Raiders’ Darren McFadden, Maurice-Jones Drew attempt to turn back the clock

Filed for print . . .

Maurice Jones-Drew has a message for all the skeptics who doubt that he and Darren McFadden can erase two seasons of injury and ineffectiveness.

“Everybody can say what they want,’’ Jones-Drew said Tuesday as the Raiders began a three-day mandatory minicamp. “Just don’t be the same guy in a couple of months saying, `Oh, we knew they could do it.’ Hold yourself accountable like everyone holds us (accountable).’’

As recently as 2011, McFadden and Jones-Drew were considered among the top running backs in the NFL. McFadden was averaging 5.4 yards per carry when he went down with a Lisfranc injury to his foot. Jones-Drew had a career-high 1,606 yards rushing.

In 2012, Jones-Drew had a Lisfranc of his own and played in just six games, gaining 414 yards while McFadden was gaining 3.3 yards per carry as the Raiders switched to a zone scheme.

Last season was even worse. Jones-Drew averaged 3.4 yards per carry in 15 games, needing 234 carries to gain 803 yards. McFadden, even with a return to the power blocking scheme, again averaged 3.3 yards per carry in 10 games, again battling injuries.

Jacksonville made no effort to re-sign Jones-Drew, who led the franchise in rushing with 8,071 yards and touchdowns with 81. The Raiders brought McFadden back in part because they could get him at fraction of what he made in his first five seasons.

It isn’t often running backs with a handful of years in the league return to form once they fall to well under 4 yards per carry. There were whispers following the 1981 season Walter Payton was wearing after averaging 3.6 yards per carry, only to gain 7,707 yards over the next five seasons and powering his way to the Hall of Fame.

While no one is suggesting Jones-Drew and McFadden are Walter Payton, coach Dennis Allen likes what he sees through three weeks of organized team activities and a day of minicamp.

“When you watch ‘em practice, you see guys that still have explosion, guys that still have run skills, guys that still make people miss,’’ Allen said. “I don’t pay a lot of attention to what the statistics may say. I just see what I see with my eyes, and I see a copule of guys that if they can stay healthy, have the ability to perform at a high level.’’

McFadden said he and Jones-Drew have become good friends, but haven’t talked about their struggles over the past two seasons.

“It’s something that’s unspoken,’’ McFadden said. “We just go out there and play ball. We don’t think about what’s happened in the past. For me, the past is behind me. I don’t even care to even talk about it, really. I’m moving forward. The only place I can go is up.’’

Quarterback Matt Schaub said the real test will come in pads at training camp, but sees both running backs showing good burst in the open field. He likes their ability to pick up blitzing linebackers and also be explosive in the screen game.

“Just the way they complement each other is going to be a key to our success,’’ Schaub said.

— Before practice began, Allen had Raider legends Howie Long, Jim Plunkett, Raymond Chester and former coach Tom Flores say a few words to the team.

— Cornerback DJ Hayden remains out with a right ankle sprain but is expected to be ready for training camp. Allen conceded Hayden’s absence is a setback but “not the be-all and end-all.’’

Cornerback Carlos Rogers was also out with a calf injury, with Chimdi Chekwa working with the first unit alongside Tarell Brown.

Allen said the only player who probably won’t be ready for training camp is guard Lucas Nix, who he said had a “knee procedure’’ Tuesday.

— Rookie quarterback Derek Carr worked with the second team ahead of Matt McGloin and made some nice throws in what was generally a shaky day for the passing game s a whole.

— Miles Burris worked with the first team at weak side linebacker ahead of Sio Moore. Allen warned not to make too much of which players were first team, but did say Burris is completely healthy and has “put himself in the mix.’’

— Owner Mark Davis, who was not at any of the organized team activities over the past month, made his first appearance at practice since the rookie minicamp.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Raiders claim OT Emmett Cleary off waivers

    By Levi Damien

    on Jun 18 2014


  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Retweeted by Vic Tafur
    LB @46Mack finishes off the linebackers drill by picking up the loose ball #focused pic.twitter.com/4CqyQsSKIZ

    I thought you were supposed to fall on it.

  • that was back when nfl players smoked cigarettes on the side lines, and couldn’t bend ovah and pick something up in stride.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    We’ve seen that quest for glory go bad often. It’s beautiful when it works.
    Just give the ball to the O.

  • IVRaider

    My housemate is a huge Heat fan. I’m going to have to find a youtube clip of that.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    You live with RR?

  • Cork did the Raids have some sort of formal get together today?
    I heard some crazy dude at the bus stop going on about it.
    Care to shed any light on the subject?

