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McFadden Q&A

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Since it seems in this forum at least that Darren McFadden is the biggest topic of conversation regarding the Raiders and the No. 4 overall pick in the draft on April 26, here is a transcript of McFadden’s media session at the NFL scouting combine?

Q: Are you the best player in the draft?

McFadden: I feel like I am the best player in the draft. I can do a lot of different things. I feel like I’m a very versatile player. I can go out there and line up at receiver, I can line up in the backfield and block, line up back there and run, I can throw a pass if you need me to. But like if I had to, I could play defense.

Q: Why did you decide to enter the draft early?

McFadden: I feel like it was kind of tough on me, but with my coaches leaving, it made it easier for me. But I felt like it was time, too.

Q: What kind of questions do you expect from NFL teams?

McFadden: I know I’m going to hear a lot of different questions. I’m going to hear things from the reason why I get up early, or the different incidents I’ve had outside of nightclubs, just different questions.

Q: How will you answer the nightclub questions?

McFadden: Just answer them and tell them what happened. I know I put myself in a bad situation I shouldn’t have been in, and I take full responsibility for it.

Q: Was the report out of proportion to what actually happened?

McFadden: I guess they had people telling them something, different things were happening, and I guess people’s words got misconstrued.

Q: Will all the off-the-field issues affect your draft stock?

McFadden: That’s something I haven’t been worried about at all.

Q: Was football an escape for you growing up in a tough environment?

McFadden: A lot of bad things were laid out in front of me, and at any point in time in life I could have took the wrong road. But I felt like I always stayed on the right road and did the positive things.

Q: How do you compare to Adrian Peterson?

McFadden: I admire Adrian Peterson. He’s a great running back and I feel like if I go in do all the work that I should do and put in the right work necessary, I could have the type of season he did.

Q: Is it important to be the first back drafted?

McFadden: Whether I am or if I’m not, I’m just going to go wherever I go and try and play my best.

Q: Is it important to be the first player drafted?

McFadden: Like I said, whether I am or I’m not, I’m just going to go play my best wherever I go.

Q: Are you eager to see what Felix Jones, your Arkansas teammate, can do as a feature back?

McFadden: I feel like I know what Felix can do. If he was the feature back at Arkansas, I feel like he’d have been the same. I feel like he could have started anywhere in the country if he wasn’t playing behind me.

Q: What do you need to improve on?

McFadden: I’ve just got to get adapted to the game speed and things like that, get in there and learn the different plays, things like that.

Q: How are your receiving skills?

McFadden: I feel like I have great hands because I played a lot of different positions growing up. I’ve caught a lot of balls through high school and things, so I feel like I have great hands.

Q: Do you think a team will utilize the “Wildcat formation” in the NFL?

McFadden: I don’t know if it could, but if it did, it’d be a great thing.

Note: In the “Wildcat” formation at Arkansas, McFadden took snaps from center as a quarterback and could either run or pass.

Q: Would you like to play in Dallas?

McFadden: For me, it doesn’t matter. I’m just going to go and do my best.

Q: Have you thought about playing with JaMarcus Russell?

McFadden: No sir, I haven’t. I haven’t thought anything about it.

Q: What do you like about Lining up at quarterback?

McFadden: It’s something I love to do, line up behind the center and take those direct snaps. Growing up, I played quarterback a lot, and it’s just something I love to do, be back there and be able to call the plays.

Q: Is there room for playing some QB at the next level?

McFadden: Well, I don’t know if there’d be any room for it in the NFL, but if a coach wanted me to do it, I’m going to do it.

Q: LaDainian Tomlinson has completed some passes for San Diego . . .

McFadden: He’s a great player, going back there and throwing touchdown passes like he’s a quarterback. It’s just a great thing to see a running back do that.

Q: Who is the second best RB in the draft?

McFadden: Well, everybody probably would have a different opinion, but mine would be Felix Jones.

Q: How would you explain your assets to a general manager?

