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It’s all ‘downhill’ for Raiders rushing attack

Here’s a story from beat writer Jerry McDonald about Raiders first-year offensive coordinator Greg Olson talking about how he intends to use running back Darren McFadden next season:

In an uphill climb toward respectability, the Raiders direction will be decidedly downhill.

Offensive coordinator Greg Olson made it clear Wednesday during a meet-and-greet with local media that his plans for running back Darren McFadden will include the kind of gap and power blocking schemes that made him one of the NFL’s most explosive running backs in 2010 and 2011.

McFadden fell to a career-low 3.3 yards per carry in 2012 under the zone scheme runs favored by offensive coordinator Greg Knapp, who was fired after the season.

“I’m not naive enough to believe it’s all Greg Knapp’s fault,” Olson said. “Certainly there are some things I hope I can bring to the table that will allow us to have

Oakland Raiders’ Darren McFadden (20) runs against the Kansas City Chiefs in the first quarter at the O.co Coliseum in Oakland, Calif. on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. (Nhat V. Meyer/Staff) success.”

Olson becomes the Raiders’ third offensive coordinator in three seasons. Head coach Hue Jackson served as the play-caller in 2011, but Knapp was hired after general manager Reggie McKenzie fired Jackson.

The Olson offense will look a lot more like the one Jackson installed as offensive coordinator in 2010.

“Coming in a year ago, they made a switch to a zone system,” Olson said. “I don’t know if you ever want to pigeonhole yourself that way and say, ‘That’s what we do.’ You may not be able to do that based on the players you have.”

Regarding McFadden, Olson said, “Maybe a year ago, they weren’t sure about that zone scheme. Now, after a year of having to look at it, maybe he is a downhill runner. So we’ll get back to some of the gap schemes and things he does well.”

Olson is also intrigued by fullback Marcel Reece. He sees Reece as versatile enough to be a third-down back and operate in a single-back offense and as a player to utilize for favorable matchups.

“I was pleasantly surprised watching the tape to see that in a lot of the downhill lead plays where you need a fullback in there, he wasn’t a big thumper type but he did go willingly and block some of those linebackers,” Olson said.

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Steve Corkran

  • Just Fire Baby

    Hue just couldn’t stand to have all that hope and promise go lost in the blink of an eye.

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

    Hindsight is 20/20, and clearly what the Bears did by just rolling with the backup seems like the better plan now.

    Think we gave up too much to get him, but I am not really “mad” at the trade.

    QB is sooooooo important, you got to keep firing bullets until you get one.

    Hence, why I like Geno at #3.

  • Gdog

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    February 15th, 2013 at 6:38 am

    National recognition!!!

    Am I famous?

    >>>>

    I dunno what you are thinking. Maybe you think you get paid by the post?

    All I know is you sure like the looks of your posts here… blog forum narcissism?

  • Just Fire Baby

    You know what they say about sentences that begin with “All I know is……”

  • hwnrdr

    Don’t remember where I heard this or seen this from, but is Dallas really considering trading up to #3?

  • nycraider

    Cant believe reggie gave branch a contract for 9.5 mil this year..wow..add that to the Seymour decision and he really made some rookie mistakes. hope he learned, he has alot to prove this year.

  • DJ Johnny

    IF Reggie were to opt for Geno at # 3 it his a HUGE risk for his entire career.

    Coming off of all the criticism of bad draft picks we’ve had under Al Davis if Geno were to bust and have a bad yr. Reggie is history.

    IF he were to do this, you do it to have Geno start day 1. If he’s good enough to draft at # 3 he’s good enought to start and will be expected to WIN…just like the other top QB draftees from last yr.

    When Reggie says he’s gonna build this “the right way” they better be darn sure that Geno is a franchise QB. There seems to be a lot of debate whether that’s true.

    As it stands right now, Geno is no slam dunk…or even close to the hype or expectation RG3 and Luck had.

    It could change as we go throught the combine and pro day of course, but here’s the thing. If the hype gets to fever pitch on him than KC is taking him anyway.

    I wouldn’t get too excited about getting him.

