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McFadden, Seymour fuel Raiders resurgence

And to think a few short months ago, Darren McFadden was a potential draft bust and Richard Seymour was an example of Bill Belichick picking the pocket of Al Davis.

Raiders coach Tom Cable has gone to great lengths to preach the team aspect, the “brotherhood” forged in training camp and a willingness of the 53-man roster to scratch, claw and fight.

Based on the Raiders 5-4 record at the bye, who is to doubt him?

But none of those qualities would mean a lot if McFadden hadn’t energized the offense and Seymour wasn’t the physical and emotional lynch pin of the defense.

Cable is fond of saying the Raiders always knew what they had in McFadden and that health was the lone issue with his performance. He immediately shot down any and all off-season and draft time trade rumors.

You never heard McFadden called a bust in this space, but I’ve openly wondered about whether his running style was a fit for the NFL and if maybe he was strictly a perimeter guy and a runner-receiver.

All the talk about McFadden’s skinny legs and inability to break tackles seems ridiculous every time he lowers his shoulder and drives into a defender to pick up an extra yard or three and finish off a run.

In one season, McFadden has gone from the guy who goes down too easy to their best and most explosive running back since Bo Jackson.

With the 49ers having a week to prepare and fairly secure in the knowledge that McFadden wouldn’t be in the lineup, Hue Jackson didn’t have nearly the versatility at his disposal as the Raiders gained 179 yards of total offense in a 17-9 defeat at Candlestick Park.

With McFadden back against Denver . . . you know the story.

The most important thing about the Raiders offense over the last seven games isn’t whether Jason Campbell or Bruce Gradkowski is at quarterback or who made the decision, it’s keeping McFadden upright and explosive.

As for Seymour, his impact on the psyche of the team is illustrated in this CNN-SI story by Jim Trotter. Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha recounted a conversation he had with Seymour at Rangers-Giants World Series game that spoke volumes.

Seymour is a big reason Matt Shaughnessy is coming into his own and learning how to be a terrific defensive end. Seymour has caused Tommy Kelly to step his game up inside, a player who is finally playing up to contract he signed following the 2007 season. Lamarr Houston has played through some rough patches and is holding the edge of late, with plenty of help from his own skill and line coach Mike Waufle, but also because of Seymour’s presence.

But make no mistake, Seymour is doing more than being a leader. He’s been absolutely dominant inside and at his present pace could wind up with at least a third more tackles than he’s ever had and something approaching 10 sacks.

The Raiders haven’t had this kind of play from an individual on the defensive line since Howie Long, and if the Raiders continue to play as they have, Seymour is a viable Defensive Player of the Year candidate.

The better the Raiders play, the lower the first-round pick New England gets in return in 2011. New England is still a good team, they’re 6-2 and probably playoff bound, but that draft pick didn’t co much to help them stop Peyton Hills (29 carries, 184 yards) in a 34-14 loss to Cleveland last week.

Asked earlier this week if Davis was pleased with the way things were going, Seymour laughed and said, “Oh yean, I think he (whipped) the Patriots on that trade.”

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • RAIDERDAVE68

    I remeber watching Nap at Lompoc High break this kids jaw on a stiff arm, funny as hell! Well not for db,lol!

  • BumpNRun

    The Real MaddenRaider Says:
    November 12th, 2010 at 12:55 pm
    Raiders are winning, but Raider fans haven’t changed. The arrogance… I’m dreading the moment we’re eliminated from playoff contention or the playoffs themselves.

    ********

    If we the fans change, then ol’ A.D. will have to re-calibrate his marketing strategy, and re-position the brand image accordingly. Out with the eye-patch, Black Hole, silver and black, etc., and in with some kind of New And Improved, “consumer base” approved version.

  • http://aldavissucks.blogspot.com/ The Real MaddenRaider

    Yeh, a kid’s jaw getting broken his hilarious, Dave. It was probably a penalty but since Kaufman was the best thing Lompoc’s had since the Hidalgo treaty, the refs looked the other way and some kid who worked his butt off and loved football could no longer play the game.

