It's been yet another lost season out in Oakland, as the Raiders are already on their second head coach of the year, employees are jumping ship to join the former head coach at his new place of employment, all while they've assured themselves a sixth straight 10-loss season. Good times, indeed.
One of the players who was supposed to help turn this thing around was No. 4 overall pick Darren McFadden. Thus far, his rookie season has been somewhat of a disappointment, mainly because he's been hampered by some turf toe problems -- that may or may not be the result of shoes that don't fit -- and some curious decisions by an agitated Tom Cable.
On Sunday, when the Raiders were absolutely throttled by New England, McFadden didn't play much in the first half, and didn't start getting regular touches until the third quarter when the game was already well out of reach. This isn't sitting well some members of the Oakland media.
Following the game, Jerry McDonald of the Oakland Tribuneoffered his initial feelings on the lack of McFadden, saying his performance once he got in proves that the turf toe issue is, well, no longer an issue. On Tuesday, Monte Poole weighed in on McFadden's usage, and he too isn't thrilled with the interim head coach.
There are many reasons why Cable won't be promoted after this season, and many of them are beyond his control. A few things, however, are not. At least one of them - McFadden on Sunday carried 12 times for 46 yards and caught three passes for 68 more during a 49-26 loss to New England at the Coliseum. Fifteen touches may not seem like a light load, but the numbers mislead. On a cold, drizzly afternoon perfect for hot soup and old movies, D-Mac in the first quarter had time for both. As the Patriots were scoring touchdowns on their first four drives, Oakland's response on offense remained stubbornly on script, mostly starting running back Justin Fargas ramming between the tackles, and quarterback JaMarcus Russell trying to find receivers who rarely separate from coverage.
Don't hold back, Monte, tell us how you really feel. Cable attempted to explain his bizarre McFadden plan by claiming the Raiders never-ending cycle of three-and-outs prevented them from inserting the talented rookie. He didn't address the fact that some of those three-and-outs could have been avoided had they actually let McFadden play.
On Sunday, when the Raiders finally decided to use him, he hauled in three passes for 68 yards, and scored on an 11-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, which seems to be the basis of the bay area anger, in a "see what happens when you give him the ball" type of manner.
As we've already established many times this season, Oakland's best chance to win football games is to make sure McFadden, Fargas, Michael Bush and Zach Miller touch the football as often as humanly possible, and McFadden, for example, can't really do that when he's sitting on the bench.
Though, to Cable's credit, he did get creative (or he lost his mind, this is certainly open to debate) when he allowed Bush to throw two passes in Sunday's game, including one that was attempted for Russell. Obviously, since Russell is having trouble completing passes, Cable decided to give him an opportunity to try and catch one.
As one would expect, it didn't work, and I'm sure the Raiders front office loved seeing their second-year quarterback -- and highest paid player -- running down the sidelines trying to haul in a pass from a 240-pound fullback. Then again, they probably expected it, seeing as how bizarre coaching decisions have become quite common out in Oakland.
Oakland Media Blames Tom Cable for Darren McFadden's Disappointing Rookie Season originally appeared on NFL FanHouse on Tue, 16 Dec 2008 14:40:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.