Raiders’ Jordan believes in new coach, new start

By Anthony Carroll  |   Wednesday, August 15, 2007  |  Comments( 42 )

Oakland Raiders
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Oakland Raiders running back LaMont Jordan has been physically, mentally and financially beaten over the past year.

The 28-year-old running back, though, believes his new 32-year-old head coach is a good enough reason to have a positive outlook about the upcoming season.

Although, any coach would have that effect after the year Jordan endured in 2006.

After a 70-catch, 1,000-plus-yard rushing season in 2005, Jordan floundered in the Art Shell/Tom Walsh era, posting just 434 yards on 114 carries. The 230-pound ballcarrier missed six games thanks to a torn MCL, and his season was over before the month of December began. At that point -- watching his team drop the final five games of the season from the sidelines -- Jordan was at one of the lowest points of his career.

And what ensued in the offseason wasn't much better, either.

Just three months after his team's 2-14 season came to a close, Jordan was asked to either shave $1.5 million off his upcoming bonus, or hit the road. Knowing he wasn't as attractive as he once was with the New York Jets, Jordan did the smart thing. He took the pay cut and kept his job.

In the resulting months, team owner Al Davis would repay the ex-Maryland halfback by signing Super Bowl standout Dominic Rhodes to a two-year, $7.5 million deal. Fifty days later, the Raiders drafted Louisville star runner Michael Bush in the fourth round. The oft-injured Jordan was seemingly all but ready to plummet down the depth chart.

Lane Kiffin, though, the team's first-year head coach, has given the veteran back something to look forward to.

"Last year, we never emphasized getting the backs the ball," Jordan recently told the Sacramento Bee. "We spent so much time standing and helping out the linemen with the seven-step drops we were doing."

"This [year's] offense is pretty much check your man, chip on the way out and get out."

At a new, potentially undisclosed weight, Jordan hopes he can chip and dash at a quicker, more powerful rate.

"If I can get back to [the weight I was at last year], especially with this new offense, I'll have a lot more bigger runs, a lot more explosive plays."

Jordan did manage to break off a 59-yard TD scamper last season. However, outside of the single 50-plus-yard run, he hasn't had any rushes over 35 yards in his two seasons with the Raiders.

Lack of the big play, an impulsive interview style and a rather hefty contract has put Jordan on the end of rather harsh treatment by Raider fanatics. Many want No. 34 out, while others still believe he holds value to the team.

"There's a lot of people questioning whether I'm the guy for the job," Jordan told reporter Jason Jones on Wednesday.

At this point, only Jordan holds the answer to the question, and he'll be able to start answering it on Saturday, when he'll return to the field for the first time in nine months.

Anthony Carroll, a senior writer for RealFootball365.com, can be contacted at acarroll@realfootball365.com

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About Anthony Carroll

Anthony Carroll began writing for RealFootball365.com on Sept. 26, 2005, making him one of the longest tenured contributors to the “365” team. As a senior writer, Anthony has taken on the task of delivering original content to the silver and black faithful year round, despite having to deal...
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