Zamir White embracing new role as Raiders lead RB

At the end of last season, Raiders running back Zamir White got his first opportunity to start with Josh Jacobs sidelined with an injury.

White looked the part of a starting back in those four games, rushing for 397 yards with 4.7 yards per carry — highlighted by a 145-yard performance in Las Vegas’ Christmas Day victory over Kansas City.

He also caught nine passes for 60 yards in that stretch.

But White doesn’t necessarily see it as a jumping-off point entering 2024, even as he’s now penciled in as the lead back with Jacobs departing in free agency.

“That built up a lot of confidence moving into this year, but last year was last year,” White said in a Wednesday press conference. “We've got to move on from that and just build off of this right now, what we've got going on now. Yeah, that's the past.”

White called being RB1 “a blessing for me” as he continues through OTAs.

“Just from grinding up from my first year here behind Josh, but honestly right now it's basically about just having fun really with the guys really, and just learning this new style we've got going on,” White said. “So yeah, just having fun with it.”

He’s also embraced becoming more of a vocal leader as Las Vegas’ top back.

“Most definitely, because last year my role was more like a quiet guy just like, when they need me, I'm here,” White said. “But yeah, that's about it last year-wise. But now I have to grow back into that vocal leader and I'm just showing them on the field, every single day.”

Free-agent signee Alexander Mattison said he’s noticed White taking proper ownership of the role.

“Yeah, he's the guy that has been in a position similar to where I was over in Minnesota with Dalvin [Cook], and for him to have to step up and be in a different type of mindset is something that I've seen from him,” Mattison said in his press conference. “Even just as a group, were able to come together and have goals as a group and just love on one another, teach each other, lending a helping hand to one another. And I'm excited for this running back room.”

In 31 career games, White has 521 yards rushing with one touchdown and 15 receptions for 98 yards.