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.

Carr discusses contract negotiations with Raiders: 'These things take time'

Carr discusses contract negotiations with Raiders: 'These things take time'

Raiders general Reggie McKenzie plans to extend quarterback Derek Carr’s contract this offseason. That isn’t a new thing, something that has been in the works for some time. He re-affirmed that fact last week, citing his team’s commitment to work out a long-term deal likely the biggest in franchise history.

Carr was reportedly frustrated with the pace of contract talks after the NFL draft – they’re supposed to heat up this spring and summer – but said he believes a deal will get worked out before training camp begins.

That’s his deadline for an offseason deal, the point where he wants focus honed on football.

“I have an agent who is in charge of that and I am confident that he and Mr. (Reggie) McKenzie will work it out,” Carr, a Fresno State alum, told the Fresno Bee. “I am only focused on becoming a better football player and helping my teammates become better players.

“I have complete faith it will get done before training camp. These things take time. The Raiders know I want to be here; this is my family, and I know they want me to be their quarterback.”

The sides have discussed parameters of a long-term deal, with greater specifics to be ironed out in the future. Carr has long said he wants to be a Raider his entire career. The Raiders want him as the public face of their franchise. A new deal is expected by all parties, a sentiment that has never wavered on either side.

Carr is scheduled to make a $977,519 in base salary in 2017, the final year of his rookie contract.

Raiders offseason program intensifies as OTA sessions begin

Raiders offseason program intensifies as OTA sessions begin

The Raiders offseason program is five weeks old. Players have lifted weights. They’ve improved cardiovascular shape. They’ve done drills in position groups and discussed schematics. They’ve added rookies to a group now 90 strong.

On Monday, they can finally put on helmets. They still can’t wear pads or have full contact, but the Raiders can play 11-on-11. Receivers will be covered. Quarterback Derek Carr will throw into traffic. Generally speaking, the competition cranks up a bit.

The NFL collective bargaining agreement has strict mandates regarding offseason activity, and a period formally called “Phase III” allows for more realistic on-field football work.

The Raiders will conduct 10 OTA sessions over the next three weeks. The media can watch three of them. Tuesday is the first, with another in each of the next two weeks. These sessions are technically voluntary, though the Raiders generally hover around perfect attendance. Head coach Jack Del Rio prefers his team be unified in the offseason. Players know it and show up.

There is a mandatory minicamp from June 13-15 which wraps the offseason program and starts a quiet period that extends until training camp begins in late July.

These OTAs offer an opportunity for new players to learn the system, for adjustments to be made and for chemistry to be built heading into a 2017 season where expectations are high.