McFadden, DHB are out of the shadows


Darren McFadden and Darrius Heyward-Bey had their cover blown.

The 270- to 300-pound (depending on the week) solar eclipse that was JaMarcus Russell is gone, leaving McFadden and Heyward-Bey exposed as premium draft picks who haven’t produced anything close to premium results.

The good news is that unlike Russell, neither man has an aversion to hard work and both are dedicated to their craft.

McHey-Bey isn’t a quarterback, either, so the No. 4 and No. 7 picks in the 2008 and 2009 drafts don’t have to change plays at the line of scrimmage or be the central figure in every snap from center.

The demise of Russell in the eyes of Al Davis came when he was replaced as the starting quarterback by Bruce Gradkowski after 10 games. It was at that point Davis went from looking at Russell as “great” and with growing disdain for his indifference and hearing the rumors swirling about his love of the nightlife, told Tom Cable, “OK, you want Gradkowski? You’ve got him.”

When Gradkowski went down, next in line wasn’t Russell, but Charlie Frye. When Frye went down with a concussion and Russell led a comeback win over Denver, Russell still got no consideration. The end may have came Thursday, but it was clear at that point Russell was going to hit the road before the 2010 season.

The company line on McHey-Bey remains supportive.

When ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported McFadden could be traded on draft day, Cable moved swiftly to call the report “ridiculous” and said, “there’s no way. I don’t know how it came out. I don’t get it. There’s no way Darren McFadden was ever going to be traded from this football team.”

Cable promised reporters a dramatic difference in Heyward-Bey in a pre-draft press conference, raved about his work with 30-pound dumb bells, and talked him up again at the minicamp.

The Raiders have a lot riding on the remaining two-thirds of the triplets which were supposed to energize a sagging offense, and neither player has inspired much confidence based on their play.

McFadden looked in minicamp as he has always looked in practice. He’s quick to the corner, explosive and a skilled receiver. The problem has been contact, which has seen McFadden go down too easily and gotten him injured _ two huge issues for any running back.

Heyward-Bey indeed was more fluid in short and intermediate routes and on many plays appeared comfortable catching the ball away from his body, securing it, and then turning upfield. But there were still too many dropped passes.

One sequence was telling. Heyward-Bey streaked down the right sideline and when Charlie Frye’s pass came a bit short and to the inside, he simply kept on running. The pass fell to to turf, as if Heyward-Bey never saw the pass or simply didn’t make a move to get it.

A short time later, Kyle Boller launched a similar pattern to Louis Murphy, with the Alameda wind appearing to hold the ball up in flight. Murphy shifted gears, glided five yards to the inside and caught the ball in stride.

If McFadden can’t cut it with being a conventional 15- to 20-carry per game running back, the Raiders may at some point consider making him a Ronnie Harmon-style receiver out of the backfield, someone who can make a living with mismatches as a receiver and be a productive, explosive player.

They have no options with Heyward-Bey. He’s a receiver or else.

To be fair, he’s only in his second year, and there has been some progress.

Without Russell around as a magnet for all the draft bust criticism, McFadden and Heyward-Bey will be watched closely.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • I have no idea why any of you respond to mistabrown or richochet. Don’t take the bait. They are zeros

  • And Senior Beeecham is obviously richochet. Same words over and over. It’s obvious.

  • Is Richochet really a woman? That’s hot. Richochet, what are you wearing?

  • I imagine Richochet looks something like this:


  • M Lonetree

    NFL should adopt JaMarcus Rule by Gary Peterson


  • Just Win Baby

    Dont confuse me with the troll posting as Just Win.

  • raiderzmaverick

    Did you guys look at the youtube video posted earlier with Mcfadden and Bush. Wow – Bush looks like the MUCH better runner! In fact, even in space he seems to make more people miss etc. Only thing McFadden looks better at is receiving.

  • El Tato

    Bush is the verter runner berree visión makes him the better rb

  • El Tato

    Better not verter sorry

  • El Tato

    verter? berree? I wanted to say BETTER

    Why the computer auto corrects the words?

