Found July 28, 2013 on Fox Sports:
Nfl_oakland_raiders_d867
Darren McFadden hopes that going downhill will be just the tonic to revive his career with the Oakland Raiders. Back in a familiar offense that suits his running style perfectly, McFadden is looking to bounce back from a disastrous 2012 campaign and return to the big-play back he was for the two years Hue Jackson ran the Raiders' offense. Oakland switched schemes after Jackson was fired as coach following the 2011 season, returning to the same zone blocking system under coordinator Greg Knapp that McFadden struggled with early in his career. Those struggles returned and McFadden had one of the worst years ever for a Raiders back. With new coordinator Greg Olsen bringing back a power running system, the Raiders are hoping to see the old McFadden, who was one of the league's top backs the previous two years. ''It feels great,'' McFadden said of the new offense. ''I feel like I'm a downhill runner and it's something that coaches see also. By us getting into a gap scheme offense, being able to get downhill, they feel like that suits me a lot more. I'm looking forward, O-line is doing a great job, getting in there on a double-team and opening holes up.'' The Raiders practiced in pads for the first time in training camp on Sunday, giving the first real test of whether the running game has improved after dragging down the offense during a 4-12 season last year that cost Knapp his job. The biggest problem was McFadden's struggles in the zone running scheme that does not fit his style of play. After averaging more than 5 yards per carry in each of his two seasons in Jackson's offense, McFadden averaged just 3.3 last season - the lowest ever for a Raiders back with at least 150 carries in a season. ''Last year is last year,'' McFadden said. ''We put that behind us. We have a lot of new faces here, a new offensive scheme, and there are a lot of new things going on. We're not going to concern ourselves with what went on last year. We'll look forward to this year.'' McFadden is much more comfortable in a power system where he is asked to run straight ahead rather than the zone system where he often was called on to run laterally and wait for a hole before cutting up field. When McFadden ran in a similar offense in 2010 and `11, he was one of the game's best big-play backs, gaining at least 20 yards on one of every 15 runs. He led the NFL in yards rushing before a season-ending foot injury midway through the 2011 season and had become one of the game's most dangerous backs. That all changed last year when he had only four long runs in 216 carries. ''We know how damaging it can be for another team with all those big plays that he can make,'' left tackle Jared Veldheer said. ''Even just grinding out those 5-yard carries, he's a very good back and you know we're happy to be in a kind of double team the guys back, let them move the line, and let him do his thing type of system.'' This season could be the last chance for the Raiders to see that kind of play from McFadden, whose tenure in Oakland has been hampered by various injuries that have sidelined him for 23 games over five seasons. His contract he signed after being drafted fourth overall in 2008 expires at the end of the season, leaving his future with Oakland up in the air. McFadden said he is not focused on his future right now and is just happy to be back in a system he likes. That increased comfort level is obvious to those around him. ''Darren has always been a guy who has come to work every day and no matter what the circumstances are he's going to continue to go out there and compete,'' coach Dennis Allen said. ''I think it's obvious that he feels more comfortable in a downhill type of scheme. We'll try to put him in those situations as much as possible because he is an explosive player for us.'' NOTES: WR Jacoby Ford wasn't able to finish practice with an injury. ... LBs Sio Moore and Kaluka Maiava did not practice a day after being hurt and Allen said Maiava would miss ''a little bit of time.''
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Rod Streater could emerge as Matt Flynn’s go-to receiver

Jerry McDonald of InsidetheBayArea.com believes wide receiver Rod Streater could end up becoming Matt Flynn’s go-to receiver this season. Rod Streater has been the most consistent player and could emerge as the go-to receiver for Flynn and Co. because they’re relatively certain he’ll come down with the ball. If Flynn is going to have any success this season, he’s going to...

Column: Terrelle Pryor is not that bright

Week Two: Terrelle Pryor is not that bright When you do something stupid as a college kid. You sorta have an out, or a  do over or something. In Terrelle Pryor’s case, he went from being a stud preparing for the NFL to a dud begging for mercy in the supplemental draft. Why? Because he did something stupid. Common sense would like us all to think that after you do something...
THE FUTURE IS NOW

Kluwe wears Google Glass to training camp

Ever since Google Glass, Google’s uber-expensive computer spectacles that make people look like awkward-looking human robots, was unleashed on the masses a few fortunate select individuals, we’ve seen our share of POV videos during sporting events that have given us unique perspectives we rarely have had access to in the past. But never has it been used during actual live NFL...

