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Darren McFadden Q&A

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.

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  • RaiderNation951

    7 USC guys in the first 2 rounds……DOMINANCE. Pete Carrol has to be proud of his guys not to mention getting calls from kids who want to come to SoCal to play for him.

  • Tommy Trojan

    Now to assess what’s available tomorrow……..

  • Dakota

    7 USC Flops selected today…there will be a lot of disappointed GMs again next year.

  • La Milicia Negra

    Eleven angry men….

    #291

  • Eleven Angry Men

    sry everyone already told u that.

  • oliverthizz

    Thomas is a future star, sleeper. SC has RULED the first 2 rounds

  • Pirate Arrrrrrgggggghhhhh

    reading around he net, people pan the McFadden pick because we just gave Fargas a “big” contract.

    Fargas basically has a 1 year contract. It has 6 mil in guarantees, all in the first year. Plus another possible 2 mil in incentives (he’ll never see those with McFadden around).

    The next two years are non-guarnteed and they can cut him and owe nothing or force him to restructure to minsals:

    2009: $2.5 million
    2010: $1.5 million

    so basically a 1 year deal with options to keep him around cheaply for the next couple of years or get rid of him.

    Fargas’ contract is 1 year, the rest is smoke and mirror.

  • oliverthizz

    Thomas has all the same qualities as Nnamdi.

  • M.I.A. Raiders

    DeAngelo Hall was the BEST player picked up in Round Two…When can you pick up a pro bowl CB to man up with another pro bowl CB in round 2 ???

    I’m Out Nation – Cross your fingers for a 3rd Rounder Tomorrow!

  • Tommy Trojan

    dakota, what is your college team again?

  • Blackholepriest

    This kid was IMO the most underrated cornerI could think of, but I”m not sure I would’ve picked him there. He can play tho, good move NYG

  • La Milicia Negra

    The WR’s left that I like…

    Early Deucet
    Marcus Smith
    Adrian Arrington

  • Thec

    USC the greatest college football team EVER

  • Dakota

    Lol…ND. THAT WAS A PUSH IN THE BACK!

    Yes I am bitter!

  • RaiderNation951

    Well, hoped to see the Raiders land at least one of the top OLB’s or DE’s but we have DMC to try to carry the game on his chicken legs. Welcome to the Nation Darren, welcome to the Nation.

  • oliverthizz

    Yeah Thomas is real ggod, just got overshadowed by all of the other stars on the D

  • http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w318/davidlee1970/poster019.jpg frozen

    M.I.A. Raiders Says:
    April 26th, 2008 at 5:55 pm
    DeAngelo Hall was the BEST player picked up in Round Two…When can you pick up a pro bowl CB to man up with another pro bowl CB in round 2 ???

    I’m Out Nation – Cross your fingers for a 3rd Rounder Tomorrow
    ____________________________________

    Co-sign big-time.

  • oliverthizz

    313 Co-sign. The domination continues.

    SC is the Jr. Raiders, or maybe its the other way around

  • Thec

    USC is the Raiders farm system no doubt

  • oliverthizz

    Adibi and Highsmith are still there at LB. Okam, Bryant, and Moore there at DL. Still a lot of talent out there.

  • La Milicia Negra

    Im still bitter over Laws =)

  • Blackholepriest

    USC more picks in the first two rounds than the entire SEC, Hahaha. can you say overrated.

  • Thec

    I like Ali highsmith, he should have ben off the board a while ago.

  • Tom

    Barton seems to be too injury prone
    as an offensive tackle. He gave
    up only one sack last year, but
    he has foot problems.

  • RaiderNation951

    USC was not feared for their Pass D. Kind of suprised to see a USC CB taken that high. Good for him, ify for the Gmen.

  • Thec

    None of those SEC teams could of beat USC last year. But as a whole the SEC is supposedly the best conference.

  • http://www.selling-shirts.com BART Bridge Balla

    All right this is a repost but, barring a trade here is my prediction for tomorrow:
    4th. Mario Manningham WR
    6th. Thaddeus Coleman OT
    7th. Brian Johnston DE
    7th. Eric Foster DE/DT

    This will probably change by tomorrow morning though

  • Blackholepriest

    If somne drops late in the 3rd that can play give ‘em Stu and a 4th next year. As much as I don’t like Stu he is better than any safety left.

  • oliverthizz

    Still a lot of draft to go. Even though I would have loved to see Lawrence Jackson, theres really not too much that we missed out on that we cant get on day 2. Lotta moves to be made still and the guys on our draft board are probably still there.

