McFadden the Raiders' bell cow on short yardage?


McFadden the Raiders' bell cow on short yardage?

Three times against Arizona, the Raiders needed a single yard, a situation that would have called for the likes of a big, short-yardage specialist.Three times the Raiders called Darren McFadden's number Friday night. And three times, McFadden was stopped for no gain.It was the prime situation for which Michael Bush was used in previous seasons and, many thought, the likes of fullbacks Marcel Reece and Owen Schmitt might be utilized now. Instead, McFadden was sent up the gut, to no avail."He's the guy we're counting on to be our bell cow and we wanted to hand him the ball and see if we can get a yard," Raiders coach Dennis Allen said of McFadden. "When you look at those plays, the result is obviously not what we're looking for, but when you actually go back and study the tape, we're a lot closer to getting it than what it might look like live and in person."Two of the stops came at the goal line in the first quarter and the Raiders had to settle for a field goal. The other came on a second-and-one situation near midfield.Still, McFadden did have explosive gains of 22 yards on a run and 17 yards on a catch and run and finished with 51 yards on 10 touches. In two preseason games, McFadden, coming off a season-ending Lisfranc sprain to his right foot, has 13 touches for 89 yards."We're a work in progressand I'm not real concerned about it," Allen said. "I know we're going to get it corrected and we'll get to where we need to get to."Allen said McFadden would play again Saturday against Detroit.

Report: Day after loss to Raiders, Jaguars owner speaks to players

Report: Day after loss to Raiders, Jaguars owner speaks to players

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Several people familiar with the situation say Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan made a rare appearance in front of the team a day after one of the most embarrassing losses in coach Gus Bradley's four-year tenure.

The people say Khan's message Monday night was "why are we not winning and what can we do to fix it?" The people spoke to The Associated Press Wednesday on condition of anonymity because details of the meeting have not been disclosed.

The people say Khan's open forum allowed players and coaches to ask questions and exchange thoughts about what's gone wrong for a team that was expected to make a significant jump this season.

The Jaguars (2-4) play at Tennessee (3-4) on Thursday night.

Marquette King a renaissance man, though punting is his specialty

Marquette King a renaissance man, though punting is his specialty

SARASOTA, Fla. – Raiders players had free time on Monday afternoon, and most scattered through the Sarasota Ritz Carlton hotel and the surrounding town.

Not Marquette King. The Raiders punter found a baby grand piano and started tickling the ivories. He wasn’t practicing chop sticks. The guy can flat play.

“I’m like Nick Cannon,” King said. “I can’t read music, but I can play what I can hear.”

King can flat punt, too.

While he simplifies his duty to catch it and kick it, it’s a bit more complicated than that. King seems to have mastered the art in his fourth season and the Raiders’ full-time punter.

This season could be his best, and that’s saying something. He’s averaging 42.4 net yards per attempt – the highest of his career – and has put 15 of 34 punts inside the 20-yard line. To top off that excellent stat line, he only has three touchbacks.

King had an excellent day against Jacksonville. He averaged 50.6 net yards over five punts and put four inside the 20. He also made one hard to catch. Jacksonville’s Rashad Greene muffed a punt that Andre Holmes recovered, giving the Raiders the short field required to score an easy touchdown.

Oh, and there was something about a 27-yard run off a bad snap, where he earned a first down with surprising speed.

What was King thinking on that crucial run, one that helped put Jacksonville down on Sunday afternoon?

"I just thought that,” King said, “if I ran fast enough, my ratings would go up on Madden.”

That earned some honors. King was named AFC special teams player of the week on Tuesday morning.

King, a master of social media, came up with a term for doing all that: Punthlete.

That’s an accurate term for someone among the first of his kind, a rare athlete who has become a real weapon for a quality Raiders team.

He can do other things, but earns a great living specializing in one thing.

“There ain’t nothing to really talk about,” King said. “You just catch the ball and punt it. There’s technique to it, but…”

King trailed off at that point. He isn’t interested in talking about his craft. The guy knows how to have a good time, whether it’s acting like a mannequin in a Sarasota Gap store, playing drums with a local band or playing soul music without much effort.

King taught himself how to play piano two seasons ago out of boredom on road trips, and learned the trade pretty fast.

“When I see pianos in the lobby, I just wanted to play it,” King said. “Now that I know how to play it, I can just play.

“I need it myself. It’s therapy.”