Latavius Murray

Latavius Murray played for the Vikings in 2017 and 2018. He was selected in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL Draft (181st overall) by the Oakland Raiders, where he played in 2014 and 2015.

He missed his rookie season, 2013, with an ankle injury. His most productive year came in 2015 with the Raiders when he ran for 1,066 yards.

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Latavius Murray knows how much the city of New Orleans loved Mark Ingram.

And he knows what Ingram did both on and off the field during his eight seasons here.

So Murray, who signed with the Saints on Thursday, reached out to the guy he'll be replacing in the backfield.

He congratulated Ingram, who signed with the Baltimore Ravens, on his deal and let Ingram know that he'll be asking him for some pointers about New Orleans.

Ingram congratulated him back and offered to give any assistance he needed.

"He reiterated how much he loved this locker room and (said) I'm very lucky to be around a great group of guys," Murray said.

Now it's Murray's turn to be one of those guys. Now it's his turn to share the backfield with Alvin Kamara, an opportunity Murray looks forward to.

"Lot of respect for him and his game," Murray said of Kamara. "One of the best backs in the league, so I'm excited just to work with him every day and learn from him. If there is anything I can give as far as knowledge, I'm there for that as well."

It's not clear if Murray and Kamara will tag team postgame interviews the way Ingram and Kamara did, but Murray likes the potential of what the duo can do on the field.

"I think the sky is the limit," Murray said. "I'm very confident in what I'm able to do on the field, and I think (Alvin) has proven that as well in the past few years in a short amount of time."

Murray, who played the past two seasons with the Minnesota Vikings after spending his first three seasons in the league with the Oakland Raiders, knows a thing or two about the Saints.

The Saints and Vikings have played three times over the past two seasons. Seeing the Saints up close and personal helped him make his decision to sign his four-year, $14.4 million deal and become a part of the Who Dat nation.

"You look at the success they have had over the years and the offense and how explosive they are and the different things coach Payton does," Murray said. "And their defense who I have had to play against three times in the past two years. Just being right there in the fight (in the playoffs) the past few years, it was kind of a no-brainer to have an opportunity to be in a place that has a great locker room and the opportunity to go out there compete for a championship."

Murray will join his former Vikings teammate, backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who re-signed with the Saints on Friday. Murray also will reunite with defensive lineman Mario Edwards, who also signed with the Saints on Friday. Murray and Edwards played together in Oakland.

"Latavius is a hard worker," Edwards said. "First one in the building and last one out." 

Murray realizes he's following in the footsteps of one of the more popular players on the Saints roster, one who heads to Baltimore as the Saints' second leading rusher.

"It's a tough situation when you look at Mark being drafted here and being here for so long," Murray said. "Him doing some great things here for the city and the organization. (But) you really can't look at that as anything personal."

Murray knows that it's part of the business. He's not coming to try to be the next Mark. He's just trying to make his own mark. 

"No matter where you go, there is turnover in the league every year," Murray said. "When you try to say you're replacing somebody or you're supposed to do this or do that, I think you can make things harder on yourself. The expectations I have have nothing to do with who was here before me or what they did. My expectations on whichever team I'm playing for, here and now, is to go out here and be the best I can be and bring what I can bring to the team so we can go out there and win."

Follow Rod Walker on Twitter, @rwalkeradvocate.

This article originally ran on theadvocate.com.