Terrelle Pryor worked with throwing mechanics coach during the offseason that trained Drew Brees, Tom Brady

Quarterback Terrelle Pryor told Raiders.com that he worked out with a throwing mechanics coach during the offseason that also worked with Tom Brady and Drew Brees. I went and worked out with a guy named Tom House. He’s [Tom] Brady and [Drew] Brees’… I’m sure you guys have heard of him, he’s a baseball pitcher. He’s a throwing mechanic freak. He breaks everything down...

Raiders training camp day 4 notes

The raiders had their fourth day of camp today and their second padded practice. Here are some notes. My information comes from Raiders beat writers via Twitter and can be found on Twitter as @LeviDamien  @ChrisMcClain  @CorkOnTheNfl (Steve Corkran)  @VicTafur @AsherMatthews @ChrisHansenNFL. I will be compiling all of their information throughout training camp. For all Raiders...

Raiders starting job is Matt Flynn’s to lose

    We’ve already reported that Raiders quarterback Matt Flynn has looked like the top quarterback so far in training camp. The San Francisco Chronicle considers the Raiders starting job Flynn’s to lose right now, despite the fact that Terrelle Pryor has looked good so far in camp. Pryor may have the better arm and be more athletic, but the starting quarterback’s job is Matt...

Chris Kluwe films Raiders camp with his Google Glass (Video)

Raiders punter Chris Kluwe filmed himself at training camp with his Google Glass. In the video below, Kluwe handed his Google Glass to kicker Sebastian Janikowski to take some video while he booted some field goals. H/T Deadspin Need NFL Tickets? Loading... ZergNet The post Chris Kluwe films Raiders camp with his Google Glass (Video) appeared first on Pro Football Zone.

Cleaning Up the Game: Cracking Down on HGH

  The NFL seems to have a growing issue (no pun intended) involving players throughout the league. This problem is the use of HGH (Human Growth Hormones). Commissioner Roger Goodell and other officials have been working non-stop to get a testing agreement settled with the NFLPA. After the lockout back in 2011 was settled, this topic was supposed to be among the top issues that needed...

Raiders Training Camp Through the Eyes of Punter Chris Kluwe!

This year, Raider fans will have the opportunity to experience Training Camp in a totally new way thanks to punter Chris Kluwe. The veteran kicking specialist has brought a “Google Glass” to the training facility located at Napa Valley so the Silver & Black faithful can get into the action through his view of what’s going on, like never seen [...]

Raiders sign Omar Gaither

The Oakland Raiders have announced the signing of free agent linebacker Omar Gaither. The Oakland Raiders have signed LB Omar Gaither. — OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) July 29, 2013 Gaither played for the Raiders in 2012 and recorded 14 tackles. Need NFL Tickets? Loading... ZergNet The post Raiders sign Omar Gaither appeared first on Pro Football Zone.

Raiders Camp Notes Day 2

The Raiders had their second day of training camp practice today. Here are some notes. My information comes from Raiders beat writers via Twitter and can be found on Twitter as @LeviDamien  @ChrisMcClain  @CorkOnTheNfl (Steve Corkran)  @VicTafur @AsherMatthews. I will be compiling all of their information throughout training camp. For all Raiders updates follow the writers...

Terrelle Pryor Says He ‘Never Knew How To Throw A Football’ Before

Oakland Raiders backup quarterback Terrelle Pryor picked a fine time to come out and admit a severe deficiency, just as the 2013 NFL season is getting underway. Pryor is as athletic, and gifted a player you’ll ever meet, but was never the strongest passer.  Pryor did his best to fix that deficiency, by hiring Tom House to be his quarterback coach this off-season. House’s claim...

Sifting through day 3 of Raiders training camp

A few thoughts about the Raiders training camp, trying to make sense of all the information that is generated every day: -It’s no big secret that the Raiders lack a true #1 wide receiver – someone who can take over a game and who requires opponents to plan their defense around covering him – but that doesn’t mean that they won’t be able to move the ball in the passing...

Radiers sign LB Omar Gaither

The Raiders on Monday agreed to a deal with free agent linebacker Omar Gaither. The team is currently banged up at the position with Miles Burris, Kaluka Maiava and Sio Moore among the linebackers dealing with injuries. Gaither was originally brought on in the second half of the season but was mostly ineffective starting at middle linebacker when Rolando McClain was busy being a...

Napa Report: Matt Flynn Shines At First Practice

Matt Flynn shined in his first training camp practice with the Oakland Raiders. It is not surprising that he out performed rookie Tyler Wilson and the raw Terrelle Pryor. While I don’t want to get carried away over one practice (Like Iverson said practice? you talking about practice?) it is important that Flynn shows from the start, that he is the leader of the team. If Flynn could...
Raiders News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.