McFadden: I feel like I’m a tough guy. You could have me in on first down or you could have me in on fourth-and-1. I can get long yards for you or I can get short yards for you.

Q: Thought about taking your place among legendary SEC backs?

McFadden: For me, it’s something I haven’t really thought about

Q: Your favorite running back?

McFadden: Growing up, I was a Terrell Davis guy. I used to watch Terrell Davis run.

Q: Why Terrell Davis?

McFadden: I don’t know, just Terrell Davis, Denver Broncos, John Elway, I just liked ’em.

Q: Is there a lot of anxiety here at the combine?

McFadden: It’s very nerve-wracking. It’s something you go through for the first time, so it’s going to be nerve-wracking to you, but it’s something you have to deal with.

Q: Have you been asked a lot about Adrian Peterson, considering his success as a rookie?

McFadden: A lot of people try to compare me to Adrian Peterson and say we have similar running styles. He went in as a rookie and did great things, and that’s something I feel like I’m going to try in and do as a rookie also. It’s going to be tough, but I feel like I’m a hard worker and I feel like I’m going to do my best.

Q: Did you run the spread offense in college and would it suit you in the NFL?

McFadden: For me, I feel like I can adjust to any type of offense there is. I’m just a natural ballplayer, so whatever offense I’m put in, I feel like I’m going to be able to perform in it.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Dakota

    Only two more weeks! Then WTF are we going to argue about?

  • Tommy Trojan

    daze, we don’t have near as many need as you think, but i’m not starting that debate again, don’t have the time

    i think i’m finally out for now

  • Tommy Trojan

    we’ll argue about whether or not we should have drafted mcfadden

    have a nice day

  • Repo Man

    Hayes, you can’t just sign players and expect them to get it done on their own. That has been one of the biggest Raider flaws in the past 20 years. Just players, but no system. Plus, these players aren’t that great, to begin with. I’d say if you have a defensive line that can stop the run, and a smart as hell qb with talent, like Gannon, you would then get a lot more mileage out of the players basically being the bosses. But Russell? We don’t even know if he’s a Kerry Collins yet upstairs, let alone a Rich G. Our defensive line couldn’t stop the run if the opposing team announced which gap they were running to before every snap.

  • RaiderDogg

    Repo Man –

    it was a direct quote from the movie which is your namesake.

    MR you know how I feel about you. I wish you and OG would just stop bitching at each other all the time. But other than that I know that you can add to the conversation if you would just put your differences aside.

    We don’t all have to agree but some of this sh*t is getting old. Oakglenn is a friend of mine and a good guy. He’s passionate about the Raiders and I for one appreciate what he brings to the table.

    I have no problem with you being the resident realist it’s the other nonsense that blows.

    Go back and watch Repo Man and you will find that my quote is actually appropriate if you think about it.

  • Dakota

    Dogg,

    Thanks for setting that guy straight earlier, lol.

  • RaiderKen

    A wise man once told me the way to win a football game is to “score more points than the other team”. Plain and simple that’s what has to be done. Now how to do it is another can of worms, and at time a pandora’s box. Some teams build great defenses, some high powered offenses. Some believe in running the ball and stopping the run ala Pittsburgh, Jacksonville. Others Pass the ball first and when ahead stop the pass or create turnovers late in games. I could go on and on, but my point is We the Raiders have not created an identity yet. Our offense plain and simple sucks. We can’t be down with 2:15 left and on our 30yrd line and win the game. We don’t have the talent. We can’t be up with 3:15 on the clock in the 4th and run the clock out. We suck we don’t have the talent. Offensively we don’t have the talent and above all at this point it has to be adressed. However we do it.
    Now just think of how many potential 08 probowlers we have on defense: Burgess, Morris, Howard, NA, Hall, and maybe the new safety Wilson.
    Now Offense: Maybe the TE Zach Miller.
    Remember 2008 season we know maybe JR in a few years.
    This is why we will go Offense 1st round.