  • _Mista_

    That was a muscle flex to the entire NBA not just Lebron Lames. Dont get your jersey all puffed up for nothing BIG guy,

  • TrevJo

    Depends on the situation

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Man. you’re always going to want pick it up and go.

  • the super genius dr robert

    6’7 324 24 yo

  • _Mista_

    Prob just has a RR Fathead on his ceiling.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Ya gotta take a look/see.

  • the super genius dr robert

    Beech hasn’t posted in three months.
    Kell has been gone for a long time.
    Riff hasn’t posted in two months.
    Missdick has only posted once in twelve days.
    Sevensuns hasn’t been seen in a long time.
    Return hasn’t been around.

    Happy days!

  • 1960AutumnWind

    Allen said he was outstanding… On PFT and CSNBAY, read much?

  • same weight as Veldheer, and inch shorter, 3 years younger, Big Mac has a plan, muhahahahaha,

  • _Mista_

    Good to know someone is keeping score.

  • RediaR

    New post silly pants

  • RediaR

    Yeah, I lost all of those passwords.

  • the super genius dr robert

    We did didn’t we?

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist


  • RediaR

    That’s what the tell the fatties.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Smother that rock.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    How new?

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    There was a time I wanted you on that list.

  • the super genius dr robert

    U were confusing me with the impostor.

  • rioderek

    Sounds like a Flynn repeat. Garbage vet comes in, and handed the starting job by DA. The old guy (garbage vet) proceeds to suck fresh out of the gate.

  • rioderek

    Matt Scrub is no Joe Montana.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist


  • Guest123


    Given the millions the club invested in veteran free agency, it is clear that the
    Raiders would love for Schaub to seize the starting quarterback role. McKenzie
    and Allen have each proclaimed him as the starter. Their rhetoric softened once
    successfully landing Carr in the second round after plenty of buzz linked them
    to the Fresno State star prior to the draft.

    The strong-armed Carr is a good schematic fit in Olson’s run-heavy, vertical-shot
    offense. It is a scheme similar to the pro-style attack Carr ran two years ago
    under Pat Hill, prior to adjusting to the spread attack Tim DeRuyter brought
    from Texas A&M to Fresno State that helped Carr lead the country in passing
    yardage (5,082) and touchdowns (50) in 2014.

    There were two primary knocks on Carr heading into the draft; both of which could
    prove silly in hindsight. For one, there was a perception that he, like older
    brother David, struggled with pressure in his face. While that may be true, it
    is worth noting that just one Fresno State offensive lineman was selected in
    the NFL draft during Derek’s three seasons as the starter and that the blocker
    picked – guard Andrew Jackson – wasn’t selected until the seventh round in
    2011. Further, the struggles that David endured after earning the No. 1 overall
    pick for Houston 12 years ago, could, in fact, prove a source of motivation and
    education for his younger brother.

    Boasting a higher upside than either Schaub or current No. 2 quarterback Matt McGloin, Carr could be on the fast-track to playing time in Oakland. Given the veteran
    talent surrounding him and his own undeniable talents, don’t be surprised when
    he seizes the opportunity and proves the young, franchise quarterback Raiders’
    fans have been dreaming of for years.

  • Guest123


  • Guest123

    Jerry McDonald@Jerrymcd · 7h

    Maybe not a big deal, but you wonder about veteran players . . . James Jones, out with hamstring and then shoulder injuries . .

  • Guest123

    I think Jerry makes a good point here. Jones is 30 yo and you have to consider the possibility that his body is breaking down. First the hammy and now a separated shoulder, which usually take anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks to heal. In any case, I think it’s foolish to carry only 5 WR’s this year. It’s been really popular to beat up on Denarius Moore lately, but I tell you we are going to need DMo’s production more than some folks think. Where’s all that talk about our WR being so deep and competitive? Practice #2 of mandatory camp they stunk up the joint.

  • Guest123

    Jerry McDonald@Jerrymcd · 7h

    By minicamp standards, a scuffle between LT Donald Penn and OLB Miles Burris was pretty intense. Took a lot of players to break it up.
    I’m warming up to Miles Burris. Little guy won’t back down from Tubby Penn, and competing to play with the ones. Bring it Miles!

  • Guest123

    33 yo DE Jason Babin cut by Jags. Started 16 games last year, had 7.5 sacks. Not that we couldn’t use a DE.

  • Raiderfusion

    You’ve got it wrong. Not Ubermensch, but Ubergoober. Such an uninformed opinion.

  • Raiderfusion

    You can crap all over Flynn all you want, but GB doesn’t make the playoffs last year w/o Flynn saving their ^sses.

  • És so fantastico día és be a Raderíos fan.

  • Tyler Angelica Miller

    I meant Burris with mack&Moore flanking him on the sides!!!