The Raiders selected Central Florida running back Latavius Murray in the sixth round. At 6-foot-3 and 223 pounds, with sure hands and a running style he compares to that of Vikings standout Adrian Peterson, he bears watching during training camp. Here’s what he had to say in a conference call with Bay Area media Saturday:
Q: Heard from Raiders up until time they gave you the call, work out for ‘em?
Murray : No, I took a visit after my pro day, but that’s pretty much it. No workout. Just a few phone calls to teach in touch.
Q: Who compare running style to?
Murray : I think with my height, you talk about a big back, Adrian Peterson, a guy like McFadden out there, a tall back, running upright, but still have some speed. I think those two might stick out.
Q: Great stats, TDs, yards per carry, rushing . . .surprised lasted as long?
Murray : I mean, I wasn’t too much surprised. Either way, I was just going to be happy to hear my name. After talking to my agent, he just told me to be prepared for whatever might happen, and I was. I’m definitely just thrilled about the opportunity I’m going to have.
Q: Out in the open, run over someone or run around ‘em, mix it up?
Murray : I try to mix it up. I guess it depends on the situation. I just try to mix it up. My goal is to put the ball in the end zone every run, every play. I try to do that and if it’s necessary to do either/or, I’ll do it.
Q: Coaches talk to you about modifying you upright running style?
Murray : Not so much. After taking visits or even just talking to coaches, some guys that are in the NFL currently run upright, but I think the main time what they were saying, as long as I know when I lower my pads or drop my shoulder, is the biggest thing, because open field, you can run upright, just not in traffic. It’s just running with that pad level is important in situations.
Q: How far along are you as a blocker and did you do a lot of it at Central Florida ?
Murray : Oh yeah, most definitely. You really can’t play in any level I feel unless you protect and that’s the way I was coached, definitely at this next level you have to protect the quarterback, so I know how important it is. I’m not saying I’m not a good blocker right now, but I’m going to improve in that area as well as other areas, so I can be a complete back.
Q: Basic routes out of the backfield or split wide, downfield stuff . .
Murray : Well, mainly, during the course of our games, just basic routes, out of the backfield and things like that, but there have been times when I’ve been split out. There have been times I’ve been wing set, running routes, H-back, stuff like that. My football IQ is very high. I know the game. I get an offense and learn fast and I think that’s just going to help me at the next level.
Q: What’s this fascination about the `Tave’ arm?
Murray : the what? What’s that?
Q: The `Tave arm’’ . . . what your teammates call your stiff arm?
Murray : I’m not really sure. I think I just have good timing and know when to put it out there and catch a defender off guard or make them look bad.