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McFadden staying the course, remaining upbeat

By Steve Corkran
Monday, October 22nd, 2012 at 3:48 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Running back Darren McFadden isn’t one to blow his top when things aren’t working well, just as he isn’t going to sing his praises when things are rolling his way.
So it is that he plods along, working hard, remaining patient and sounding confident that his season-long funk running the ball is about to end at any time.
“I just have to stay focused at the task at hand, keep pushing,” McFadden said. “It’s one of those things where you can’t get down on yourself, can’t get down on the offense. Just keep playing ball and eventually it’s going to happen.”
But when? McFadden rushed 19 times for 53 yards (2.8-yard average) against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. Through six games, he has amassed only 324 yards on 103 carries (3.1).
Offensive coordinator Greg Knapp pleaded for patience a few weeks back. Coach Dennis Allen said he is committed to the run game and McFadden as the lead back.
“I’m disappointed that it’s not doing better,” Allen said. “Again, we’re going to continue to work, continue to see what we can do better, both as a coaching staff and how can we execute better to give our guys a chance to be successful. I don’t think there’s any doubt that we want, and need, to run the ball better than we have.”
To that end, McFadden says he watched the video of his runs each games, seeing if there are holes he is missing, blocks he isn’t reading properly, anything.
“You have to go back and look at it every time,” McFadden said. “You want to look at every run, so you can know what you did wrong or if you should have stayed with the hole or made an earlier cut. So, it’s one of those things you have to go back and re-evaluate yourself.”
McFadden rushed 46 times for 123 yards (2.7) in games against the Falcons and Jaguars, teams that allowed an average of 5.4 and 4.7, respectively, when the Raiders played them.
Allen said McFadden looks like the same player as the one that ripped through the league for most of the nine-plus games he played last season.
“Yeah, he does,” Allen said. “He’s still an explosive player. We’ve got to do a better job of creating some room for him to run. We’ve incorporated a few more of those gap scheme-type plays.”
Beyond that, Allen is like Knapp and McFadden in the belief that the short runs that have been the norm the first six games are about to turn into longer ones.
“You can say this on every play, but we’re one block here or one block there away from a big run,” Allen said. “Really, you go back and look at the Pittsburgh game and that was his best rushing output of the game. He had an explosive run. That’s how you get those big games.
“You have one or two explosive runs in a game and all of a sudden you look up and here’s a guy with a hundred-and-something yards rushing. So that’s what we’ve got to continue to do. We’ve got to continue to work in the running game and I feel that if we continue to hand the ball off to him, those big runs are going to come.”

– Six players suffered injuries against the Jaguars. The good news for the Raiders is, none is expected to miss any playing time, Allen said.
The six are: wide receiver Rod Streater (knee), defensive lineman Dave Tollefson (shoulder), linebacker Miles Burris (elbow), defensive end Desmond Bryant (elbow), linebacker Keenan Clayton (shoulder) and running back Mike Goodson (hip).
“Again, I don’t expect those to be anything that causes us to miss any time,” Allen said, “but (I’ll) have a better feel for that on Wednesday.”
The Raiders don’t practice again until Wednesday.

– Allen said he expects to get back tight end Richard Gordon (hamstring) this week. The same can’t be said of right offensive tackle Khalif Barnes (groin) and cornerback Shawntae Spencer (foot). Allen said it’s “doubtful” that either of them will be back this week.

– Linebacker Aaron Curry practiced Wednesday, Thursday and Friday last week in his return from the physically unable to perform list. It remains to be seen whether he can progress enough to be activated for the remainder of this season.
The Raiders are in the midst of a 21-day window for when they can evaluate Curry’s return from sore knees. They can activate him to the 53-man roster at any point. They have to activate him, waive him or place Curry on the injured-reserve list by the end of the three-week window.
“Still in the evaluation process,” Allen said. “We still got two more weeks to make a decision on him. At whatever point it is that we feel like he’s ready to go and can withstand the rigors of the National Football League game, then we’ll have him active and ready to roll.”
When asked the odds of that decision coming before the 21-day window expires, Allen said: “I don’t know. We’ll see how he works this week and what he looks like in practice. We’ll go from there.”
Curry has not spoken with the media since the Raiders shut him down during the offseason.

