Dec 6, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden (20) carries the ball against the Denver Broncos at the Coliseum. The Broncos defeated the Raiders 26-13. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Darren McFadden 100% and Running Hard

Skeptics, pundits, or just plain Raider-Haters out there want to talk about how the Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden won’t last a full season.  Who could blame them, because he hasn’t had the best track record.  As a matter of fact, he has only played 13 games at the most in a single season.  Still, McFadden has had to fight through several toe, foot, and ankle injuries that have sidelined him many times.  Yet, he keeps coming back.  He’s played with sore knees, strained hamstrings, twisted ankles, and he still runs hard.

Now, we enter McFadden’s final year of his contract.  Some would say that he won’t be wearing silver and black next season.  Others would speculate that he will run harder this year to secure a contract in 2014.  The funny thing is, Darren McFadden runs hard every time he gets the rock in his hands.  He is a dynamic down-hill runner who likes to pound it up the middle.  He’d rather run through you than go around, but he can differentiate between the two and speed around you when necessary.

Hey, I’ve had McFadden as a Fantasy Football running back for a couple of years now, and I have been frustrated a time or two.  However, I don’t question his toughness or resolve.  Great players become great by overcoming obstacles to get better and smarter.  I believe that McFadden is learning how to better manage his body to avoid these types of injuries without sacrificing aggressiveness.  It shows too.  Look at him in training camp.  He looks like he has been building his foundation to better withstand the hits and twists.  He is finishing runs in camp, and he has said that he is more healthy now than he can remember being before.

September 30 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden (20) runs with the football during second quarter of the game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Behind the Shield’s Jeanette Thompson interviewed McFadden on Sunday, July 28, and asked him how he feels about being called injury prone.  McFadden stated, “I’m not going out there trying to get hurt on purpose.  I’m going out there, letting loose, trying to play football.”  Isn’t that all we ask of our players?  We want them to play football as hard as they can.  Sometimes that means that they could get hurt.  Just ask the Philadelphia Eagles about wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, or the Baltimore Ravens about tight end Dennis Pitta, or the Denver Broncos about center Dan Koppen, they lost them all before the first pre-season game.  Injuries happen and are a part of football, but none of us ever want them to happen to our teams.  Especially not to the star players like McFadden.

Darren McFadden has a lot to prove to the football world, Raider Nation, his teammates, and to himself this year.  The best part is, he has a cast of running backs who can step in and let him get rested.  He won’t have to be an every down back.  With Rashad Jennings and Latavius Murray, this could become the chemistry that McFadden needs to stay healthy all season.  Moreover, if the Raiders can somehow find a cohesive passing game, it’ll give him the chance to flourish and be a 1000 yard rusher again.

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Tags: Darren McFadden Latavius Murray Oakland Raiders Rashad Jennings

  • Raider Grant

    Still think we should trade him ???

  • Stanley Carr


  • Luis Hernandez

    I think deep down we all know that this dude isn’t made of glass. He’s had some injuries that have held him back, but the times he’s actually been in a power running scheme, he has done very well. Throw in the disaster that was the ZBS, this year will be huge for him. Especially since it’s his contract year. This will be his year to prove people wrong, which seems to be the theme of this coming year. Raiders baby!

  • Shiza57

    I would love to see all 3 backs in a constant rotation. 3 bruising backs, constantly fresh, beating up the D all game long. Throw in Reece for good measure, and our passing game will be easy to not have to rely on. Defense would be on their heels all game long!

  • Lamont Brown

    With these running backs, they have the ability to be one of the more dominate running trio’s in the league. A running by committee scheme has proven to be more successful. You may get less yards as an individual, but you will rack up more team rushing yards. It also makes an offense less predictable and more versatile. We will surprise a lot of people this year. Go Raiders!!!

  • Reggie Orabuena

    If they rotated the three runnings backs and stop being so dependant on DMC they could be better as a offense,

  • abel

    This is UTTERLY ridiculous! 5 frickin’ years people! No. McFadden is done and I don’t see anything different this year. He is not dependable. Something in the way of an injury will surely sideline him again. His history speaks for itself. That and the fact that a runningbacks avaerage shelf life is what; 5-6 years? He should’ve been gotten rid of, at very least, by last season.