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Darren McFadden “making cuts at full speed”

Darren McFadden Pic Getty Images

Raiders running back Darren McFadden was on pace for over 2,000 all-purpose yards and 14 touchdowns entering the Week Seven game in which he suffered a Lisfranc sprain in his right foot last year.

The injury proved season-ending, even though McFadden was never placed on injured reserve.

Raiders rookie coach Dennis Allen stated early last month that McFadden was “back and ready to go” for 2012, and running backs coach Kelly Skipper gave a more detailed account of McFadden’s progress over the weekend.

“The thing about Darren is, he didn’t have any major surgeries,” explained Skipper, per Steve Corkran of theĀ Oakland Tribune. “So he’s able to come back here healthy and he’s playing at a high level right now and it’s offseason. So, that’s a good thing.

“… He’s out here. You would never know he got hurt. He’s making cuts at full speed, everything.”

The Raiders need a healthy McFadden to stay competitive on the scoreboard while new coordinator Greg Knapp overhauls the offense. Knapp is installing a West Coast-style passing game with a zone-blocking scheme up front.

Oakland’s offseason actions indicate that the organization is counting on a big year from its mega-talented, if star-crossed tailback. 2011 fill-in Michael Bush exited in free agency, leaving slight scatback Taiwan Jones and fumble-prone former Carolina Panther Mike Goodson as the top reserves behind McFadden.

Free agent Cedric Benson is believed to be interested in joining the Raiders, but the feeling doesn’t seem to be mutual.

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24 Responses to “Darren McFadden “making cuts at full speed””
  1. yelix says: May 13, 2012 9:17 PM

    He’ll be awesome in the 6 or 7 games he plays this year.

  2. detroitrollin22 says: May 13, 2012 9:24 PM

    DMC could be a top 5 RB in the NFL if he could ever stay on the field.

  3. rundmc20 says: May 13, 2012 9:34 PM

    An absolute beast when healthy, never seen such a violent runner. I hope they get his foot thing straightend out this year. How DMC goes the Raiders will go you just can’t replace this guys production.

  4. mullman7675 says: May 13, 2012 9:36 PM

    The injury to McFadden was the single biggest reason that the RAIDERS missed the playoffs last year, plain and simple. The Campbell/Palmer experiment did not help, but a healthy McFadden would have helped to overcome the transition. Bush did well to fill in, but a healthy McFadden can not be replaced. A healthy Darren = 2012 AFC West Championship.

  5. geo91 says: May 13, 2012 9:36 PM

    Thank god, he’s my fantasy league keeper

  6. justwinbaby29 says: May 13, 2012 9:43 PM

    If McFadden plays a full 16-game season the Raiders will win the AFC West. He is the best back in the NFL.

    Palmer/McFadden are a pretty good combo.. not many teams with a better QB/RB duo.

  7. jgrange08 says: May 13, 2012 9:53 PM

    @Justinwinbaby29, many teams with a better qb/rb combo, palmer threw 16 picks in 10 games last year…he’s easily in the bottom 1/2 of qbs i’d want running my offense

  8. jgrange08 says: May 13, 2012 9:55 PM

    i never got to send the raiders a thank you card for making mcfadden week to week so I could just let him sit on my fantasy team all season

  9. jameslongstaffe says: May 13, 2012 10:19 PM

    McFadden is a great back. When he was injured, I dare say his stock was rising to the top of the league. He has that combo of speed & power that makes a defensive coordinator nervous. I hope he is ready:)

  10. pantherpro says: May 13, 2012 11:22 PM

    He’ll be hurt again and Raider trash will be 6-10!!

  11. villa41 says: May 13, 2012 11:34 PM

    I’ll keep telling the truth and having Palmer’s back as long as I have to. The people that keep talking about Palmer’s picks are either uneducated or have a hidden agenda. The man came off the couch and gave the Raiders the best QB play the team has had since Gannon. Six of Palmer’s picks came in the first two games. He should not have even played against KC, but Boller was awful and there was no choice. Palmer can make all the throws and read a defense too. It was pretty amazing to actually see a Raider QB look over a defense at the line, change the play, and get the offense into a better set. No Raider QB has been able to read a defense correctly since Gannon, and it’s a huge deal. Palmer will only get better with a full offseason. You add a healthy DMAC to the mix, and this offense will be deadly. The offense was 9th last year, even with all the injuries. Al Saunders is still on staff too. The transition to Knapp’s offense isn’t going to be the big deal a lot of writers, who don’t do their homwork, are making it out to be.

    Personally, all the haters can keep sleeping on the Raiders. This team is quietly becoming a monster that has the best roster in the division. Pride and poise, the West is there for the taking by Oakland.

  12. mrsryansfamoustoejam says: May 13, 2012 11:50 PM

    It doesn’t matter what you “were on track to do” when you can’t stay on the field.

  13. nerdyturdy says: May 14, 2012 1:22 AM

    justwinbaby29 says:
    If McFadden plays a full 16-game season the Raiders will win the AFC West. He is the best back in the NFL.

    Palmer/McFadden are a pretty good combo.. not many teams with a better QB/RB duo.
    —————————————————
    Palmer was great, but he’s done. McFadden is top 5 for sure.

    Vick/McCoy might be a better combo. What about Peyton/Anybody or Rodgers/Anybody or Brees/ or Brady/Anybody? Hmm, not even Cutler/Forte? Ryan/Turner? Flacco/Rice? Newton/Williams? Palmer (younger brother)/MJD?

