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View Full Version : Darren McFadden, what are the expectations?


MarioPalmer
01-30-2009, 01:25 AM
Darren McFadden was hyped up to be the cross between Adrian Peterson and Reggie Bush. A very versatile running back that would give the Raiders a certified offensive playmaker to help JaMarcus Russell and the rest of the young Raider offense progress.

McFadden ended the year with a solid statistical accumulation for a rookie RB.

Darren McFadden 2008 Rookie Year: 13 Games Played
Rushing Stats: 113 ATT, 499 YDS, 4 TD, 4.4 AVG, 3 FUM, 1 Lost Fumble
Receiving Stats: 29 REC, 285 YDS, 0 TD, 9.8 AVG

Games Over 100 Yards Rushing: 1 (Week 2 Win @ Kansas City)
Games Over 50 Yards Rushing: 1 (Week 2 Win @ Kansas City)
Games Under 40 Yards Rushing: 7

Games Over 15 Attempts Rushing: 1
Games Over 10 Attempts Rushing: 4

Best Game: Week 2 @ Kansas City
Week 2 Rushing Stats: 21 ATT, 164 YDS, 1 TD, 7.8 AVG, 2 FUM, 1 Lost Fumble
Week 2 Receiving Stats: 1 REC, 9 YDS, 0 TD, 9 AVG

Worst Game(s): Week 4 versus San Diego
Week 4 Rushing Stats: 7 ATT. 20 YDS, 0 TD, 2.9 AVG
Week 4 Receiving Stats: 2 REC, 17 YDS, 0 TD, 8.5 AVG

Week 13 versus Kansas City
Week 13 Rushing Stats: 7 ATT, 13 YDS, 0 TD, 1.9 AVG, 1 FUM
Week 13 Receiving Stats: 3 REC, 50 YDS, 0 TD, 16.7 AVG

Games Inactive Due To Injury: 3

With what we saw from McFadden in his rookie year, is it too early to say that we should be disappointed by his performance because of the lack of talent and continuity from the Oakland coaching staff and offense? I still have high hopes for McFadden, but is he, or better yet, was he over valued at the #5 Overall Pick in the 2008 NFL Draft?

From what I gathered and from what I noticed watching the Raiders this past year was the inability to spread the field and keep the opposing defense from dropping 8 men in the box. Because of the non receiving threats that the Raiders have it made it almost impossible for the running game to ever gain real ground. Even Justin Fargas, who was Oakland’s leading rusher from the year before, only gained 100 yards in just one game. The offensive line definitely has something to do with the inability of McFadden and Fargas having a significant impact in the running game.

Some pieces of the offensive line I was particularly pleased with tough. I do like the fact that Robert Gallery has found a home at Left Guard. I think it better suits him to play a position that keeps him from facing speed rushers coming off the edge and just dealing with power tackles with brute force. It also keeps him from having to move backwards because he had major problems with his foot work when going up against outside pass rushers. I was also pleased a bit with Jake Grove. He’s a vet that knows the position on and has a good understanding of the NFL game. I also like Mario Henderson at ORT no at the OLT spot. I think when the Raiders draft in this upcoming Aprils draft they must take a legit top end OLT like Michael Oher, Jason Smith, Eugene Monroe or Andre Smith. Mario Henderson to me, reminds me of a poor mans Alex Barron. A long, lengthy and athletic tackle who has the physical ability to play the right side as well as the left, but might be better served to be a starter on the right.

As for McFadden, I think the talent is there, but his passion and leadership has to be on front street this upcoming year. Most elite runners break out during their second season because they have become more acclimated to the NFL speed and schemes. He also needs to step his game up because this 2009 season is the big one for fellow former 1rst rounder, JaMarcus Russell. Russell will be on the hot seat this upcoming year and will be expected to make huge strides in his progression and he needs every bit of help he can get from McFadden, Fargas and Zach Miller. He needs his playmakers to be on the field and making plays for him.