  • Repo Man

    Kiffin is out. Lofton, and to an extent, Davis, are running the offense. Davis is running the defense. We all know that.

    On offense, we’re back to 2006. Running backs will be receivers, or they will block. We’ll run the ball about 15 times a game, and that’s on the high end. There will be a few games where we run the ball less than 10 times. Russell will either get killed in the pocket and be out for the season with an injury, or he’ll take the lickings and start to want out of Oakland, anyway.

    On defense, we’re playing man coverage, coupled with a defensive line that can not stop the run. Opposing offensive coordinators will have no reason to not run the ball 2 downs per every 3, and throw down field once every 3. They’ll do this methodically.

  • Repo Man

    # RaiderKen Says:
    April 12th, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    A wise man once told me the way to win a football game is to “score more points than the other team”.

    ……

    Does your wise man work for the NY Giants, Indy Colts, Pitt Steelers or New England Patriots, the last 4 SB winners? If not, then I don’t care who he is or what he said. I want to win. And defense wins championships. And you have to stop the run. A wise man said that, too. The difference is, he was right.

  • HayesDaze#37

    TT, you probably need a nap after all the analyzing you’ve been doing here. Believe it or not, most others on this blog watch the same game you do.

    Just as you have overrated Matt Leinart — you probably think we should’ve drafted him, too — you’re mistaken if you think this Raiders team is one player away from the Promised Land.

    A blown knee, a pulled muscle or ankle sprain, and this team has NO receiving corps.

    With a running game that already has the talent and potential to be in the league’s Top-5, it’s important to fill needs that definitely exist elsewhere.

    There will be another “greatest since Bo” running back to look at next year.

    TRADE DOWN

    p.s. I saw Bo make 2 of his longest 3 runs from scrimmage — both times at the L.A. Coliseum (one was the time he got caught from behind at the 1-yard-line).

    Bo was an amazing athlete and guy. I have a hard time comparing McFadden to him in any way just yet.

  • RaiderDogg

    I’ve got your back Dakota.

    I’m off to see if I can get some decent Warrior tix for tonights sold out game. The W’s chances of making the playoffs are pretty slim now, but that’s not going to stop me.

    Have a good afternoon all.

  • HayesDaze#37

    Repo — don’t know if you and I are in disagreement here…this team absolutely needs a strong, consistent system and coaching staff.

    I have some pretty strong feelings on the subject — especially where loyalty to the team/owner who gave you your shot comes in.

    In this draft I would like to target, in order, the DL, WR’s and OL before anything else.

    TRADE DOWN and load up for this year AND the future.

  • Repo Man

    # HayesDaze#37 Says:
    April 12th, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    “I have some pretty strong feelings on the subject — especially where loyalty to the team/owner who gave you your shot comes in.”

    ……

    Don’t be such a drama queen. It’s 2008, and everyone in this global economy is a free agent. The onus is on Davis to make Kiffin happy so that he wont’ want to leave, not on Kiffin to kiss Davis’s ass when he doesn’t need to. It’s not 1963. Kiffin comes from a football family and has options, yet Davis is treating him like he’s off the street.

    There is no reason for Kiffin to be loyal to Al Davis. He isn’t a dog. He’s a football coach. He was hired to coach. If a better offer comes? So be it. It’s on Davis to make the Raiders a more appealing job for Kiffin, not whine like a baby when kiff flirts with other options.

  • R.A.W.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6EHSUT4mpQ

    Does anyone know the song in this video? and i mean the second song, not the undertaker theme, the one based on 300.

