Running backs DeAndré Washington & Jalen Richard
In 2016 the Oakland Raiders saw the emergence of two promising young rookies, running backs DeAndré Washington and Jalen Richard. The dynamic duo contributed a solid amount in their rookie seasons, but want to exceed expectations in their second year. Tuesday, both players were made available to the media, and shared their thoughts on the upcoming year.
Here are the quick hits from their media session:
**Marshawn Lynch hasn't been on the team long, but Richard has taken it upon himself to pick his brain.
"It's been really cool to sit back and learn from him. Obviously, me being as young as I am and him being as seasoned as he is, I've had chances to watch his highlights and stuff as I was trying to perfect my craft. To actually have him here in person and have that physicality there, talk to him after each run and see what his thoughts were, is really helpful."
The Raiders acquired one of the most-lethal returners in free agency, and Richard has been blown away by wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson's work ethic.
"He's fast. It's really cool. We've added some pieces and to add him is really going to help us. It's going to do nothing but make us better. He's a fast guy, smart, and works hard. His last two catches earlier in practice off the jugs, he ran full speed for 20 yards after he caught the ball. I felt like he was outworking me, so on my last punts, I said, 'I need to run full speed.' He's been a motivation talking-wise and also me just watching him do what he does."
Richard broke down what it's been like having Todd Downing as the offensive coordinator.
"It's been great. T.D. has been real hands-on. He's a smart guy. He's a fiery guy. It definitely gets us up, ready to go for practice when he and D.C. [Derek Carr] are both fired up. Like I said, a very smart guy. He's tweaked a few things, but other than that he's been doing everything he can to make sure he gets the ball in the playmakers' hands, and we have a lot of those. It's going to be really fun to play offense this year for him."
Washington shared how he stays motivated throughout the offseason.
"Yeah, I mean each year you look down and each offseason you sit down, see what you need to work on and just try to take that next step. I think that's the biggest thing I've been trying to do this offseason. I have a year under my belt now, got a lot more comfortable than I was this time last year. So, just taking that next step and just being consistent."
Even though the Raiders offense was potent last season, he believes it can go up a notch in 2017.
"Dangerous, man. I mean, you look on paper, it's crazy the amount of talent we got. But, we still have to put the work in first and foremost. We definitely feel like we can score and play with anybody in this league. We got the personnel, the coaches, so it's just about going out and making it happen at this point."