  • Marks hair

    Oh god why?

  • Just Fire Baby

    I don’t think KC wants a rookie with Reid, he will be looking for a vet or at least someone like Foles who he already worked with for one full season and training camp, etc.

    I see KC drafting Joeckel, and face-planting.

  • bcz24

    Actually Branch’s cap# this year is 10.9 mill. 6mil Salary 1.4 mill signing bonus 3.5 mill roster bonus. Branch may actually end up a cap casualty. It would only cost us 4.2 mil towards the cap to cut him, a 6.7 mill cap savings. Cut him and sign Laron Landry, who is seeking about 6 mill a year….

  • raiderfankirk

    Hell no to drafting geno. We already have two capable qbs. Palmer is way better than Dalton. Dalton is average on a good team.

  • Dakota

    The sky really is falling!

  • hwnrdr

    1011.Dakota Says:
    February 15th, 2013 at 7:31 am
    The sky really is falling!

    It fell already! What the heck…it was bound to happen

  • Just Fire Baby

    Dalton’s team was 4-12 the year before he got there.

    They drafted Green (stud) and Dalton, and got crap else the rest of the draft besides an average guard who started 3 games.

    They added Bruce Gradkowski, Thomas Howard and Pacman Jones in FA. Leon Hall missed almost half the season.

    I am not seeing much roster turnover from one year to the next. Some 2nd year guys did emerge, I will cede that.

  • DIRT-LOT FOOTBALL

    POST-1006,WELL SAID..

  • Marks hair

    Id guess its
    1. Smith
    2. Joeckel

  • Just Fire Baby

    IF Reggie were to opt for Geno at # 3 it his a HUGE risk for his entire career.

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

    I would say it is even riskier to pay a 33 year old QB fresh off a 4-12 season, $13 million a year.

    If the Raiders pay Carson that, and go along the lines of 4-12 to 6-10 again, Reggie will probably be fired.

    If he goes the same record, with a rookie QB who shows a tad of promise, he probably won’t be.

  • Marks hair

    1009. Thats what id like to do

  • R8ER MIKE

    GOOD MORNING NATION!!!
    and my GreenParty brothers !!

  • hwnrdr

    1018.R8ER MIKE Says:
    February 15th, 2013 at 7:49 am
    GOOD MORNING NATION!!!
    and my GreenParty brothers !!

    What’s up Mike?

  • R8ER MIKE

    same ole dog poop Hwnrdr.
    hows life in sunny California this morning ?

  • bcz24

    I am not seeing much roster turnover from one year to the next. Some 2nd year guys did emerge, I will cede that.
    ****************
    2010 Bengals: Total Defense 16th, Scoring defense 23rd, Pass defense 14th, Rush defense 19th, Sacks 27th

    2011 Bengals: Total Defense 7th, Rush Defense 10th, Scoring defense 9th, pass defense 9th, sacks 5th

    You see… their defense DRASTICALLY improved from 2010 to 2011… bigger difference in their improvement that just getting rid of Carson Palmer if you ask me.

  • http://profootballtalk.com Raideraholic (AKAHairyBush)

    tottaly off subject but that meteor hitting in russia is scary stuff!

  • hwnrdr

    It is sunny finally here in the Bay! LOL…all good though bro! 3 day weekend coming up…gonna enjoy it!!!

  • Marks hair

    Dump branch kelly cp3 dhb seymour slowlando huff and lech.. lets go get clowney.

  • SR Raider

    Palmer vs. Pryor vs. Gino. Hmmm. Don’t see any of them getting more than 6 wins next year. Gino is probably the best long-term, but we gotta get the d-line fixed first. Oh yeah and the little thing about having no CB’s.

    At least it’ll be a nice sunny day in Alameda, and the niners still lost the SB. Not all bad.

  • Marks hair

    It flew past russia. But the shock wave injured like 600 ppl. A giant should pass by in a day or 2 I believe. And another giant flew between us and the moon on December 12th.

  • Just Fire Baby

    You see… their defense DRASTICALLY improved from 2010 to 2011… bigger difference in their improvement that just getting rid of Carson Palmer if you ask me.

