Undrafted free agent RB Michael Dyer has stood out in the early stages of Raiders camp. Dyer has performed well while the expected backup, former first-round pick Trent Richardson, has yet to get on the field. He is on the non-football illness list.
Dyer continued to take advantage of his extra reps on Sunday and he broke off a few long runs.
"I think Michael's done a nice job developing from what we saw in the spring to now," Oakland coach Jack Del Rio said. "He's more comfortable, he's more accountable, more dependable in special teams units and the offense. Every now and then he'll pop through there and show some of that speed that he has, so I think he's off to a nice start."
Dyer was a freshman standout at Auburn, but had several issues and ended up going to three colleges. He was always considered an NFL-type talent, but his off-field problems dropped him off draft boards.
Richardson's entrance into the NFL was much different. He was the No. 3 overall pick by Cleveland. The Browns gave up on him in 2013 and traded him to Indianapolis for a first-round pick. He was cut this offseason. The Raiders surprised many in the league by giving the 25-year-old Richardson $600,000 in guaranteed money even though he has a career per carry yardage average of 3.3.
Del Rio wouldn't say what Richardson's issue is, the story said, but he did say Richardson, who is 5-foot-9, had dropped weight and is weighing in the 220-pound range. Richardson ballooned when he left Alabama and he reportedly weighed in the 240s last season. Latavius Murray, of course, is expected to take over the feature back role for the Raiders, but keep an eye on Dyer as someone would could very well end up passing Richardson on the depth chart.
The Oakland Raiders held their first practice of training camp on Friday in Napa, Calif., but Trent Richardson didn't participate. Oakland announced the former Alabama All-American had been placed on the non-football injury list.
The non-football injury list is for players who get hurt away from team activities, although the Raiders did not announce an injury for Richardson. His placement on the NFI list also might indicate he did not pass or did not take Thursday's conditioning test.
While on the NFI list, Richardson can't practice with the team. He'll be immediately eligible to practice once the designation is removed.
The NFI designation comes two days after Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle reported "whispers are that the Trent Richardson reclamation project is not going so well."
It turns out that 69 percent of Frank Gore's rushing attempts last year with the 49ers were made against a defense that had seven or fewer players in the box. Gore rushed for 833 yards and three touchdowns on 179 attempts when there were seven men in the box.
When it came to facing at least eight men in the box, Gore rushed 76 times for 273 yards and a touchdown last season. Gore's 833 yards against seven or fewer defenders in the box would have been enough to lead the Colts in total rushing in each of the past seven seasons.
The Colts didn't have much success rushing the ball when teams loaded the box against them. Richardson, Ahmad Bradshaw, Andrew Luck, Zurlon Tipton and Daniel “Boom” Herron combined to rush for 153 yards on 59 attempts, which is more than 100 yards less than what Gore rushed for.
The numbers don't lie.
The writer concludes that Gore should have plenty of success running the ball this season if the offensive line does its job, because the Colts have too many weapons on offense for defenses to load the box to try to slow Gore down. The hope for the Colts is Gore finally gives them a consistent rushing attack to go with Luck and give the team a bit of balance. Gore is listed 12th on our RB list making him a low-end RB1. Based on ADP, he falls right in that "next tier" of RBs - as the first 11 RBs on our list have ADPs in the first or early second rounds, while Gore's ADP is the early third round. He presents a nice value if you can land him in the third.
Sunday, July 5, 2015, 9:00pm
There’s no clearer sign that running back Trent Richardson’s career has not gone as planned than the fact that he’s starting his fourth NFL season on his third team after being the third overall pick by the Browns in the 2012 draft.
If there’s an optimistic spin to put on Richardson signing with the Raiders after an ineffective pair of years in Indianapolis following a trade with Cleveland for a first-round pick, it’s that Richardson will get a fresh start with a new coaching staff. While discussing all of the team’s options at running back, offensive line coach Mike Tice said that the Alabama product has made a good early impression in Oakland.
“Each one has their own style,” Tice said on Sirius XM NFL Radio, via the Raiders website. “I like the [Latavius] Murray kid. He really came on in that veteran mini-camp. He got his legs under him and showed some quickness, some good finish. I thought the young man out of Alabama came on. He lost some weight, his quickness came around.”
Thanks to Murray, Richardson is way down our RB list at 97. Richardson hasn’t gotten high marks on quickness in his first two stops in the NFL, making Tice’s observation a step in the right direction for a player who hasn’t taken enough of them in the last three years, the story said. The Raiders also have Roy Helu, so Richardson will have to battle for playing time.
Roy Helu, 26, looks like a perfect fit for Oakland’s new up-tempo offense that will often feature a no-huddle approach. ESPN scout Matt Williamson thinks Helu can be one of the Raiders’ most productive offensive weapons even though it will be in a limited role.
“While he isn’t great in protection, I think he will be a very valuable piece and a quick safe option for Derek Carr in this up-tempo passing game and offense overall,” Williamson said. “Helu has been extremely productive on a per-snap basis.”
