Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

July 18, 2008
Looming question at running back

The Raiders have an abundance of running backs.

So why is LaMont Jordan still among them? I know the Raiders aren't holding on to him so that Jordan and I can continue discussing WWE highlights.

Jordan has been granted permission to seek a trade, but that's not likely to happen.

It's hard to trade a running back the rest of the NFL assumes will be released, especially when he's due $4.7 million in salary.

Jordan visited Detroit, but nothing has come of that.

The last time Jordan tried to report to work - June's mandatory minicamp - he was told not to step on the field.

Jordan hasn't wanted to be a Raider for some time and the team has made it clear it doesn't want him.

The Raiders have six days to figure this out.

But on to the running backs that will be welcomed to Napa next week.

The Raiders have to be excited about building on the running game that was sixth in the NFL last year.

And the team wasn't satisfied with that. The Raiders only added the best running back in the draft, Darren McFadden, to the mix.

The competition for time at running back will be touch. The youngsters will have to wrestle playing time away from incumbent Justin Fargas.

With coach Lane Kiffin expected to lean heavily on the road with a young JaMarcus Russell at quarterback, he should be able to keep at least three of the backs happy.

Running back preview

Michael Bush: Built like a linebacker, he can catch the ball well, too. Could be a short-yardage specialist as he returns to the field for the first time since breaking his leg Sept. 2006 while playing for Louisville.

Adimchinobe Echemandu: Training camp star in 2007 was released to make room for Dominic Rhodes last season. Could make the team again and be a special teams contributor.

Fargas: Team MVP last year as players were inspired by his play. Figures to get the bulk of the carries and look to build on his solid 2007 season that ended with two games left because of sprained knee ligament.

Justin Griffith: The starting fullback is also an option in the passing game. He's skilled being the lead blocker in the zone-blocking scheme and carry the ball if needed.

Tony Jackson: Backup fullback is around to give the regulars a rest during camp and a long shot to make the team.

Jordan: Went from starter to afterthought last season.

: The fourth overall pick in the 2008 Draft is an early favorite to be the NFL Rookie of the Year. He's already signed and the team will get him the ball a lot hoping he adds an element the offense lacked last year - excitement.

Oren O'Neal: A punishing blocker that will push Griffith for playing time. He's also a key on special teams.

Louis Rankin: An undrafted rookie with good speed. He could get a chance to return kickoffs during the preseason.

--Jason Jones

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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