When Josh McDaniels was the offensive coordinator in New England, his team used a heavy running back by committee approach. They also had an interesting way of developing and using their running backs.
One example is Damien Harris, who the Patriots selected in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Despite being a relatively high selection, Harris received just four touches during his rookie season. But in 2020, that number rose to 142 touches in just 10 games.
McDaniels (and the Patriots) have a history of letting rookie running backs ride the bench before putting them on the field. Will they do the same with Zamir White in 2022?
In a recent article by Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus, he wrote about the possibility of the Raiders redshirting White during his rookie season:
“Keep in mind with (Zamir) White that Josh McDaniels is his head coach, and the New England Patriots sometimes liked to redshirt running backs in their rookie seasons. White was selected in the fourth round and might not have a heavy role in 2022 based on precedent that was set by McDaniels when he was offensive coordinator in New England.”
The Raiders do have a lot of depth at the running back position right now and they have a workhorse back in Josh Jacobs. With Jacobs entering the final year of his contract, it makes sense that the Raiders will use him up and keep White on the bench for the 2023 season.
White has been a trendy Offensive Rookie of the Year bet over the last few weeks, but expect the Raiders to be patient with him this season. Despite his talent level, don’t be shocked if the former SEC star sees fewer than 100 touches in 2022.