ALAMEDA -- Raiders running back Darren McFadden is fresh from his worst season as an NFL player. Fortunately for McFadden, he has this season to redeem himself before he makes a pitch for a second contract.

On Thursday, McFadden said he isn't thinking about his impending free agency, though he admits to it being something he is aware of. His focus is on showing that he can play at a level unlike anything seen during his first five seasons.

"You've seen a lot of glimpses, though, but I can promise you that you haven't seen the best of me at all," McFadden said.

McFadden, who turns 26 just before the regular season, averaged 5.2 and 5.4 yards per carry in 2010 and 2011. That figure dipped to a career-worst 3.3 last season.

Some attribute the precipitous decline to a change in the blocking scheme. Offensive coordinator Greg Knapp and offensive line coach Frank Pollack implemented a zone-blocking scheme, even though McFadden flourished in a power-blocking scheme.

Coach Dennis Allen fired Knapp and Pollack at season's end. Now it's back to power blocking under new offensive line coach Tony Sparano.

McFadden looked lost in the zone-blocking scheme. He said he feels quite comfortable now.

"I feel like everybody's up to speed," McFadden said. "I feel like I'm up to speed with everybody. I know the blocks that they're going to make and where the holes should be."

McFadden also is taking it upon himself to be more of a leader, something that Allen welcomes.


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"I feel like there was times last year, guys would like to talk a lot," McFadden said. "It might have been at the wrong time when I was cracking jokes. I'm just being more of a vocal leader and leading for the younger guys."