Murray Embracing New Role


Q: Every loss hurts, obviously, but when you look at the way you guys have played coming off of your wins, does that it make it even more disappointing?**

Murray:"I think it's definitely more frustrating because you're trying to get a series of wins together. Again, you know the preparation you put in week in and week out, so any loss is definitely disappointing, but definitely when you're trying to put a series of wins together and come up short there, definitely frustrating."

Q: Can coaches lead by example, just by kind of marching through the week and staying on task?

Murray:"Without a doubt. I think when you have a coach that's constantly reminding you, yeah the season is coming to an end, but just to remain focused at each game, each week, especially regardless of the win. Whether it was the win we had against San Francisco or Kansas City, just trying to keep us focused and bounce back for that next game, regardless if we win or lose."

Q: It seems like this team has really rallied behind [Interim Head Coach Tony Sparano] even though the results haven't always been what you want.

Murray:"Without a doubt. I think Tony has done a great job and I think everyone in the locker room loves his approach. I feel he's definitely a players' coach and we all love playing for him, so again, we've been coming up short on some games, but that definitely doesn't change the mentality we have each week going forward."

Q: [Interim Head Coach] Sparano had said that your progression process was just maybe a little slower than some of the other younger players. What have you done differently to get the opportunity that you're getting now?

Murray:"I just kept continuing to work each week regardless of if I was playing on special teams, a lot or a little, whether I was getting my chance in at running back. I made sure in practice too that I was working really hard on the look team to give them a look, or my reps on the offensive team. I just made sure I kept doing what I'm doing and just kept getting better each week and just made sure that I was doing my part regardless of which phase it was."


Game action photos from the Raiders 31-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 15 action.

Q: This might be an unfair question to ask you, but you had talked about Tony, the players loved his approach. Is it fair to say that there's unanimous support, universal support in the locker room for him to come back next year?**

Murray:"I think it's fair to say that. With everyone I'm close with, we definitely like Tony, and I definitely don't mind playing for him at all."

Q: All these game films, where you're getting maybe 17, 12, 15 touches, are these really valuable because there aren't a lot of padded practices anymore? Do you feel like you're learning a lot from being able to watch these things and see the decisions that you make?

Murray:"Without a doubt. Like you said, being on the practice field is completely different to going out there in real, game action, so I definitely think I'm learning. I'm learning also on the practice field, but you're definitely learning out there on the field against opponents. It can only help myself when I go in and see the film and correct it and just get better each week."

Q: You talked about focus a moment ago and staying focused through these last couple weeks of the season. You're surrounded by veteran players who have been through the ringer and a running backs coach [Kelly Skipper] who has been here for a while too. How much does that help?

Murray:"It helps a lot just to know that they've been in the situation before and it's not just some guys that are talking like, 'We should do this. We need to do that.' They're guys that been in the situation before and guys that have played a lot of football, so it makes it a lot easier listening to them."

Q: It seemed like on some of those efficient runs that you had, you waited just a tick for your blocking to line up and then you hit the hole. Is that something that you have to learn, to not panic and just trust that the rushing lane is going to open up?

Murray:"Yeah. You have to have patience and obviously you have to be on the same page with the offensive line. You have to know the scheme, where the ball is supposed to be, where it's supposed to hit and then if something does go wrong, you have to know how to react on the spur of the moment. We're still getting better. We're still learning each week as a whole, as far as the running backs and the offensive line goes, so I think we definitely can only get better."

Q: You say that you and your teammates really enjoy Coach Sparano's approach. Could you talk a little bit about what that approach is? How would you describe it?

Murray:"I think he's a guy that can relate to us players a lot. He's constantly motivating us. He has quotes, things to just put it in perspective, I guess, outside football in a way. He just kind of reminds us that even though the season hasn't gone the way we wanted it to go, just to stay positive and remain positive and just try to look forward to that next week."

Q: How are you looking at these next two games? Are you looking at it as maybe a chance to prove that, 'Hey, you don't need to go out and get anybody else, I can be your feature back?' Is that kind of how you're thinking?

Murray:"I just want to go out there and be productive, that's for sure, and I want to do anything I can to help the team win. In that process, if it is just proving that maybe I deserve a chance to remain the starter, that's it, but that's not really what has been in my train of thought. Just really getting better, doing anything I can to help the team win and running hard."

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