There has been significant talk about the Raiders adding a running back this offseason. General manager Reggie McKenzie said he was looking for help in a backfield too reliant on one man.
Head coach Jack Del Rio said a running game ranked No. 28 with 91.1 yards per game and just 3.9 yards per carry must improve in all phases.
Incumbent Latavius Murray, fresh off a Pro Bowl season where he had 1,066 yards and four touchdowns, was the primary workhorse. Murray wasn’t completely satisfied with the effort, which waned at times in the season’s second half. He averaged less than three yards per carry in four of the last seven games while taking 79 percent of his team’s carries.
While help would help, Del Rio made it clear he saw positives in Murray’s efforts last season.
“It was good. If you get 1,000 yards it’s an accomplishment, even though it doesn’t mean quite what it did when you had 12 games (in a season),” Del Rio said last week at the NFL owners meetings. “It’s a milestone, and he was solid. He would tell you there’s more out there. He’s still just scratching the surface. There’s a lot more upside and opportunities to break a tackle or make a guy miss or hit the hole just right. Another year in the system will help him as well.”
Del Rio said any back imported – at this stage, most likely from the NFL dDaft – would be given a chance to compete for carries. That’s standard for any new face, given Del Rio’s desire to create competition.
“We would like to add somebody in the backfield at some point, but it’s not like it’s a glaring need,” Del Rio said. “We do have a good player there.”