Espn reports that the Raiders are considering using Amari Cooper in the return game suck. Why risk our future star, not only to injuries but also to not focusing on where we need him best, catching passes.
I also don’t like vague rumors of Latavius Murruy returning kicks, or TJ Carrie for that matter, we signed Trindon Holliday for a reason, he’s a return star (who unfortunately developed a nasty habit of fumbling, but with good coaching this can be worked on).
We have to focus on Holliday, Taiwan Jones or one of the reserve WR’s/DB’s returning kick/punts, not a potential starter…..no way.
With Maurice Jones-Drew, Darren McFadden, Latavius Murray, Gerorge Atkinson III, Kory Sheets, Jeremy Stewart, Jamize Olawale, Marcel Reece and Karl Williams on the roster it looks like the 2014 Oakland Raiders are going with a running-back-by-committee scheme.
We have a burner in McFadden. A couple of powerhouses in MJD and Stewart. A smaller back in Sheets. A promising all-round back in Murray and a pass-catching wizard in Reece.
Most exciting of all, however, is that we now have a much bigger, more powerful….simply better, offensive line. We are going to pound the ball down opponents throats. Expect big years for MJD, McFadden and Reece, and this will make Schaub’s job a lot easier, as the LB’ers are more concerned about stopping the run than helping out with the pass.
In the signing of Maurice Jones-Drew the Raiders polarised opinion into two neat camps – the pessimist (Raida-hataz) that just want to right off players like MJD as being “too old”; and the optimisists (like me, and hopefully you too) that see Maurice Jones-Drew as a cannon-ball of a running back, that is ready to pound the load, giving Darren McFadden the chance to be the explosive (rested) back we all know he can be.
MJD has has a tough couple of years, struggling with injuries, overuse and a terrible QB, but back in Oakland (where he’s from) he can share time with DMC and Latavius Murray (and lets not forget Kory Sheets) and become the player he was back in 2009-2011, a little pitbull of a player, in many ways the perfect compliment to DMC.
DMC was in the unfortunate position last year of largely playing in the Terrelle Pryor period, when opposing teams knew they needed to load up against the run to stop us, and when this ended we all saw the benefits Rashard Jennings emerged with. This year not only do we have a much better (and bigger) OL, but we also have a QB who has a genuine weapon, so opposing D’s will have to send LB’s back into coverage, opening up gaps for MJD and a fresh looking DMC to exploit.
I know lots wont believe this but I predict a great Raider’s running game in 2014 – with at least 2,000 running yards achieved!!!