Raiders Notebook

One of the few shortcomings to Darren McFadden's game has been his penchant for fumbling. The talented running back coughed the ball up 23 times during his four-year career at Arkansas, leading some to question his draft value. But the Raiders were undaunted, and after one meeting with running backs coach Tom Rathman, McFadden is convinced his turnover problems are a thing of the past.

McFadden noted that it was Rathman who discovered a flaw in the way he was carrying the ball when the two men met prior to the NFL draft.

"We both sat there and watched game film together on me," McFadden said. "He was showing me some of the things I was doing. He was telling me one of the main things is I was not locking my elbow down. That's something that's easily corrected so it won't be a problem with fumbling at all.".

McFadden will join the rest of Oakland's rookies and first-year players at the Raiderrs' mini-camp next weekend where the first-round pick will undoubtedly be the featured attraction. Because veterans are not allowed to attend, McFadden will likely get the majority of work in the backfield during team drills..

Oakland is obviously hoping McFadden follows the pattern set by Justin Fargas, who also had a reputation in college for fumbling. Fargas, the team's leading rusher each of the past two seasons, had some issues handling the ball early in his NFL career but settled down and had only three fumbles in 2007..

That's critical because the plan is to use McFadden in a variety of ways, be it lining up together with Fargas in the backfield or splitting out as a wide receiver..

"This kid's versatility is just unbelievable watching him do the things he has done," Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Knapp said. "(Drafting him) made a lot of sense when you have a guy with that kind of ability, even though we had some quality guys already in place. It's a great weapon to have."

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