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Camp questions: Is McFadden just a camp star?

No. 12 in a series of training camp issues and questions as the Raiders report to Napa Tuesday and hold their first practice Thursday:

Can Darren McFadden build on what will probably be another terrific training camp?

Following his selection with the No. 4 overall pick in the draft in 2008, McFadden couldn’t wait to get started.

Rather than play the waiting game with his agents and eventually sign a moment or two before training camp began, McFadden was signed on June 6.

His first camp was spectacular. I wrote at the time he was the best Raiders rookie since Charles Woodson, and I sought the opinion of some people in the organization before I wrote it. These were people who will give me a blunt assessment knowing it was off-the-record, and who are more than willing to tell me when I’m way off base.

McFadden showed lightning burst, with the ability to instantly pull away and outrun angles. He looked impossible to beat to the perimeter. Wasn’t bad inside, either. His pass receiving skills were off the charts _ he had better hands than most of the wideouts and in fact one member of the Raiders organization was convinced that if he was put at that position, he’d be the best pass catcher on the team.

Add to the mix that McFadden always had a smile on his face, loved to work hard, and any character concerns which came after a couple of family-related incidents in Arkansas seemed to be a joke.

Two years later, Al Davis must have thought at least once what it would be like to have drafted Chris Johnson, taken by the Tennessee Titans at No. 24. McFadden has 217 carries for 856 yards in two seasons, with 50 receptions for 530 yards. Johnson has 609 carries for 3,234 yards and 93 receptions for 763 more.

McFadden has been beset by injuries which coach Tom Cable believes have derailed his momentum in each of first two seasons. There was turf toe on both feet as a rookie and post-season shoulder surgery, indicating he was playing with that issue. Minor knee surgery interrupted his second season.

Critics of McFadden contend he goes down at the first hint of contact and often will stumble before even being hit. They want to see Michael Bush early and often and see if McFadden can be put in situations as a perimeter player and receiver which will better utilize his talents. Thinks 600-plus yards rushing and 70-plus catches for 700 yards.

The Raiders still want to see if McFadden can generate some momentum as a runner and be an all-round back capable of gaining 1,200-plus yards and also being a terrific receiver _ a Marshall Faulk or Roger Craig-type player worthy of the No. 4 overall pick.

Chances are McFadden will tear it up again this training camp. It will be up to Hue Jackson to look beyond what the running back does in limited contact situations and determine which course of action will get the most out of him.

Previous camp questions:

Is Jason Campbell the answer?

Can Nnamdi be a playmaker?

Can Gradkowski start?

Will wee see T.O.?

Can less be more for Cable?

Can the starting linebackers hold up in coverage?

How good is Mike Mitchell?

Can Mario be super?

Can Higgins return to ’08 form?

Where is Seymour’s ripple effect?

Can Bush be a beast?

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • RaiderRockstar

    http://imgs.sfgate.com/c/pictures/2008/08/08/sp-raiders09_ph__0498900228.jpg

    McFadden had a Fullback?

    we should have re-signed Justin Griffith!

  • JT52

    One thing I like about McFadden so far is he lays it on the line every play.

    Look at game 1 last season against the chargers when he layed a nice crackback block on who i think was a linebacker for the bolts.

    Straight up hard shoulder to the guys head it was a great block.

    So far he has been misused in all our opinions and our o-line was again terrible last season.

    I say Bruce Cambell earns a starting spot at guard and Satele knows the system better with the return of Gallery we are much improved this year and the Running backs can break loose.

  • RaiderRockstar

    it takes 3 guys to bring DMAC down running with a steel plate in both shoes?

    http://imgs.sfgate.com/c/pictures/2008/09/21/ba-raiders_buffa_0499180196.jpg

    impressive!

  • DKnight007

    Lets see so far…

    Warriors have lost Morrow,(2nd best shooter on team) Azbuke, (great versatile bench player and spot starter) Randolph, ( young versatile athletic big man, with great upside) CJ Watson,( another solid backup PG and spot starter) and Turiaf,(energetic role player off the bench)

    Warriors replace them with an overrated PF who can’t play one on one defense in Lee and a bench player who has no offensive game in D Wright….and a reach feel good player in Lin?? The number 1 pick Udoh is out for 6 months also!

