He spends most of his time off the field, but when he's on the field, he's mediocre at best.
Let's take a look at his career so far.
DMC was drafted fourth overall in 2008.
In his rookie season, he had one great game against the Chiefs in Week Two, and suffered from a turf toe the rest of the season. This past season, he had two solid games against the Chargers in Week One and the Broncos in Week 15.
I realize our line has many issues. Robert Gallery was out for much of the season. Chris Morris was playing out of position. Cornell Green turned 60. It just flat-out wasn't great run-blocking.
But McFadden goes down way too easily.
He has proved he's unable to run between the tackles by not breaking enough tackles.
McFadden hasn't worked as well in space as he did during his days as a Hog. McFadden is a solid and better player as a slot receiver, but the problem is just that.
Generally, the learning curve for young running backs is low.
You'd think we would have seen something by now.
It's time for Darren McFadden to step up.
He can look only so promising in practice. If he doesn't step up this season, he easily could be cut or traded just like JaMarcus Russell. Although, I think he has till 2011, because Davis is usually very patient with his draft choices.
Michael Bush, the other option at running back, is much more of a bruiser, and has proved to be a better overall runner than McFadden. Bush is not as consistent, but neither is McFadden.
With such poor play at the quarterback position from JaMarcus Russell, the defense can put eight or nine players in the box, without having to pay for it in the passing game.
In fact, Russell has been the greatest blessing McFadden could ever have. Russell has been so bad, that all the attention is on him instead of McFadden.
No one even outside of the local bay area media talks about McFadden. I haven't seen a skill position player drafted in the top five of a draft mentioned so little on the national media except to announce an injury.
But, when and if Russell gets cut, the spotlight will be solely on McFadden (and Heyward-Bey) to start producing like a top-five pick should produce.
We shall see if McFadden prospers in his third NFL season, or crumbles like the bust he may be.
This is my—and most of Raider Nation's—plea: Run DMC.
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