I really like McFadden’s speed and noise for the end zone. I love his athleticism and his excellent ability to make something out of nothing. But he must learn something that other fellow high hyped runners haven’t learned like Reggie Bush, and that’s that in the NFL every one has speed, so you need to know when to be patient and when to turn on the boosters. He needs to be lethal in space and take advantage of it when there is an opportunity to exploit the other team. I also believe that the new coaching staff must make him a much bigger part of the offense and use him 50/50 with Justin Fargas. Most importantly though, is McFadden must be in that state of mind that he is a beast and not afraid of injuries and play through small nagging ones. There is nothing worst then runner that won’t play hurt. It just doesn’t cut it in the NFL.

I’m going to be very interested in how he performs this upcoming year and to see if he can help Russell progress and make the necessary strides that he must make. I’m also interested in how will the Raiders build their franchise with their 3 consecutive top 10 NFL Draft pick. I believe they must go left tackle. There will be one of the elite four there for them to take and if Michael Crabtree isn’t there then it makes it a no brainer. Them taking a legit left tackles gives them the ability to kill two birds with one stone. Protect Russell’s blind side with a nasty, athletic and talented tackle, along with opening up running lanes with a beast of a mauler, especially if the pick is Michael Oher or Andre Smith. But certainly the Raiders have to improve this year, it’s would be a huge embarrassment if they didn’t and then once again picking in the top 10 of the 2010 NFL Draft.

CashmoneyDrew
01-30-2009, 01:32 AM
It's not his fault they aren't giving him the rock. Even if they did he's not running behind a line even close to the talent of the Vikings like Adrian Peterson. The Raiders should just trade Bush or preferably Fargas because there's no point in keeping all three. McFadden will live up to expectations IMO. He just needs some more carries and a couple of improvements on the line in front of him.

BuddyCHRIST
01-30-2009, 01:35 AM
Geez that was indepth.

Anyways, He may have only missed 3 games due to injury but he was very limited in many more than that. A Toe injury is a very tough injury to play with especially for a RB, so the fact that he didn't blow up is forgiven.

I had him as the number 1 prospect last year, and I think he'll come around for sure. Oakland is a bad place for offensive players right now, but I think with some stability with the coaching staff they will pick things up this year if they get a good WR. Which will definitely open things up for McFadden.

But Oakland's backfield is really talented so it will be interesting to see if they split the carries or if someone really separates themselves.

I think he'll improve alot next year, and I wouldn't be surprised if the Raiders outplay expectations (though i thought that this year). I'll predict a 1000 yard season, with atleast one game where he really blows up. I'd go higher but the Raiders do have 3 RB's.

giantsfan
01-30-2009, 01:54 AM
I still thinking he's going to be AD good.

MarioPalmer
01-30-2009, 01:56 AM
A couple of things I would like to add also. If the Raiders can make some smart moves during this off-season they can really make some noise during the 2009 season. Will they make the plaoffs? Probably not, but at least they can be competitive.

A few moves I owuld like them to make:

2009 NFL Draft:
1rst Pick: Michael Oher or Andre Smith if they aren't there, then Eugene Monroe

2nd Pick: Parcy Harvin or Darius Heyward-Bey, both can give the Raiders what DeSean Jackson, Donnie Avery and Eddie Royal all gave their respective squads and thats a legit vertical threat that also can take a short pass for a long gain. They are speedsters and both Bey and Harvin could give the Raiders and more importantly Russell playmakers on the wings.

Free Ageny:

Buy T.J. Houshmandzadeh. T.J. can give Russell a big, smart and sure handed target to throw too. T.J. is an excellent red zone threat and doesn't have problems catching passes from a flame thrower. He runs excellent routes and would give the Raiders real vet who is proven yet young enough to still have very productive years ahead of him. He would also compliment a receiver like Bey and Harvin perfectly.

