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Old 04-28-2008, 06:14 PM    (permalink
RaiderNation
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Default McFadden Reports

http://origin.mercurynews.com/sports/ci_9081474

First-round draft pick Darren McFadden wasted little time in checking out his new workplace.

He arrived in Oakland on Saturday night, caught up on his sleep and arrived at team headquarters in Alameda on Sunday afternoon for his first look around since the Raiders made him the fourth pick in the NFL draft.

McFadden met with Raiders front-office people, then spoke to Bay Area media, accompanied by his agent, Ian Greengross.

McFadden is counting on Greengross to help make sure he doesn't wind up a training camp no-show, the way Raiders top pick JaMarcus Russell was last year.

Russell missed all of training camp and the first week of the regular season before he signed a contract. He spent the rest of the season catching up on the time he missed and started only one game.

"It's very important," McFadden said of reporting to camp on time. "I want to be out there playing. I don't want to be sitting back, I want to be out there learning. The more time you miss, the less chance you have of playing. I want to be out there, so I'll let my agent take care of that, and I feel like he's going to get it done for me."

McFadden has been compared to New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush and Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.

He had this to say about his style of play: "A lot of backs may be smaller with speed, but I feel like I'm a big back with speed. I feel like I can bring back to the Raider Nation a big player.

It's something the coaches talked about with me; (the thing) they said they're missing from their offense was the ability to make big plays."
The Raiders selected running back Michael Bush with the first pick of the fourth round (No. 100 overall) last year. Coincidentally, they moved up to No. 100 on Sunday and selected Connecticut cornerback Tyvon Branch.

In another twist, the Raiders traded veteran cornerback Fabian Washington for a fourth-round pick. Last year, the Raiders traded veteran wide receiver Randy Moss on the second day of the draft for a fourth-round pick.

The Raiders hope the Washington trade works out better than the Moss trade. Moss caught an NFL-record 23 touchdown passes for the New England Patriots and helped them advance to the Super Bowl.

The Raiders drafted cornerback John Bowie with the pick they received for Moss. Bowie appeared in two games and recorded one tackle.

The Raiders selected Connecticut wide receiver Arman Shields with the fourth-rounder they netted for Washington. Shields is fresh off a knee injury his senior season but is viewed as an intriguing prospect because of his speed and leaping ability.

In May 2005, Branch and four Connecticut teammates were arrested for an incident in which the driver's side of a vehicle driven by a 55-year-old woman was shot out by a pellet gun.

Branch and the four other suspects fled the scene in a sport-utility vehicle, according to a police report.

All five were charged with possession of a weapon in a motor vehicle. They were released after posting a $750 bond.

Branch reportedly drove the getaway vehicle. He was granted accelerated rehabilitation for his role and performed 50 hours of community service.

He called the incident "a minor character flaw," in an interview with the Connecticut Post. "That was my only incident, really. I've got a lot of people to vouch for my character."

On Sunday, Branch said the Raiders didn't seem too concerned about his past.

"They never really asked me much about it," he said in a conference call. "Character is real big. It's a mistake. I learned from it. I bounced back. I graduated early, so it really didn't affect me much."

The Raiders will conduct their first mini-camp May 9-11. Only rookies and players without any accrued time will attend.
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Old 04-29-2008, 02:20 PM    (permalink
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Interesting to hear some of Warren Sapp's thoughts on the drafting of McFadden, as well as head coach Lane Kiffin and Rob Ryan's defense among other things.
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