McFadden strictly a singles hitter


News, notes and quotes Thursday from the Raiders open locker room, practice and post-practice press briefing from coach Tom Cable:

— The word on Darren McFadden coming out of the draft is that he had touchdown-on-any-play capability. He was the kind of home run threat Al Davis loves, hence McFadden’s status as the No. 4 overall pick in the 2008 draft.

So how come there have been 277 touchdown runs in the NFL this season and none of them are from McFadden?

Correction: There have been 277 runs of 20 yards or more in the NFL this year, and none of them are from McFadden.

Tennessee’s Chris Johnson, pursuing a 2,000-yard season and taken 20 selections after McFadden, has 20 all by himself.

Johnson and McFadden were the two fastest backs at the NFL scouting combine, with Johnson timing 4.24 in the 40-yard dash and McFadden 4.33.

Yet McFadden has only four runs of 20 or more yards in 22 NFL games and they all came in the same game _ a 21-carry, 164-yard effort in Week 2 against Kansas City that included his longest run, a 50-yarder. McFadden’s longest run from scrimmage this season is 15 yards against Denver in Week 3.

“This is the NFL. I think your ability to have people miss at that level is much different than this level,” Raiders coach Tom Cable said. “People are surer tacklers and it’s just a matter of getting into space and creating it.”

Cable thinks McFadden’s big runs from scrimmage have been held back in part because of his troubles with injuries, turf toe last season and arthroscopic knee surgery for a torn meniscus this year.

“He’s been in for three, maybe four games at most and then back out for a month,” Cable said. “I think just the consistency of being healthy and being able to feel it and stay in there.”

— Tight end Zach Miller will undergo testing Friday to determine whether he is fit to play against Denver after having two concussions since Oct. 4.

Miller is the Raiders’ leading receiver over the last three seasons with 150 receptions for 1,879 yards and six touchdowns in 42 starts. He’s never missed a game due to injury. Cable wouldn’t say whether Tony Stewart or rookie Brandon Myers would start if Miller can’t play.

— Those who sat out practice along with Miller were wide receiver/returns specialist Nick Miller (tibia), quarterback Bruce Gradkowski (knees) and defensive end Greg Ellis (knee). Defensive end Matt Shaughnessy was limited with a groin injury which shouldn’t keep him out of the Denver game. Center Samson Satele (calf) and safety Michael Huff (stinger) made it all the way through practice.

— Denver cornerback Champ Bailey has been shadowing the team’s best receiver this season in defensive coordinator Mike Nolan’s system, a welcome challenge for the 11-year veteran. He’s got a lot of respect for younger corners considered the NFL’s new elite, Oakland’s Nnamdi Asomugha and the Jets’ Darrelle Revis, in particular, but isn’t about to say they’ve passed him by.

“These guys, they deserve the credit they’re getting,” Baileysaid. “They’re great players. They’re young, and they’re looking for the next great one. I had that title for a while. It’s only a matter of time before somebody younger comes up, and that’s what makes this league great.

“I’m at least equal. At least. I don’t look at them enough. I watch them but I don’t look at them enough to compare ourselves. But I know I’m matching up on the best guy every week and not a lot of guys do that. There’s a few that can do it and be successful at it.

“I’ve seen guys try and falter. I’ve got to give those two guys credit. They’re pretty damn good corners. They have a lot of work to do. They have to do it for a number of years, and I think they can do it.”

The Raiders have been utlizing three wide receivers of late _ flankers Chaz Schilens and Louis Murphy and split end Johnnie Lee Higgins. Bailey doesn’t have a great deal of information on any of them, given their inexperience.

“They’re young so I know they’re hungry. That’s one thing I notice about them on film is they play hard,” Bailey said. “When you’ve got guys out there playing hard, regardless of how much experience they have, it’s going to be a tough task for you.”


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • bcz24

    I will say this… I WOULD like to have Gruden come back as our HC. He stands up to Al like no one ever has, and he may just be the “bridge” to get us to having a solid GM etc etc… At the end of the day, Gruden would absolutely NOT be a stop in the wrong direction like so many other moves we make.

  • los raiders de don rober

    I don’t remember anyboday screaming at Gruden to sit Gannon to develop Tui.

  • Would be nice to ruin the Donkey’s season again wouldn’t it?

    Chuck Potato to the rescue!!

  • bcz24

    So Los your saying that the draft is meaningless… give up all your draft picks and just bring in veterans every year because developing talent is a waste of time? Ok then…

  • 4evaRaider

    And that right there is another point of contention imo,De Don Rober.I thought Tui was the natural transition from Gannon and I was full of hope it would be a smooth one.Man I wanted Tui to succeed

  • DMAC

    I think we have enough youngsters on the team. We need proven vets with some leadership skills.

  • los raiders de don rober

    For us. Yep the draft is meaningless. Al drafts combine superstars instead of football players. When we’ve been competitive we’ve had a strong core of talented veterans with a small number of young athletic players. Play who ever gives you the best opp. to win always.

  • los raiders de don rober

    The stupid scholarship mentality where you play sub-par players to develop them in spite of the team is one of the reasons the team has sucked it hard for 7 years.

  • M Lonetree

    That’s Mr Chuck Lester Potato to you Vegas, our new leader of the Commitment!

    With half the Beatles on the bench in John Paul Losman, can greatness be far behind?

  • los raiders de don rober

    A little hung over and cranky…sorry for the bad attitude.

  • Poor Tui. I was rootin for him too.

  • LA to TheBay

    Los Raiders


    We’ve gotten some very solid players, even recently, throught the draft. Although, yes typically our first day picks are wastes or develop into gamers on other teams.

    Some players take time to develop. DMAC and DHB still have tremendous upside but they are not every-down players. They have to be used correctly, which Cable has not done.

    Cable’s real meat and potatoes and wants football players who can play 60 minutes.

    We need mean mofos on this team, particularly at DT, MLB, and SS. We are sorely lacking up the middle.

  • LA to TheBay

    new post

  • morilla

    the reason why he can’t break runs is because he can’t break tackles. get him in space, use him like R.Bush.