890

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.

  • Share/Bookmark

Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

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

    Sure, if you can get the ok from the NFL for a Casino-funded stadium.

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

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Kell:

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

    How many are you suggesting we would have had without him?
    —————————–
    Nostalgia is the mother of fanaticism. In adulthood as in youth, in lean years as in fat—we root for the home team because rooting for the home team is what we’ve always done, and because what we’ve always done is the essence of who we’ve always been.

    The catch, alas, is that heroes in the rearview mirror are rarely as mighty as they appear. Lifelong Raider lovers will argue that Davis is responsible for the organization’s historical grandeur. I’d counter that he’s no less culpable for its contemporary gloom.

    Decline is bad.
    Stagnation is worse.

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

    That part probably isn’t happening.

    We still can’t get the OK from the NFL to advertise during the Super Bowl!!!

  • http://atm Raider O

    Ohio: Farmers, honest people, good schools, and we just good to people and the enviroment.

    Mich: car industry that kills our beloved earth, Ghettos, unemployment, Unions that kill honest business, and they are thieves and liars!

  • http://www.raiderfans.net Richochet

    Kelli?
    Considering how easy it is to get a brokers license, the one thing that would prevent you from that is having a criminal record.

    Say it ain’t so, Kelli…

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

    Chicago would take the Raiders. They deserve 2 teams.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Super Bowls:

    Raiders – 3
    Pats – 3
    Skins – 3
    Packers – 3
    Giants – 3
    Cowboys – 5
    Steelers – 5
    49ers – 5

  • http://www.raiderfans.net Richochet

    # KoolKell Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Kell:

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

    How many are you suggesting we would have had without him?
    —————————–
    Nostalgia is the mother of fanaticism. In adulthood as in youth, in lean years as in fat—we root for the home team because rooting for the home team is what we’ve always done, and because what we’ve always done is the essence of who we’ve always been.

    The catch, alas, is that heroes in the rearview mirror are rarely as mighty as they appear. Lifelong Raider lovers will argue that Davis is responsible for the organization’s historical grandeur. I’d counter that he’s no less culpable for its contemporary gloom.

    Decline is bad.
    Stagnation is worse.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/330081-al-davis-the-real-problem-with-oakland-raiders-fans

    =============================
    More plagiarizing, Kelli?

    Loser.

  • http://atm Raider O

    People move out from Mich due to those reasons, and the only people moving in are Iraqi refugees. Then they move out!!

    No one likes Mich!! Not even Iraqi refugees!

  • http://www.churchofsatan.com/ Lucifer-666

    Steelers have 6 dude

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

    Never Worship A Mortal God.
    Raiders fans are famously attached to their team. They’re also notoriously detached from reality. After another subpar season in Oakland, the local faithful are still praying for deliverance—which would be better news if Al Davis were a deity worth appealing to.
    Devotion means holding to a steady course.
    Delusion, on the other hand, means clinging to a sinking ship.
    -Mike Silver

  • http://www.churchofsatan.com/ Lucifer-666

    Raider O then why does Ted Nugent live there?

  • RaiderRockstar

    unless you’re a fan of the 49ers, Cowboys or Steelers you have no right to trash the Raiders imo

    you’re either in the same boat or you’re a prostitute claiming Paris Hilton is “trashy”

  • RaiderRockstar

    Never Worship A Mortal God.
    Raiders fans are famously attached to their team. They’re also notoriously detached from reality. After another subpar season in Oakland, the local faithful are still praying for deliverance—which would be better news if JaMarcus Russell were a deity worth appealing to.
    Devotion means holding to a steady course.
    Delusion, on the other hand, means clinging to a sinking ship.

    -Rockstar

  • http://www.raiderfans.net Richochet

    LMAO…after I bust Kelli plagiarizing, you then rush to post something else, giving credit to actually wrote it?

    Damn dude…you’re like a walking idiot bomb.

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

    Raider blOhio,

    There are no ghettoes or car factories or unemployed people or A-rabs or pollution in OH?

  • RaiderRockstar

    sorry typo.

    “Never Worship A Mortal God.”

    should be: Never Worship A Mortal Turd

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

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Super Bowls:

    Raiders – 3
    Pats – 3
    Skins – 3
    Packers – 3
    Giants – 3
    Cowboys – 5
    Steelers – 5
    49ers – 5
    ————————–
    And you never saw a one of them. Not in your lifetime, pal. lol

  • http://atm Raider O

    Because he is a hillbillies who likes to hunt on cheap land.

  • RaiderRockstar

    And you never saw a one of them. Not in your lifetime, pal. lol

    ***

    And you never saw Eldridge Dickey play QB. Not in your lifetime, pal. lol

  • http://www.raiderfans.net Richochet

    # KoolKell Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Kell:

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

    How many are you suggesting we would have had without him?
    —————————–
    Nostalgia is the mother of fanaticism. In adulthood as in youth, in lean years as in fat—we root for the home team because rooting for the home team is what we’ve always done, and because what we’ve always done is the essence of who we’ve always been.

