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Darren McFadden and Michael Bush: United They Haul, Divided They Fall

DENVER - DECEMBER 20:  Michael Bush #29 of the Oakland Raiders carries the ball into the endzone for a touchdown against the Denver Broncos at Invesco Field at Mile High on December 20, 2009 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
D.J. O'ConnorSenior Analyst IIIJune 10, 2010

Tom Cable addressed the media Wednesday after OTA.  In his briefing, he said he was impressed by both the running backs, Darren McFadden and Michael Bush. 

“I think they’re both doing something exciting each day, whether it’s running the ball or pass protecting,” Cable said. “Each one of them has their own strength but they both show up every time we come out here. I actually think they're both [No. 1s] and I think it’s a great deal we got going here.”

Earlier this offseason, Cable said he wanted one of the running backs to "grab the job by the horns," but he now offers a different approach.  And I believe that is best for the team.

Look around the NFL; most of the teams do not have that premier back anymore.  The league has evolved into diverse rushing attacks.  LaDainian Tomlinson had Darren Sproles, Adrian Peterson had Chester Taylor, and Ronnie Brown had Ricky Williams.  There is a rare case of teams with only one running back.  The Dallas Cowboys used three backs last year.

So why should the Raiders be any different?

Looking at Oakland's depth chart, they have Darren McFadden, Michael Bush, Rock Cartwright, and Michael Bennett. 

McFadden can turn up the speed on the edges, Bush can pound the middle and also possesses good speed, and Rock Cartwright can be a third and short situational back.  I doubt that Bennett will make the roster past training camp. 

So with all the talent of McFadden and Bush, why wouldn't Cable and Hue Jackson want to use a rotation?  It makes no sense when the Raiders have these two different talented backs.

If the Raiders use a one-back system, that would decrease their diversity on offense.  McFadden is tackled too easily and would be a poor back to use on power run plays.  Bush specializes in pounding the interior defense, like Justin Fargas did from 2007 to 2010. 

I look forward to seeing both Bush and McFadden used frequently in Oakland's new and improved offense under Hue Jackson.

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