From the moment that the Raiders decided to bring Marshawn Lynch back, a weight lifted off the fanbase. With Lynch, Oakland boasts a lead back. However, what does the rest of their backfield resemble? Behind Lynch, Doug Martin, DeAndre Washington, and Jalen Richard will battle for reps. For the head-to-head, FPC Raiders writers Pete Camarillo, Terrance and Ray Aspuria will focus on Doug Martin and Jalen Richard
What must Jalen Richard do to secure a spot?
First and foremost, show up veteran Doug Martin in the battle at running back. Secondly, win the punt return gig outright. That is a tall order — his main competition is 5-foot-8 Ryan Switzer — for the dynamo. He and DeAndre Washington are too similar and keeping both would be nonsensical.
Richard is going to have to earn his spot on special teams. The Raiders have a surplus of undersized runners and Richard can separate himself with contributions in the return game. He also helps his case if he can cover the return game too.
In all honesty, Richard needs a perfect offseason. As a result, the ball need not hit the ground. In addition, bad hands need to be a thing of the past. Moreover, showing 2016 agility in the running game would also work wonders for his prospects. In 2017, Richard’s yards per carry dropped a full yard. Additionally, Richard’s eight fumbled should worry the Raiders.
How much of the old Doug Martin do you expect?
It seems like it was so long ago that Doug Martin was Doug Martin. We already lived the under-sized, former Pro Bowler returning home back when Maurice Jones-Drew joined the Raiders. That did not go too well and I do not expect much better from Martin. If Martin can get more than 500 yards from scrimmage, consider the season a success.
The old Muscle Hamster is long gone. He signed a peanuts deal with Oakland and while there is hopes he can rekindle the flame, it looked dim in 2015. A once bright player’s NFL prospects grow dimmer by the day. Martin has been hurt and averaged only 2.9 yards per carry the past two years.
First, the “old” Doug Martin only tallied 1000 yards twice; In addition, he averaged less than four yards per carry in four of his six seasons. In addition, his 827 yards and six scores since 2015 concern me. The old, 2015 version of Martin may be long gone. However, with fewer carries, that average increased. Furthermore, not sitting as the lead back helps Martin. Martin would jump into spot duty.