– Defensive back Michael Huff said he hasn’t been told whether he will return to free safety or remain at cornerback once Ron Bartell or Shawntae Spencer returns from injury.
“I just want to be on the field making plays,” Huff said. “I just want to be out there. It doesn’t matter. Whatever’s best for our defense, that’s what I’ll play.”
Former Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha was in the Bay Area over the weekend. He and Huff spent time together and the conversation soon turned to Huff’s play at cornerback the past four games.
“He told me he was impressed,” Huff said.
Huff said, in jest, that his play is more impressive because he doesn’t get to play man-to-man defense as often as Asomugha did during his eight years with the Raiders.
“We don’t have that defense anymore,” Huff said. “We don’t just press and play man every snap, so his takes don’t really apply right now. We allowed him to play man. He didn’t have to think, he didn’t have to do anything. He’ll probably get mad when he sees this but he knows he’s my guy.”

– Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel announced Brady Quinn as his starting quarterback for Sunday’s game against the Raiders. Allen spent last season around Quinn, when both were with the Denver Broncos.
Allen said he isn’t sure what the permanent change from Matt Cassel to Quinn means to the Chiefs, who are 1-5 and coming off a bye week.
“It depends,” Allen said. “That’s their team. I don’t know how they’ll respond to it. But, obviously, I don’t see them changing a whole lot as far as philosophically what they’re going to do on offense, the plays that they’re going to call and how they’re going to execute it.”
Quinn played in the Chiefs last game before the bye. He has completed 24 of 40 passes for 212 yards, with no touchdowns and two interceptions.
Allen said the video of that game is something the Raiders will pay close attention to, for sure.
“We have to go and look at the tape and look at what they’ve done up to this point,” Allen said. “Their last game, Brady Quinn was their quarterback, so we’ll have a feel for what they think they can do with him.”

– Burris said he still feels like a rookie, even though his play suggests otherwise.
For that, he credits fellow linebackers Rolando McClain and Curry to helping expedite his transition from college to the NFL.
“They’ve been awesome,” Burris said. “They’ve been a big part of my continued progress here. Helping me get lined up, helping me learn, helping me on techniques, not just the coaches, they’ve been great teachers in this process as well. A guy like Aaron Curry, too, not just in football, but he’s making sure I know when Bible studies are and he’s making sure I’m doing all right off the field. These guys are awesome.”
Once again, Allen walked away from another game impressed by Burris’ progression into a dependable player.
“Miles continues to get better every week,” Allen said. “Again, I’ve said it before, he’s the type of guy that we’re looking for here. He loves the game of football, plays extremely hard, eliminates the repeat mistakes and I’m pleased with the way that Miles Burris is playing.”

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  • tuckrulefool

    More Goodson/Jones…

    Enough already with the Jones doghouse shat….get him on the field. He is a sick weapon.

    As for DMAC PLEASE…PLEASE put him in space. Off tackle runs…24/7…Really?

    One thing I’m seeing and not liking with the Allen regime is this pigheadedness. See’s change as a weakenss.

    Slamming your head or DMAC’s for that matter repeatedly into a cement wall, WONT get you through it!

    Adapt before its too late Einstein!

  • Richraider

    why don’t the reporters in the bay area keep badgering dennis/reggie about Knapps offense??..You guys are so weak without any BALLS..Sad, give us the NY media

  • Raider guy

    Here are some questions to ask yourself
    Is the defense improving in the last two weeks?
    Have the raiders had two fourth quarter come backs down by ten?
    Do we have a qb who is in the top ten in the nfl?
    Are some of the personnel moves made showing results?
    Are we playing good enough to overcome some of the mistakes we make?

    The o needs to work more, but hard not to see some encouraging positives over the past two weeks…

  • Raider guy

    Gruden said something interesting during his game tonight:

    A zone blocking back has to run to the line, stop, and look for a cut back. That ain’t McFadden.

  • the_kid101

    Gdog Says:
    October 22nd, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    LOL, calm down my man. DMAC didn’t make anyone look like a fool under Hue. He barely gained 600 rushing yds for the season.
    >>>>

    Ask Denver and the Jets about this.

    330 of it were in those two games.

    He needs 4 or 5 games now to get that much. Every single player besides CP is playing WORSE on the offense this year, and people are trying to pretend its just a coincidence.

    Allen is busy trying to fix the defense, and the person he put in charge of the offense is a complete moron.
    ———-
    It’s not that Knapp is a complete moron, his play calling style is well known around the league and teams have been adjusting to us. And our coaches are too naive to realize they need to adjust to those adjustments.