  • http://aldavissucks.blogspot.com/ The Real MaddenRaider

    BumpNRun, you’re neither funny or clever.

  • RAIDERDAVE68

    Na, he was playing again the next season. Nice try though.

  • BumpNRun

    The Real MaddenRaider Says:
    November 12th, 2010 at 1:07 pm
    BumpNRun, you’re neither funny or clever.

    That would be “funny nor clever.” Otherwise, you leave the door open for me being clever.

  • http://aldavissucks.blogspot.com/ The Real MaddenRaider

    You did a good job today, Bump. Baiting me and I took it. Gotta run. I don’t complain, though. I’ll be back, and I’ll step up my game. I’ll get you.

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

    MR, look up “apoplectic”. It suits you to a tee when the Raiders are competitive, Al Davis is clearly still a maverick, and the team is not self-destructing.

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

    LMAO!

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

    “ESPN, thanks but no thanks for all the praise. In honor of all this newly discovered Raider love please allow me to give you the one-finger salute on behalf of my Silver and Black brethren (here’s a clue – this finger isn’t proclaiming you as number one either). When things were bad it was fashionable to crack jokes non-stop and a mere three game win streak has all you Mickey Mouse journalists on the jock like a stripper during a slow song.”

    http://justblogbaby.com/2010/11/11/espn-labels-raiders-as-%E2%80%98america%E2%80%99s-team%E2%80%99/

  • Just Fire Baby

    Born with a Patch Says:
    November 12th, 2010 at 9:29 am
    Just Fire, what you goin to LC for? I’m headin up to Duke City sunday

    ************************************

    Patch,

    I got work to do down there and in El Paso. Will be there for the week.

    You got a good green hook-up (or any one at all) let me know.

  • Silver-and-black666

    Mr and Bo arguing its like 2008 all over again

  • LA to TheBay

    You got a good green hook-up (or any one at all) let me know.
    ——————-

    Ah, an environmentalist.

  • LA to TheBay

    I’d rather they doubt us and talk sh;t clear up until we hoist the Lomardi.

  • LA to TheBay

    Oh, LMAO at Kell singing ‘Who Let the Dogs Out,’ by the way.

    I alwyas told myself I could come up with at least one crappy song that would be played at sports venues ad nauseum for 20 years and get paid like a mofo.

    Think Blur’s “Song 2″

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

    Why all the Raider jibjab on a Lakers blog?

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

    Check out the cool webcam:

    http://westland.net/beachcam/

    Go Gondos!

  • Nnamdi21

    Why the Raiders must beat Pitt to be legit…

    http://www.raidernationstation.com/exclusives/exclusives_20

  • LA to TheBay

    …..

  • LA to TheBay

    Buffalo Torontos
    Miami New Yorkers
    New England Chowderheads
    New York New Jerseyans
    Baltimore Murderers
    Cincinnati At Least We’re Not Clevelands
    Cleveland At Least We’re Not Detroits
    Pittsburgh Lunch Pales
    Houston Cowboys
    Indianapolis Chapter of the KKKs
    Jacksonville Toothless Rednecks
    Tennessee Bumpkins
    Denver Snowjobs
    Kansas City Rednecks
    Oakland Criminals
    San Diego STDs
    Dallas Queerboys
    New York Giant Guts
    Philadelphia A$$holes
    Washington Crackheads
    Chicago Pollocks
    Detroit Unemployed
    Green Bay Cheesedicks
    Minnesota Dontchyaknows
    Atlanta Gold Teeth
    Carolina Rednecks
    New Orleans Levies
    Tampa Bay Golf Repub1icans
    Arizona Mex;can-Haters
    St. Louis Drunks
    San Francisco Fairies
    Seattle Suicidals

    When KC and CAR play each other, Carolina will be refeered to as the ‘Redderneckers.’

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