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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

  • RaiderRockstar

    repost:

    What do you mean by “his struggles”?

    ***

    QB struggles = incomplete passes, interceptions, fumbles, etc.

    your “film study” showed that JaMarcus Russell isn’t to blame for any of those things. correct?

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

    KoolKell,

    Please post a link.

  • jhill

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

    ——————————————————-

    hardee har har!

    Incredibly funny!

    Woooooooooo woooooooo!

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

    It took a few hours to unload. Not as many Russell takers after Bruce’s epic walk on water performance in Pittsburgh.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Bo Schembechler is rollin’ in his grave knowing that you voted for a MORON like Jimmy Carter …

    JC was the Darren McFadden of Presidents

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

    In fact I posted my e-mail, and only got 2 takers.

    504 and some dude from Memphis who said he would he could give it to some kids in the neighberhood. No BS

  • jhill

    ints and fumbles, yes.

    incompletions, no.

    etc, no.

  • http://atm Raider O

    We see not preppies!

    We hard working farmers!!

    Go see Mich for lazy people with HS diplomas who feel entitled to 60K+ a year because they work at a car factory. We can have monkeys do their jobs, and they killed the car industry in the US.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Jhill –

    it’s funny to assume that you would buy a Russell jersey?

    WHY ???

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

    Bo Schembechler Jackson Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 12:54

    KoolKell,

    Please post a link.
    ——————————-
    Here you go, Bo:

    http://www.fannation.com/truth_and_rumors/view/117194-nfls-least-valuable-franchise-is?cnn=yes
    Forbes magazine, famous for its rich lists, just came out with its evaluations of the 32 NFL teams. No surprise, Jerry Jones’ Dallas Cowboys tops the list with a current value of $1.65 billion. Only two NFL teams are unprofitable: the Seattle Seahawks, who lost $2.4 million, and the biggest loser of them all, the Oakland Raiders. Al Davis’ once wondrous franchise is now the least valuable NFL club at a “mere” $797 million, plus the Raiders had the biggest operating loss in the league at $5.7 million.
    Los Angeles Times

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

    Al Davis lost revenue because his franchise is located in the armpit of the western US.

  • Senior Beeecham

    Ahahahahah! Lil ricochet, seeing you get all worked up and your panties in a bunch is priceless! I had no idea you took your job of trying to be my minion so seriously.

    Oh, the joy …

    But you should really be careful, being that you’re a little dude pretending to be some big angry ol internet tough guy. I’m sure there are some dudes in your office who’d love to slap the office weakling around in the bathroom if they knew he was talking mean on a football blog.

    I can just see your nervous little hands shaking now at the thought of it! How priceless and adorable you are, my small, frightened little pal!

    Now since you are trying so hard and basically on your knees begging for my attention, I’ll allow you enjoy the same offer as good ol Krappy.

    But please try and calm down those shaking, pale hands of yours! We don’t want you chipping a nail on the company keyboard!

    Ahahahaha! How priceless you are, my minion in training!

  • RaiderRockstar

    Jhill: if the fumbles and interceptions weren’t his fault he’d have 18 TD’s and 0 turnovers in 3 NFL seasons.

    so why did he get benched? completion percentage alone?

  • http://www.raiderfans.net Richochet

    # KoolKell Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Richochet

    Getting lectured by you on blog etiquette is not convincing.

    How about somebody I respect?
    ================
    And that would be nobody…at least not in these neck of the woods.
    You’re like a glutton for punishment, too damn stupid to stay out of your own way.
    And you just don’t get it.

    You post that lameass web page, that reeks of insecurity. The fact you took it down AFTER I informed you of it shows you’re not as stupid as you look…but..hell..how ignorant are you?

    On a realtor page? You post that for prospective clients to look at? Top of someone’s head? Ignorant.
    Stating ‘I have a cool corvette? ignorant, insecure, and unprofessional as hell.
    Wife is surveying? Lol…you moron…she’s SIGHTSEEING, YOU FOOL..and stating “this is where we’re going to build”?
    You sound like a child with that stupid crap..and you’re too damn slow to figure it out?

    and again, because you are slow…posting the same ignorant stat gets you WHAT YOU WANT…ATTENTION.

    You scream out for attention…see above regarding INSECURITY. (yes, saying ‘I can’t believe a kid from oakland can say that” was stupid…I’ll ask again…SAY WHAT? WHAT IMPRESSED YOU? You actually think buying property, (IF YOU ACTUALLY DID, WHICH MY MONEY SAYS YOU LIE) IS a major accomplishment? Undeveloped land, in no where, Switzerland? I’m sorry..guess I must have missed the memo where Switz was the place to move to..as did everyone else.

    And yeah..running that lame ass ‘I’ve done things you’ll never do’?? Bull..I suspect you’ve done no more or less than anyone your age..went on a few vacations..whooopeeee..what a guy. Went to Switz? Gosh..life time goal..no doubt..
    So what?

    You’re a realtor with no clients.
    At your age, being in realty all those years, and NOT being a broker? means you failed, big time.