  • Repo Man

    Very few employees of the Raiders, coaches or otherwise, grew up Raider fans. They don’t have the emotional attachment to the Raiders and Al Davis that some of you guys do. So I can see how it’s hard for you guys to understand how they don’t feel any need to be loyal to Al Davis. They shouldn’t. They were hired to do a job, and in this country, you always have the option of quitting. The only real move a business owner can make to secure an employee is by making the job more desirable for that employee. What does Al Davis not understand about that? He hires a guy, treats him like an unruly step child, and is then shocked when the guy looks for another job. He’s unreal! Not only is Al Davis out of touch with the modern day x’s and o’s of the game, he’s out of touch with the modern day business world and the modern day job market, as well. I really feel sorry for him. He needs to be intervened with. Somebody, his son, wife, Madden perhaps, needs to shake him into reality.

  • RaiderKen

    Repo man
    That was actual a joke! something all your posts are. You above everyone should know this.
    My point was that teams go about building in different ways. No team goes about it exactly the same way, but they have great players on both sides of the ball. We are so off balanced it’s not funny. 1st round Offense.

  • RaiderKC

    Hayes-Who wants to trade up??? Everyone in the top 10 knows they can get their 1st or 2nd choices regardless, wo no sense in trading up. Dallas doesn’t want to spend the $$$ to do it, so who wants to trade with Al? I’m all for it if it’s possible, but Al can make some trades (Sands, Washington, Routt, Schweigert, Rhodes, Madsen, O’Neil, etc.) for 2 or 3 picks in 2-5 rounds. It may cost Al 2-3 players for each pick.

  • HayesDaze#37

    Repo’s scrappin’ for a fight…

    I never said anything about Kiffin. But, if I did…yeah, I’d say he should be loyal, too. At least until he’s been given a reason to be otherwise.

    None of the BS I heard in the media made me believe Kiffin and Davis were being other than loyal to each other. I personally think the “subterfuge” is being played-up just for our entertainment.

    I’m a big Kiffin supporter, and a bigger Davis supporter — as long as his screw-ups are done in an effort to improve this team. Old or young, it’s Al’s team to do with what he pleases. Since I’m so heavily-invested in it, I hope they both keep doing their jobs as well as they did last year.

    There are a few coaches to whom I would apply the “ungrateful” term to — namely Shanahan and Gruden, albeit for different reasons. And no, I’m definitely NOT a Gruden hater — he gave us exactly what we needed, when we needed it.

    But, Gruden saw his opportunity for leverage and used it. If Kiffin tried to leverage his position at an early stage in his career (like the rumors state), it would only go to show just how much he still needs to learn about being a professional coach (and would also go a long way in defining how loyal to a program he really is).

    What that has to do with the fact that I want to trade down in the draft, I don’t know.

  • Silver and Black

    Repo Joke. the guy is a bad joke. like his posts.

  • HayesDaze#37

    KC —

    I think we’re sitting exactly where the most teams would like to get to. If the Dolphins sign somebody quick, the other teams that want to move up will become lots more active.

    The #4 pick this year is just as good as the #1, and a whole lot cheaper to pay. The phones are going to be ringing off-the-hook.

  • Silver and Black

    Repo weirdo comes in here saying idiotic stuff to get everyone riled up and at each others throats. But when no one falls for it he goes nuts and posts as others and starts belching racist crap.

  • Six degrees when I woke up this morning…….zoinks

  • HayesDaze#37

    89 degrees on my patio

  • **sigh**

  • Loving So Cal Weather this way anyway I really hope we pick this guy up we can pick up a DT later on in the rounds or through FA we havent had a star back sincem Allen & Jackson it will feel good to run all over the Donkeys Chockers & Quiefs

  • Repo Man

    Silver and Black, I can dispel your theory here and now. There’s no way I can prove I’m not the guy posting the racist stuff (although the mods could certainly confirm that I’m not, if they would be so nice), but going by your logic, if the person who’s posting racist stuff is doing so because nobody is paying attention to him, then it can’t be me because my posts ALWAYS get responses. I can throw out a couple of critiques of Al Davis, S&B, and keep this blog on fire all day. So go back to the drawing board if you need a theory demonstrating that I’m likely the racist troll.