    Yep…as of now…this Warrior team is going to be WORSE than last years version as of now!

    I know a few Warrior fans here at work, that I are actually buying Lin jerseys??

    Are you serious?? Sad…

  • aig

    JT,

    that was the block on the safety of SD. He took him out.

  • RaiderRockstar

    http://imgs.sfgate.com/c/pictures/2008/09/06/sp-raiders06_ph__0499010547.jpg

    DMAC drinking gatorade, not sizzurp!

    way to go young man …

  • RaiderRockstar

    one guy at his feet, another guy trying to pull him down by the shoulders… DMC finds the endzone

    http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/09Azdrl9Mv5PG/340x.jpg

    TOUCHDOWN RAIDERS!

  • J Wiggle

    Just watched some DMAC highlights on youtube …

    All I have to say is I hope he says healthy for 16 games. And this will be a non issue.

  • RaiderRockstar

    just stiff-arm baby!

    http://prod.static.raiders.clubs.nfl.com/assets/images/imported/zip/2009/12-December/122009raidersATbroncos37/122009raidersATbroncos6–nfl_large_580_1000.jpg

    now thats toughness …

    what a supporting cast too! Charlie Frye & Todd Watkins? LOL.

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

    So if I can find 8 pictures of Jamarcus throwing a completion does that make him not a bust?

  • aig

    this is a good example of Dmac being a baller….
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyZN1oXuehw&feature=related

  • lefty12

    LMN-I know that,I was phucking with him,reversing things if you will.

  • RaiderRockstar

    once again, barely touched by Chiefs LB Derrick Johnson

    http://d.yimg.com/a/p/sp/tools/med/2008/09/ipt/1221446710.jpg

  • aig

    DK,

    the only guys happy with J Lin signing are Asian fans. he’s representing. I know because it’s blowing up all over Facebook.

  • RaiderRockstar

    DMAC punches this dude in the grill!

    http://cdn5.mattters.com/photos/photos/1336991/57474_redskins_raiders_football.jpg

    you can tell he wants it

  • RaiderRockstar

    http://raidersradar.com/files/2009/09/dmc2.jpg

    Jamie Winborn didn’t tackle him. He fell on his own!

  • DKnight007

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    July 26th, 2010 at 7:35 am
    I don’t understand how anybody who claims to be a Raider fan could root for a Top 10 draft pick to bust

    I don’t see the logic in that …

    we haven’t seen enough of a healthy DMC with a competent play caller and QB to judge him yet. He deserves AT LEAST one more season

    ^^^^^^^
    Exactly…..plus people forget the Raiders O-Line has not been very good since he has been here!

    That doesn’t help DMC one damn bit!

  • RaiderRockstar

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/pt/slideshows/2009/11/pho_112609_cowboys/embed/images/091126_NS_26McFadden_emb.jpg

    2 Dallas players crushing DMAC. no wait, he tripped himself again and got hurt

    my bad

  • Just Fire Baby

    Warriors will be better than last year.

    You can book that.

    David Lee = All-star

    Kelenna, Turiaf, CJ, Morrow, Randolph = role players

    There are only 24 All-Stars and over 200 role players in the league.

  • DKnight007

    aig Says:
    July 26th, 2010 at 11:39 am
    DK,

    the only guys happy with J Lin signing are Asian fans. he’s representing. I know because it’s blowing up all over Facebook.

    ^^^^^^^^
    Yeah….ridiculous for the 10th or 11th man on the bench of a crappy team.

  • DKnight007

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    July 26th, 2010 at 11:42 am
    Warriors will be better than last year.

    You can book that.

    David Lee = All-star

    Kelenna, Turiaf, CJ, Morrow, Randolph = role players

    There are only 24 All-Stars and over 200 role players in the league.

    ^^^^^^^^
    David Lee will NOT make the All-Star team next year…..mark my words!

  • J Wiggle

    David Lee = All-star

    ——————————————————-

    not in the West

  • RaiderRockstar

    Just watched some DMAC highlights on youtube …

    All I have to say is I hope he says healthy for 16 games. And this will be a non issue.

