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Turbin worth a look if Bush walks

Note: Meant to post this yesterday before signing off for a week but was derailed by a Southwest Airlines WiFi that was slower then the early days of dial-up . . .

The vibe I’m getting is that the Raiders have zero intention of franchising leading rusher Michael Bush, given their commitment to a normal salary structure and the presence of strong safety Tyvon Branch also as an unrestricted free agent. Coach Dennis Allen has talked up Darren McFadden, which means he’s the feature back, and there’s no way the Raiders commit more than $7 million to a complementary back.

And that’s probably what Bush is. He did an admirable job taking over when McFadden’s mid-foot sprain derailed his season, with one of the best games any Raiders’ running back (Marcus, Bo, Napoleon Kaufman, you name it) has ever had again the San Diego Chargers. While it’s conceivable Bush numbers tailed off toward the end of the season because the Raiders became more predictable or the line wasn’t blocking as well, the fact is it happened.

So maybe it’s possible other teams see this during the free agency period and Bush comes back at a reasonable price if there is no big bounty to be had. Usually, however, one of 31 teams will ante up.

If so, keep the name Robert Turbin in mind. He was the subject of my Monday story in Bay Area News Group papers and is a Bay Area product who has flown under the radar after helping two institutions without much of a reputation for football success into winners. He did it at Fremont’s Irvington High School, a perennial also-ran which won a league title and in consecutive years advanced to the North Coast Section finals and semifinals.

Turbin did it at Utah State, which went 7-6 in his junior year _ the first winning season for the school since 1993. After missing the previous season with a torn ACL, Turbin was the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year after rushing for 1,517 yards and 19 touchdowns. Check him out on YouTube and you’ll find him leveling some tacklers and breaking into the open field and finishing some long runs as well. He can catch out of the backfield or downfield. He can block, and at 5-foot-10, 220 pounds has been called the best built back in the draft outside of Alabama’s Trent Richardson.

His high school coach, Bob Spain, called coaching Turbin a “once in a lifetime” experience and said, “he’s what happens when genetics meets work ethic.”

Despite his breakaway runs, which indicates he is faster on game day than in a track setup, Turbin’s 40-yard dash time was a concern. It’s not any longer, as he ran a respectable 4.5 flat at the combine. Whether that puts Turbin out of reach for the Raiders remains to be seen. They’ll pick No. 97 at the earliest after supplemental picks are awarded at the NFL owner’s meetings next month.

If Bush moves on, it seems awfully risky to leave their running game in the hands of McFadden and Taiwan Jones, given their recent injury history. As Allen noted, offensive coordinator Greg Knapp has gotten a lot of yards out of a lot of different runners with different styles.

Turbin is confident _ “A lot of people compare me to Marshall Faulk and Steven Jackson” _ without being cocky. He’s engaging and earnest, a player Spain said never took a day off and lifted the play of everyone around him. He was such a devastating defensive player in high school he was the MVAL defensive player of the year as a junior and Spain advised him to take a scholarship offer to Boise State to be a safety. That means he’d probably be a beast on special teams, a role Turbin said he would love.

The NFL is full of mid-round running backs who flourish in the right system. Keep in mind Bush was a fourth-round pick because of a severely broken ankle at Louisville.

Turbin could end up being that kind of story for somebody.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • raiderzmaverick

    Knapp said. “I’m excited to get back with him. He really fits our run scheme well, as far as the zone scheme which I’ll be implementing with our coaches. That’s a great starting point for me.”

    This worries me. McFadden looked lost when trying to run in that scheme. He was uncomfortable and hesitant resulting in a blade of grass being able to tackle him if it hit his shoe string.

    Both Bush and Fargas looked like better runners than him.

    Then they’re talking about Palmer’s athleticism and how he’ll be a perfect fit in the West Coast Offense and I go..”oooh, noooooo! We had something good going on Offense! Don’t change EVERYTHING!”

  • Marks hair

    246. Nice

  • DutchRaider77

    229.YoungAmerican Says:
    February 27th, 2012 at 12:31 pm
    Who cares if the picks are nothing more than gambles?

    ————

    Relying on McFadden to produce on the field is a gamble. And it’s not even a safe bet, considering the nature of the injuries he’s had thus far in his career.

    The chances of a second round pick being a solid contributor are higher than the chances of McFadden playing for an entire season.

