Devontae Booker is a man of few words, but his performance against the Denver Broncos in Week 10 spoke volumes.
Booker spent the first four seasons of his career in the Mile High City, rushing for 1,103 yards and six touchdowns with limited playing time, but he doesn't hold any negativity toward his former team. Leading up to the rivalry match between the Las Vegas Raiders and the Broncos, Booker prepared for the game like he would any other opponent, not buying into the "revenge game" hype.
But following the Raiders' 37-12 win, he admitted he did enjoy defeating his former squad.
"It felt good," Booker said. "It felt really good to go out there and beat these guys. It started off slow for us in the beginning, but in the second half we came out there and executed, and pounded it down their throat and came out with the victory."
Signed in the offseason, Booker was brought in to spell Josh Jacobs and give the Raiders' star running back some breathing room when needed, but since he arrived, he's continued to exceed expectations. Entering Sunday's Week 10 matchup, Booker was averaging an absurd 6.8 yards per carry on 33 carries, amounting to 223 rushing yards and one touchdown across eight games, and he continued to build on his impressive season. The former Utah Ute rushed 16 times for 81 yards and two touchdowns, adding one reception to his final line. Raiders General Manager Mike Mayock and the scouting department recognized Booker's talent and pulled off one of the biggest sleeper signings of free agency.
"A lot of times, players just aren't in the right situation at the right time," Coach Gruden explained when asked why Booker has thrived in Las Vegas compared to his time with the Broncos. "Again, credit to Mike Mayock and our scouting department for bringing him in here, and really you have to tip your hat to Booker in an odd offseason. He learned the offense on YouTube and he learned the offense on Zoom meetings, and he won the job in training camp and beat out a really good draft choice. So, it's good to see him have success, especially against his old team."
Booker has been one of the best surprises this season and while his individual contributions have been noteworthy, he knows he wouldn't be able to succeed without his teammates and their support.
"I couldn't do it without my teammates and the O-line, so credit to them. We just came out and executed in the second half and got the [win]."
He hasn't been a member of the Silver and Black for very long, but Booker has made quite the impact in the locker room. While the 28-year-old running back brushed off any drama between him and his former team, his teammates told him all week they were dedicated to getting the win for him.
"They for sure been telling me all week they wanted to get this win for me and we just went out and did what we needed to do," Booker said. "I'm excited and I know they're probably more excited than I am, but as I said, it was just another game. It was a rivalry game for us and we just had to lay it out there on the field."
Josh Jacobs might be the Raiders' starter, but Booker's presence on the field this season shouldn't be overlooked. At this point in the season, it's clear the Raiders possess two running backs capable of carrying this team going forward.
View photos from the Raiders' Week 10 matchup against the Denver Broncos at Allegiant Stadium.