Justin Fargas, Michael Bush, Darren McFadden, and even Louis Rankin–regardless who the Raiders have in the backfield, that back can make the defense pay for any mistakes it might commit.
There’s only one problem. The Raiders can only start one of them at a time.
Against San Diego, the Raiders often played both Michael Bush and Darren McFadden in the same backfield, but only one back can carry (or catch) the ball at a time, and this leaves one of the biggest questions about the 2009 Oakland Raiders–How is Tom Cable going to keep all of them happy?
Even the backs themselves don’t really know what’s in store for this season!
“I don’t know if I have to take a step back and let him get back in or what,” said Bush. “I’ll just play it by ear and go with the punches.”
“I’ll do whatever they ask me to do,” said Fargas. “You never know. I’ll just stay ready and when they call on me just be ready to perform.”
The one guy who already knows he’s going to play, for now, is McFadden. Cable named him the starter going into the season and the day after the Chargers game confirmed it by saying, “I look at it as, Darren is the starter and the other two guys are his backup. That’s the best way to look at it.”
After naming McFadden as the starter, Cable did say that he won’t be your typical starter that you may have seen in the past. “Yeah it’s probably not your typical deal where he’s going to go 25 times, something like that, but he’ll get the bulk of them for sure,” said Cable.
McFadden seems to welcome sharing the load with his fellow tailbacks. When asked about sharing the load, he replied, “It helps out a whole lot. It’s a long season. You go through 16 games, three and four hundred carries, that’s a lot of carries for one person to take so you want to go out there and have two backs, three backs, whatever you can use to get out there and keep the game going.”
Against San Diego, the Raiders rushed for 148 yards and running backs were responsible for another 29 yards through the air. Rushing for over 100 yards in a contest is a good start, considering their first game was against last year’s 11th ranked defense against the run. After week one of this season, the Raiders are ranked eighth in rushing.
The only thing this group needs besides good blocking, is a cool nickname. Last season, some called them “Ghidorah” after the Godzilla beast with three heads. Others wanted to call them “Cerberus” after the Greek and Roman mythological guard dog of Hades.
As far as Bush is concerned, you can call them whatever you want. When asked if they had come up with a name for the group, his response was apathetic. “I’ll leave that to you guys.”
For now, you can just call them ‘good’.