Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

September 18, 2008
On steel footing

ALAMEDA - Darren McFadden practiced today with a steel plate in shoe and looks on course to play Sunday in Buffalo.

But you could imagine, running with steel on the bottom of your foot isn't exactly comfortable.

He did about 70 percent of his usual work in practice.

"It made me feel like I was running flat-footed," McFadden said. "I feel like once I get used to practicing with that, playing with that, I'll be all right."

McFadden's biggest challenge this week will be pass protection.

With Justin Fargas expected to miss Sunday's game in Buffalo, the job of protecting JaMarcus Russell back there would fall on McFadden and Michael Bush. Justin Griffith would also help, but he would limit the playcalling according to coach Lane Kiffin.

The Raiders running game is averaging 225 yards a game after two weeks, bolstered by a 300-yard day in Kansas City.

Here's Kiffin on how teams defend the Raiders' running game when asked if teams were crowding the line of scrimmage to take away the running game.

"I would say dating back to Miami, the fourth game of last year, that that hasn't changed. I don't think that we rushed for 300 and all of a sudden ... since that Miami game last year no one's played us soft. Everybody's been concerned about our running game and not very concerned about our pass game and it's shown what they played. As you watch Kansas City it's not like it was a secret we were coming in running there, JaMarcus' first road start. Sometimes there's too much looked into. 'Well, they think we're going to run so we're not going to run.' You still have to stop it, like anything. Last week they were in an eight-man front and the week before they were in an eight-man front and I would think until we really show somebody different, and to where your pass game not just becomes good but where your pass game becomes better than your run game you're not going to see much two-high safety."

Kwame Harris (knee) is doubtful for Buffalo, meaning Mario Henderson would get another start at left tackle.

Henderson would have to step his game up against Bills DE Aaron Schoebel, who has played in the last two Pro Bowls.

Fargas and Harris were the only Raiders to miss practice.

Javon Walker (hamstring) finished practice after leaving practice early yesterday.

There weren't any questions asked of Kiffin about his job status - the first time since before the Raiders played Kansas City.

But some fans are making their opinion know.

They've started

And in the interest of equal time during the political season, if there's a get rid of Kiffin site, feel free to pass it along to me.

--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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