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News

Q&A with Darren McFadden

Posted Jul 29, 2012

RB Darren McFadden spoke with the media at training camp on Sunday.

Q: How are you doing? Welcome to camp.

McFadden: Good, looking forward to it, I’m excited to get out here with a lot of new players, the old players are out here. I feel like everybody has a great tempo and upbeat spirit about the camp, so I am looking forward to it.

Q:  This organization has been sort of used to change, but even for an organization used to change, the change over the last year has been really unprecedented. What has it been like for a veteran coming in at this juncture? 

McFadden: It has been a big change going on here. You see a lot of new faces around here, a lot of people you are not used to seeing, so you just have to get used to everyone all over again, but for the most part I think everybody likes the changes going on. We have a great weight staff now, they are coming in there getting us hard work, the coaching staff has been doing a great job so we are just looking forward to getting out there.

Q: What are your thoughts about the exhibition games, about how much action are you looking for? Have you gone to coach and said hey kind of limit it to seven to eight carries or is it whatever you want from me?

McFadden: It is whatever he decides to give me, if he wants me out there eight or nine plays that is fine, if he wants me out there twenty plays that is fine. Not a big deal to me, it’s playing football, I enjoy doing it; I love being out there playing.

Q:  From the outside we look at preseason games and guys like LaDainian Tomlinson would never play at all; is that something you have considered because your value to this team is so enough that people wonder, should he even be out there? Is that something you consider yourself with?

McFadden: Like I said, I am not going to worry about it. If they put me out there I am going out there playing football and giving it my all, but like I said, if they decide not to put me out there then that is totally up to them.

Q:  The way last season started, how important is it to you to put that 16-game season together really take this team to the next level?

McFadden: For me I just want to come out there and pick up where I left off at. The type of injury that I had was something that set me down for a long time, but a lot of people may think it is hard to bounce back and get back in the flow of things but for me, once I am back out there on the field, I feel like I am at home, so I just go out there and try to pick up where I left off.

Q: it looks like you had injuries every year, but none of it is very connected and all of it is kind of freak stuff, so is it kind of the thing where you think, I’m unlucky? Or how do you…?

McFadden: It is one of those things where it happens in football, I can’t say I am unlucky about it, I am a very blessed person to even be playing in this league so for me I just go out there and take it one day at a time. I can’t control injuries. If I get hurt, I am going to get hurt going hard. So it’s something I can’t control and I am not going to go out there and play to not get hurt.

Q: Have you ever gotten mad when you hear people say you’re injury prone, or they kind of question if you can play a full season, does it ever bother you?

McFadden: You hear it all the time, but like I said, it’s something I can’t do anything about. It’s not like I am just going out there and falling over getting hurt. I am out there playing and going hard, and I can live with that if I get hurt that way.

Q: How explosive can this offense be?

McFadden: I think we have a very explosive offense. I think with Carson being out here and having an off-season out here with these receivers is going to be a great deal for us.

Q: Do you have a good feel for the new offense from the OTAs and mini camps?

McFadden: I feel like I have a pretty good feel for it because I played my rookie year when Coach Knapp was here and he was our OC so I played for him then and I feel that it is pretty much the same thing. We are going out there reading holes and hitting them.

Q: Tyvon [Branch] was talking about how much the ship has tightened up, signing in for meals, and a very disciplined regimented thing, do you see that as sort of spilling over when it comes to penalties and all these things that have effected this team in the past, just a general direction, will it help change that kind of stuff?

McFadden: I think it will. Just knowing where to be, and being there at the right time, and being there on time, that is one main thing for us. And I feel like by tightening things down is going to help guys and translate onto the field.

Q: Penalties have plagued the team for a long time. Coach talked about some things he was doing to try to change it, but he also said it has to come from the players. So why do you think it’s going to be different this year?

McFadden: It has got to come from within yourself. You can’t have anybody come out there and change it, you have to change yourself. So it’s guys being mentally prepared and just going out there and knowing what to do. I feel like if you know what to do and know your job, you are not going to be as hesitant or as tempted to jump offside or something.

Q: In the past, without coaches saying anything, have guys been eager or willing to jump on guys when they jump offside or have a false start, and to what degree is that going to be different this year, more so or less so?

McFadden: I have heard a few guys jump on other guys for making penalties or stupid mistakes, but I don’t think you hear it a lot, like from some other teams you hear that they have guys that will really jump down your throat but I don’t think we really have anyone that has done that.

Q:  Your training stays consistent throughout the year, what do you want to get out of this training camp?

McFadden: Just coming out here and working hard, and getting in the groove with all the film, just getting everybody on the same page and just getting us ready for the season.

Q: It seems like every year here you have a pretty spectacular training camp and it is almost as if, do you enjoy training camp? A lot of people talk about the grind of training camp, are you talking yourself into it?

McFadden: For me, I just love being out there playing football, whether it is training camp, regular camp or whatever it is. There will be those days where you don’t feel like it or you just have to push yourself to do it, but for the most part it is a joy to be out there and just be around everybody.

Q: How are you going to be used in the offense this year? Same as you were last year? Or like a couple years ago where you got to be lined up out wide for the mismatch? Are you looking forward to doing that more?

McFadden: For me it is just wherever they decide to put me, if they want to stick me in the backfield and keep me back there running the ball or if they spread me out wide and let me get some catches, I am good with whatever they decide.

Q: How fractured was this team last year when Jason Campbell went down and the decision was made to replace him with Carson [Palmer], and then fast forwarding to now, how much more in tune and instep behind Carson are you, now that you have had time to spend with him?

McFadden: Just about Carson being here now, just getting an off-season under his belt, he was just coming from home, he wasn’t doing much football. So just him being here and getting a lot of football and being able to get his timing down and getting molded with the receivers.

Q: What about Carson has surprised you since last year, or something you didn’t expect?

McFadden: No, seeing Carson before I knew he was going to be a good quarterback, and I had seen him play several times so it was not a big deal, it was just a matter of him getting back into the grove of things I think.