    ***

    Jwigg: exactly

    DMAC is a player

    I think I proved that

  • Just Fire Baby

    The thing lost on some of us here, is that Darren is tough in some circumstances. I think his lack of between-the-tackle running ability is his lack of vision and patience. For all his supposed great speed and open-field running, I have yet to see him run away from anyone, and is often tackled by the safety when in the clear. He doesn’t change directions well, the great ones never slow down, he comes to an almost stop sometimes (could be injuries I guess).

    But he may be a better short-yardage and goalline runner than Bush. Bush knows how to get chunks of yardage between the tackles, Darren just slams into the back of his lineman.

  • aig

    All I know is when will they fire Nelson and Riley already?

    On another note, any of you guys in here are weight lifters? I finally got to 315 for the first time and need tips on getting to 365.

  • DKnight007

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    July 26th, 2010 at 11:42 am
    Warriors will be better than last year.

    You can book that.

    David Lee = All-star

    Kelenna, Turiaf, CJ, Morrow, Randolph = role players

    There are only 24 All-Stars and over 200 role players in the league.

    ^^^^^^^^
    Before the season starts….lets make a nice wager on that!

    The Warrios will suck…AGAIN!

    Book it…delusional Warrior fan.

  • DKnight007

    aig Says:
    July 26th, 2010 at 11:46 am
    All I know is when will they fire Nelson and Riley already?

    On another note, any of you guys in here are weight lifters? I finally got to 315 for the first time and need tips on getting to 365.

    ^^^^^^^
    More steroids maybe? LOL

  • Just Fire Baby

    Lee and Amare will just trade All-star slots from East/West.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Did the Warriors even win 30 games last year?

    They can improve…and still suck!!

  • RaiderRockstar

    Darren just slams into the back of his lineman.

    ***

    like Justin Fargas aka “Crash Test Dummy” ???

    I don’t think so

    Give the man another year. He has a competent OC & QB now! O-Line is still questionable at best, but good enough to get the job done imo

  • J Wiggle

    need tips on getting to 365.

    ——————————————————

    juice

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

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    July 26th, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Bush knows how to get chunks of yardage between the tackles, Darren just slams into the back of his lineman.

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

    Careful Vegas. Someone will post 28 pics of him NOT running into his lineman to prove you “wrong”.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Gotta run….damn this phone..stop ringing!!!

  • RaiderRockstar

    DKnight007: quit slamming the W’s … your favorite basketball team!

    they’ll be back one of these days :)

  • aig

    Lmao DK,

    no thank you on steroids, I’d like to live a little longer. Cannot have Al Davis out live me…you know.

  • DKnight007

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    July 26th, 2010 at 11:48 am
    Did the Warriors even win 30 games last year?

    They can improve…and still suck!!

    ^^^^^^^
    hahaha….true…

  • DKnight007

    Exactly…..plus people forget the Raiders O-Line has not been very good since he has been here and the using the ZBS exclusively is not the way to go either.

    Blocking schemes need to be mixed, between ZBS, man blocking, pulling and trapping, counters, and power zone depending on the game situation and when the offensive coaches see a weakness to exploit within the opposing D-Line and LB’s,

    Having an inconsistent run blocking and pass blocking O-Line doesn’t help DMC or anyone else on that offense one damn bit!

  • DKnight007

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    July 26th, 2010 at 11:51 am
    DKnight007: quit slamming the W’s … your favorite basketball team!

    they’ll be back one of these days

    ^^^^^^^
    Can’t help it dude.

    I mean they are not my #1 team, but I always have rooted for them to do well….but the crazy, irrational decisions over the years makes it awfully hard to not rip them.

  • Nnamdi21

    338. DK,

    I think we’ll see more rotation on the O line and a power package in short yardage and goal line.

    The 2 TE sets didn’t work as well namely because Tony Stewart suggs azz and Myers has been a little green.

    Jumbo package with Eric Pears at “TE” destroyed the Broncos on one drive.

    Capped that drive with DMAC failing to get into the end zone though…

  • Nnamdi21

    T.O. to Bengals?

    Fug the Rams, Turd O wants to go to a team with a shot at the play offs so the Bungles make sense plus they’ve been the new landing pad for NFL malcontents for a while.

    They just couldn’t face playing a season without a psychotic WR.

  • inonewordraider

    were playing alot of wildcat this year, jerry mac to my dismay pretty much spelled it out

  • RaiderRockstar

    Bungles signed Owens?

    new post!