Raiders running back Latavius Murray hasn’t put many carries on film in his short NFL career. Murray missed his rookie season with an ankle injury, and playing sparingly until breaking out in a week 12 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.
He has just 82 regular season carries, 17 receptions and 567 yards total offense as a pro, with some dynamic touches mixed into the bunch.
New Raiders offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave has seen enough to believe he’s got a good one at hand.
“I have a very positive impression,” Musgrave said Tuesday in a conference call, roughly a day after being hired by head coach Jack Del Rio. “He has tremendous size and speed. He had a super career (at Central Florida).
“I’m looking forward to getting on the field and finding out what he’s all about and what his strengths are so we can tailor our run game so it’s right up his alley.”
Musgrave said he plans to tailor his system to his talent, but there’s no doubt the new play-caller likes to run the football. He’s had a Top-10 rushing attack in four of his six years as an offensive coordinator, and has helped some excellent backs achieve some big numbers.
Jacksonville running back Fred Taylor totaled 1,572 rushing yards on 345 carries – he also had 48 receptions – working in Musgrave’s scheme in 2003. Taylor had 1,224 yards on just 260 carries in 2004.
While Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson ranks among the all-time greats and has produced regardless of coordinator, his biggest year came working with Musgrave in 2012. He had 2,097 yards on 348 attempts.
Murray has an extremely long way to go and a ton to prove before being mentioned in the same breath as Taylor and Peterson.
Past performance doesn’t guarantee success with a young player, but the young back must be excited about the prospect of working with a offensive coordinator with a track record of production on the ground.