    +++++++++++++

    You don’t give up on young superstars for “solid contributors” this early on.

    ___________________________________________________

    Agree, but the only way is “if” he did not want to be here anymore. No evidence to this, but this is one reason would give up on a “young superstars for ‘solid contributors’ this early on.”

  • Dakota

    251.raiderzmaverick Says:
    February 27th, 2012 at 12:42 pm
    Knapp said. “I’m excited to get back with him. He really fits our run scheme well, as far as the zone scheme which I’ll be implementing with our coaches. That’s a great starting point for me.”

    This worries me. McFadden looked lost when trying to run in that scheme. He was uncomfortable and hesitant resulting in a blade of grass being able to tackle him if it hit his shoe string.

    Both Bush and Fargas looked like better runners than him.

    Then they’re talking about Palmer’s athleticism and how he’ll be a perfect fit in the West Coast Offense and I go..”oooh, noooooo! We had something good going on Offense! Don’t change EVERYTHING!”
    +++++++++++++++++

    Wait and see if it works. McFadden was only given about 7 carries a game when we had that system. No RB can get going with only 7 sporadic carries per game.

    Plus we had Tom Cable calling plays…..

  • Dakota

    251.raiderzmaverick Says:
    February 27th, 2012 at 12:42 pm
    Knapp said. “I’m excited to get back with him. He really fits our run scheme well, as far as the zone scheme which I’ll be implementing with our coaches. That’s a great starting point for me.”

    This worries me. McFadden looked lost when trying to run in that scheme. He was uncomfortable and hesitant resulting in a blade of grass being able to tackle him if it hit his shoe string.

    Both Bush and Fargas looked like better runners than him.

    Then they’re talking about Palmer’s athleticism and how he’ll be a perfect fit in the West Coast Offense and I go..”oooh, noooooo! We had something good going on Offense! Don’t change EVERYTHING!”
    +++++++++++++++++

    Wait and see if it works. McFadden was only given about 7 carries a game when we had that system. No RB can get going with only 7 sporadic carries per game.

    Plus we had Tom Cable calling plays…..

  • YoungAmerican

    If we keep McFadden we win big.

    ——————–

    “We” do? McFadden sure helped the Raiders down the stretch last season, didn’t he?

    McFadden sure helped the Raiders overcome elite defenses like the Steelers, Ravens, Colts, Texans, Patriots, and Ravens, didn’t he?

  • RaiderLen

    Afternoon Fellas,

    Dakota… list?

    Keep McFadden.

    Not willing to kick him to the curb…yet.

    This season will tell us all that we need to know moving forward.

  • Marks hair

    Lets say you get a 2nd rd pick for Dmac. Then what? I hope mm34 part 2 works out.. We dont get wiznewskies every day..

  • BewareofRaiders

    Would be a good idea to get Turbin if bush walks. Or maybe tolbert if turbin is not available

  • bcz24

    No, I wouldn’t, even if that did somehow happen. The Raiders have many needs, and a part-time superstar running back isn’t one of them.

    And “young superstars” are on the field, contributing in games that matter.
    *********************
    The reason I disagree with you is, if we are willing to cut bait and trade McFadden that will be a sure red flag to other teams that his latest injury is far more severe than anyone thinks. That and his overall injury history will hurt his trade value, and I don’t think we can get fair trade for him. I’m sorry but ONE second round pick (if you can even get that much, which I doubt) is not worth it in my opinion. To me that is like pulling a concrete plug out of one hole in the dam and using a cotton ball to plug another hole.

  • Dakota

    256.YoungAmerican Says:
    February 27th, 2012 at 12:45 pm
    If we keep McFadden we win big.

    ——————–

    “We” do? McFadden sure helped the Raiders down the stretch last season, didn’t he?

    McFadden sure helped the Raiders overcome elite defenses like the Steelers, Ravens, Colts, Texans, Patriots, and Ravens, didn’t he?
    ++++++++++++++

    I’ll bet you were pretty quiet about McFadden the 23 games prior to McFadden’s injury when he was dominating weren’t you?

    Whaaaaah.

  • Just Win Baby

    McFragile won’t start 6 games next season unless they use complimentary backs to relieve him more often. I forsee a backfield by committee approach by the offense next season. Even then, it’s a crapshoot whether he will stay healthy.

