Latavius Murray is entering an important offseason in his professional career. Expectations are sky-high after a solid finish to the season, where he had 424 yards and two touchdowns on 82 carries and 767 yards total offense, most of which came late in the year.
He had just 16 carries before a Week 12 victory over Kansas City that stands as a game that put him on the map.
Despite success near the end of 2014, Murray understands his totals remain a relatively small sample size.
“There’s still a lot of prove,” Murray said Wednesday in an interview with 95.7 The Game in San Francisco.
Murray was in Arizona with former Central Florida teammate and current Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles, working radio row before Sunday’s Super Bowl. He was one of the bright spots from the Raiders’ dismal 3-13 campaign, and has fans excited about future production.
He hasn't met with offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave or head coach Jack Del Rio yet, but looks forward to those interactions.
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The Raiders are expected to bring in some rushing talent this offseason – it’s tough to see Darren McFadden being retained -- but Murray should have a significant role on next year’s team.
It hasn’t changed his outlook toward this downtime.
“It’s no different than any other year,” Murray said. “It’s all about training hard and working hard. That’s where it starts. …The goal is to get better as a runner.”
Game reps certainly help that cause. He’s has precious few since being selected in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL draft, missing his rookie year with an ankle injury.
Murray tried to take as much as possible from that period, which he views as beneficial to his development.
“I had to sit out that first year on IR, and I was really able to take on the mental part of it,” Murray said. “I wasn’t able to play, but being in the meeting rooms and being able to learn the offense as much as I could definitely helped me this past season. It helped me play faster and be a smarter football. That helps you do more playing and less thinking.”
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It took some time to get Murray into the rotation, which was a source of frustration he kept bottled up.
“You have to wait until you turn comes about,” Murray said. “That’s all I was doing. I had two guys ahead of me, so I was playing special teams and staying patient, waiting for my opportunity to come.”