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Position group analysis: Running backs

Second in a series evaluating Raiders’ position groups as staff and scouts visit Indianapolis starting today for the scouting combine:

Starters: RB Michael Bush, FB Gary Russell. Backups: RB Darren McFadden, RB Justin Fargas, FB Luke Lawton, FB Oren O’Neal, FB Marcel Reece.

Review: For the third straight year, there are rumblings of the Raiders dumping players, and it’s worth remembering neither of the previous two supposed fire sales came off as planned.

The problem?

Even if the Raiders want to make changes, it’s tough to do it with players who aren’t at the peak of production. Bush led Raiders rushers with 589 yards and a 4.8 average but never seems to have caught the fancy of coach Tom Cable. Privately, Bush’s propensity to remove himself when he’s on a roll, halting momentum, rubs the coaching staff the wrong way. For all his talent, Bush’s production is not liable to bring back much more than what they expended to get him _ a fourth round draft pick.

McFadden would be a considerable salary dump, but he’s been a huge disappointment and can be thankful JaMarcus Russell is around to overshadow two seasons which have approached bust status because of injury problems (turf toe as a rookie, arthroscopic knee surgery in second year) and an inability to break tackles as evidenced by a puny 3.4 yards per carry average. He looks to be a gifted receiver, but the Raiders passing game is so poor he’s yet to be fully exploited in that way.

As for Fargas, he’s entering the final year of his contract, missed the last two games because of injury, and for all his heart and leadership, no team is going to give up much for an used crash test dummy.

The rest of the position is populated with fullbacks _ Lawton is a restricted free agent still under suspension and it’s conceivable he’s out of the picture. O’Neal’s catastrophic knee injury as a rookie wasn’t sufficiently healed for him to be successful last year. He’ll need to show something this year. The Raiders don’t seem to know what they want to do with Reece, playing him at fullback, tight end and even wide receiver at the end of the season.

Russell is a tweener not big enough to be a big-blocking fullback, not nifty enough to be a fulltime runner.

Contract status: Russell is a fourth-year restricted free agent, Lawton is a third-year restricted free agent and also under suspension for the first two games of the 2010 season should he re-sign for violating the policy on performance enhancing drugs.

What’s next: No doubt Al Davis and new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson have had long conversations about how the Ravens made the most of Ray Rice, Willis McGahee and La’Ron McClain.

Baltimore rushed for 2,200 yards, (fifth in the NFL) a 4.7 yards per carry average and 22 touchdowns. The Raiders were 21st with 1,701 yards, a 4.1 average and an incomprehensibly low seven rushing touchdowns in 16 games.

And that was supposed to be their strength.

With Fargas near the end of the line, the Raiders must decide if McFadden and Bush can become the kind of 1-2 punch popular in today’s NFL. Or they could simply make Bush the lead ballcarrier and convert McFadden into a Ronnie Harmon-type receiver out of the backfield _ provided they upgrade their passing attack to take advantage of his skills.

The third option?

Go in a different direction, deal McFadden or Bush and bring in some new blood through the draft, free agency or trade.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    So back at home, watched the youtube clips for Jamarcus and Brady and I will concede to JHill on that one.

    I remembered the play by Russell, but I thought Brady had less time to throw than he actually did. Great plays both defenses, two whiffs by LT’s, and both QB’s need to get rid of the ball quicker.

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    And Kirk Morrison blows.

    Watched those Ravens highlights, and some plays he doesn’t get blocked at all, and also doesn’t put a finger on the RB.

    Name me another MLB who does that consistantly??

  • Seymour Bush

    # KoolKell Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Beeych

    That’s better at least. Boy, when I was your age, I was out doing things.
    ===================================================

    yeah, but now that you are a “successful” realtor, you can spend almost all of your time on an internet site trolling. Suuuure. You must be a top notch agent.

  • jhill

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    February 12th, 2010 at 8:26 am
    Rockstar seems to think he will win the RT spot

    ***

    find where I have ever said that clown

    ——————————————————

    Clown, ignorant, etc …

    LOL, you were pretty “frustrated” the Friday before Valentine’s day.

    Nervous anticipation maybe?

  • RaiderRockstar

    LOL. nice try BSJ!

  • jhill

    and both QB’s need to get rid of the ball quicker.

    ——————————————————-

    LMFAO!

    I thought you conceded?

    How about the OT make a block instead of whiffing?

  • Seymour Bush

    Vegas I love the link you put up for the highlights to the Dallas game. At one point the NFL Network Analyst says during a TD pass to Austin Collie:

    “Why is that Raider defender just standing there?”
    Jamie Dukes then says, “He must be waiting to get blocked.”
    Sure enough a Dallas blocker comes up, cleans out the Raider and Collie waltzes in for the score. Weak sauce.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Jhill: you said I called you a moron

    I didn’t.