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

    Never said it was all on Carson, but maybe the defense was a little more stoked since their new QB cut his turnovers almost in half from the previous guy.

  • Chris in NY

    MY MOCK DRAFT:

    Note – Trade down to mid-1st, maybe StL if Joeckel’s there; Pick up additional 2nd + 4th

    1. ALEX OKAFOR, DE, TEXAS, 6-5, 260
    Strengths (via NFLDraftScout.com): Displays strong hand play, chopping away at his opponents’ attempts to get their hands on his chest or using an effective arm-over swim move to slip by them. High-revving motor. Arrived at the Senior Bowl leaner. Good overall athlete. Most impressive attribute is his power. Okafor can knock opponents onto their heels on his way to the quarterback and also sets the edge nicely as a run defender. Okafor’s ability to make plays against the run and pass makes him arguably the most well-rounded senior defensive end in the country.

    2) TRAVIS KELCE, TE, CINCINNATI, 6-5, 260
    Strengths: Balanced athlete with better wheels than expected, accelerating quickly to top speed. Deceiving quickness after the catch with loose hips and a fluid and flexible frame. Smooth and patient in his routes to release and gain separation. Catches the ball with his hands and does a nice job working back to the ball. Strong hands at the point of attack as a blocker and plays with a mean streak to eliminate defenders. Aggressive and feisty blocker who loves to finish, showing good awareness in this area to pick up his assignment and block anyone around him. Led the Bearcats in receiving in 2012 and more than tripled his career production. Works hard in the weight room and plays with NFL intensity. NFL bloodlines as the younger brother of Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce.

    3) JON BOSTIC, MLB, FLORIDA, 6-1, 246
    Instinctive, physical football player who doesn’t back down from a challenge. Reads the action well and is faster to the ball than he might appear on the track. Closes with aggression, bringing his hips and driving through the ball-carrier to flash the ability to make the big hit. Seems to enjoy the physicality of the game, rushing to take on fullbacks and pulling linemen. Does a nice job of keeping square and taking on blocks aggressively, rarely losing ground. Slides off blocks to make the tackle if the ball-carrier gets close. Good strength for the drag down tackle. Keeps his eyes on the quarterback when dropping into coverage and shows some understanding of route development, slipping into holes to thwart passing opportunities. Good ball skills for the position. Times his blitzes well. Natural special teams candidate due to his aggression, physicality. Vocal team leader.

    4) TYRANN MATHIEU, CB, LSU, 5-9, 180
    Strengths: Plays bigger than his size. Doesn’t back from the physical challenge of lining up opposite taller wideouts and is actually more effective the closer he is to the line of scrimmage, demonstrating stellar instincts and awareness to avoid blocks and make plays in close quarters. Possesses excellent lateral agility and acceleration which gives him the ability to close quickly on the ball. Is a tenacious defender with strong, active hands to rip the ball away. Excellent ball skills. Minimizes his natural height disadvantage by timing his leap well in jump-ball situations and competing throughout the catch process, ripping away at the ball as he and the intended receiver are descending. Naturally plucks the ball out of the air and secures it quickly. Tracks the ball well over his shoulder. Quick feet, fluid hips and a legitimate second gear make him very effective in coverage, especially on shorter routes. Dynamic returner with a flair for the dramatic. Has demonstrated the ability to play well on the big stage against elite competition.

    4) ACE SANDERS, WR, SOUTH CAROLINA, 5-8, 176
    Strengths: Extremely dangerous with the ball in his hands. Possesses excellent stop-start quickness and lateral agility to elude making him a nightmare to tackle in the open field. Explosive initial acceleration. Excellent vision and feel for setting up his blocks. Patient, creative runner who is always a threat to go back against the grain. Good straight-line speed and shows a late burst to pull away. Shows the ability to pluck the ball from outside of his frame. Tracks the ball well over his shoulder and shows good hand-eye coordination and timing to make the diving grab. Good toughness and concentration to handle slot responsibilities. Fights through arm tackles and is tough to tackle due to his naturally low center of gravity. Doesn’t back down to the size and physicality over the middle. Good bloodlines; son of former NFL defensive back Tracy Sanders.