Trades: I think a very under rated move would be to trade for a veteren player on offense. Say someone like Tory Holt. Holt has just abou trun out of patience with the St.Louis Rams and the team has issues paying a player that kind of money who has obviously passed his prime. But Holt would be an excellent tool to have for a young growing offense. I wouldn't give up a 1rst, 2nd or 3rd for him, because he is not worth that, but I htink if you were to draft Bey or Harvin and buy T.J. a guy like Holt could be an instant leader and a terrific influence on the youngsters. He has done wonders for Donnie Avery this past season and I think that he could do the same for the youngsters like Harvin and Bey. Also, Holt as a 3rd receiver or a slot receiver is pure gold. He is sure handed and runs perfect routes and he has also learned how to make the best out of his diminishing physucal abilities. He's elite in exploiting zone coverage and knows the weak spots by just glancing at the defensive formations.

The Raiders have options, but they need to do this right. With playmakers like McFadden, Fargas, Miller and Russell they have the building blocks to build upon. But they need to do it right and build corectly and not be the Detroit Lions of earlier this decade when they brought in a young QB.

giantsfan
01-30-2009, 01:57 AM
Geez that was indepth.

Anyways, He may have only missed 3 games due to injury but he was very limited in many more than that. A Toe injury is a very tough injury to play with especially for a RB, so the fact that he didn't blow up is forgiven.

I had him as the number 1 prospect last year, and I think he'll come around for sure. Oakland is a bad place for offensive players right now, but I think with some stability with the coaching staff they will pick things up this year if they get a good WR. Which will definitely open things up for McFadden.

But Oakland's backfield is really talented so it will be interesting to see if they split the carries or if someone really separates themselves.

I think he'll improve alot next year, and I wouldn't be surprised if the Raiders outplay expectations (though i thought that this year). I'll predict a 1000 yard season, with atleast one game where he really blows up. I'd go higher but the Raiders do have 3 RB's.

It's the splitting of carries which will really hurt his stats, but I do see him having a few games where Fargas or Bush is out and the other one's banged up so they lean a little heavy on DMC and he goes apeshit on some team.

MarioPalmer
01-30-2009, 02:02 AM
It's the splitting of carries which will really hurt his stats, but I do see him having a few games where Fargas or Bush is out and the other one's banged up so they lean a little heavy on DMC and he goes apeshit on some team.

Well the game against the Chiefs in week 2 was exactly what McFadden is capable of doing. Yes, that was against the horrid KC Chiefs, but he still showed what kind of potential he is working with and that was only his 2nd career game.

That game showed what kind of elite talent he is, now if they can just draw up a game plan that would benefit him as well as Fargas and Russell. They need a very smart, yet resourceful cordinator to work with these young men, because they, Raiders staff, need to remember that these guys are still very young and inexperienced and they need to develope them slowly and correctly.

MetSox17
01-30-2009, 10:31 AM
I think Mario Palmer wins, by far, the competition of "Number of text-characters per post".

As for the thread, i think it's way too early to make any type of assumption on how McFadden's career will play out. Next year, with more experience for Russell, hopefully an actual WR starting, and maybe a bit of an improvement to the offensive line, we can see McFadden show what he's capable of. Until then, i'll reserve judgment.

Kurve
01-30-2009, 12:08 PM
DMAC was lingering with a turf toe injury after the second game against the chiefs and right when he was getting better he suffered another turf toe injury on his other toe which was crippling for a rb and his progress lack of being in practice and in the game plan from game to game. Now to put it in perspective Game 2 fargas got hurt in the first half and with a about full half of time dmac ran over 160yards and td thats with the rest of the running team for the raiders running for about 140yards. Next year many will see what dmac is about i plan releasing or trading fargas and keep dmac and bush and be similar to what the titans were this year.

rockio42
01-30-2009, 12:12 PM
Jesus Christ Mario Palmer, when was the last time someone didn't have to scroll down to read one of your posts, your writing is sheer amazing

on the actual point...

great job collecting those stats, I think a big tell about McFadden though (and a genious stat to put up) is his comparison between his two KC games, such a huge differance

Menardo75
01-30-2009, 12:51 PM
I never read any of his posts.

With that said, McFadden needs to get healthy and get a majority of the carries in Oakland. When he does that I think he will be one of the elites.