    Just admit you were wrong and we’ll move on …

  • jhill

    LOL Vegas,

    Agree on Morrison. Can’t wait for RRS to see the “film” and see what his take is.

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    Welll……the QB’s were 3rd on the blame list, OT 2nd.

    Plenty of blame to go around, on any play.

  • http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/antisocial-personality-disorder/DS00829 KoolKell

    Seymour Bush/Oakglenn/Beeycham/Doofus Boob/Einsteen,

    The issue here on this Raider blog is not KoolKell.

    The issue here is Al Davis and the Raiders, ok?

  • http://atm Raider O

    Look @ Mich Fans!!
    The schools steals talent and their Fans LIE!
    Liars & thieves !!

  • jhill

    Ok RRS, you were right.

    You finally got one, lol!

    Should have just said …

    You mean and start calling people CLOWNS and other names?

  • RaiderRockstar

    Jhill : read post #696

    i’m still waiting …

    don’t try to change the subject to my boy Kirk. LOL

    everybody knows he’s on the Rockstar scholarship program

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    KoolKell, if you wanted the focus to be on Davis and not you, you wouldn’t try so hard to irritate people with repetitive, mundane posts.

    You are like MR. You need abuse to reinforce your lack of self worth.

  • http://atm Raider O

    The only good thing about much is the Middle Eastern food, but we can get that from Chicago.

    Trade Mich to Canada for Pam and a kilo of Sugar.

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    I was once a huge Morrison fan, and once a proud Jamarcus Russell jersey wearer as well, but I’m over both.

    Sorry Kirk, love the East Bay ties and all, wish you luck, but our D needs better than you.

  • RaiderRockstar

    BSJ: you asked for links and I gave them to you!

    now you post a link before I get all Ted Nugent on you …

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    Raider Nohio,

    THE University of Michigan is the winningest Div. 1 football team ever. Learn it. Live it. Love it.

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    Can’t we just hate both states?

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson
  • http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/antisocial-personality-disorder/DS00829 KoolKell

    Bo

    My posts are 90% related to the efficacy of Al Davis.

    Why? Because he’s the fukking boss!

    Refute my statements, otherwise stfu.

    If some of you want to make happy talk all day, I suggest a Booster Club blog.

    I’m not happy with the losing. I will NOT shut-up.

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    Is this KK’s wife? I never checked his site…

    http://daveoxton.com/wp-content/uploads/carter.jpg

  • http://atm Raider O

    Bo,

    I lived in Columbus for 4 years. If I was an Ohio native, I would invade Mich and use Mich Fans for cheap labor.

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    KK, once again:

    You need abuse to reinforce your lack of self worth.

    Refute that.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Jimmy Carter?

    puuuke…

  • http://www.raiderfans.net Richochet

    # Senior Beeecham Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Ah, ric, I get it – that’s a joke! Very clever, you compared jamarcus to a beached whale. Totally hilarious, I hope it doesn’t go over too many heads.

    I know its your first attempt at humor on the blog, normally you just get your little self all worked up into a manic frenzy with cut and pasting and silly little emoticons, but a few tips to help you out (because I’m cool) -

    1) i know you’re on a constant quest to impress me and earn my respect, but its obvious when you’re trying to hard. just ease back, little dude. there you go … excellent!

    RICHOCHET: Now how cute are you, Lil Beyotch? “Talk to me, Richo…TALK TO ME…MAKE ME FEEL SPECIAL.”
    Interesting..and sad that your sorry inept ass takes a generic post from yours truly, and wants to assume it’s directed at you?
    You obsess much, little man? lol…I mean seriously.

    Why is it that the meekest and weakest on the board believe that posting ignorant crap such as “you want to impress me” masks the fact that they’re an idiot?
    Any idea on that?
    no, no, little man…replying back the same just makes you look even more pathetic.

    hey…I understand..I exposed your degenerate ass as being a skat freak. Deal with it, little man.

    Oh..as far as you stating you’ll hang in any discussion regarding the raiders?

    I’m your huckleberry, little man…

    Well? What? You going to post some lame ass crap fetish take that you hope diverts from the fact I just challenged your ass to put up or shut up?
    Going to pretend you can’t read?

    Again, ShyteLover..my guarantee is I’ll torch you on any subject regarding the Raiders, or FOOTBALL in general, that you so choose.

    Well, Skatboy?? lol…come on..think of something to say that doesn’t make you look like a whining tool…I’ll wait.