  • El Tato

    I still hope that when McFadden gets his 15 carries per game now Fargas is gone, he will be less impacient and will let the blockers do their jobs and open holes instead of running straight into the tackler.

  • El Tato

    Also, a competent air game with Campbell at QB should make both better

  • MistaBrown

    Looks like Seymour/OakGlen/Debo added a new alias.
    Note taken;

    # Just Win Says:
    May 8th, 2010 at 12:46 am

    I have no idea why any of you respond to mistabrown or richochet. Don’t take the bait. They are zeros

  • Seymour Bush

    Hahahahaha. Everyone that calls you out is oakglen or debo or me. I hate to be the one to break it to you but you are the blog dirt bag:

    To Wit:
    • Zymurge Says:
    May 7th, 2010 at 11:21 pm
    Beeecham’s only hoe is his cross-posting alter ego, MistaBrown.

    Am I Zymurge too?

    • Bo Schembechler Jackson Says:
    May 7th, 2010 at 1:25 pm
    What a twit.

    Am I BSJ?

    How’s about this one:

    Just Win Says:
    May 8th, 2010 at 12:42 am

    Mistabrown eats turds.

    And all of this is just from yesterday. Maybe you should realize that you are a stupid foolish scum sucking POS and just come to terms with it.

  • DKnight007

    M Lonetree Says:
    May 8th, 2010 at 7:09 am
    NFL should adopt JaMarcus Rule by Gary Peterson


    The rookie salary cap should have been implemented waaaay before JaMierda ever was picked by Oakland.

    The NFL is waaaaay behind the times on that one.

  • DKnight007

    SteveAlford21 Says:
    May 7th, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    I remember the end-around for DHB that you were talking about… and I loved that play and I had even said MYSELF that we never went back to it for the rest of the season and only ran it that ONE time and didn’t try it again even though it got a big gain. I was wrong… and so are you.

    I’m watching the Eagles game right now. We ran the end-around to DHB with 8:26 left in the 2nd Quarter at the 11 yard line. DHB was stopped for no gain.

    I remember that end around play with DHB.

    Another weird Cable brainfart of a play call at the wrong time.

    Never run a freakin reverse end around in the red zone at the 11 yard line?? That was dumb….

  • Seymour Bush

    # Richochet Says:
    May 7th, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    Senior Beeecham Says:

    So did Seymour really say something completely retarded about DHB improving last year? I’m sure he didn’t. I mean, Seymour gets ripped on a lot and would never set himself up like that.

    Or would he?
    lol….he would. Above…#323

    Seymour Bush Says:
    May 7th, 2010 at 2:32 pm
    You really cannot evaluate the draft of a player after one year but the truth beknown I did NOT want DHB or ANY WR in the draft at #8 last year. All that being said, DHB did show some improvement as the year went on, and Green Bay was not very happy with Raji’s performance his lst year. Jury is still out on that one. Now, Eugene Monroe….He did well for Jokes-onville
    5 catches in the last 4 COMPLETE GAMES??
    wow..massive “improvement”, lol…

    I don’t know, if someone has two catches thru the lst five games and then has 7 catches and a score over his last five games, that seems like improvement to me. Now, I didn’t say massive improvement, that’s just more BS from the troll.

  • Seymour Bush

    # Richochet Says:
    May 7th, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    Senior Beeecham Says:

    So did Seymour really say something completely retarded about DHB improving last year? I’m sure he didn’t.

    I guess a guy tripling his production isn’t improvement. Or is simple math not really your strong suit? BTW richochet at Rickeys in San Leandro yesterday:

  • mack-madden

    Just Win Baby Says:
    May 8th, 2010 at 7:30 am
    Dont confuse me with the troll posting as Just Win.


    too late…

    I’m already confused….

    Just Win Baby was FRAMED !!!

  • Trying to steal my link and take credit for it Seymour? That’s fine. I don’t care as long as Richochet gets exposed for what she really is.

