What do Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, Chris Johnson, and DeMarco Murray all have in common? If you said they are all NFL running backs, I'm you have begun watching American football. You have made a wise life decision.
No, more specifically, each of those players has been asked in the past couple of months if he will run for 2,000 yards this season. Murray joined the club when he was posed the question during ESPN's "First Take" on Wednesday.
"I think I'm capable of anything," Murray responded.
A more pressing matter for the third-year back is his health, especially considering he missed many games during college and his first two years in the pros. Murray also had to sit out some practices this spring because of a balky hamstring. But he said Wednesday those matters are behind him, that is he 100 percent and operating at full speed. Cowboys training camp opens in less than two weeks.
At this rate, we will have more players asked if they can run for 2,000 yards this season than the number of players who have actually run for 2,000 yards in NFL history. Camps can get here soon enough as to give so many people better things to talk about.
I see Murray as a Darren McFadden with less mileage. They are both physically imposing, every-down runners who can play inside, outside and work well as a receiver. But, oh, the injuries. It's not surprising that these two are being selected very close to one another in the third round of most drafts. If I had to pick between them, I think I would still go with McFadden, as hard as that is to say. I believe he has a higher ceiling than Murray. He is the focal point of Oakland's offense, and I am totally buying in to what positive things could happen with the Raiders reverting back to a power run scheme, in which McFadden has seen a lot of success during his career. He is also only six months older than Murra. Having high hopes for a healthy McFadden is basically the definition of insanity since injuries have interrupted each of his five NFL seasons. But if both players can play a full schedule, I think McFadden will have the better season.
I understand the other side of the debate -- Murray is in a better offense and won't see as many crowded boxes; he has 541 fewer touches than McFadden, and after McFadden has burned us so many times, why give him another chance?
It's about personal preference. But you know you'll be sweating just a little bit if you draft either player.