Sans a preseason carry, Raiders' McFadden ready

September 6, 2011, 9:07 pm
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Paul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.comALAMEDA -- For the first time in his four-year NFL career, Raiders running back Darren McFadden is entering a regular season without any carries in the preseason.Not that he's worried about it heading to Denver for the late Monday Night Football opener much, mind you."It will just feel like college days," said the two-time Heisman Trophy runner-up at Arkansas. "You didn't get any preseason games in college days. I just feel like when you go out there, either you're going to be able to do it or you're not going to be able to do it."I feel like I had some great openers, so (I'm) looking forward to it."As a freshman, McFadden ran for 70 yards and a touchdown on nine carries against Missouri State to open the 2005 season.
In 2006, he was limited to 42 yards on nine carries by USC while catching two passes and losing six yards.But in 2007, McFadden rumbled for 151 yards and a TD on 24 carries against Troy. He also caught two passes for 40 yards and threw a 42-yard touchdown pass.Of course, McFadden was shelved by the fractured lower left eye orbital he incurred in a blitz pickup drill with Quentin Groves on Aug. 3. And he wants to wear a tinted eyeshield on his helmet but shields with tint have to be prescribed by a physician and McFadden has yet to appeal to the NFL.RELATED: McFadden slowed in quest for eye shield
"It's one of those deals where you're anxious to get out there," he said of opening the season. "At the same time, you want to be cautious. You don't want to go out there and rush it too fast."I just want to carry over what I did last year. Go out there and run the ball and put my team in the best position I can to win the game."In the Raiders' record-setting 59-14 demolition of the Broncos in Denver, McFadden ran for a career-high 165 yards, on 16 carries, and scored four touchdowns, three rushing and one receiving."You can't live on what you (did) last year," he said. "It's a new season. New faces out there, new guys ready to play ball. You just have to go out there with your 'A' game."Especially on the Monday Night Football stage. The Raiders have lost 11 straight primetime games and eight consecutive season openers."You know everybody will be watching," McFadden said, "but you want to go out and approach it like you approach any other game."Maybe even like a college opener.