Raiders RB McFadden's start leads to scheme scrutiny

Posted Sept. 21, 2012 @ 11:01 p.m.
Posted By Dan Parr

The Raiders knew they would have to rely heavily on RB Darren McFadden to boost their offense from the get-go this season. They did not expect such a slow start from the McFadden-led running game, though, and questions are being raised about whether offensive coordinator Greg Knapp’s system is the best fit for McFadden, who is averaging only 2.1 yards per carry (26 rushes for 54 yards).

Knapp has maintained that his zone-blocking scheme is not the problem, and indications are the Raiders’ decision makers tend to agree.

A plea for patience, as Knapp made during a press conference Thursday, probably is not going to sit well with a fan base eager to see a team that has not had a winning season since 2002 at least show some promising signs in the first year of the Reggie McKenzie-Dennis Allen regime.

After starting two different centers in each of the first two games and losing ORT Khalif Barnes in Week Two with a groin injury, which will keep him out indefinitely, Knapp has also suggested the inconsistency in offensive-line personnel is partly to blame for the running game’s ineffectiveness.