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McFadden, Seymour fuel Raiders resurgence

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, November 11th, 2010 at 3:29 pm in Oakland Raiders.

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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  • ghosttothepost

    I was trying to figure out why this year’s Raiders are so much better than recent past Raiders … Found this article by a sports psychologist … good stuff … here’s an excerpt:
    According to sports psychologist John Bartholomew, sports teams can have, or not have, what’s known as task cohesion and social cohesion. Together, these two attributes come together to define the level of group cohesion.

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

    I bet Fargas could longsnap…

  • ghosttothepost

    The story also says:

    Social cohesion refers to the positive feelings that players have for one another and the degree to which they socialize, whereas task cohesion refers to how united a team is in pursuit of a common goal. It doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone on the team likes one another. It means they are willing to subjugate their individual success for the good of the group.

  • VanHeathen

    Ghost…I FULLY expect to get crappy calls from the refs, it’s how they ‘do’ us, same as it ever was…
    I’m more concerned that they seemed to be trying to keep the game low scoring and towards the end, possibly effecting the spread…
    Most penalties ALL season in any game, should have someone looking at the ref crew…

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

    Neck? Trade Jon Condo for Merton Hanks!

  • ghosttothepost

    Nothing is more important, IMO, than “team cohesion” … just look at this year’s SF Giants … Everybody knew they had great pitching, but the team came together and that’s why they won it all .. Raiders are starting to show some team cohesion … i like it

  • http://www.pro-football-reference.com/ KoolKell

    Ghosttothepost Says:
    November 12th, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    I was trying to figure out why this year’s Raiders are so much better than recent past Raiders
    ——————————-
    Mr Davis has taken the shackles off his Coaches.

    Blitzes
    Spreads
    Reverses
    Wildcats
    Tosses
    Cover 5′s (whatever the hell that is)

  • VanHeathen

    Loved the footage of the post game Locker room and the ‘Hip, Hip, Hooray!’ that Cable pulled out…
    Can’t get enough of this team…
    Gonna be a long weekend w/out a game to look forward too…

  • LA to TheBay

    I’m inclined to agree with Kell, for the most part.

  • HairyBush

    Bo Schembechler Jackson Says:
    November 12th, 2010 at 12:17 pm
    Neck? Trade Jon Condo for Merton Hanks!
    ———————
    gotta respect that crazy dance he had though lol

  • LA to TheBay

    VanHeathen Says:
    November 12th, 2010 at 12:19 pm
    Loved the footage of the post game Locker room and the ‘Hip, Hip, Hooray!’ that Cable pulled out…
    Can’t get enough of this team…
    Gonna be a long weekend w/out a game to look forward too…

    ———-

    Yeah, Cable’s ‘off the hook,’ lol.

  • ghosttothepost

    VH, might have a point … but honestly, if I thought for a minute the refs are making calls based on the betting line, i’d never watch another minute of the NFL

  • ghosttothepost

    I can see it happening in the crappy boring ass NBA regular season … but in the NFL? … That would be like an atomic bomb

  • Born with a Patch

    I think Rolando said cover 5 to throw the media off, just for having to do the interview. Everybody on Sirius radio was wondering what cover 5 was. didnt hear Loose Gannon speakon it. I think he meant nickel

  • ghosttothepost

    But, on the other side of the coin … I had a good friend who used to gamble for a living. He used to often ask the rhetorical question: “People kill for money. Do you think they’d cheat for it?”

  • BumpNRun

    Ghosttothepost Says:
    November 12th, 2010 at 12:14 pm
    According to sports psychologist John Bartholomew, sports teams can have, or not have, what’s known as task cohesion and social cohesion. Together, these two attributes come together to define the level of group cohesion.

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

    Never understood why A.D. discounts chemistry. This team seems to have it. But then, I guess there’s always the other side of the coin: winning is the active ingredient in ‘chemistry’, and everything else is just filler.

  • http://www.pro-football-reference.com/ KoolKell

    Didn’t Tommy Kelly say the other day, something to the effect, that, “They let the dogs out”?

  • ghosttothepost

    I’m not so sure AL doesn’t put merit in chemistry … the Raiders teams of the 70s had some of the best chemistry in the history of sports … But I don’t know if it’s something you can make (like in a lab) or it just happens (like in nature)

  • http://www.pro-football-reference.com/ KoolKell

    Whoooo Let the Dogs Out, Hoof….Hoof Hoof Hoof…..HoofHoof.

    Al Davis, I guess.

