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Darren McFadden Talks Mini-Camp

Q: What do you do for the next six weeks or so? Do you just keep hitting it hard elsewhere? Or are you going to hang around here a lot?

McFadden: Well I'll be here for a couple of days then it's right back to training. It's something that you can't really take off much of. Once you get into shape it only takes three or four days to fall out of shape, so you want to keep it going and stay on top of everything.

Q: Coach was talking about how he challenges you to be a leader and he's talked about what a great job you are doing with that. Take us behind that a little bit more, and what that process has been like.

McFadden: Just being one of the older veteran players on the team, it seems like just yesterday when I was a rookie. But now going into my sixth year, I'm just trying to be more of a vocal leader instead of just going out there and leading by example. I'm being more of a vocal leader and just letting guys know, 'hey just bring yourself along.' Some guys may need a jump start, so you just want to pull them along and try to bring everyone along and on the right page.

Q: It's hard to do things properly when you get out there, even not playing your position, if you see a safety or a linebacker maybe doing something a little improperly, do you feel comfortable going up getting vocal in that way? Or how detailed do you get in your vocalization?

McFadden: I would say I'm more so on the offensive side of the ball, because on the defensive side of the ball I may not know what they are supposed to be doing. I know the offensive side of the ball. I can tell if they aren't doing the right thing, hey you need to come on and bring it along or something.

Q: How are things with you and the offensive line? You've got most of the same guys out there from last year, there's probably one new guy in there. Are you guys up to speed now?

McFadden: I think guys are meshing very well with the offensive line, as far as the blitz pick up and just knowing the calls the offensive line is making. I feel like guys are meshing very well.

Q: But you, as far as reading off them and all that stuff. Are you guys in sync? Do you like what you see?

McFadden: Like I said, I feel like everyone is up to speed. Me, personally, I feel like I'm up to speed with everybody. I know what blocks they are going to make and where the hole should be.

Q: You have a couple of new teammates back there. Can you tell us a little bit of what you see in [Rashad] Jennings?

McFadden: He's a great guy. He's out there hitting it hard like he is supposed to. He knows his assignment, so that's something you need from a running back. They have got to know their assignments back there, when they are out there trying to block or even when they are running the ball. They have to know the holes and hit them knowing the right read to make.

Q: I'm just interested in what you learned from last year. I know there were times of frustration. I know you have to put it away, but can you say at least I learned this from it?

McFadden: It's just one of those things that's going to get your blood boiling. Like you said, last year is last year so its stuff I've put behind me. I'm just moving forward and I'm looking forward to a new season.

Q: But was it something you want to make sure you don't do this again or make sure as a team we don't do this?

McFadden: For me it's just going out there and being more of a vocal leader. I feel like at times last year, I'm a guy who likes to joke a lot so it might have been at the wrong time when I was cracking jokes or something. Just being more of a vocal leader and leading for the younger guys.

Q: Contract year this year. Do you think about that? You have to know it's that way. 

McFadden: I know it's there but it's something I don't really think about. For me, I got out there and play football. I know if I go out there and take care of my business on the field, everything else with follow.

Q: We haven't seen the best of Darren McFadden yet have we?

McFadden: No, not at all. You've a lot of glimpses of it, but I can promise you haven't seen the best of him at all.

Q: Were you surprised how many times you caught the ball out of the backfield last year? You had 13 in the opener against San Diego.

McFadden: It's one of those things if you have to check it down to running back I'm always going to be there. If the quarterback decides to check it down to me, I'm going to be there for him.

Q: Can you talk about your relationship with the quarterbacks? It's obviously early, but styles make the game. Do you like the way that Flynn or maybe Wilson, and Pryor too, just the way they communicate and the way they hold court?

McFadden: I feel like all of those guys have been doing a great job. They come in and they take control of the huddle and get guys in the right position. They make the right reads they have to make for the defense, so I feel like they have all been doing a great job. I'm just looking forward to seeing the competition in training camp and getting out there with them.

Q: What have you seen from the defense? A lot of new players on that side of the ball, and you go against them every practice, what are you seeing from those guys?

McFadden: Man, just being out there with them I can tell you they are going to present a lot of problems for people. Just seeing them out here in OTAs and in training camp, they have been moving around, flying around to the ball, so I'm looking forward to that.

Q: Do you like having Charles Woodson around? What have you observed about what he brings spiritually and leadership wise?

McFadden: He's a great veteran guy. A lot of guys look up to him. Just seeing him out there and taking control, that's things that guys look up to on the defense.

Q: Could you see being in the NFL, I'm not talking bad about him, but at [Woodson's] age?

McFadden: Like I said, I don't think it's the age that really matters. He's the type of guy, he's going out there getting it in and doing what he's supposed to do. It's about how you get out there and handle yourself.

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