Raiders' running back Richard making the most of his opportuniti - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Raiders' running back Richard making the most of his opportunities

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Jalen Richard, Oakland Raiders. (FOX5) Jalen Richard, Oakland Raiders. (FOX5)
OAKLAND, CA (FOX5) -

Raiders running back Jalen Richard walked the NFL tightrope last season.

He was undrafted out of college but was invited to Rookie Mini-Camp in Oakland with the team sending him a round-trip ticket.  Richard came in and impressed, earning a spot on the 53-man roster and never used the return flight home.

“I still have that screen shot on my phone and I still have the email, so I was thinking of printing it out at Walgreen's and putting it up in a frame somewhere in the house,” Richard said. “It's still motivation for me that I had a flight in and I had a flight out, but I've been here ever since.”

Richard went on to have an impressive rookie season.  His first carry was a 75-yard touchdown run. He ended up fifth in the NFL in rookie rushing, even though the four players ahead him had at least twice the amount of carries.

Pro Football Focus put out a stat that called Richard the most elusive running back in the NFL in 2016, based on missed tackles forced and yards gained after contact.

He has prepared to go into training camp in late July with a year’s knowledge under his belt but also the drive to improve.

“I'm gonna go in there with a chip on my shoulder like I did last year because I have to continue to improve and continue to prove myself worthy of what I have and worthy of a spot on this team,” Richard said. “I have to know how to practice and know I don't have to make everybody miss. I can just put my foot down and go forward.”

Richard finds himself behind Marshawn Lynch in the depth charts this season, but said he is trying to learn as much as he can from the veteran.

“He's trying to give me the little bits and pieces of him being a vet and what works in this league at the running back position and try to figure out how I can implement it into my game,” Richard said..

Training camp for the Raiders begins in late July in Napa. The first preseason game is scheduled for Aug. 12 at Arizona.

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