By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Saturday, April 26th, 2008 at 4:02 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Darren McFadden’s conference call with local media:
Q: Were you pretty sure this would be the team for you?
McFadden: For me, I really didn’t know what to expect. I heard a lot of talk about New York, I heard a lot of talk about Oakland too. For me, I was sitting back and I was going to be happy with my name being called.
Q: Lane Kiffin said he called you this morning, what was that conversation like?
McFadden: It’s just a great feeling, he told me if I’m there at No. 4 pick, we was going to call my name. And right before he got off the phone he said he hoped to be talking to me again soon. It was something I was very proud of. I’m very happy, to be able to go to Oakland.
Q: What do you know about Lane Kiffin’s offense and how it might be a fit for you?
McFadden: I like the way he uses his running backs. When he was at USC he moved his running backs around a lot. I just love the way he does that, I feel it’s something I can bring to Oakland, being a versatile player, that I can move around and give them a different style.
Q: He’s compared you to Reggie Bush and that he can use you in similar ways. Is that what you see?
McFadden: I feel like he can use me some of the same ways they use Reggie Bush. Those are real good things and I’m very versatile.
Q: Your thoughts on coming to a place with a lot of running backs?
McFadden: Me, I want to come in and just learn the offense. I’m going to sit back and let those veterans teach me. And when the coaches call upon on me to go out there and play I’m going to go out there and give it my all.
Q: Surprised the Raiders drafted you because they had so many RBs?
McFadden: Yeah, it surprised me, but I feel like after talking with the coaching staff, that they were missing the big-play ability and that was something I could help with.
Q: What did you assure the Raiders that any off-the-field issues, character issues, were not going to be a problem?
McFadden: You know, they did a lot of research on me. They talked to everyone, and asked questions about the type of guy Darren McFadden is. And the people they talked to, evenyone than knows me, told them Darren McFadden’s a great guy. That off the field I made mistakes and it was nothing they had to be concerned with.
Q: Your thoughts on Raider nation, the Black Hole, the history of the organization, an important thing for you to carry on a tradition?
McFadden: It’s going to be very important for me to carry on a tradition. You never want to ruin a tradition, you always want to carry it on. I love the Raider Nation, they’re very passionate about the Raiders so I’m looking forward to getting out and playing for them.
Q: When you were reading pre-draft analysis that question your character, what are some things people weren’t saying that you think they should know?
McFadden: The things they don’t say about Darren McFadden is the things I’ve done around the community. I’ve been doing community events since I was in high school, going to help out, Special Olympics in high school, being able to do things like that. Then two Christmas breaks ago, we were on Christmas break, there was a plane crash at the airport in Arkansas and I went and visited the kids at the airport, I mean in the hospital. Those are a lot of things people don’t talk about.
Q: Looking forward to getting away from home, moving out here?
McFadden: I feel like it’s gonna be a good thing for me, being able to be away
from home. It’s something I’m looking very forward to.
Q: Given thought to playing with JaMarcus?
McFadden: I know it’s gonna be great to be in the huddle with him. I played against him a couple times in college. I’d much rather be on the same side of the ball he’s on.
Q: Are your blocking skills underrated?
McFadden: A lot of people don’t look at those things. Going through the draft, people competing so much, they overlook the good things that you do. And that’s something Coach Rathman pointed out that he really enjoyed, my passion for the game. And possibly he can take me to the next level. With him coaching me, he’ll be able to take me to the next level.”
Q: Anyone gonna move out here with you? How many infant car seats do you own?
McFadden: I’m planning on having my sister move out with me, where she can help me out around the house. Maybe make me feel at home while I’m away.
Q: You mean, like, do women’s work?
McFadden: (Laughs) She’s a great help around the house, you know? She’s always keeping me positive. So she can help out, watch over me a little bit for me, it’ll help me out in a lot of ways.
Q: How have the last 24 hours been for you?
McFadden: It’s been a whirlwind. You don’t know where you’re gonna go, sitting back and just waiting, and then you finally hear your name called. And when you finally get the phone call to where you’re gonna go, you be so happy.
Q: What was your favorite NFL team growing up?
McFadden: Growing up I was a Broncos fan because I liked watching Terrell Davis and John Elway play, Ed McCaffrey, Shannon Sharpe, I loved to watch those guys play.”
Q: You mention that to Al Davis?
McFadden: No, sir, not at all.
Q: Did you know before Goodell took the podium with Raiders’ pick?
McFadden: I had already known, because they had called me a couple minutes before. They gave my agent a call and gave me a call, so we already knew before they announced it.
Q: You concerned about fumbles?
McFadden: No, it’s not a concern at all, cause I talked to Coach Rathman. We both sat there and watched game film together on me. He was showing some of the things I was doing. He was telling one of the main things, I was not locking my elbow down. And that’s something that’s easily corrected, so it won’t be a problem with fumbling at all.
Q: How are your skills as a receiver.
McFadden: That shows my versatility. I have great hands coming out of the backfield. It’s something we didn’t do much in college at all. We never really threw to the running back the ball. It’s something that I feel very confident doing.
Q: Maybe they’ll let you throw it, too?
McFadden: Heh. I don’t know if they’ll want me to do that. But if they try to put in a play for me to throw it, I’d love to do it.”
Q: How do you compete about the comparisons to Reggie Bush?
McFadden: For them to compare me to Reggie Bush, I feel like he’s a very shifty guy. I like to get downhill and get running.
Q: How ready are you to step in right away? What do you need to work on?
McFadden: I feel like I’m a very skilled guy. You know, I feel like I’m ready to step in there. I’m not the type of guy that’s gonna be happy to be in the NFL, and when I get there I want to be doing great things, I don’t want to just be out there. I want to play great and make big plays.