More OTA notes, quotes


Additonal notes and quotes from interviews gathered following the Raiders organized team activity Wednesday:

— Here was how Tom Cable described JaMarcus Russell’s struggles:

“Just being accurate and understanding where to throw the football and when,” Cable said.

The good news? Cable likes his footwork.

Cable stressed that it was a learning “OTA” heavy in situational play, and that the objective was to have the players comfortbale with the system changes in July so they’d be ready to compete.

— Here’s how Cable responded to reports of Burgess being traded:

“I do expect to go in with him here. But we get inquiries all the time about players and this football team. That one was kind of a surprise. There was some talk during the draft obviously but we get, people inquire about players on this team all the time. So we listen to everything.”

— Burgess is left end Trevor Scott is a right end, but if Burgess is moved Scott could end up a starter since Jay Richardson flopped sides last year.

Scott is keeping the Burgess issue at arm’s length.

“As far as Derrick goes, he’s a great inspiration, he’s a great leader when he’s on the field,” Scott said. “I haven’t really been paying attention to what’s going on,” Burgess said. “I heard a bunch of hearsay but that’s all it is right now. It’s just speculation. Only Derrick really knows what’s going on. I try to stay away from that and let him figure things out.”

Scott, who played last season at under 250 pounds, said he is nearing 260.

“I came back about 258 now,” Scott said. “My strength’s through the roof. I feel great, I feel explosive out there. A lot of the run game, though, as coach Board’s been teaching us, is all about technique and stuff. I just need to keep my hands in and just fight pressure with pressure.”

— Jeff Garcia shrugged off inquries regarding his desire to start a few days after hinting in a Los Angeles radio interview he would be ready to be a starter if called upon.

“I don’t really know or think that there’s a competition there,” Garcia said. “That is something that has already been determined. I’m just here to show that I’m very capable, if needed, to lead the position and to help the position get better and get stronger and to get more confident. That means helping JaMarcus become a better player himself and as much as he expects out of himself, that means me trying to help him expect more and to push him and to be able to show, through my experience on the field, what has been successful for me and how I’ve been able to make it work.

“And I think that’s the main thing as far as just helping the position to get better. He’s got a great attitude. He’s working hard and I just want to help him just continue that path.”

— Garcia’s father Bob, wearing a baseball camp with his son’s initials on it, was a practice observer.

— Cable said the club hasn’t given any thought to trying Michael Huff at cornerback.

— Safety Tyvon Branch, lost to shoulder surgery early in his rookie season, said he is completely healed and looking forward to putting on the pads in July.

Together with rookie Mike Mitchell, if all goes according to play, the Raiders will pair two rising star safeties with a taste for contact.

“People are going to expect us to lay the wood,” Branch said. “When I get my chance, I will.”

Branch said he counts on being part of the solution to shoring up the run defense, and believes coordinator John Marshall’s attention to detail will help in that regard.

“We’re going to be a lot more disciplined in what we do,” Branch said. “that’s one thing he harps on is being in the right spot at the right times. He’s a stickler on that stuff. He counts mental errors every day after practice.”

— Marcel Reece, who made the biggest offensive play by catching a pass in the seam from Garcia, later caught a swing pass and threw an elbow into the face mask of cornerback Justin Miller.

— The OTA format is not conducive to gathering interview material. Locker rooms are closed and players can be approached coming off the practice field. Once they get in the locker room, they’re off limits, and the whole availability period lasts about 10 minutes until Cable addressed the media. By the time he’s done, it’s all over.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • RaiderRockstar Says:
    May 21st, 2009 at 8:37 am
    LOL. i guess so BSJ

    we’re clearly more educated, except Norco Bob (no offense)


    You’ve got your professional Raider fans and then you’ve got your probational Raider fans….

  • Norco Bob

    wannaberocker,..so he hasnt tossed a ball in 2 years…bfd,..still better then Russell will ever be,…only need him to throw 15 times a game,…Russell sucks and so does everyone that wants him to start.

  • Heard a good point on the future of Mike Vick as an NFL QB. In Atlanta he had a whole offensive system catered around him, and he still had a below 55% comp pct and under 75 rating. If coaches didn’t excel with him, they were canned and released (I think he had 3 coaches and 4 OC’s). He will not get that type of lee-way ever again, and it will be like fitting a square peg in a round whole.