    6) RICK WAGNER, OT, WISCONSIN, 6-6, 310
    Strengths: Naturally large man with the long-limbs (33 1/2″ arms) scouts are looking for at tackle. Flashes good initial quickness and gains good depth on his kick-slide when in pass protection. Best attribute might be his quickness and technique as a run blocker. Quick enough to turn and seal off defenders, creating large rushing lanes and can be a imposing force when releasing to the second level. Has seen starting action at both left and right tackle. Signed with Wisconsin as a walk-on and is therefore used to having to prove himself. Showed his toughness in 2012, missing limited time to a knee injury and competing at the Senior Bowl, as well.
    Film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfTIrb3AQjM

    7) MESHAK WILLIAMS, DE, KANSAS STATE, 6-2, 250
    Analysis: DE Meshak Williams disrupted opponents like no other Kansas State defender. He ranked second in the Big 12 with 8 1/2 sacks and forced three fumbles. The senior has steadily become more of a factor off the edge with each game, using his active playing style to get past blockers and blow up the backfield.
    Williams has good initial burst off the snap and closes quickly in pursuit, recognizing run or pass. Listed at just 6-3 and 245 pounds, he lacks an ideal frame, but does a nice job using his limbs to take on blocks and use different arm and hand techniques to get past the initial blocker to be a factor in the play. Williams will be a candidate to be a stand-up rush linebacker at the next level, but he plays a tad tight when asked to drop and play in space.

    7) SEAN RENFREE, QB, DUKE, 6-4, 225
    Analysis: Renfree is a traditional drop back passer and looks the part with a tall, filled out frame. He has a strong arm to easily make all the throws and does a nice job working through his progressions to find the open target. Renfree shows excellent chemistry with his receivers and is a confident thrower, never appearing shy to take chances downfield. And it won’t hurt that his collegiate head coach is the same offensive mind that mentored Peyton and Eli Manning.
    Latest news: When Duke quarterback Sean Renfree was hit as he threw his final collegiate pass, which resulted in an interception, he stayed down on the field for a few minutes. He went straight from Bank of America Stadium to a hospital, and Friday afternoon Duke announced he had undergone successful surgery on his torn right pectoralis major muscle, the biggest chest muscle.
    While he is expected to make a full recovery, that process will take about six months. That means the redshirt senior won’t compete in any pre-NFL Draft workouts, which makes the chances he will be drafted extremely slim.
    Duke head coach David Cutcliffe spent several minutes with Renfree and his father after Duke’s 48-34 loss to Cincinnati in the Belk Bowl. When Cutcliffe met with the media, he said Renfree’s work ethic matched that of his most famous prot??g??s, Peyton and Eli Manning. “Anybody in the national football league or collegiately that does not want Sean Renfree in their locker room would be out of their mind.”
    Renfree set several Belk Bowl records in his final college game, including pass attempts (49), completions (37) and passing yards (358). For his career, Renfree finished 898-of-1,389 for 9,465 yards with 51 touchdowns and 40 interceptions. He is the most accurate passer in Duke history.

    Note: Posted this earlier with YouTube highlights of most of these guys, but it got rejected because of those links. But they’re out there for most of these guys except for Bostic and the two 7th rounders.

  • DJ Johnny

    1016.Just Fire Baby Says:
    February 15th, 2013 at 7:45 am
    IF Reggie were to opt for Geno at # 3 it his a HUGE risk for his entire career.

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

    I would say it is even riskier to pay a 33 year old QB fresh off a 4-12 season, $13 million a year.

    If the Raiders pay Carson that, and go along the lines of 4-12 to 6-10 again, Reggie will probably be fired.

    If he goes the same record, with a rookie QB who shows a tad of promise, he probably won’t be.


    I mean in terms of how Reggie is judged. Nobody’s gonna fault Reggie keeping Palmer (media etc.) when Reggie was left with him from previous regime and they gave up so much for him. Any new GM will be more judged on how he drafts and the players he acquires once he takes over. In other words, Palmer is not on Reggie per se in the perception, at least not as much as his first ever 1st rd. selection would be.