  • midwest-Raider

    if we could just get Conner,bryant,and sims on D and maybe add a o-line as well

  • Thec

    Stu should be move o the practice squad

  • Tom

    Thats how I am looking
    at our second round.
    We picked up a 25 year
    old player this season
    that has already been
    to two Pro Bowls. Of
    course the talking heads
    will say the Raiders had
    a lousy draft because we
    only picked up one player.

  • Dan

    So, what do we do with Washington, Jordan and Rhodes? I guess Routt stays as nickel. Bush, scrub duty if someone gets hurt (we’ll never see what he could have been), and Fargas splits time with DMc? How many of those guys can we expect to play special teams? Bummer we have so much dead money on all those cats.

  • Dakota

    I hope we lock McFadden up prior to camp. Learn your lesson Al. We cannot afford to mess with the beginning of next season by having McFadden unsigned through TC and preseason. Pay the man and STFU. If you can give money to Kelly, you should be able to sign McFadden next week.

    Don’t fk this up again Al. If we get off to a bad start this year we will not recover.

    Sign McFadden prior to camp, draft Red Bryant tomorrow, sign Grady Jackson and Spikes, cut Jordan and Stu and we will be 10-6 and in the playoffs if Russell is 75% the QB we want him to be.

  • RaiderNation951

    Ryan looks like Ryan Leaf…….maybe he will implode the same way…..that would be awesome. First vick’s sorry azz, then a qb that cant take questions from the media……clasic.

  • Thec

    J?ackson not going day 1 is a shock.

  • Blackholepriest

    Now you’re talking my language. Eric Foster is a player to be sure I would love that kid but I would be shocked if he last until the 7th no way. he’ll go in the 5th at the latest.

  • Thec

    rivers is ryan leaf he is a game away from a major explosing, or nervous breakdown.

  • ohioraider

    someone said barton was a LT at OSU…he is exclusively a RT

  • RaiderNation951

    stu can’t play on the pratice squad. only up to 2 years after college is as long as you can be on the “squad”. He has been in the league that long.

  • Thec

    lots of Rb’s on the board. Thesould have done the first 3 rounds.

  • RaiderNation951

    Thec, which Jackson?

  • Blackholepriest

    Dakota, L Jordan aint going anywhere until after 6/1
    he cost too much money.

    Good draft anyway. tomorrow should yield a decent crop.

    Adios.

  • Dakota

    Dan,

    Jordan will be cut, Rhodes will be kept through camp and preseason as insurance against Bush, if Bush is okay, then we cut or trade Rhodes, if Bush is not okay, we cut Bush.

    If Bush is 100%, Fargas loses his job and becomes the backup to McFadden and Bush. Joe will be the insurance against injury.

  • http://www.selling-shirts.com BART Bridge Balla

    yeah, I am being very optimistic, especially with the premium on DE’s in this draft. If Eric Foster isn’t there I like the idea of Kiffin getting the Big D-tackle from his alma mater Jason Shirley.

  • Dakota

    Isn’t there some new rule that you can cut guys prior to June 1, and they are still considered June 1 cuts??? Help me out TT.

  • ohioraider

    best remaining players:
    Name Position School
    Dan Connor ILB PENN STATE
    Jamaal Charles RB TEXAS
    Marcus Harrison DT ARKANSAS
    Justin King CB PENN STATE
    Mario Manningham WR MICHIGAN
    Charles Godfrey CB IOWA
    Pat Sims DT AUBURN
    Anthony Collins OT KANSAS
    Cliff Avril DE PURDUE
    Reggie Smith CB OKLAHOMA

  • http://yahoo.com alex99

    Here’s my prediction … if there are no major injuries … Kiffin coach of the year … Raiders AFC West champs. We will be like the 2006 Saints … the surprise team of the year.

  • RaiderNation951

    Cry me a Rivers, LT’s knee, and Gates big toe will all cause problems for the chokers this season. Without Turner to back up LT, when he knocks Rivers out and gets suspended, they won’t have a running game. Rivers sucks so he won’t be able to get Gates the ball. gates will stub his toe on rivers helmet after a game while he is kicking him for leading him while going over the middle one time too many. Norv will be curled up in a ball sucking his thumb while AJ Smith is pulling his hear out for letting Marty go.

  • RaiderNation951

    Yes, you designate them 6/1 casualties and they are on the roster until then but they can shop themselves to other teams.