The Denver Broncos shocked all on Sunday when they managed a win after a drought that’s lasted since October. Even though a win doesn’t affect the team’s playoff elimination in any way, shape, or form — and even though it was against a 4-10 team that’s also been eliminated from the playoffs — a win is a win, and it can warrant a celebration.
Running back Latavius Murray was a key contributor to the victory on the offensive side of the ball, logging 130 yards and a touchdown, with an average of 5.4 yards per carry against the Arizona Cardinals.
Following the game, Murray heavily praised the offensive line for succeeding in opening up windows that allowed him to run.
“I think it has to start up front—giving us some lanes,” he shared, “getting outside, getting on the edge, and blocking, and just hitting it when it’s there, gaining the yards that need to be gained. Those big gains again, those guys getting out on the edge and giving me an opportunity.”
Asked what inspires the team to still compete, considering they have no chances at making it to the postseason, Murray admitted that he’s focusing on what the team can control.
“Look, the message has been, ‘Control what we can control’. If you look at the games we’ve been in, we’ve been right there,” he said, adding that they have the team to win games. “We just have to continue to go to work every week and find ways to be better and look forward to that Sunday to try and put it all together.”
Murray has been acknowledged in his locker rooms before, but never received a game ball — that is, until Sunday. The Broncos gave him the first one of his career. “Again, heading into Year 10, still checking things off the list. Let’s go. Let’s keep it going.”
Head coach Nathaniel Hackett weighed in just yesterday on the RB, admitting that his age has played a role in deciding how many carries to give him, while noting that Murray has earned consistent reps going forward.
“We weren’t sure if we were going to be able to feed him every game, the rest of the season, with 25 carries,” Hackett confessed, “He’s definitely earned it and he’s definitely put himself in position. He looks fresh, excited and wants the ball more. He does a good job understanding his body because he is a true pro and knows when he needs to come out.”
The back is acutely aware that at age 32, he’s “older” for a running back. He gave an honest recount of what life looked like earlier in the season, when he was sitting at home not knowing if he’d get a call to play for a team, and he shared that he is just so grateful for the ability to still contribute in the game he loves so much.
“I was messing around and talking with George Paton. I have to appreciate my mom and dad for blessing me with this body, but I continue to take care of it,” he explained, “For me, it’s just taking advantage—taking care of my body, taking advantage, and still getting to play the game that I love.”
It is largely his mentality that keeps him young, and his commitment to maintaining a healthy body. “When you come into this league and you are young, 21, 22, whatever it is. You’re not sure. You’re not sure how to approach the game...you have to learn how to continue to get better.”
“For me, mentally, I know the things that I need to do in the offseason and I know the things that I need to do during the season. I know how to take care of my body. That’s health,” he continued, “I’m not the same guy that I was last year, both physically [and] mentally.”
Murray said with confidence that as long as he’s physically able to contribute, he’s going to be back. He has no plans to quit any time soon.