    To bust on yet another high 1st round pick would be yet another huge hit to the organization and to Reggie building it “the right way” as he says.

  • DutchRaider77

    1021.bcz24 Says:
    February 15th, 2013 at 7:57 am
    I am not seeing much roster turnover from one year to the next. Some 2nd year guys did emerge, I will cede that.
    ****************
    2010 Bengals: Total Defense 16th, Scoring defense 23rd, Pass defense 14th, Rush defense 19th, Sacks 27th

    2011 Bengals: Total Defense 7th, Rush Defense 10th, Scoring defense 9th, pass defense 9th, sacks 5th

    You see… their defense DRASTICALLY improved from 2010 to 2011… bigger difference in their improvement that just getting rid of Carson Palmer if you ask me.

    _________________________________________________

    That A.J Green guy is pretty good too! I mean he isn’t in the same class of receivers as DHB, but he is pretty good.

  • Dakota

    1022.Raideraholic (AKAHairyBush) Says:
    February 15th, 2013 at 7:58 am
    tottaly off subject but that meteor hitting in russia is scary stuff!

    ___________________

    Breaking News:

    Barry Soetoro, aka Bar@ck Ob@ma, was seen this morning in prostration performing S@lah in the White House Rose Garden and a short time later he was seen running down Pennsylvania Avenue yelling out that he is a citizen of Keny@.

    Is there something about this oncoming asteroid that Washington D.C. isn’t telling us?

  • DJ Johnny

    Hypothetically, how good would a Geno Smith make us right away?

    If you say “not that great cuz our roster sucks” than you’re acknowledging that Palmer did not have much to work with in 2012.

  • DutchRaider77

    1031.Dakota Says:
    February 15th, 2013 at 8:25 am
    1022.Raideraholic (AKAHairyBush) Says:
    February 15th, 2013 at 7:58 am
    tottaly off subject but that meteor hitting in russia is scary stuff!

    ___________________

    Breaking News:

    Barry Soetoro, aka Bar@ck Ob@ma, was seen this morning in prostration performing S@lah in the White House Rose Garden and a short time later he was seen running down Pennsylvania Avenue yelling out that he is a citizen of Keny@.

    Is there something about this oncoming asteroid that Washington D.C. isn’t telling us?

    ________________________________________________

    I forget, why does Raider O call you “white Devil” again?

  • DJ Johnny

    …figure in that we now forego getting the stud d-lineman in lieu of Geno and only some marginal free agent talent.

  • Dakota

    1026.Marks hair Says:
    February 15th, 2013 at 8:10 am
    It flew past russia. But the shock wave injured like 600 ppl. A giant should pass by in a day or 2 I believe. And another giant flew between us and the moon on December 12th.

    ++++++

    2012DA14 is to fly by us in a few hours…will only miss us by about 15K miles….the moon is 240K miles away from us, so that shows how close this thing really will be to us…..maybe Earth’s gravity will grab it and suck it right back at us?

    Woot!

  • hwnrdr

    LOL, Dam Dakota…

  • Just Fire Baby

    Whoever is the QB, will increase our win total from last year.

  • DutchRaider77

    @Just Fire Baby
    Can you recommend any betting sites where I can lay some money down that the asteroid will hit?

  • Just Fire Baby

    Nobody’s gonna fault Reggie keeping Palmer (media etc.) when Reggie was left with him from previous regime and they gave up so much for him.

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

    Really?

    I have ALREADY heard media pundits heckle us, and thus him, for last season with Carson.

    ANOTHER year with Carson with less than 8 wins and Reggie will be the laughinstock of the NFL.

  • Dakota

    The meteorite that passed over Russia was only the size of a kitchen table, and look at the damage it caused….2012DA14 is the size of an Olympic swimming pool….so just imagine the damage that would do….and we are depending on the same guys who messed up the metric conversion that resulted in the destruction of a $125 million dollar Mars orbiter to be the ones who are claiming that we are all safe…..food for thought.