  • YoungAmerican

    The reason I disagree with you is, if we are willing to cut bait and trade McFadden that will be a sure red flag to other teams that his latest injury is far more severe than anyone thinks. That and his overall injury history will hurt his trade value, and I don’t think we can get fair trade for him. I’m sorry but ONE second round pick (if you can even get that much, which I doubt) is not worth it in my opinion. To me that is like pulling a concrete plug out of one hole in the dam and using a cotton ball to plug another hole.

    ———————–

    I get the sentiment. I just don’t think a part-time RB is going to be that hard to replace. If McFadden had anything in common with concrete, the Raiders wouldn’t be in this situation.

    Hopefully the Raiders can manage to restructure his contract because $5 million is too much, and his cap hit is HUGE.

    Again, I think the only way the Raiders should trade McFadden is if they can get multiple picks for him, one of them being a high-rounder. I can guarantee that one team would be enamored with his potential enough to consider that deal.

    Personally? I would never draft a RB in the first round, unless literally every other position on the roster was rock solid. And I sure as hell wouldn’t pay a RB $5 million per season, especially if the team is already $11 million over the cap.

  • bcz24

    McFadden sure helped the Raiders overcome elite defenses like the Steelers, Ravens, Colts, Texans, Patriots, and Ravens, didn’t he?
    ****************
    Nope, neither did anyone else on the roster… cut or trade all of them because we didn’t beat the Ravens?

    McFadden played those teams when our offense was 1 dimensional, now that we have a bonified passing threat with Palmer and the recievers playing MUCH better it won’t be so easy to shut him down.

  • YoungAmerican

    I’ll bet you were pretty quiet about McFadden the 23 games prior to McFadden’s injury when he was dominating weren’t you?

    Whaaaaah.

    ——————-

    When was he dominating? Good defenses have always kept him in check. Even some not-so-good defenses have (see: 2010 Texans and Colts). That’s what happens to any running back, even the elite ones. Running backs don’t take over games anymore, especially not against good defenses or team that can put up points.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Thx Bcz.

  • bcz24

    Hopefully the Raiders can manage to restructure his contract because $5 million is too much, and his cap hit is HUGE.
    *******
    His cap hit is only 6.7 mill. Hardly ‘huge’ but I hear ya, thing is, the only way that deal changes is if it gets extended

  • Marks hair

    Lol. The reasons ppl give for trading Dmac is that we can win without him.. brilliant

  • YoungAmerican

    bcz24 Says:
    February 27th, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    McFadden sure helped the Raiders overcome elite defenses like the Steelers, Ravens, Colts, Texans, Patriots, and Ravens, didn’t he?
    ****************
    Nope, neither did anyone else on the roster… cut or trade all of them because we didn’t beat the Ravens?

    McFadden played those teams when our offense was 1 dimensional, now that we have a bonified passing threat with Palmer and the recievers playing MUCH better it won’t be so easy to shut him down.

    ———————

    I’m just saying that McFadden isn’t the superhero that some here make him out to be.

    Again – no running back is as valuable as people here seem to think McFadden is.

  • RaiderLen

    When was he dominating? Good defenses have always kept him in check. Even some not-so-good defenses have (see: 2010 Texans and Colts). That’s what happens to any running back, even the elite ones. Running backs don’t take over games anymore, especially not against good defenses or team that can put up points.
    ———————-
    When I think of McFadden, I see a guy that can run inside, outside, and take it to the house on any play.

    What is overlooked, by some, is his ability in the pass game, where he has been under utilized.

    McFadden has mad skills in both areas.

    The challenge is to balance those skill in meaningful ways that max put his production, and keep Him on the field.

  • Marks hair

    268 cant win without him..

  • RaiderLen

    Butchered the last post. Max out production.

  • lefty12

    Again – no running back is as valuable as people here seem to think McFadden is.
    ==========================================
    Very true.However,we couldn’t get proper value for him in a trade and his salary isn’t that out of line.We have many other greater concerns than Darren McFadden.

  • Marks hair

    I know people are used to al davis, but this is how it will work now.. We will keep the good players and ax the bad ones.. And the best producers will get paid.

  • R8ER MIKE

    only one sure way we trade McFadden
    if i buy his jersey, he is as good as gone !! lol lol lol

  • RaidO

    251. Fit the run scheme?. Yeah dmac has already said he does not like the run zone scheme. It was said when hue took over. Knapp is cluelesss. It shows the disconnect of forcing a system on players it does not fit. Just like i figured.

