With McKinnon leaving in free agency and Cook back on the field, Murray wants he and Cook to push each other in camp.
“We talked briefly before training camp started about he and I and about there being a lot of yards out there for us both,” Murray said. “We both know that can’t happen if either of us aren’t at our best, so that’s why right now, competing and coming out here and getting better is only going to help that.”
While Murray finished 2017 with 842 yards and eight touchdowns, it’s hard to say whether his role will be as big as last year. When Cook was healthy he was one of the NFL’s leaders in yards and received the vast majority of snaps.
Murray said that the group of young running backs – which includes intriguing undrafted free agents Mike Boone and Roc Thomas – is pushing him to improve.
“I was sitting here the other night watching the film on everybody that we have a really explosive group of running backs in the room,” Murray said. “Being that they’re young too, it’s been kind of cool to see. It actually makes me realize, look, we are getting to that point where young guys are coming in and they can run the ball really well and it makes me know how important it is that I need to maintain my level of play.
“They do things really well, they’ve been running the ball well and they’ve been getting the protections down and I think when you’re able to do that when you’re young, that’s what keeps you around. I know that’s what helped me early on.”
Murray’s snaps may depend in part on how Cook bounces back from ACL surgery.
“He looks really good,” Murray said. “I’m happy for him and I’m excited because it’s going to take us all.”
Neither Murray nor Cook said they know yet how snaps will be divided up or what their specific assignments will be.
“I don’t know yet, everybody is still trying to identify themselves in the offense,” Cook said. “That is why we are here for camp. We are going to have our bumps and bruises, but whatever my role is, I will give it my all. I just hope it is enough to win football games.”
Source: ESPN | Matthew Coller | July 29, 2018