Training Camp News & Notes: Day 4
-The Raiders have remained relatively healthy after the first four days of two-a-day practices. Again, the only two players that were unavailable were wide receivers Chaz Schilens (foot) and Louis Murphy (concussion). -I've mentioned it a couple times in a few different articles, but regardless of how impressive he looks in training camp, I'm still holding to my assertion that this season is a make-or-break year for Darren McFadden. Since he entered the league in 2008, he's shown himself to be an impressive physical specimen with incredible athleticism and game breaking ability—all of it in training camp. Of course, injuries and lackluster offensive line play has been an issue for McFadden, but despite two poor seasons, his confidence remains high. "You know, if you're injured you're not even going to be able to get a chance to show what you can do," said McFadden. "I know I haven't had the type of season I wanted to have the last couple of years, but I want to go out there and show people I can run the ball and it's not just a lot of hype." To add to that, McFadden addressed the his critics, saying, "I just look right over it. I know what I can do when I get the football in my hands, so I don't even worry about it." McFadden also spoke of new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, and how excited he is about Jackson's affinity to run the ball. "He's going to run the ball … that's something I'm looking forward to. He puts an emphasis on the running game so I'm looking forward to that when the season gets here." -Rookie linebacker Rolando McClain displayed some impressive athletic ability on an interception of a Jason Campbell pass attempt. What made it more impressive is that one of the few criticisms of McClain's game is that he's not as adept against the pass as he is the run. Ask McClain about those criticisms, however, and it's all about instinct and preparation. "It's a little bit of everything, from film study and just knowing football," said McClain. "I had a great coach in college who taught me how to recognize a route from where guys line up." When Campbell was asked about the pick, he had nothing but praise for the rookie. "He is an extreme talent … the guy is 6'4" with a 37" vertical. I have been throwing that pass ever since I have been in the league and he jumped as high as he could get and stretched out and caught it. It's one of those interceptions where you really can't even get mad because he made an outstanding play … the guy is big, strong and can move, and you can tell under playing under (Nick) Saban he is a smart linebacker. Even if you look him off, he can tell what you're trying to do." It's been speculated by some that McClain might be off the field during passing situations. However, while working in the dime package, McClain was the linebacker on the field. -Starting Monday afternoon at 3:30 p.m., the team will finally practice with pads on. There will be a walkthrough in the morning, but it is closed to the media.