    I might even take Kolb/Wells over Palmer/DMC. OK, maybe that’s going too far.

  14. cannonballdookie says: May 14, 2012 1:34 AM

    They have to know by now that they can’t count on him for a full season, maybe even a half season, but he’s such a dynamic runner as been previously stated by every other poster.

    Despite his lackluster numbers, Carson Palmer was a solid upgrade over Campbell. There was a lot of rust and way too many turnovers, but they had the vertical offense working like a charm, much better than Campbell can ever dream of. With the threat of McFadden in the backfield and all the deep threat WR’s they have, their O will be tough to stop.

  15. anhdazman says: May 14, 2012 3:03 AM

    McFadden is a top 3 RB when healthy. AP and Foster would be the only guys I’d have in front of him. With AP coming back from his ACL tear, it could be Foster and McFadden at the top of the list.

    Raiders need to use McFadden wisely. You can’t tell a RB to go down easier or run out of bounds. So they need to get touches for Taiwan Jones and Goodson. This is vital to keep McFadden’s touches to about 15-20 times a game.

    I’ll hollar about this all year, but the Raiders need to use Terrell Pryor like how Tebow and Newton are being used in short yardage and goal line situations. Pryor is just as big, fast and talented as those QBs. Get him in a Wildcat, option, roll out formation with McFadden, Jones, Ford, Moore, Reece and use that type of speed to scare the hell out of opposing defenses. Defenses can’t mount up to stop all those weapons.

  16. maximusprime107 says: May 14, 2012 3:21 AM

    It’s a shame he can’t stay healthy. He’s real fun to watch even though he tore up my team. He has great speed but he’s also extremely strong

  17. keithdylan says: May 14, 2012 8:29 AM

    Now do it in December.

  18. johnnyjagfan says: May 14, 2012 9:20 AM

    Not giving enough props to Taiwan Jones. This guy could be unreal if used properly.

  19. joetoronto says: May 14, 2012 9:42 AM

    I don’t understand how any back in the league is better than McFadden, when healthy.

    Besides being a great runner, he has great hands and he’s a devastating blocker.

    On top of that, nobody runs harder and delivers more punishment than Darren McFadden.

    He’s clearly #1 when healthy, IMO.

  20. radrntn says: May 14, 2012 11:35 AM

    lets face it, when you talk about DMC, you always have to say “if”. please let this be the year that we say he did.

  21. radrntn says: May 14, 2012 11:43 AM

    johnnyjagfan says:
    May 14, 2012 9:20 AM
    Not giving enough props to Taiwan Jones. This guy could be unreal if used properly.
    ______________________________

    he got hurt last year as well……couldn’t run at the combine because of his foot, and then pulled his hamstring…….I would love to see the 1-2 of dmc, and tawain…lets hope they both stay healthy all year….another guy that got lost near the last hald=f of the season was the x factor- Marcell Reece… I tell you right now you can line that guy up in the backfield, in the slot, on the outside…..he is a nightmare for the safety that has to cover him

  22. spinmovr says: May 14, 2012 3:22 PM

    For those who are serious about discussing the Raider offense and Darren McFadden, I agree that he plays like an elite running back. Look at last year and his 2010 season when he was singlehandedly beating teams in the AFC West. McFadden is not a problem.

    Similarly Carson Palmer is clearly an upgrade at QB over Campbell. Hue had a good offense installed for Jason Campbell and it was working well enough until he got hurt.

    But I agree with what everybody else is saying: a top 10 offense getting a full offseason together with all of their pieces in place is going to be dangerous in 2012. Oh and Knapp’s offense is good to mobile quarterbacks so you can be sure we’ll have some packages for Terrelle Pryor. The guy can throw on the run to wide open targets and that’s all he’ll be asked to do.

    My only concern is that we don’t really have the personnel for a traditional West Coast offense (slants, passes to TEs). If there’s a way to to do it with the speedy guys with bad hands that we have, then we’ll be good.

  23. rail77 says: May 14, 2012 4:27 PM

    I totally agree when it comes to the talent that Darren McFadden has. As a big Raider fan, I am praying that he can stay healthy for the entire season, because the Raiders desperately need him to make and go deep into the play-offs. I remember how talented Bo Jackson was for the Raiders, but a hip injury ended his career. Had Jackson stayed healthy, he had the talent to break many records. He was one of the fastest big running backs to every put on a helmet. We don’t need for McFadden to be injury prone. But, his style of running does lend itself to many injuries. If only he were durable like Walter Payton, who played his entire career, nearly injury-free. The Raiders would really have something, if that were the case. All the talent in the world doesn’t mean much, if you stay in the treatment room and not on the field. In any case, my Raiders will field a very talented team. Look out AFC, the Raiders are for real.

  24. rojodiablo says: May 14, 2012 4:31 PM

    Funny how that coach didn’t bring up the fact that even though he hasn’t had surgury, he’s still been hurt EVERY season as a pro! “Karren” McFadden is a joke when it comes to staying healthy, I don’t want to hear any of more stuff from any coaches until he has actually played an entire season, for the first time in his injury plagued career!! Usually a RB who is hurt this many times in this short of a career, never stays healthy for long and then is cut by his team for a healthier version as soon as that team has tired of wasting money on him! If he doesn’t get this problem fixed this season, I hope Reggie goes out and gets us a new RB who WILL stay on the field more often or give the job to Taiwan! I liked the guy coming out of Arkansas but his talents are USELESS if he only plays 6-7 games EVERY season. We are NOT playing him all that money for 6-7 games!!

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