  • ghosttothepost

    hey Kell, shouldn’t that be whoof, whoof or at least ruff, ruff .. lol

  • ghosttothepost

    aw hell … hoof hook works for me

  • ghosttothepost

    just keep letting the dogs out .. whatever noise they make

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

    KoolKell Says:
    November 12th, 2010 at 12:29 pm
    Whoooo Let the Dogs Out, Hoof….Hoof Hoof Hoof…..HoofHoof.

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

    And you have the nerve to call me un-clever?

  • ghosttothepost

    hey .. what happened to MR … did he leave or just get tired of nobody liking him?

  • RAIDERDAVE68

    Adam Sadler is hilarious! Whoever has a problem with him needs to look in the mirror!

  • RAIDERDAVE68

    And isnt this A Raider blog and not a tmz blog?

  • BumpNRun

    Ghosttothepost Says:
    November 12th, 2010 at 12:29 pm
    I’m not so sure AL doesn’t put merit in chemistry … the Raiders teams of the 70s had some of the best chemistry in the history of sports … But I don’t know if it’s something you can make (like in a lab) or it just happens (like in nature)

    **********

    Good call. Put ‘em together, see what happens, and let the coaches sort out the result. Control what you can control (signing the players), getting a game plan together – and let the rest ride. Man, that ’76 team was a monster, wasn’t it?

  • ghosttothepost

    hey raiderdave … are u on the right blog?

  • ghosttothepost

    loved the ’76 team … one of my favs

  • ghosttothepost

    but the 77-78 playoff game against the Colts was one for the ages — double OT I think — eight lead changes … bert jones vs. snake … classic

  • ghosttothepost

    yeah, and that was the year the Raiders got screwed in the AFC Champ game against Denver when they disallowed a clear fumble by the Jackass’s at the goal line … that was the year it would have been snake vs. staubach in the Super Bowl

  • RAIDERDAVE68

    Oh yeah check post 401. Way off base!

  • ghosttothepost

    ok dave … gotcha … better late than never, huh … lol

  • http://blackhillsphoto.com/sturgis-weddings/black-hills-weddings.jpg Dakota

    The last jersey I ever purchased was a Nap Kauf.

  • RAIDERDAVE68

    lol! I know I was just skimming through posts and it caught my eye lmao!

  • ghosttothepost

    Nap Kauf could flat out fly for a RB .. he was kinda like CJ in Tenn.

  • BumpNRun

    Ghosttothepost Says:
    November 12th, 2010 at 12:41 pm
    but the 77-78 playoff game against the Colts was one for the ages — double OT I think — eight lead changes … bert jones vs. snake … classic

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

    Pops still talks about that game. In Baltimore, at the old stadium. Divisional playoff game.

    The Denver fumble at the goal line was clear as could be – a worse call than the Snow Job and Immaculate Reception put together…

  • ghosttothepost

    He quit in his prime to become a minister … wow

  • RAIDERDAVE68

    I was tired of reading the same stuff about campbell vs.grads debate.

  • ghosttothepost

    yeah Bump … it is probably the most underrated blown call in the history of football … it was completely friggin ridiculous … but never got that much ink

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

    # Bo Schembechler Jackson Says:
    November 12th, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    I can’t even understand your nonsensical rant MR.

    Fact: Al’s influence on Raider success is tied to his decision-making not his wardrobe. Deal with it.

    ……………

    I agree with you. But that’s not what Gus said last night. If you could pay attention, you would know that I was making the same point you just did in response to his point that Al wins with his war like antics. Give me a break.

  • RAIDERDAVE68

    Nap was faster and stronger than cj. He was the strongest player on the roster. He was in muscle and fitness magazine where he benched 640 pounds, he weighed 185.

  • ghosttothepost

    I agree Dave … neither one of the QBs is pro bowl material … let em both play … i dont’ care .. it’s not like we’re trying to decide between Stabler & Plunkett

  • Toyz

    So when the raiders win the AFC west who will be there first game against ?

  • ghosttothepost

    yeah dave, i forgot how strong dude was … he was a beast

  • RAIDERDAVE68

    New england probably

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

    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. My are we going to get it, thanks to fans like BumpNRun and Bo.

  • RAIDERDAVE68

    Obviously, its too early to tell.

  • RAIDERDAVE68

    Yeah , Nap was a freak!

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

    BumpNRun and Bo aren’t doing us any favors with their obnoxiousness. It won’t be forgotten by fans of other teams who read this blog when the Raiders are inevitably eliminated from contention (they’re not going to win the Super Bowl…), and they’re going to be crying the loudest when it’s time to pay the piper. “Leave Al alone”. “This is out best season in years”. Watch. There’s nothing wrong with being a Raider fan and humbling yourself, knowing we’re in an unique position and we should be grateful for it. They don’t understand that. They really think this is destiny. LOL.