  • Also, that picture of Richochet sure looks a lot like one of Charged Down’s hoes. Richochet and Charged Down’s love child:


  • MistaBrown

    DHB didnt play or even suit up the last 4 games, he was inactive with a mysterious foot injury, but you would have to watch Raider football to KNOW that!

    May 8th, 2010 at 9:53 am

    # Seymour Bush Says:
    May 8th, 2010 at 9:53 am

    I don’t know, if someone has two catches thru the lst five games and then has 7 catches and a score over his last five games, that seems like improvement to me. Now, I didn’t say massive improvement, that’s just more BS from the troll.

    I don’t know, if someone has two catches thru the lst five games and then has 7 catches and a score over his last five games, that seems like improvement to me. Now, I didn’t say massive improvement, that’s just more BS from the troll.

  • MistaBrown

    Seymour/OakGlen/Debo/Just Win

    Do you even watch Raider football ?

  • Mack aka Sec of Weed ,

    Legalize it!!!!

  • Buckeye,

    I looked up the rookie ratings for Madden 11, McClain 79, Houston 70, and Veldheer 68.

    Go Bucks!!!!
    The OSU > preppie mich
    Legalize it!!

  • mack-madden

    Raider O !!!

    Pop it
    burn it
    snort it

    I use to play Madden until the sun came up.

    Now Madden is the name of my first born son.

  • I used to play Madden until I got a life. Unfortunately, I lost that life. That is why I spend so much time on this blog.

  • the_big_one_of_83

    dam nothing new yet

  • the_big_one_of_83

    until the next post gentlemen

  • wow… really quiet…

    oh well… this evening it will pick up…

    you know…

    you suck…

    you suck eggs…

    well you suck balls…

    oh yeah, well you suck Al Davis toes…

    you get the picture…

  • fat kidd

    getting rid of jamarcus russell was a big mistake.jason campbell aint going to put a$$es in the seats ,big financial mistake the guy got 36 million and earned every penny of it.

  • fat kidd

    Would New Orleans Saints consider signing quarterback JaMarcus Russell?
    0 Comment May 8 New Orleans Times-Picayune Share Article”Former LSU standout and No. 1 overall draft pick JaMarcus Russell is looking for a new home after being released by the Oakland Raiders this week. And at least one analyst, ESPN’s John Clayton, has speculated that the New Orleans Saints might show some interest since they have an opening for a backup quarterback and a coach in Sean Payton who specializes in developing quarterbacks.

    The idea seems very unlikely. For one, the Saints have made it clear that they’re not looking to invest much money in their backup quarterback spot. It remains to be seen what kind of market will develop for the burly, strong-armed Russell. There’s a good chance some teams might be willing to offer a decent contract and a shot at a starting job – which would leave the Saints out of the running.

    Then there is the question of Russell’s attitude and work ethic. Some teams might be willing to gamble that they can turn him around because his potential upside is so great. But the Saints don’t really need to roll the dice at the backup quarterback spot. They’re just looking for a serviceable backup, which is why they’ve kicked the tires on journeyman veterans like Patrick Ramsey and Josh McCown, while still mulling whether to re-sign veteran Mark Brunell or just go with young backups Chase Daniel and Sean Canfield

  • spawn211

    is there any news on seymour contract signing since JR is gone now

  • In all seriousness, what is this “upside” that Russell is supposed to have? Aside from a strong arm, what are these other tools that are supposed to make him such a prospect?

    OK, he’s big and strong. He’s reasonably mobile for his size, at least compared to say a Manning. But he’s not going to win any footraces, and he never showed any sign of being a rushing threat for more than a few yards.

    And then there are his limitations. The primary one is between his ears. Just like you can’t teach size, you can’t teach raw IQ. He just doesn’t process information at NFL speed and no amount of staring at film and practicing checkdowns is going to overcome that. At best, he can run dumbed down playbooks, which ultimately work against setting up things like the deep surprise pass, taking away his one strength.

