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Raiders: Jordan's back, should get lots of work before season opener
LaMont Jordan, an Oakland Raiders running back is back in work as a player. He missed almost half of training camp due to a back injury, but is expected to make his exhibition-season debut tonight against the host San Francisco 49ers. Jordan will play behind Dominic Rhodes, but the Raiders will give him every opportunity to get rolling. After all, when the regular season starts, Jordan will be considered the team’s best option at running back. “We've obviously got to get LaMont going,” said Oakland Raiders Coach Lane Kiffin. “He needs a lot of work, especially in these next two games.” Getting Jordan ready now for the season opener is huge because Rhodes is suspended for the first four games of the regular season. Rhodes violated the league’s substance abuse policy as an Indianapolis Colt before signing a two-year, $7.5 million free-agent deal with Oakland.
The absence of Dominic Rhodes will give LaMont Jordan 4 games to make a case for retaining what has been his starting job since coming to Oakland from the New York Jets in 2005. “There’s a lot of people questioning whether I'm the guy for the job,” said Jordan. “And of course, at some point, pride's gonna get in the way and you're gonna want to make a statement.” He needs game repetitions now, for him to win the job later, because the Oakland Raiders are using a new zone blocking scheme that requires the running back to run sideways and cut back when holes open up.
All this is new to LaMont Jordan, a downhill-style runner who plowed forward for 1,025 yards and 70 catches two years ago. This is the first time he has had to fight for a job with his team, who ranked 29th in league rushing last season. He said he likes the new system and coaching staff. On the other hand, he said some of the same things before last season, only to later vent about the offensive coordinator and playbook. Jordan averaged 3.8 yards per carry with two touchdowns in 10 games before a season-ending knee injury.
The lowlight may have come against the team of 49ers. LaMont Jordan not only did not catch a backward pass from Andrew Walter, but he stood there with hands on hips as the 49ers’ Melvin Oliver scooped up the live ball for a 12-yard touchdown return in the fourth quarter. “Kiffin has definitely put back the fun in Raider football, and I'm looking forward to see how this thing comes together,” Jordan stated.
It will be a challenging season for LaMont Jordan and the Oakland Raiders as well. Jordan would have opportunities to prove that he is back on track. He would have lots of work to accomplish before season opener. This 28 year-old National Football League running back will get back into striving and doing his best to be able to win the team’s succeeding game for the season. The team of Oakland Raiders will also prove that they are indeed, one of the outstanding teams of the NFL and will continue to win their games, no matter what comes in their way. Watch their games and witness their great determination of winning.
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