Oakland Raiders Running Back Darren McFadden: What Twitter Tells Us

I follow several NFL players on Twitter, and I think what they say is a useful insight into the mindset of a professional athlete. How do they feel about the last game? What do they do in their down time? Do they take being a professional athlete seriously? These are some of the questions I feel I get answered by reading their tweets.

One athlete I follow on Twitter is Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden.  At the University of Arkansas, McFadden was a two-time member of the Associated Press All-America team.

After performing well at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, McFadden entered the 2008 NFL draft listed as one of the better players available. He was drafted by the Oakland Raiders as the fourth overall pick, and signed a contract worth $60 million, including $27 million in guaranteed money.

During his rookie year he played infrequently and only had 113 carries, in part due to an injury to his big toe suffered in his second game as a professional against Kansas City. McFadden ended his rookie season with 499 yards on 113 attempts, with four touchdowns. He also made 29 receptions for 285 yards.

In his second season, McFadden was once again plagued by the injury bug. He suffered a knee injury in the first month of the season, and never showed the breakaway speed that he was noted for at Arkansas. He was an effective pass catcher, but he only averaged 3.9 yards per carry and has gotten the reputation for going down easily after the first hit.

While Raiders fans have been mostly disappointed by McFadden's performance on the field thus far, fans and McFadden entered training camp this year hoping for more success this season under new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson. However, a hamstring injury kept him out of the preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys and has limited his ability to practice and prepare for the grueling NFL season.

One way I have gotten some insight into M...

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