Can the Oakland Raiders look any better in 2010?
The Raiders have done an absolutely remarkable job building up an organization that has been, well, in the dumps for the past few seasons.
Yet redemption is near for the Raiders and their very loyal fans. In fact it should be noted that when it comes to loyalty, the Oakland Raider fan base exceeds all NFL teams.
This article is geared towards featured running backs in 2010—Michael Bush and Darren McFadden.
This duo of powerful running backs is set to dominate the AFC west and possibly the NFL. How so?
Lets look at Michael Bush. When it comes to some very powerful running, Bush is reminiscent of a Tyrone Wheatley. Unlike his predecessor Justin Fargas.
It will take at least two lineman to bring down Michael Bush. He is a very powerful running back.
Bush had an extremely successful career at Louisville. One aspect of Bush is that he is a versatile athlete. In fact, he is so versatile that his goal was to become a QB. If the Raiders use this against opponents, this can be a deadly combo with McFadden or Louis Murphy as receivers.
Bush was drafted by the Raiders in 2007. Many teams avoided him because of a leg injury but Bush healed during the first year and in 2008 was at full strength.
Bush still had two running backs ahead of him and was a third string option until both Fargas and McFadden were injured.
I can see it now—former Raider coach Jon Gruden blown away as his former team takes him and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers out of the 2008 playoffs! Revenge is sweet. A major factor in the demise of Tampa was of course Michael Bush.
Bush was given the opportunity to play and he outdid himself with 177 yards on 27 carries and two touchdowns. These are fantasy numbers people!
In 2009 Bush averaged 4.8 yards per carry. These are good numbers considering he still was not the Silver and Black primary RB.
Once again, Bush was in the backseat to Fargas and McFadden. He also had 17 receptions last season for 100 plus yards.
The numbers arent great but the fact remains, he can catch out of the backfield. Bush is a remarkable athlete and should produce 1000 yards this season with the changes made in Oakland recently.
Enter threat number two, Darren McFadden. McFadden was picked in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Raiders. McFadden was considered, by far, the best player to be drafted in 2008. However as we all know he hasn't posted 500 rushing yards yet.
So why would this writer consider him a 1000 yard running back?
The fact is, McFadden needs this season to prove himself to Mr. Davis and the Oakland Raider organization.
In the past two years there have been glimmers of greatness from the featured running back. For Raider fans there has been patience for his development. McFadden hasn't received the "thumbs down" like former QB JaMarcus Russell. This may be because of the potential the Raider organization and the fans see.
McFadden is another running back with great hands. Considering that the new QB will more than likely rely on the TE's and a backfield RB, McFadden will always be an option.
He however does have huge potential. He isn't as big as Bush but when McFadden runs the ball he has both juking ability and fights for yardage. McFadden has also proved himself a great tackler.
Darren McFadden no longer sits in the shadow of Justin Fargas. The release of Fargas means more playing time. More playing time means opportunities.
For the many that watched him play as a Razorback, they know that eventually McFadden will break loose. I see this happening in the land of Silver and Black. McFadden performed magnificently when he was given the ball more times.
Both Bush and McFadden should compliment each other this season and with a new QB and a top corp of receivers the Raiders will be competitive against all opponents.
As for McFadden's 1000 yards. These will come by a combo of receiving and rushing yards. It was sad to see Fargas released because in all fairness he was a hard runner. But hard running is only half of it. Juking ability and seeing the holes is the other aspect. These are two aspects that McFadden has and provided he remains injury free, the Raiders win the AFC West with a record of 9-7.
Welcome back to contention Raiders!