Is Jordan worth waiting for?

The power running game the Oakland Raiders envisioned hasn't materialized and in a league where star running backs are no longer measured by 1,000-yard seasons but by 1,200-yard plus, the Silver and Black have fell short.

In fact, the Oakland rushing offense, totaling 1,519 yards, was outdistanced by five individual running backs – Steven Jackson (1,528), Tiki Barber (1,662), Frank Gore (1,695), Larry Johnson (1,789) and LaDainian Tomlinson (1,815).

LaMont Jordan has been considered a disappointment since being a big-ticket free-agent signee in 2005. He's gained 1,459 yards over two seasons and 23 games, missing nine to injury and averaging less than four yards per carry.

Justin Fargas had a career-high 659 yards as a backup but looks to be no more than that. His total was 17th best in the AFC and didn't fall inside the top 30.

But Jordan isn't as bas as his numbers indicate. Yes, he has but a 3.8-yard per carry average over his two years in Oakland but his offensive line has been terrible over that same span. He has had to scratch and claw for each yard.

Plus, he caught 70 passes in 2005 and was ignored in the passing game through nine contests this past season.

"I'm calling the offense out," Jordan said heading into 2007. "I'll say it: We need to step up and play. Every player – offensive line, running backs, wide receivers, quarterback – we really need to step up and play the game the way it's supposed to be played."

His fiery attitude has sparked criticism along with its share of positives.

He signed a five-year deal prior to 2005 – yet there is talk of adding a running back early in the NFL Draft. This isn't a bad philosophy, especially with the considerable talent continually coming out of the college ranks.

"If we want people to start saying positive things about us, then what we have to do is give ‘em a reason to say something positive," Jordan added.

Spending a top pick for a back, however, may not be wise. They need a left tackle – Robert Gallery should be moved back to the right side to take the place of Langston Walker. They need a quarterback. They need a tight end. They could even use another wide receiver. Running back, on the other hand, could be used later in the day.

It is not as big a need as pundits would have you believe. The true way to a running back's heart is through an offensive lineman.

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