  • YoungAmerican

    I’d take 4 mid/late-round or UDFA running backs with varying skills sets who can share the load over one Darren McFadden ANY day of the week.

    The reason that the Raiders’ running game faltered down the stretch last season was not lack of McFadden. It was the lack of any running back besides Michael Bush, who has NEVER been a 30+ snap player, and yet was on the field for almost every offensive snap by the end of the season. He’s an inside runner almost exclusively, too. Not an off-tackle or perimeter guy.

    You don’t have to break bank to get guy who can open up your playbook at let you run some outside running plays, especially if he’s going to be in rotation. But the Raiders didn’t do that. They just waited for McFadden or Jones to be healthy. Terrible roster management.

  • RaiderLen

    Terrible roster management.
    ——————–
    True.

    Regarding DMAC/ Bush and the 4 back rotation.

    McFadden, because He can run inside, outside and catch the ball all over the field, allows for greater flexibility on ANY play in the book, and gives no “tell” info to the D based upon the “package” trotted in on a specific play.

  • J Hill

    Where are all the roster cuts you guys were predicting?

    Huge changes coming, I was told.

    Are the Raiders screwing with these guys until the last minute? Stan Routt got a jump on things and was able to secure a decent contract because he was cut early on. Why is he the only one who got some “love” in that regard?

  • lefty12

    YA-you seem to blame the players for the terrible management by the previous HC.The problem was no backup plan in case he couldn’t go.The thing to do is formulate a better plan for when and if your lead RB goes down.As you say,you can fill that need with a low rd,undrafted,lowly paid backup.What is wrong with having both?

  • RaiderLen

    J Hill Says:
    February 27th, 2012 at 1:10 pm
    Where are all the roster cuts you guys were predicting?

    Huge changes coming, I was told.

    Are the Raiders screwing with these guys until the last minute? Stan Routt got a jump on things and was able to secure a decent contract because he was cut early on. Why is he the only one who got some “love” in that regard?
    ———————-
    I think some of the “love” is on the horizon. lol

  • Marks hair

    Well it will be easy to get a 4th rd rb.. They get cut all the time.

  • Marks hair

    if we had a team full of dmac talents we would win it all. if we had a pile of late picks we would stink..

  • raiderzmaverick

    Supporting evidence in the belief that Knapp installing his preferred offsense and trying to “fit the players to it” will be detremental:
    From NBC Sports:
    Darren McFadden never flourished under former coach Tom Cable’s zone-blocking scheme, only emerging once Hue Jackson molded the offense to his strengths. ESPN’s John Clayton suggests the Raiders will have to decide whether to re-sign free agent Michael Bush or trade McFadden this offseason. Knapp has been a decidedly run-heavy play-caller, though it’s odd that the Raiders are now installing an offense that won’t cater to the skills of its most dynamic players.

  • raiderzmaverick

    ESPN:
    The Raiders are planning to move back to a zone-blocking scheme. However, McFadden appeared to be more comfortable as a power runner. Allen said new Oakland offensive coordinator Greg Knapp — who was Oakland’s coordinator in McFadden’s first NFL season in 2008 — will put McFadden in position to be successful. (later Knapp said in his interview that he thinks McFadden will fit perfectly in his Zone Blocking Scheme he’s implementing)

  • lefty12

    You don’t trade your quality players.You get better players behind them so if something does happen to them you don’t throw in a Blackstone.

  • raiderzmaverick

    The Huddle:
    Allen said that McFadden is now healthy and will be ready for training camp. There have been doubts as to whether McFadden will be successful in the team’s zone-blocking scheme.

  • RaiderLen

    DMAC is a Pro.

    Dude has worked to get better every year.

    His “upright” running is a thing of the past…thanks …K Skipper.

    He acknowledged last camp that he’d altered his diet.

    Smart hardworking coach able Guy…with huge talent.

    I don’t trade Him unless someone blows me away.

    Injuries happen.

    Of the games missed in 4 seasons, 47% happened last year.

  • Silverandblack666

    You guys are out of touch if you think that Knapp is going to come in here and force a system on a group of players that will to fit into his system.

    Lets be real for a RB, a hole to run through is a hole, no matter how it was created, zone blocking or power blocking. The only difference is in zone blocking scheme you take one cut and head up field, no dancing.

    Why is that so hard for a RB to figure out. Its not you are all blowing it out of proportion.