  • R8ER MIKE

    maybe Earth’s gravity will grab it and suck it right back at us?
    ******************
    there is no gravity… earth sucks !! lol lol

  • Purvisman/Intrepid/Eternal Optimist

    Horrible Bosses: Bengals’ Mike Brown
    Originally Published: August 17, 2011
    By Rick Reilly | ESPN.com
    Rick Reilly is the 11-time National Sportswriter of the Year.

    In this episode of “Horrible Bosses,” we feature the owner of the Cincinnati Bengals, Mike Brown, and his mission to make everybody who works for him wish they had become podiatrists instead.

    Brown’s football career peaked upon birth. He was born the son of legendary football genius Paul Brown and has done zilch to remind anybody of him since.

    Here’s how bad it is working for Brown: His best and most honorable player, Pro Bowl quarterback Carson Palmer, is vowing to walk away from $46 million rather than work another day in Brown’s prison stripes.

    “Carson just finally got fed up,” says a close friend of Palmer. “He’s just sick of the same 5,000 mistakes the franchise repeats every year. He’s tired of wallowing in mediocrity. He won’t ever talk about it, but that’s how he feels. He’s a very tolerant guy, but when he gets pushed over the line, he gets mad and doesn’t go back. He’d love to play, he’s dying to play, but he’s never going to play there.”

    Yes, Palmer has four years left on his nine-year, $118 million deal. You signed the contract, you say. Live up to it. In fact, that’s what Brown has said. “He gave his word. … He’s going to walk away from his commitment. We aren’t going to reward him for doing
    it.”

    Palmer, meanwhile, has left large portions of his body on the field for Brown. His nasty ACL and MCL tear in a 2006 playoff game, his ripped elbow in ’08. He’s worked alongside fools and pretenders, and all under an owner who could make the ’72 Dolphins mediocre. And he’s done it all without a single discouraging word about an owner who invented discouragement.

    Of course, Brown has made such a vomitorium out of this team that, if he gave into Palmer now, he might open Pandora’s box. He’d have a line down the hall and all the way to Starbucks of guys who want out.

    But Brown is a hypocrite. He has cut hundreds of players before their contract was up and given them nothing. Why should Palmer live up to a deal that works only one way? If Palmer should suddenly go blind, would Brown still give him the money? Are you kidding? Brown is cheaper than your local Goodwill.

    http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/id/6866409/horrible-bosses-cincinnati-bengals-owner-mike-brown

  • DutchRaider77

    1040.Dakota Says:
    February 15th, 2013 at 8:38 am
    The meteorite that passed over Russia was only the size of a kitchen table, and look at the damage it caused….2012DA14 is the size of an Olympic swimming pool….so just imagine the damage that would do….and we are depending on the same guys who messed up the metric conversion that resulted in the destruction of a $125 million dollar Mars orbiter to be the ones who are claiming that we are all safe…..food for thought.

    ______________________________________________________

    I am reading the Dead Man’s Hand, cold war stories…I was just thinking if the metorite hit 30 years it couple have started a nuclear holocaust.

  • Just Fire Baby

    LOL at “nobody’s going to fault Reggie”.

    Newsflash, Mark Davis has already flirted with hiring a boss for Reggie, thus reducing his power.

    Another sub-par season, and Reggie is toast.

  • Marks hair

    We bomb ppl so much russia imediatly blamed the us calling it a secret weapon..

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    The world is going to end.
    Burn as many trees as you can!!!!

    Good morning Nation and Green Party.
    Good day Mr. ODB.

  • Purvisman/Intrepid/Eternal Optimist

    DutchRaider77 Says:
    I forget, why does Raider O call you “white Devil” again?
    ===================================================

    Ran out of monkey adjectives.

  • Marks hair

    I heard da14 will fly closer than some of our satellites. It could wipe out a few. Or just hit us.. their predictions are always off.

  • SR Raider

    Raider O Says:
    February 15th, 2013 at 8:42 am
    The world is going to end.
    Burn as many trees as you can!!!!
    ============

    I might burn a bush or two in a minute…

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    I forget, why does Raider O call you “white Devil” again?
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Because he is White and he is a devil. lol