Gay Ork Wang
01-30-2009, 01:27 PM
He needs to hold on to the ball more. He hardly had 3 Fumbles. CJ, Forte and Slaton had 4 combined

RaiderNation
01-30-2009, 11:38 PM
He would have been in the top 5 in rookie yards if he wasnt hurt and that depth we have at RB. As of now, I dont see him being a guy who can carry his team on his back 30 times a game. But we need to use this guy as much as possible. Hopefully we throw it to him more. If we can get 20 touches a game threw the air and ground, and also giving Bush(maybe Fargas if we keep him) 15 touches to pound it inside.

MarioPalmer
01-30-2009, 11:47 PM
DMAC was lingering with a turf toe injury after the second game against the chiefs and right when he was getting better he suffered another turf toe injury on his other toe which was crippling for a rb and his progress lack of being in practice and in the game plan from game to game. Now to put it in perspective Game 2 fargas got hurt in the first half and with a about full half of time dmac ran over 160yards and td thats with the rest of the running team for the raiders running for about 140yards. Next year many will see what dmac is about i plan releasing or trading fargas and keep dmac and bush and be similar to what the titans were this year.

It would be aweful for the Raiders to just release Fargas out right. He has some value of you decide to trade him. I think a team like the Chiefs, Houston, Chicago, Buffalo and San Francisco would all gladly give up a 4th or 5th rounder for him. Michael Bush has some of the best potential on the Raiders, but he needs to show consistency and I think that he will given a full year of being healthy and being involved in the game plan.

I never read any of his posts.


Thanks for the props, glad to see that you know who I am and have never even seen your name before nor have ever heard of you. Thanks for being the only douche in the thread, next time just pass on by and don't comment if all your going to do is try to insult the original poster, especially if that author put some effort into his thread and not just add to the lump of crap that is written every day that holds no substance what so ever.

MarioPalmer
01-30-2009, 11:54 PM
He would have been in the top 5 in rookie yards if he wasnt hurt and that depth we have at RB. As of now, I dont see him being a guy who can carry his team on his back 30 times a game. But we need to use this guy as much as possible. Hopefully we throw it to him more. If we can get 20 touches a game threw the air and ground, and also giving Bush(maybe Fargas if we keep him) 15 touches to pound it inside.

Obviously McFadden has potential and you saw in his game against the Chiefs. The power, speed and agility is all there. But his health needs to be worked on. If I'm the Raiders, I would put him through an extremely competitive strength and conditioning program in the next coming months to get his body and mind prepared for the long season.

With that said, McFadden seems to be a bigger Brain Westbrook with the cabability of being a power back when called upon. If they can devise a scheme for him to be used the same wat and then use Bush as their main short yardage and main grind it out type runner. They can potentialy have a very potent duo at running back.

Another issue I have with the Raiders is if they decide to pass on a Left Tackle in the first and go say, Jeremy Maclin will that hurt the progress of both McFadden and Russell? As much as I know that having a legit receiver on the wing is important to a young QB, having a franchise OLT is even more so. So what would be the back up plan if they decided to go all flash in the 1rst round and not brute strength?

CashmoneyDrew
01-30-2009, 11:58 PM
Thanks for the props, glad to see that you know who I am and have never even seen your name before nor have ever heard of you. Thanks for being the only douche in the thread, next time just pass on by and don't comment if all your going to do is try to insult the original poster, especially if that author put some effort into his thread and not just add to the lump of crap that is written every day that holds no substance what so ever.

Calm down. He only said that cause the person before you was talking about how long your posts are in general. Not their exact content.

Chillax. You know? Like chill and relax at the same time.

Zyro_1014
01-31-2009, 12:04 AM
Calm down. He only said that cause the person before you was talking about how long your posts are in general. Not their exact content.

Chillax. You know? Like chill and relax at the same time.

i agree, taking things a little too seriously man.

you did well...dont worry about it. **** lol

BamaFalcon59
01-31-2009, 12:35 AM
Was he hurt when Bernard Pollard caught him from behind in the Chiefs game?

He runs a 4.2/4.3, Pollard runs a 4.5. I'm just making sure he was suffering from turf toe.