  • lefty12

    If he is the RB everyone claims he is he should be successful behind any scheme.

  • RaiderLen

    Lefty12 Says:
    February 27th, 2012 at 1:23 pm
    You don’t trade your quality players.You get better players behind them so if something does happen to them you don’t throw in a Blackstone.
    ————————
    100% Lefty

  • raiderzmaverick

    Fantasy Sports:
    Fantasy Spin: McFadden is an elite athlete, but his running skills are really not best-suited for a zone-blocking system, and also has a terrible track record with durability so far in his young career.

  • Silverandblack666

    Still babbling about trading McFadden I see.

    Let me spell it out for you all.

    If we trade McFadden we are saying that its rebuilding time and we will not compete for a couple of years.

    If we keep McFadden then it shows that our coaches and front office feel like we can contend for an AFC west title next year and in 2013.

  • RaiderLen

    Lefty12 Says:
    February 27th, 2012 at 1:25 pm
    If he is the RB everyone claims he is he should be successful behind any scheme.
    ——————-
    Knapp said what he liked about DMAC is that He is a one cut runner, and gets North / South fast.

    I agree with that assessment.

    Bush dances more than DMAC for crying out loud.

  • raiderzmaverick

    Silverandblack666 Says:
    February 27th, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    You guys are out of touch if you think that Knapp is going to come in here and force a system on a group of players that will to fit into his system.

    Lets be real for a RB, a hole to run through is a hole, no matter how it was created, zone blocking or power blocking. The only difference is in zone blocking scheme you take one cut and head up field, no dancing.

    Why is that so hard for a RB to figure out. Its not you are all blowing it out of proportion.
    ======================
    Because, the first two years McFadden averaged only 3.94 yards per carry. That was under the Zone Blocking Scheme that “Any running back can handle” being run by Knapp the 1st year and Cable the 2nd year.

    The next 2 years under the Power scheme run by Hue Jackson and Al Saunders he averaged 5.3 yards per carry.

    What other difference is there? Not health. He actually played in a little bit less games the last 2 years. Try to remember McFadden of 3 and 4 years ago.

  • Silverandblack666

    “Fantasy Sports:
    Fantasy Spin: McFadden is an elite athlete, but his running skills are really not best-suited for a zone-blocking system, and also has a terrible track record with durability so far in his young career.”

    Please explain in detail what that means. Why is he not as effective in a zone blocking scheme why is he effective in power blocking scheme, show real reasons as to why or why not. lets not just regurgitate what some derelict sports writer is telling you and run with it as there has to be a valid reason to support such theories.

  • RaiderLen

    Bottom line…

    McFadden jumps out on film…in a good way.

    GM’s and coaches are reluctant to get rid of these types of players.

    Injuries or not.

  • Silverandblack666

    “Knapp said what he liked about DMAC is that He is a one cut runner, and gets North / South fast.

    I agree with that assessment.

    Bush dances more than DMAC for crying out loud.”

    This is an exact example right here people!!!!!

  • Ricochet

    Hi

    I remember me? I never really left of course, Im on here enticing the unwary into giving me what I pathetically depsperately crave the most and never got from my Mom ATTENTION!

    Its clear I have no life whatsoever thats why I jump around on here as RealMaddenRaider,Sullivan,Hardline and 1,000 other BS names becfause i;m sick really.

    Its a cry for help. Really, spending so much time being an unrelenting a hole isn’t healthy at all but in a way, its its own reward and really, this miserable life is mostly what I deserve.

    Just wish I realied its all a choice. I can focus on the negative and ugly and it is ugly, or I can focus on positives.

    Until i learn this I’ll just keep on being one of the worst forms of life on the planet. No, not a Broncos fan, an internet troll.

  • raiderzmaverick

    Silverandblack666 Says:
    February 27th, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    You guys are out of touch if you think that Knapp is going to come in here and force a system on a group of players that will to fit into his system.
    ==================
    I hope you’re right – but I haven’t seen Knapp adjust recently at all. He’s stuck with what he knew and when he hasn’t had the right personnel to run that system he’s struggled.

    From Knapp’s own mouth today in an interview
    “I was here last in 2008, and Darren McFadden was a rookie that year,” Knapp said. “I’m excited to get back with him. He really fits our run scheme well, as far as the zone scheme which I’ll be implementing with our coaches.”