Peterson heaps praise upon McFadden


Peterson heaps praise upon McFadden

ALAMEDA -- As the saying goes, game recognizes game.So of course, Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson would have complimentary words for his Raiders counterpart in Darren McFadden, right? Even if the man known as "Run DMC" has been limping since suffering a right mid-foot sprain on Oct. 23 and has not played, let alone practiced, since."He's a tremendous talent," Peterson said of McFadden on a Wednesday conference call with Bay Area reporters. "There's not too many guys that I watch or I'm excited to watch, but he's one of those guys."
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When McFadden was injured, he had entered that weekend leading the NFL in rushing with 610 yards. Now, his 614 rushing yards rank 13th.Peterson, meanwhile, is fifth in the NFL with 846 yards on the ground. He is also a four-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro selection.Both running backs, though, were college studs. As a freshman at Oklahoma, Peterson was runner-up to USC's Matt Leinart for the Heisman Trophy in 2004. McFadden, meanwhile, was a two-time runner-up at Arkansas, to Ohio State's Troy Smith in 2006 and Florida's Tim Tebow in 2007."Ever since Arkansas, I watched him and kind of praised him, just his style of play," Peterson said. "A north-and-south player, great speed, quick feet, just athletic, catches the ball well."Just like me, I'm sure there's things he would love to improve on but, outside of that, he's a guy that I respect and I like the way he runs the ball. I can't say that about a lot of other backs."Peterson, who endured ankle and collarbone injuries as a sophomore and junior, had an inkling the Raiders might use the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft on him. Instead, Oakland selected JaMarcus Russell, and Peterson fell to Minnesota at No. 7."I thought it was a possibility," he said. "But I felt like it worked out well. I won't complain."A year later, the Raiders drafted McFadden fourth overall.Peterson has only missed three games in his career; one of which was the Vikings' 29-22 defeat of the Raiders in Minnesota on Nov. 18, 2007.McFadden has missed at least three games in each of his first three seasons and has already missed two thus far in 2011.

Donald Penn: Raiders players trust McKenzie will add right pieces

Donald Penn: Raiders players trust McKenzie will add right pieces

The Raiders were pretty darn good last season. A 12-4 record proved that point. There was plenty of talent on a team with a penchant for high-wire acts in victory that masked the fact there were holes on the roster.

They need to be filled for the Raiders to improve in 2017, and new players will be imported through free agency and the draft.

Left tackle Donald Penn is excited to see who gets added, but said there’s no doubt talent is coming to Oakland. He speaks for Raiders players, who have faith that general manager Reggie McKenzie will make the right moves.

“Things that Reggie has done in past drafts have been great, and we’re looking forward to seeing what he brings back towards us,” Penn said recently during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network. “We can’t wait to get back out there healthy. We’re ready to hit the football world with a storm.”

While new guys are coming, a few might head out. The Raiders have several unrestricted free agents. Penn wants to keep his guys around – he mentioned running back Latavius Murray by name -- though he has some ideas for McKenzie’s checklist.

The Raiders don’t need much with most key players under contract – the Raiders should be less active in free agency over past offseasons – but a few key components could put this team over the top.

“If we stick to Reggie’s plan, we’ll be great,” Penn said. “I know he’s going to have a great draft, add a couple little pieces here and there – maybe somebody in the secondary to help out a little bit.

"On offense, you could always use a weapon. Maybe we get another receiver to take (pressure off Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper), but we have a good nucleus right now.”

Raiders LT Donald Penn: QB Derek Carr 'almost 100 percent'

Raiders LT Donald Penn: QB Derek Carr 'almost 100 percent'

Derek Carr is on the mend. The Raiders franchise quarterback had surgery to repair his fibula shortly after he broke it in a Week 16 victory over Indianapolis, and is recovering well during the offseason.

Carr insisted on intense rehab this winter in an attempt – however unlikely it may have been – to return should the Raiders have played in the Super Bowl. It slowed to a normal pace after the Raiders' loss at Houston in the postseason’s opening round, but those in contact with him say he’s making strides.

Left tackle Donald Penn was recently in contact with Carr, and provided an update on Monday during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network.

“I texted Derek (a few) days ago checking in,” Penn said, “and he said he’s almost 100 percent.”

Surgically-repaired broken filbulas take significant time to heal, and the Raiders plan to be conservative with their MVP candidate during the offseason. Derek Carr’s brother and NFL Network analyst David Carr, who was on set with Penn on Monday, said Derek could be back for offseason work.

“He’s doing good,” David Carr said. “He’s walking around already, stretching it out. You can’t do a lot for the bone, right? But he’s going to be back. He’s going to get a whole full offseason in. That’s going to be the best part.”