We're not here to advocate the Cincinnati Bengals acquiring Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden, who appears to be headed for free agency after another injury-plagued season. However, newly promoted offensive coordinator Hue Jackson remains a staunch supporter McFadden, who had his best seasons when Jackson was calling plays for the Oakland Raiders in '10 and '11.
Not much has changed, in terms of Jackson's appreciation for his former running back.
"You guys know how I feel about Darren McFadden; he's still one of my favorite players," Jackson told ESPN affiliate 95.7 The Game in San Francisco on Friday. "What a tremendous talent. But I really like my little guy Gio [Bernard]. He had a real good season. But I don't think you can ever have too many good backs."
Jackson figures to install added physicality with a renewed interested in Cincinnati's running game, which may suggest that Cincinnati adds another running back, at the very least to compete for a spot on the team's roster. Of course, the price tag would have been saturated with incentives, instead of the annual $6 million he's making this season.
"I would have to be around him again but I think it's still no different with Darren," Jackson said. "Darren is still a downhill runner, he's a one-cut runner. He has the ability to split out and catch balls and do those things but I think, with any football player, you've just got to build their confidence and let them know you believe in them and create an environment for them to be as good as they can be and normally good things happen. And I don't think it's any different with him."
The case with McFadden is injury and special teams. Generally speaking, anyone listed third (and deeper) has to play special teams -- you can only have so many players that doesn't play special teams on the active gameday roster. Go ahead and write in BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Giovani Bernard as your one-two.
Additionally, McFadden hasn't played a full season in six years with an assortment of injuries that keeps him on the sidelines.
In the end, Hue loves him.
"I think Darren can play with anybody," Jackson said. "If it's the Darren McFadden that I used to know, there's no question -- whether it's in Cincinnati, Oakland or San Francisco or anywhere. He's talented enough to play anywhere in the National Football League."