ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Latavius Murray keeps one thing in mind when he returns a kickoff -- it’s just like a running play.
"I tuck the ball and I look for the blocking patterns and the holes,' the Oakland Raiders' intriguing running back/return man said. "It’s just like being a running back. That’s what I tell myself."
Murray said he was never a kick returner before the idea as broached to him by the Oakland staff this year. He instantly bought into the idea. He figured it would give him more opportunities to touch the ball and make an impact.
The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Murray has one kick return for 21 yards in the preseason. Murray is competing with Kory Sheets to be the primary kick returner. Expect Murray to make his mark in the backfield. He has seven carries for 28 yards in the preseason and figures to get some playing time behind veterans Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew during the regular season.
Murray, a sixth-round pick out of Central Florida in 2013, was hurt during the preseason last year and put on the injured reserve.
"I’m basically a rookie again," Murray said. "There was some benefit of sitting out last year. I learned the mental part of the game. I really feel like I have an advantage going into this season."