    Should we even start on work ethic? OK, let’s say that he gets a guru that convinces him to put the posse, night life and syrup behind him. That brings him to average. But he’s yet to show the passion of the willingness to go above and beyond the way that all successful QBs must. I just don’t see it in his wiring.

    When people talk about upside, there’s just so much more to it than a big arm. Gimme a noodle arm like Brady Quinn over Russell’s howitzer any day if Quinn comes with the brains, reaction time, and work ethic to make himself the best. To me, that is an upside — something that enough training and reps helps to overcome a weak arm. The NFL is full of below average strength armed QBs that went on to success: Gannon, Garcia, even Gradkowski. Maybe a few who’s name doesn’t start with G too. And then there are just as many bust stories around cannon armed QBs that couldn’t do the rest.

    Let someone else waste their time and money on him next. Oakland certainly did their share here!

  • Plunketthead

    Jamarcus who?
    Never heard of him.

    10 – 6

    Best year ever!

  • Now this is funny! This article http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474978224031 says that Russell’s next best shot might be as a scab in a lockout season next year 🙂

    “Maybe 2011 will provide Russell with some opportunities. With the NFL Players Association and the league unlikely to reach agreement, the league will be looking for replacement players next season. Russell could possibly have his pick of teams.”

  • Zymurge, Rick Astley is ok, but Total Eclipse of the Heart is much better:


  • Richo-rolled?

  • Jerry, can we have profile pictures? This blog should be more like facebook. Instead of collecting friends, we could collect enemies.

  • RaiderRetribution

    Al loves the 4-3, Al loves the 4-3; therefore the twaine should meet.

    Al since you and Al both believe in the 4-3 you should trade for Al, and Al you should play for Al.

    Plus you both have something in common, a mutual disgruntlemunt with Mike.

  • Raiders4eve

    I think there will be some surprises this year in the NFL. The Jets will win the AFC East, the Ravens will win the AFC North but the Bengals will compete for the wild card, in the AFC South, I think the Colts will lose 6 games this year but the dumb Texans will go for 8-8, the Raiders will win the AFC West division and the Chargers will drop down to 8-8. Denver will end up being last in the division.

    In the NFC, the Giants will win the NFC East division and Redskins will improve and compete for the wild card. The Packers will surprise an older Favre and win the NFC North division. The NFC South belongs to the Saints. The NFC West will be a surprise improved Seahawks under Pete Carrol, the whiners Alex Smith will get injured, roid head V Davis also, and Gore will be out for five weeks.


    Wild Card


    Wild Card

    What do you guys think????

  • Plunketthead

    Bud replaces Coors as the official beer of the NFL

    When InBev purchased Anheuser-Busch in November ‘08, there was angst across the industry that sports’ biggest spender was going to pull the plug. It looks like those fears were unfounded, as Coors is out and A-B is back as the NFL’s league sponsor in the beer category, with rights that begin in the ‘11 season. Terms were not immediately available, but sources said A-B is paying twice what Coors paid. It is a six-year contract,

  • RaiderRon


    What do I think?? I think your a dreamer. I think you ignore facts when you start typing on your keyboard. I think you VASTLY ovverate the talent on theis Raider team which makes you make foolish predictions. The Raiders are nowhere near the Chargers level and to suggest they will over take them in the West is foolhardy to say the least. Please tell me what makes you think the Raiders will be a better team than the Chargers.

  • Plunketthead

    Whats the best beer?
    Coors, Bud or Pabst Blue Ribbon, the champagne of bottled beer.

  • Plunketthead

    The Tuna will have to something to say about RR winning the afc east.

    I bet the jets sink next year

  • Plunketthead

    Am I the only one who thinks the Raiders will win the afc west?

  • RaiderRon


    No, there are other dreamers/idiots on here.

  • RaiderRetribution

    Not only will the Raiders win the AFC West, they will win their first playoff game.

    Raider’s Retribution!

  • Plunketthead

    These things run in cycles sometimes and I suspect its past time for the discharge to return to the cellar where they belong.

    That means the Raiders return to where they belong.