    Thats all football is folks, a game of adjustments.

  • the_kid101

    we haven’t done a very good job of keeping opposing defenses off balance

  • the_kid101

    Raider guy Says:
    October 22nd, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Here are some questions to ask yourself
    Is the defense improving in the last two weeks?
    Have the raiders had two fourth quarter come backs down by ten?
    Do we have a qb who is in the top ten in the nfl?
    Are some of the personnel moves made showing results?
    Are we playing good enough to overcome some of the mistakes we make?

    The o needs to work more, but hard not to see some encouraging positives over the past two weeks…
    ——-
    Some good points…
    I don’t agree with your last premise though, I don’t believe we play well enough to overcome mistakes.
    Now, if we limited mistakes in the first place and played smart football we would def. buck the Raiders tradition.

  • fangsraiders

    Carolina Panthers FIRING their GM is going to make cam newtdumb intelligent! baaaaawaaahahahahaha!!!

  • RockyMountainRaider

    Am i the only scared were going up against Jamal Charles this week?

  • REALLIONAIREB

    I think we Charles under a 100!

  • tonedeezy

    our defense is solid.

  • tonedeezy

    offense…

  • wishbone

    The problem with McFadden is he goes down from the first hit. He doesn’t break tackles and he doesn’t run hard. He closes his eye and run up the back of his Oline. If there is a hole big enough to drive a truck through he is great. Watch the tapes.

  • snick187

    I dont see how every doesn’t realize the problem is not mcfadden. The problem is knapp. Look at the offense last season when McFadden was healthy. With Jason Campbell in They were a much better offense than they are now. Cable had to take over the play calling from Knapp the last time he was here. That says all you need to know about who or what the problem is. Hue had us in the right direction. Dennis Allen is just going to be a yes man. Thats what Reggie couldn’t handle from Hue. Reggie knew that Hue was Al’s man and Reggie wanted to change all that. We are still getting penalties and we suck even worse.

  • snick187

    The problem with McFadden is he goes down from the first hit. He doesn’t break tackles and he doesn’t run hard. He closes his eye and run up the back of his Oline. If there is a hole big enough to drive a truck through he is great. Watch the tapes.

    ==========================================

    You definitely aren’t watching. Mcfadden breaks plenty of tackles and runs people over. He is a monster. New zone blocking scheme doesnt let him do his thing.

  • snick187

    The play boook is so vanilla. Hue had us doing all types of trick plays and reverses and Mcfadden was even throwing the ball. No creativity in this offense. WHY DOESNT KNAPP USE MARCEL REESE. This guy is the X factor on the team.

  • RockyMountainRaider

    McFadden can say he loves the system or whatever he wants, but fact is when he steps on the field you can tell he dont have that same drive and passion he had years past. He was never that bad to be dropping balls and just running nonchalant. Personally i think he dont like the system or dont like one of his coaches he has that “IDGK” about him.

  • BumpNRun

    R8eray Says:
    October 22nd, 2012 at 4:19 pm
    round here, between Normandie and Western, we call this here a little twenty twen twen…

    ______________

    Give me a little for my cataracts.

  • BumpNRun

    Offensive line is the problem, not McFaddy. Palmer was pressured all day against a Carolina D-line that hadn’t done much until the Raider game.

    Officials bailed us out, for once – if we don’t get the roughing the passer call on 3rd and ten, or the pass interference call on 4th and ten, we lose.

    The O-line was good – better than anyone expected – the last couple of years. Hesitate to chalk it up to coaching, because we lost Satele, and have Mike “where’d he go?” Brisiel at right guard.

  • beach

    The defense is a little better now, and the offense a little worse. We miss Jacoby Ford badly as a return guy. Is Taiwan Jones a bust? I’ve been saying since before we let him go that it was a bad idea to let Michael Bush go. That’s my only complaint with Reggie so far.

  • beach

    That’s cool about Mark Davis at Rickey’s. Not to be mean, but that’s what I like about him as the owner. Al Davis didn’t give a damn about those of us who put money in his pocket and were/are the best fans of any team in any pro sport. The Raiders lost their mystique when Al left for LA. Al lost all my respect for him when he treated Marcus Allen the way he did. That was classy for Marcus to light the torch before the Steelers game. Big men are able to forgive others. Al was not the kind of man I look up to.