  • Repo Man

    Silver and Black, here’s a list of the people who’ve responded to me in the past few hours:

    Tommy Trojan

    Hayssaze37

    RaiderKen

    Raider Dogg

    Kirk (in agreement, evidently)

    And, yourself.

    So, if I’m the one making racist comments, then it’s certainly not for a want of attention.

  • Repo Man

    BTW, everyone on the list above, you guys are ALL going to get it from Oakglenn. Remember, he’s your guy’s self proclaimed King here, and he’s forbidden any correspondence with me…himself an exception, of course. But no good self proclaimed King isn’t also a hypocrite, right?

  • Repo Man

    HayzeDaze, your explanation for your loyalty point isn’t cutting it. Still a bit too dramatic, for me.

    Shananahan is going a bit far back, so I’ll talk about Gruden. Gruden wanted control of the final roster, plus 15 million over 5 years, certainly reasonable considering he dug this franchise out of the grave it was in before his arrival. That’s not asking a lot. Control of the final roster just means that he decides who gets cut in the preseason. It doesn’t mean he has complete control of the team, as many in the Davis crowd tried to spin it in order to make him look unreasonable. IMO, Bob Lomante, Gruden’s agent, didn’t do a good enough job getting that word out, and Davis’s side of the story is about all that made the light of day. It was assumed that Gruden wanted to take over the city of Oakland. Not true. He just wanted to choose his own 53 man roster in Augest, from the players that Davis, Allen, and himself have already brought in.

    Also, let’s say Gruden did want complete control. So what? It’s not like it’s permanent! You guys always use these overly dramatic terms like “Throw him the keys”, as if we’re signing over the franchise to him…

    tsk tsk, come here, a little closer. Let me whisper a little secret to you….

    *Davis can still fire him whenever he wants. Davis still owns the team. Gruden never made a bid for managing general partner…*

    Capiche? Sheesh!!!

    You guys.. man, relax……

    Nobody is going to rustle the team away from Al Davis, the way Al Davis did from Wayne Valley, of course. Davis is too smart for that.

    But in today’s business world, you have to make quality employees happy, or they will go elsewhere. Gruden was a quality employee. Gruden asked for something that was not unreasonable. Davis rejected his proposal, only offering an extension of the contract Gruden already had (after Gru’s original proposal), and then of course, when it was obvious Gruden was going to leave, Davis then offered him a raise that matched Gruden’s proposal as far as yearly salary, but for 3 years instead of 5. Way too little, way too late. But Al knew Gruden wouldn’t agree with it. The whole idea of it was so that Davis’s constituency (you guys) could say that Gruden was offered a raise. The classic red herring. It would have been great if Gruden would have showed him up, Charles Woodson style, but Gruden had a better deal awaiting in Tampa. Since the trade, Gruden has won 3 division titles and one Super Bowl championsip. Davis got to the super bowl the following season, but is 19-61 ever since, with no playoffs. Not stellar team management.

    Loyalty’s for the birds. It’s all about winning, and getting the guys that can help you win. They only owe you what you’re paying them to do. Somebody like Al’s wife, son , or maybe John Madden need to scream that into Al’s hearing aid.

  • Repo Man

    This team has been comatose since Super Bowl 37, with the only signs of life coming from Kiffin and things that he brought in; Zone blocking, use of the run, better team chemistry and consistency, harder practices, etc. Amazing, still some have the nerve to bash him. It’s as if they enjoy the franchise being dead. Like a cranky old man awakening from his nap. They don’t want to win. They just want to go back to sleep, and blame the press for how bad we are.

  • RaiderKC

    Daze – I hope you’re right, but anyway you figure it Al shouldn’t be able to go wrong with that pick. But I hope we don’t take Gholston, I think he may be a bust if he doesn’t develop his skills-he’s 1 dementional right now. But when June 1 comes Al should be able to fill any remaining holes that wasn’t addressed in the draft.

