Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

April 26, 2008
Character concerns

ALAMEDA – The issue of Darren McFadden’s character came up a lot.

There were two nightclub incidents in addition to questions about paternity suits.

Here’s what Lane Kiffin said about that:

“Here's the first thing on Darren. I can't find a person who will tell
me that when walks in the building until the time that he leaves they've ever had any type of issue, whether that's been weight room issue or the way that he practices or his relationships with coaches. This is a guy who really loves football and is passionate about football and is passionate in the way he prepares for it. The way that he works out for it and the way he goes about it on game day as well. That was the first thing to look at. Then you look at the off-field issues and there are some things there. They've been based on other people's actions that have brought him into them. What was very important to me the first time I sat down with him, I wanted to know was he going to make excuses for them or was he going to be accountable for them. And he says, 'Those are situations that I should have made a better decision. I've learned from them now and I am going to make better decisions now.' As opposed to, 'This is why I did it because I had to protect my brother’ or whatever the situation is. He realizes that and we had another conversation this morning about that myself and Darren again just to make sure. 'Darren, if you're there when we go, I need this, this and this. And you need to understand this is how you need to be.' He's right on the same page and he understands it as well.”

Here’s McFadden on character:

“You know, they did a lot of research on me. They talked to everyone, and asked questions about the type of guy Darren McFadden is. And the people they talked to, everyone than knows me, told them Darren McFadden's a great guy. That off the field I made mistakes and it was nothing they had to be concerned with.”

McFadden on what people don’t know about him:

“The things they don't say about Darren McFadden is the things I've done around the community. I've been doing community events since I was in high school, going to help out, Special Olympics in high school, being able to do things like that. Then two Christmas breaks ago, we were on Christmas break, there was a plane crash at the airport in Arkansas and I went and visited the kids at the airport, I mean in the hospital. Those are a lot of things people don't talk about.”

From what I heard about McFadden, he’s a good kid (and I use that term relatively because I’m only eight years older than him).

And I know there have been a lot of comparisons to Reggie Bush, but he’s not Bush.

He won’t have a problem running downhill and won’t bounce everything outside like Bush does in New Orleans.

He’s a good fit in the offense because of that.

--Jason Jones

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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