ALAMEDA -- Tony Sparano, the Raiders' new offensive line and assistant head coach, spoke publicly Wednesday for the first time since being hired on Jan. 23.
Of course, the topics raised included his philosophy of offensive line play and, no doubt, Darren McFadden, who struggled mightily last season in the zone-blocking scheme.
So how does McFadden fit into Sparano's scheme?
"Really good," Sparano said. "He fits it really well. I’m excited about getting a chance to work with a player like that. I’ve known of McFadden for a long time."
Sparano said when he was head coach of the Miami Dolphins, his quarterbacks coach there was David Lee. And Lee had been an offensive coordinator at Arkansas when McFadden was running the Wildcat package for the Razorbacks.
"They were running McFadden and Felix (Jones) and that group of guys and doing some different things with them so, I don’t want to say that word," Sparano said of the Wildcat, with a laugh. "You guys will bring it up soon enough.
"But they were doing some different things with him, obviously, and I got a chance to watch him and study him and got a chance to learn a little bit. He’s a talented guy. What I was surprised of was his body weight, watching him when he runs the football. In other words, I was surprised by what he weighed because he plays bigger than (that)."
Sparano, it should be noted, used Ronnie Brown in the Wildcat with the Dolphins. Of course, Sparano's designs would have to also go through new offensive coordinator Greg Olson.