security issues against the Steelers, he has been an efficient runner flashing power, shiftiness and breakaway speed.
Some say he runs too upright, which can put him at greater injury risk, but he has been solid in his first year as a feature back.
Peterson still has it at age 30, with an NFL-best 758 rushing yards on 169 carries and and has four touchdowns.