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    Michigan is Pakistan West and Ohio has Cleveland.

    Mayor Kirkpatrick or Kucinich? Pick your poison.

    Both colleges have preppy fans who wear sweater-vests, and have super over-rated college football programs.

    How come we don’t trade states anymore? I want to go back to the days of buying and selling countries/states.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Jhill spent Valentine’s Day with his wife & sister…

    http://www.eduwonk.com/uploaded_images/clown-719358.jpg

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    Greatest Prez in my lifetime, so far…

  • http://atm Raider O

    That is what happens when you steal talent by offernig Extra Benefits!

    The OSU program is ethical!

  • Senior Beeecham

    Krappy, why don’t you just email Al his team’s stats over the last 7 years?

    I’m sure he’ll read that and immediately fire himself and reorganize the front office to your liking.

    Man, you sure are kooky, old timer!

  • http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/antisocial-personality-disorder/DS00829 KoolKell

    Bo Schembechler Jackson Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 12:41 pm
    KK, once again:

    You need abuse to reinforce your lack of self worth.

    Refute that.
    —————————–
    I don’t understand your point. But,

    Oakglenn
    Beecham
    Doofus Boob
    Einsteen

    I don’t count

  • http://www.raiderfans.net Richochet

    # vegas raider Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    I was once a huge Morrison fan, and once a proud Jamarcus Russell jersey wearer as well, but I’m over both.
    ========================
    Wow.
    “proud” JR jersey wearer?

    how so?
    Couldn’t have lasted long..

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    I want to work a 3 country trade.

    We give Michigan and Ohio to Canada, Canada trades Newfoundland and Saskatchawaan’s expiring contract to Europe, and we get Portugal.

  • http://www.raiderfans.net Richochet

    Little Beech???

    Cat got your tongue?

  • http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/antisocial-personality-disorder/DS00829 KoolKell

    Senior Beeecham Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Krappy, why don’t you just email Al his team’s stats over the last 7 years?
    ————————-
    Sure, Do you have his email address?

  • jhill

    Jhill : read post #696

    i’m still waiting …

    ——————————————————-

    Didn’t see that, sorry.

    No, it proved what Vegas conceded to. Did you catch that. The topic was INTs and fumbles.

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    Both colleges have preppy fans who wear sweater-vests, and have super over-rated college football programs.

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    BS. No preppies in Ann Arbor. More the hippie types, if anything. You are uninformed.

    Tressell is a preppie, and the Larry Craig of the NCAA if you know what I mean.

    And Kucinich is DA MAN!

  • RaiderRockstar

    Is this KK’s wife? I never checked his site…

    ***

    LOL! and she’s actually in a good mood in that pic?

  • http://www.raiderfans.net Richochet

    # KoolKell Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Seymour Bush/Oakglenn/Beeycham/Doofus Boob/Einsteen,

    The issue here on this Raider blog is not KoolKell.

    The issue here is Al Davis and the Raiders, ok?
    =================
    Come on dude…you post the same repetitive take, knowing it’s going to warrant comments..then you state “don’t reply to it”??

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    Extra Benefits? RichRod just practiced too long and a Ohio boy complained (then transferred to OSU).

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    Richochet,

    In this past offseason (my B-day) the wife told me to go pick out a jersey. I was thinking a Lincecum jersey, but I had to order it. So I got a black #2 instead.

    I took me awhile to start my hatred for Jamarcus. About week 3 last year was when I hoped aboard that bandwagon. After the Steelers game, I can on here and said who wants to pay for postage and you can have my jersey.

    I ended up mailing it to 504 Raider.

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    Vegas,

    I hope your clients kick the bucket on Day 59!!!!!

  • http://www.raiderfans.net Richochet

    # Bo Schembechler Jackson Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Raider Nohio,

    THE University of Michigan is the winningest Div. 1 football team ever. Learn it. Live it. Love it.
    ======================
    You left out “No shirts, no shoes……noooo service”

  • RaiderRockstar

    No, it proved what Vegas conceded to. Did you catch that. The topic was INTs and fumbles.

    ***

    WHAT?

    Vegas is a Bruce fan.

    please answer the question using your own opinion.

    thanks

  • http://www.raiderfans.net Richochet

    Vegas…
    I recall that.
    I suspect Ebay wouldn’t have gotten you much…

  • http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/antisocial-personality-disorder/DS00829 KoolKell

    Richochet

    Getting lectured by you on blog etiquette is not convincing.

    How about somebody I respect?

  • jhill

    what was the question again?

  • RaiderRockstar

    I ended up mailing it to 504 Raider.

    ***

    Vegas:

    you could have sold it to Jhill or Debo for 1k !