    The catch, alas, is that heroes in the rearview mirror are rarely as mighty as they appear. Lifelong Raider lovers will argue that Davis is responsible for the organization’s historical grandeur. I’d counter that he’s no less culpable for its contemporary gloom.

    Decline is bad.
    Stagnation is worse.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/330081-al-davis-the-real-problem-with-oakland-raiders-fans

    =============================
    More plagiarizing, Kelli?

    Loser.

    AGAIN…WHY PLAGIARIZE, KELLI??

    Why keep cutting and pasting things from other web sites, and posting them AS YOUR OWN??

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

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    unless you’re a fan of the 49ers, Cowboys or Steelers you have no right to trash the Raiders imo
    —————————-
    Why do you suppose the rest of the country and NFL commentariat disagrees with your piousness?

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

    KoolKell Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:52 pm
    RaiderRockstar Says:

    February 25th, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    unless you’re a fan of the 49ers, Cowboys or Steelers you have no right to trash the Raiders imo
    ——————————
    Why do you suppose the Oakland Coliseum is half empty during games?????????

  • RaiderRockstar

    And you never saw a one of them

    ***

    Kell: I’m an expert, I studied the film

    LOL

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

    Quick, somebody tell me the best thing ever to come out of OH.

    A flaming river? Charles Woodson? Jack Tatum? William Henry Harrison?

    I got nothin of substance…

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

    Why do you suppose the Oakland Coliseum is half empty during games?????????

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

    Crime.

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

    Richochet

    If you want to talk to me. be succinct. I am not reading that unreadable shyt, ok. I told you that once. Not going to tell you again. You’ll just go on ignore.

  • http://atm Raider O

    NO!

    Ohio is a great place with good people!
    We have Football and RR HOF.

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

    The Bengals, Browns and Buckeyes? LOL. Yeah, football.

    And the real RR HOF is in Seattle, where Hendrix kicked it off.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Jimmy Carter came from Georgia.

    that is the worst state in the nation.

    GA = turd status

    Mike Vick stills gets more love at the ATL!

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

    The premise for the movie Major League!!!!!

  • RaiderRockstar

    BSJ: I know you’ve lived all over the U.S.

    did you ever work on Jimmy’s peanut farm?

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

    James Brown = from Georgia. Word.

  • http://www.churchofsatan.com/ Lucifer-666

    Super Bowl records

    Raiders – 3-2
    Pats – 3-3
    Skins – 3-1
    Packers – 3-1
    Giants – 3-1
    Cowboys – 5-3
    Steelers – 6-0
    49ers – 5-0

  • http://atm Raider O

    -Car Factories moved to Ohio after Mich Unions killed the industry there.
    - Arabs moved there to escape crime and unemployment in Mich because they are good people.
    -we get air, lught, and sound polition from Mich!!

    That’s why you don’t live there!

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

    I never lived in the See-youth. All I know is that Texas is the Oakland of Northern Mexico.

  • RaiderRockstar

    waterboard Elvis Presley’s sixth cousin!

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

    Trade DMAC for lught and sound polition!

  • http://atm Raider O

    I will never open a BOO in Mich!!

    Never!!!!

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

    Elvis is gayer than Elton.

    I used to make a lot of enemies in the USMC saying that…

  • http://ibbahttp://i380.photobucket.com/albums/oo249/the408RAIDER/749px-I-420svg.png 4evaRaider

    jhill Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 12:57 pm
    you could have sold it to Jhill or Debo for 1k !

    ——————————————————-

    hardee har har!

    Incredibly funny!

    Woooooooooo woooooooo
    *********************************

    lmao!!

  • RaiderRockstar

    the Carter family had a dog name Bozo they named after him …

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jimmy_Carter_with_his_dog_Bozo_1937.gif

  • RaiderRockstar

    I will never open a BOO in Mich!!

    Never!!!!

    ***

    LOL @ O

    OH has King James.

    best basketball player of this decade

  • http://atm Raider O

    Light and sound pollution*

  • RaiderRockstar

    BSJ: Jimmy Carter is related to Elvis …

    nuff said

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

    We don’t need your Suckeye BOO!

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

    BOO????

  • RaiderRockstar

    Bank of Omerica

  • http://atm Raider O

    RR,

    You should go visit, but don’t travel North too far. You may end up in Mich. A land of Unemployment and unions. Uuugggrrhh

  • http://ibbahttp://i380.photobucket.com/albums/oo249/the408RAIDER/749px-I-420svg.png 4evaRaider

    Rockstar….I’ll bet Bo has all of his souvenirs from the Ann Arbor Hash Bash,dont ya Bo?