One of the bones I have to pick with HC Tom Cable is the way he has employed his personnel. Specifically, it is inexcusable how he played DHB and Michael Bush. In the case of DHB, he had no business being the starter and getting the majority of reps. in the 1st 11 games in spite of palty production. 11 games, 9 receptions and 1 TD for our #7 pick is negligence on Cable's watch. Equally more disturbing is how Cable has vastly underutilized the talents of RB Michael Bush.
I understand Cable's philosophy of having a "committee" approach to using his 3 RBs. I also am fully aware of how each RB brings something different to the table. However, if 1 RB is producing at a higher rate than the other 2, it makes zero sense to use this same back in a sporadic fashion or cameo role.
Below is a brief summary of my beliefs on how Cable should use each RB and the statistics of each individual RB. Realizing that there are different circumstances to each game, each matchup, and injury considerations, it is crystal clear to me, Joe Fan, that Cable needs to get back to the basics;
(1) Which RB is most capable of carrying the load and being productive?
(2) Which RB, if used properly, gives the Raiders the best chance to win on any given Sunday?
Fast, nimble, big, powerful 250 lbs. RB who is ideally suited to run between the tackles but more than capable of getting to the edge for explosive gainers; adept at patiently allowing his blockers to make a crease; north-south runner; the best Raider RB at making the initial tackler miss or breaking the 1st tackle; excellent pass catcher; good at blitz pick up and blocking assignments.
Opinion: Bush should be the #1 RB who gets 15-20 carries per game and should be used more on check down passes, delayed middle screens, and passes in the flat.
2008: 95 carries, 421 yards, 4.4 YPC, long of 67, 3 TDs
2009: 103 carries, 519 yards, 5.0 YPC, long of 60, 3 TDs
Pure blood and guts runner; reckless and fearless; inspirational leader. Is decisive but has sub par vision in terms of using his blockers, avoiding tackles, and running into his own blockers.
Opinion: I view Fargas as a good situational RB and the type of RB who can be used, on occasion, to inspire the team and salt away a victory in the 4th quarter.
2008: 218 caries, 853 yards, 3.9 YPC, long of 42, 1 TD
2009: 129 carries, 491 yards, 3.8 YPC, long of 35, 3 TDs
Marred by multiple injuries, McFadden has yet to establish any rhythm. When healthy, his playing time is uneven. Has recently shown an improvement at running between the tackles and gaining the tough yards but is more of a Reggie Bush, outside the tackles threat. Biggest strength is his overall versatility.
Opinion: If used in a more varied, creative fashion, McFadden could be isolated in more favorable matchups. His speed and pass catching abilities is not being currently maximized to develop a more dynamic offensive unit.
2008: 113 carries, 499 yards, 4.4 YPC, long of 44, 4 TDs
2009: 92 carries, 325 yards, 3.5 YPC, long of 28, 1 TD