From Run DMC to Sputtering DMC at the quarter-pole

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From Run DMC to Sputtering DMC at the quarter-pole

ALAMEDA -- And now, for our regular check in on the Raiders' new zone-blocking schemeAfter four games of the 2011 season, running behind the Raiders' predominantly power-blocking scheme, Darren McFadden was looking like an early-season NFL MVP candidate. He was averaging 6.2 yards per carry in rushing for 468 yards on 75 carries with three touchdowns.But after four games of the 2012 season, and behind the Raiders' new ZBS, McFadden looks nothing like the game-breaker he was early last year. Consider: he is averaging just 3.5 yards per carry with 201 yards on 57 attempts with one touchdown. In fact, take away his 64-yard scoring jaunt against Pittsburgh, and McFadden's average drops to a middling 2.5 yards.RELATED: Darren McFadden career stats 2012 game logs
The quarter-pole of a 16-game season is a good enough sample size to start making intelligent observations about trends and such, right? So surely, McFadden must be frustrated. Thing is, he's not going to say if he is or is not."It's one of those things you know you just got to keep running," he said Monday. "With the zone scheme, like I said, it's going to hit here and there but you just have to keep running. Stick with it and keep pounding the ball."Asked if he noticed teams stacking the box with more players at the line, McFadden shrugged."Nah, I can't say if it is or it isn't," he said. "Guys are getting out there and making plays. We just have to keep executing and going out there and moving the ball."Except, they're not doing much of that, either.

Oakland stadium authority director doesn't want Raiders in 2019

Oakland stadium authority director doesn't want Raiders in 2019

PHOENIX – The Raiders hope to play the next three years in the Bay Area before moving to Las Vegas. They were approved to relocate on Monday at the NFL owners meetings, but can’t leave right away because Las Vegas doesn’t have a suitable temporary NFL venue.

The Raiders have team options on one-year leases to play at Oakland Coliseum during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, and are expected to do exactly that. Owner Mark Davis said he’s open to negotiating a lease to play the 2019 season there as well before moving into new Vegas digs in 2020.

The Oakland Coliseum authority may not grant that request.

"I would say to you with the highest level of confidence, my opinion and recommendation and that of my board members, I don’t believe there is any appetite for a third season (in Oakland),” director of the Oakland Coliseum joint powers authority Scott McKibben told USA Today.

McKibben said hosting a Raiders game is a financial loss for the JPA.

If the Raiders can’t reach an agreement to play at the Oakland Coliseum in 2019, they have other options in the Bay Area, though none is ideal. They could play at Cal’s Memorial Stadium or use Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara as a last resort in the Bay Area, sources told CSN California reporter Scott Bair.

They could renovate UNLV’s Sam Boyd Stadium – locker room and security upgrades are mandatory – though the Raiders would prefer to avoid that route.

Raiders HC Jack Del Rio believes he could help Aldon Smith

Raiders HC Jack Del Rio believes he could help Aldon Smith

PHOENIX – Raiders edge rusher Aldon Smith has been banished from the NFL for over 16 months now as a repeat offender of the league’s substance abuse policy.

Commissioner Roger Goodell hasn’t ruled on Smith’s reinstatement application and it’s hard to imagine movement coming soon on that front after a pair of recent run-ins with the law.

He was reportedly involved in a domestic incident and was questioned by San Francisco police last month. Then he was a passenger in a vehicle that hit an unmarked police car on March 10, an incident where the driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Smith seemed out of sorts when interviewed by media after emerging from a San Francisco police station.

Smith’s banishment states he can’t have contact with Raiders personnel outside the director of player engagement, a stipulation head coach Jack Del Rio has criticized in the past.

He did so again Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings, saying it’s unfortunate the organization can’t support Smith during difficult times.

“It’s a little bit frustrating to not be able to be a part of the process,” Del Rio said. “My feel is that I could help him, but the experts know. The experts don’t allow that. We have to follow the rules.

“It does get frustrating to not be able to help a young man and provide support and provide structure. Somebody else has to make those decisions. It’s just out of my hands.”

The Raiders can’t petition for greater involvement, and are therefore in a wait-and-see mode regarding their troubled, yet talented player.

“He has to get himself together,” general manager Reggie McKenzie said. “(Smith’s status) is totally on the league office. They know more than what we know.”