Stewart giving Raiders options at running back

December 3, 2012, 9:49 pm
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ALAMEDA -- Rookie running back Jeremy Stewart had nine carries for 46 yards, both career highs, in the Raiders' 20-17 loss to Cleveland on Sunday. In a second-quarter drive, he had consecutive carries of 11 and 14 yards, helping to set up a 51-yard field goal by Janikowski"The line did a great job today," Stewart said. "They were opening some big holes and the fullbacks were out there blocking, so my job was pretty easy today."I went out there and played hard. I feel like I made some plays, and I feel like there's definitely some stuff I can get better at, too."No doubt Stewart runs hard. But some might say he looks more adept at running in the Raiders' zone-blocking scheme than did Darren McFadden before he suffered a high ankle sprain on Nov. 4.Stewart, meanwhile, was signed from the Raiders' practice squad on Nov. 10.
"He seems to make the right cut all the time and he's the kind of guy that, even if there's not much there, he kind of finds the little crease," center Stefen Wisniewski said of Stewart. "And if there's three yards there, he'll get those three yards. You can see when he's running; he makes the right read, he makes the right cut. You can't ever fault him for that."The offensive line, particularly center Stefen Wisniewski and right tackle Khalif Barnes, has improved dramatically in terms of performing in the zone-blocking scheme."I was very pleased with the run game," said Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Knaap. "For three weeks now, we've been pretty efficient in the run game."The Raiders expect to regain the services of McFadden and Mike Goodson for Thursday's game against Denver.