Helu has averaged 2.69 catches per game in his four-year career, and is expected to serve as the team's primary passing down back while Latavius Murray and Trent Richardson compete for early-down duties. The Raiders are planning to move to a more up-tempo offense under OC Bill Musgrave, who spent last season working for Chip Kelly in Philadelphia. Helu is likely to be fantasy relevant in PPR formats, though the explosive Murray should hold the most fantasy value in 2015.
Saturday, April 4, 2015, 9:05am
Williamson: I think Murray is going to win the job. I just don’t think Richardson is a starting running back in the NFL. He has shown no explosion. I think he is a backup. Two teams have committed first-round picks to him and they both gave up on him. That’s a hint. Murray has more explosion and more potential at this point.
Williamson added that Murray does have to improve his football IQ. That likely means they want Murray to know the playbook more, know scheme better, know the blocking schemes better. It’s all things a young running back has to go through. Roy Helu may be a bigger threat to take away production than Richardson.
"I think it will be a competitive situation," Del Rio said.
Del Rio likes Richardson's potential.
"What I saw when we brought him in and talked to him was a young man that was hungry to kind of leave that portion of his career behind him and start fresh," Del Rio said. "My challenge to him was, 'Look, I don't want you to worry about anything other than coming in here and competing your butt off every day. Come in here and be a great teammate. Come in here and find a role on special teams. Come in here and just grind every day with the hunger you had as a freshman at Alabama.'"
We fully expect Murray to win the job, though it is concerning that the Raiders aggressively pursued DeMarco Murray. It indicates that they aren't fully ready to move forward with Latavius Murray, even though he rushed 82 times for 424 yards (a 5.2 YPC) and two touchdowns, including an incredible four-carry, 112-yard, two-TD performance against the Chiefs in Week 12. He still averaged a solid (if unspectacular) 4.0 YPC when that game is excluded. With good size (6'2", 223 lbs) and great speed (4.38 40-yard dash), Murray has all the physical tools to succeed at the position. He even showed solid hands with 17 receptions on 23 targets. We don't see Richardson as much of a threat, but teams have force-fed him before. Roy Helu is also in the mix, so if the Raiders don't commit to Murray, this could devolve into an ugly committee.
This is actually good news for Latavius Murray, since Richardson isn't a real threat to Murray's chances of winning the RB1 job in Oakland. The team went hard after DeMarco Murray but ended up with T-Rich. There's an opportunity for a joke here, but we're going to let it pass. The team also signed Roy Helu, who should serve as the third down back.
The rocky relationship between the Indianapolis Colts and running back Trent Richardson built up over time during the 2014 season because of weight issues, accessibility and an absence, multiple sources told ESPN.com.
Richardson, whom the Colts acquired from Cleveland in September 2013, had weight issues during the season, was difficult to get in touch with and didn't tell the team he wouldn't be at the walk-through the day before the AFC Championship Game, a source said. He was suspended two games by the team for missing the walk-through.
He served the first game of the suspension during the AFC Championship Game against New England. His second game will be served next season -- if he's still with the Colts.
Because of default language in his contract, the Colts could exercise an option to void $3.1 million in guaranteed money owed to Richardson next season. The NFL Players Association would likely challenge that ruling if it occurs.
It's unlikely that Richardson will be back with the Colts next season. The team is likely to (finally) admit its mistake and move on.
If his suspension stands, the Colts can cut T-Rich without paying him for the final year of his contract. Look for the team to shore up the RB position this offseason.
GM Ryan Grigson gets asked about Trent Richardson. Says he was suspended for two games and won’t get into it because of personal reasons.
It appears that Richardson's time in Indianapolis is drawing to a close. When asked about T-Rich returning in 2015, Grigson declined to comment. RIchardson is under contract for one more season.
Friday, January 2, 2015, 5:04pm
Colts RB Trent Richardson (illness, questionable) missed practice Friday and is questionable for Week 18. Richardson is likely to play, but may be limited, further boosting Dan Herron’s upside in a good matchup against Cincinnati.
The first, and most obvious, is the Colts' considerable lack of depth at running back. Trent Richardson and Dan Herron are joined only by undrafted rookie Zurlon Tipton from Central Michigan, currently the third running back. The Colts, like most teams in today's NFL, prefer to play a rotation of running backs. With Ahmad Bradshaw on injured reserve, there aren't a lot of options.
Arguing for more carries for Herron is one thing – he's been more productive – but to suggest that he alone handle all the carries, when he has no history of being an every-down running back, is a stretch.
But there's a much bigger reason behind the Colts' rationale to stick with Richardson. And it has little to do with running the football. Richardson is the best pass-blocking running back the Colts have, a distinction that greatly increases his worth to the coaching staff.
You might not value this quality in your favorite team's running back, but quarterbacks do not share your opinion.
While it's just one opinion, it makes a lot of sense. Protecting one of the top QBs in the league is key to the Colts success and playoff future, and if Richardson has the best ability to keep Luck upright, he's going to be on the field. That could mean on the field in key third down situations, which obviously would limit Herron's pass-catching numbers. Both Herron and Richardson had two receptions last week.
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