There is no question that Darren McFadden is a talented back and home run hitter. Some fans have even claimed he should be on the field every offensive play receiving an obscene number of touches and be the focal point of the offense.
I've actually argued otherwise claiming that Michael Bush is the more complete back.
But here I am going to propose something else.
Why not play Darren McFadden on special teams.
With Justin Fargas returning from an injured hamstring keeping the three running backs happy is going to become much harder. If you really believe McFadden should receive as many touches as possible then him on kick return or punt return makes a lot of sense considering he along with Felix Jones were a special team juggernaut at Arkansas.
Many fans seem to have a man crush on McFadden and take offense if you say he is injury prone and isn't durable enough to be a starting running back in the NFL. If McFadden truly is durable then there is no harm in putting him in on special teams.
This week we may see McFadden on punt return. Hiram Eugene who fair caught punts for an injured Johnnie Lee Higgins is injured and out for Sunday's matchup. Higgins is probable for the game with an injured shoulder. Tom Cable recently said if neither Higgins or Eugene can go McFadden will return punts with orders to fair catch everything.
Come on Cable. That's like buying a brand new sports car keeping it in the garage and babying the throttle whenever you drive it. Who does that? Well I guess some people do that, but your brand new sports care is now a year old, time to drive it like it was meant to be driven.
Why not put McFadden back there with orders to do what he does best, rather than fair catching everything?
Or even better if Higgins is good to go why not put McFadden on kick return?
The Raiders have been missing a certain spark this season and I think that spark is in the return game. Big returns not only set the offense with better field position but they can be huge momentum changers especially at home bringing the crowd into the game.
But don't get me wrong special teams is not the only way to unleash Darren McFadden on unsuspecting defenses put him out at slot, put him in motion and run him in the wild-cat.
Yes the wild-cat that is my next proposal for unleashing Darren McFadden.
He not only played special teams in college but he ran the wild-cat(or wild-hog) like no other.
Last week the Dolphins ran about a dozen plays out of the formation and averaged over nine yards per play. Granted they were playing the Colts who aren't known for defense but still over nine yards per play is very impressive.
The Raiders in the wild-cat can be very dangerous considering both McFadden and Michael Bush are capable of throwing the football. Likely better than JaMarcus did week two.
It may not necessarily be a bad thing to take the ball out of the hands of struggling QB JaMarcus Russells and into the hands of some of our best playmakers Michael Bush and Darren McFadden.
The Raiders need every advantage they can get and this would take teams by surprise and keep defenses off balance. Likely the only team in the division who would be prepared for the wild-cat is San Diego. And this weekend we will get a look at how they fair against the "gimmicky" offense as they sqaure off against the Dolphins.
Come on coach Cable its time to stop babying your star runner and unleash him on an unsuspecting opponent, preferably the Denver Broncos this Sunday.