  • Mad Road Dog

    Well…I guess I will be the lone dissenter on this blog when it comes to “O” line. If we do not replace “Turnstile” Harris at LT and Green at RT before the season starts JR will be in big trouble trying to learn the game. The ZBS does not play out as well when it comes to pass blocking as it does run blocking. Yes, I will be happy if we draft defense first since our options are limited. But DMc is a luxury we canot afford right now and there will be RBs in the future drafts.

  • RaiderKen

    In the long press conference Kiffin had at the owners meeting he mentioned all the names of the offensive line and by position. Did anyone notice he named Harris left tackle and no back up. Also Green right tackle with Henderson back up. No mention of Mcquistan Not even at Guard. That is didrespectful after he out performed Green at that position at the end of last year. So my question to the Nation. Is he on the trading block?

  • ohioraider

    no one would trade for that ugly red head

  • ohioraider

    it kills me how u guys think teams will give up 2 and 3 round picks for guys who werent even that good on our team…i think they would rather take their chances on 21 or 22 year old rookies

  • RaiderKen

    Who said anything about what round or even if it is a trade for a pick it could be a player swap.

  • RaiderKC

    Ok, lets think about it, take a rookie who most likely won’t contribute his 1st yr unless it’s special teams or take 2-3 seasoned vets who maybe in a different enviornment will succeed. (2-3 players for 1) That’s been Al’s M.O. – Jim Plunket, etc… He just does it through F/A. I’m sure other coaches or GM’s feel other teams do not make the most of the players and their team may just be able to get it right.

  • Returning after hiatus (& fun) in the sun. One day spring in the Pac Northwest will be over soon (sunset).

    Scottish; way to align the troops with the “anybody would allow the glass to be half full” premise. Are you running for public office? MP for the S&B?

    Just in. . . whomever the Raiders draft has my support. Even when Al opted for Derrick Gibson (wanted Todd heap in a big way, Seabass (wanted a trade up for Julian Peterson), or even as far back as 1986 when our beloved Raiders opted for Bob Buczkowski from Pitt I supported the selection. Like most of you ardent Raider bloggers I have had my share of preferred selections that the Raiders failed to make, only to see them enjoy NFL success.

    According to my preferences the Raiders could have had an offensive line in the late 80’s/early 90’s that would have consisted of, from left tackle to right tackle, of Jim Lachey, Larry Allen, Don Mosebar, Steve Wiesniewski & Siupeli Malamala (RT @ U of Washington whom went onto success with the Jets. Came out the same year as the slothen footed, yet highly acclaimed, Greg Skrepenek). Well, would have beenm for only one year. But factor in one Max Montoya and, well, dominance would have been realized. Al never takes my calls, though (a loss felt by all of us).

    Also; the Raiders will continue to run the ball more than they pass, until 2009 @ the earliest. Even in the Raiders heyday they utilized a ball control attack (Marv Hubbard, Mark van Eeghen, Clarence Davis) and then went downfield. This was with The Snake, a veritable coach on the field under center.

    Until JRuss can master the fine art of reading defenses on the run and utilizing all the playbook his decision-making and accompanying play calling will be controlled.

    Despite Al’s efforts the two factors that remain unsolved are adequate run-stuffing two-gap DT’s and adequate OT’s. That is why I still can’t comprehend the lure of McFadden. Sure he entices with his potential but, in my view he remains a luxury that may not come to floriation.

    And, for those of you whom seem to possess a monopoly on whom the Raiders will draft; there is no way you can know for sure. So many intangables remain between now and the actual draft. It amazes me.

    Then y’all (well, not all of you. But angst reigns supreme from those that this discription applies to) go on to disparage all opinions that differ from yours.

    This is a blog; an exchange of opinions. You don’t have to like those belonging to others. However, respect of other opinions would be appreciated.

    Anyway, it’s a nice early evening & my girlfriend will be here any minute. Time for the games to begin (was on the east coast all week. Let’s see if all that absence and fonder hearts thing takes effect).

    late

    antispy3

  • CJ Legend #34

    Oakland will take McFadden.

  • OG