Raider Nation appears to be sleeping on Louis Murphy so far. Most of the talk has been about this offseason and for good reason.
The offensive line was addressed this offseason. Darren McFadden and Michael Bush should now have some running lanes. Campbell should be kept clean in the pocket.
There is even talk of how Darrius Heyward-Bey caught the ball in minicamp. From there, it goes to Chaz Schillens. He has returned ahead of schedule from injury.
All of the above is great, but we should not sleep on Murphy.
Sure he dropped some balls last year, but he did improve throughout the season. He also managed to put up respectable rookie receiver numbers last season.
So far, I'd have to say Murphy is an absolute gem for a late-round receiver. Furthermore, he has shown that he has the clutch gene.
That clutch gene was on full display in Week one of 2009. He made the go-ahead score from 57 yards out against the San Diego Chargers with 2:34 left in the game.
The defense didn't make that score hold up, as the Chargers won the game. However, Murphy did his part as he does not play defense.
Murphy struck again in Week 11 against the Cincinnati Bengals. He caught a game tying, 29-yard TD late in the fourth quarter. Sebastian Janikowski then won it with a 33-yard field goal. The 29-yard touchdown was Murphy's only catch of the game!
Week 13 was another clutch performance by Murphy. He had a 75-yard touchdown catch late in the fourth quarter.
He then caught the game winner from 11 yards out with only nine seconds left in the game. That would cap a day in which he had 128 yards on four catches and two TDs.
Murphy is also the ultimate team player. He helped teammate Zach Miller find the endzone from 86 yards out with two key blocks in a Week six game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Campbell is now in Oakland to help the passing game. Chaz Schillens and Zach Miller are sure to get most of the attention from opposing defenses.
It is still not known not what Hayward-Bey is bringing in 2010.
Could this mean a breakout year for Murphy?