    And yes, you being on this board nonstop..all day…and many a night? Says you have NO BUSINESS..and obviously NOT A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR WIFE..

    I stop in and out..you live here.

    Now…quick…post a stat…beats the hell out of actually thinking of a reply that makes sense.

  • RaiderRockstar

    YOU PEOPLE:

    Jimmy Carter = Darren McFadden

    PERIOD!

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

    Bo Schembechler Jackson Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Al Davis lost revenue because his franchise is located in the armpit of the western US.
    ————————–
    All you’re capable of is juvenile humor.

    The Raiders lost money because, they are the laughingstock of the NFL, and they have the oldest dinkiest stadium in the league.

    Bo Chimp Jackson, you’re so lacking in substance.

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

    He got benched because he is a knucklehead.

    We all say the KC first half, if he played like that all year we might have been a .500 team.

    Someone in Raiderland had enough, and pulled the plug. Bruce almost pulled that one out too, if DHB would have just dropped the ball instead of knocking it in the air, Bruce would have delivered.

    We all know it.

  • http://atm Raider O

    Mich Fans and Players are preppies! Look at Tom Brady!!

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

    I remain unprovoked. Serenity is mine.

    Oh, and Jimmy Carter is a lot harder to tackle than DMAC. Still.

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

    Richochet, Beeych

    If you want me or anybody else to read your posts, be succinct.

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

    If the Raiders were located somewhere you could eat out without being robbed, Al Davis would be a double billionaire. Shoulda stayed in LA.

  • http://www.raiderfans.net Richochet

    # Senior Beeecham Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Ahahahahah! Lil ricochet, seeing you get all worked up and your panties in a bunch is priceless! I had no idea you took your job of trying to be my minion so seriously.

    Oh, the joy …

    But you should really be careful, being that you’re a little dude pretending to be some big angry ol internet tough guy. I’m sure there are some dudes in your office who’d love to slap the office weakling around in the bathroom if they knew he was talking mean on a football blog.

    I can just see your nervous little hands shaking now at the thought of it! How priceless and adorable you are, my small, frightened little pal!

    Now since you are trying so hard and basically on your knees begging for my attention, I’ll allow you enjoy the same offer as good ol Krappy.

    But please try and calm down those shaking, pale hands of yours! We don’t want you chipping a nail on the company keyboard!

    Ahahahaha! How priceless you are, my minion in training!
    =========================
    I’m sorry…is that you’re attempt at waving the white flag?

    I just challenged your sorry ass to what you challenged Kell to..ANY DISCUSSION REGARDING THE RAIDERS..PAST, PRESENT,..letting YOU pick the topic.

    and all you can do is soil yourself, as you hope the above covers up that you just bowed out, tail between legs?

    Can you even spell Raiders?

    Again, little man…whenever you borrow someone’s balls, try me.

    No, no..that’s not an invitation for you to post the same ignorant crap. Between you and Kell it’s hard to tell who’s more void of thought.

    Tell you what..you just post “I admit..I’m full of crap. I wouldn’t last 5 minutes in a discussion with you regarding the Raiders, or pretty much anything” and I’ll not keep challenging you, and embarrassing you.

    Anything other than that…for fun? I’ll keep watching ya squirm…ok, lil fella?

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

    And Richochet

    Quite frankly, I don’t care what you think. I made that clear when I first started posting on this blog.

    I’m not here to date you mfkrs.

    I’m here to shine the light on Al Davis.

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

    Don’t Michigan fans where those ultra-preppy looking Stripped Rugby sweaters.

    Do you have one BSJ?

  • http://www.raiderfans.net Richochet

    # KoolKell Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Richochet, Beeych

    If you want me or anybody else to read your posts, be succinct.
    ===================
    Nice try, loser…but you read…squirmed, much like Lil Beech is..attempting to conjure up an original thought..and decided, wisely, THAT THERE WASN’T WORD ONE YOU COULD REFUTE.

    BTW..if someone just crapped down my neck..like I just did yours? The last thing I would do is meekly bow out, accepting it as fact..IF IT WASN’T FACT.

    The fact you did as you did? lol…seals it.

    Oh..BTW…everyone already knew it.
    I just detailed it..that’s all.

    Now..pretend you aren’t embarrassed, ok?

    lmao that two of the weakest here, you and beech, have a hardon for each other.

  • http://www.raiderfans.net Richochet

    # KoolKell Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    And Richochet

    Quite frankly, I don’t care what you think. I made that clear when I first started posting on this blog.

    I’m not here to date you mfkrs.

    I’m here to shine the light on Al Davis.

    ==============
    OF COURSE YOU CARE, lol…who the hell do you think you’re kidding?

    you POST all that crap about what you did..where you go..went..saw..saying how others haven’t done this or that…including “I can do whatever I want”…hell…EVERYTHING ABOUT YOUR POST SCREAMS I WANT ACCEPTANCE..and yes..screams ‘I’m INSECURE AS HELL”.