I think he will be a very, very good runningback.

giantsfan
01-31-2009, 12:43 AM
WTF would the bills want Fargas? Beast-mode and Action Jackson are a great duo.

Paranoidmoonduck
01-31-2009, 01:12 AM
McFadden isn't going to be like any running back in the NFL right now. He's definitely not as strong as an Adrian Peterson and he often has trouble breaking tackles. He's not as shifty as Brian Westbrook and doesn't break guys down very well in the open field.

What he does do is get from point A to point B as quickly as any runner in the NFL (including Chris Johnson). It's great fun to watch him him a spot of open space, because he just starts moving faster than everyone else. He showed decent inside running skills, but I imagine that Bush will get the majority of inside carries next year. Oakland needs to get better about putting him in space, but the fact that Oakland kept Cable and the pure ZBS scheme is huge. McFadden's best chance of being a great runner in the NFL is in this scheme. The counter run behind Robert Gallery's sealing of the lane was a great weapon last season.

As to what to expect, that depends on a lot. How will McFadden develop (I imagine his frame has some room to grow) and how will that Raider offense progress? Can he stay healthy this time? I just know it's one of the things I'm watching very closely.

LonghornsLegend
01-31-2009, 04:32 PM
What he does do is get from point A to point B as quickly as any runner in the NFL (including Chris Johnson).

How would you know this? It's not like CJ didn't have a much faster 40 time and looks just as fast on the field, if not alot faster then McFadden...I agree with most of your assessment but I've have a hard time believing this after seeing the way CJ hits holes.


His huge pre-season run vs the Rams at the beginning of the season showed what kind of true speed he had.

Loggerhead
01-31-2009, 10:55 PM
I think D-Mac gets 150-200 carries for 675-900 yds for 4.5 ypc in a best case scenario. He is obviously not going to get the lion's share of the carries on the Raiders, however I think he will be used as a homerun threat similar to Felix Jones of the Cowboys. I think next year he gets 10-12 carries per game then becomes the starter in yr 3. Right now though I think you settle for him showing explosiveness as a runner while he learns how to do the little things like pass block, run good routes etc.

Abaddon
02-01-2009, 10:29 PM
Nobody with a brain in their head compared McFadden to Peterson. The only thing they have in common is timed speed. That's it.

He's not nearly the receiver that Reggie Bush is, nor can he be trusted to return kicks (He fumbled a LOT trying to be a return man in college).

My expectations, pre-draft, were Clinton Portis Lite (More like the Denver years than those in Washington) as the best case scenario. Now, my expectations are leaning more toward my worst case scenario: A HB that struggles to stay healthy, is a poor inside runner, and whose presence on the field tips our hand with regards to what sort of play we're going to call.

I said he was a bad (dumb) pick a year ago. You don't draft a RB that high unless he's a freak like AD or LT, which McFadden is not. You don't draft a gimmick offense player that high, which he is. Taking a RB who can't do anything between the tackles pretty much guarantees that you're going to need a starting caliber RB to pair him with. Why spend a top 5 pick on a guy who can't be a featured runner? Makes no sense.

If Cable, or whoever calls plays next season, stops trying to pound this skinny legged bean pole inside, we may be able to get some value out of him. But he'll never be half the player that Adrian Peterson is. Quite frankly, he'll never be as good as Michael Bush, in my personal opinion.

Abaddon
02-01-2009, 10:32 PM
With all that being said, the OP is exactly right that our lack of a passing game and our marginal at best offensive line puts our ground game at a distinct disadvantage. Fates willing, we'll add 2-3 new starting OLs and find a decent target for the Big Dummy to throw to and he'll actually manage to hit him. That can only help.

Abaddon
02-01-2009, 10:38 PM
He's definitely not as strong as an Adrian Peterson and he often has trouble breaking tackles. He's not as shifty as Brian Westbrook and doesn't break guys down very well in the open field.

...the fact that Oakland kept Cable and the pure ZBS scheme is huge. McFadden's best chance of being a great runner in the NFL is in this scheme.

Completely agree.