    Hell, dude, NO ONE WHO DOESN’T CARE WOULD BOTHER TO STATE ALL THAT..it’s just backfiring on ya..because you’re too damn stupid to realize it.

    You just don’t know when to shut up..and that’s a fact..and you bring it on yourself.
    now…pretend ‘I don’t care’..and we’ll pretend we believe ya :mrgreen:

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

    vegas raider Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:09 pm
    Don’t Michigan fans where those ultra-preppy looking Stripped Rugby sweaters.

    Do you have one BSJ?

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

    I assume you meant striped? And no, thats probably the band. They do wear a lot of maize and blue, but Ann Arbor is definately not preppie. Basically it is the Berkeley of the midwest. Pot is a $5 ticket, and they have a great “hash bash” every summer.

    Columbus, however, is where the hillbilles shoot target practice at cars on the freeway.

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

    Richochet

    That’s one thing I agree with Doofus Boob on, your posts are unreadable.

  • http://www.raiderfans.net Richochet

    Hmmm…so much for Lil Beech, lol.

    Wait..I see him….running….going over the top of the hill…tail between legs.

    Oh well.

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

    Just screwing with you a little BSJ.

    With, what over 100K people at the college, they probably have a little of everything. Including crappy weather.

  • http://www.raiderfans.net Richochet

    # KoolKell Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Richochet

    That’s one thing I agree with Doofus Boob on, your posts are unreadable.
    ====================
    Of COURSE they are..lol.

    Again..you are too stupid to realize when to shut up
    Soooo :)
    I’ll just break it down, on a regular basis, POINT BY POINT, on individual post?

    how’s that, pumpkin?

    then you can pretend you can’t follow along on just ONE sentence? lol…yeah..that works.
    Multiple squirming..for the price of one. :)

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

    KK,

    If someone is making the case that Al Davis is the lamest GM/owner in the NFL, the first example to cite is returning his franchise to the most crime infested, economically devastated dungheap west of the Mississippi.

  • http://www.raiderfans.net Richochet

    Kelli?
    Can you tell me why a “massively successful realtor” who’s been in the business for decades, is but a lowly realtor, exact same status as someone who walked in the door in the last year, and NOT a broker?

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

    vegas raider Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:18 pm
    Just screwing with you a little BSJ.

    With, what over 100K people at the college, they probably have a little of everything. Including crappy weather.

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

    Mucho bad weather.

    The whole town of Ann Arbor wouldn’t even fill the stadium yet they have had sellouts for 30+ years running. I would live there if I could.

  • http://www.raiderfans.net Richochet

    Kelli?
    you stated you can do whatever you want, at this stage of your career…
    Can you tell me why you have but one listing?
    Is that a sign of success, or stuggling?

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

    Richochet

    Can you tell me why Al Davis, 29-83 with Double-Digit losing seasons for the last 7 years, is qualified to be General Manager?

  • http://www.raiderfans.net Richochet

    # KoolKell Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Richochet

    Can you tell me why Al Davis, 29-83 with Double-Digit losing seasons for the last 7 years, is qualified to be General Manager?
    ==================
    He’s not. Always said he wasn’t.
    If anything YOU jumped on my comments…see, unlike you, I can actually detail Al’s mistakes.
    You?
    You wait for others to post, then copy their material.

    Hey Kelli, what’s your wife think about you being on this blog, morning, noon and night…hour after hour after hour?
    You ever..like…wave to her?

    Wait.

    Are you two together still?
    I suspect not.

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

    Unreadable. lol.

  • http://atm Raider O

    Mich is a state of hillbillies that produced a guy like Kid Rock!

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

    Al Davis has had 6 winning seasons in the last 20 years.

    Any, you guys are breathless over his draft this spring?????????

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

    KK,

    Can you tell me why Oakland, with a murder rate that is 3.5X the natl. average, is qualified to have an NFL franchise?

    Why does a city where, according to Cosby, “parents have failed to inculcate proper standards of moral behavior” deserve to host a team with a national spotlight?

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/08/29/BAB712KI0T.DTL&hw=takeover+robberies+oakland&sn=003&sc=377

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

    Can’t wait for it KoolKell. It’s on PrimeTime Thursday night this year.

  • http://atm Raider O

    Mucho unemployment is more like it!!

  • RaiderRockstar

    Al Davis has had 6 winning seasons in the last 20 years.

    ***

    how many are you suggesting we would have had without him?

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

    Yes, we are ashamed of Kid Rock. Eminem too. And Madonna.

    But Motown was the shizzit!

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

    Bo

    If you know another municipality who wants Al Davis and the Raiders, I suggest you write him a letter, ok?

  • http://atm Raider O

    We gave you people Jack Tatum!

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

    Oscar Goodman would gladly take them!!!

  • RaiderRockstar

    Kell:

    Al Davis has 3 Super Bowl trophies over the past 35 years.

    How many are you suggesting we would have had without him?

  • http://atm Raider O

    You gave us Tom Brady and the Tuck rule!

    Mich Sucks!