    Now can he be a “Wildcat” guy and rove around for 5-10 plays, absolutely. 16 game starter as a QB, never again.

  • RaiderRockstar

    ottocrat: if guys like gunheim, brown and alston are getting to the qb with ease we should keep practicing!

    Mario Henderson is drawing rave reviews so far though. huge difference from what we heard about him this time last year

  • RaiderRockstar

    you’ve got your probational Raider fans….


    as 408 would say “free dirty!”

  • ottocrat Says:
    May 21st, 2009 at 8:40 am
    Netflix has ‘Defiance’…

    Netflix has it listed, but it then says Releases on June 2, 2009.

  • Norco Bob

    Jeff Garcia 2009….Tim Tebow 2010….youre welcome.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Now can he be a “Wildcat” guy and rove around for 5-10 plays, absolutely. 16 game starter as a QB, never again.


    Agreed. Mark Schlereth said there are not 32 starting QB’s in the NFL right now better than Mike Vick.

    Herm Edwards said that he’d take Vick over Favre right now if he were the Vikings.

    Herm said that it’s not about the money anymore for Vick. you’ve got to give your kids 2 things and neither one is money. your last name (reputation) and wisdom. he’s got 2 kids and he needs to make it right.

    Mark said Goodell OWES it to Vick to reinstate him right away so that he can pay off his creditors. He owes a lot of money to a lot of people after going bankrupt

    Trent Dilfer said he should sit behind a real QB and relearn football for 4 years. LOL. then maybe a team would take a shot at him being the starting QB

  • RaiderRockstar

    Jeff Garcia 2009….Tim Tebow 2010….youre welcome.


    Russell 7 or 8 wins in 2009

    playoffs in 2010. you’re welcome

  • Norco Bob

    Last week you had the final question to jerry in live chat.

    Classic! thanks for the laughs

  • Vegas,

    I think that about sums it up on Vick. He sucks as a solid NFL QB. Did you see First Take the other day? They had the “Two Live Stews” or whatever they are called and they tried to make it into a race thing.

    Paraphrasing, they said if the same thing had happened to Tom Brady would people be saying he had to come back and play WR?

    Can you believe that? Tom Brady and Michael Vick are so at the opposite extremes it was laughable. Brady can actually complete passes. Vick can’t. End of story. It’s not a black and white thing. If Vick was a successful NFL QB in the first place no one would be talking about him playing another position. It’s about talent and Vick is lucky to maybe have the talent to play somewhere else on the football field because he has been a failure at being a solid NFL QB.

  • SnB Defense

    I am getting tired of hearing about this “wildcat”. It doesn’t work all that well. Now teams drafting players to run the wildcat…for what 5 plays a game tops….I think the wildcat can only work with a running back because of the element of surprise in throwing the ball.

    But if you put Vick or Pat White back there…then you’ll play him like any other mobile quarterback.


  • Vick’s completion percentage would be 25% if he didn’t have Alge Crumpler in the ATL, lol.

  • Norco Bob

    666,..stay tuned, I have something for him again today.

  • SnB Defense

    The reason why mobile quarterbacks struggle in the NFL is because they play in stupid college programs like the SEC and Big 12.

    I’ve said this 1000x….The SEC and Big 12 IS NOT REAL FOOTBALL which is why Crabtree and Maclin were passed over and why Russell has to unlearn all the football he played at LSU.

    That Graham Harrell kid wasn’t even drafted….Tell me the last decent QB from the state of Florida (Miami, Florida State or Florida)…..Stafford will struggle like Russell has because again….the SEC is street ball….the AND 1 TOURNAMENT….the Wildcat is just more SEC nonsense.

    The Big East, MAC, PAC 10 and non-BCS have the best talent at the QB position…and save me the references to Peyton/Eli Manning or Jay Cutler.

    Everyone knows that if 2 brothers excel like the Mannings…its probably not the school but their NFL QB father, and good genetics…and Vanderbilt is not a real SEC school.

  • Wine/pills in 2008

    Southern Comfort/pills in 2009

    Betty Ford clinic in 2010

  • RaiderRockstar

    S&B defense:

    the wildcat got the Dolphins to the playoffs. it took a ton of pressure off of Chad Peepeetongue and he had an excellent season (even stayed healthy!)

    when you hand the ball of to a talented RB like Ronnie Brown or Darren McFadden, thats goign to suck the defense in to try and stop him. Then you throw it out to a Michael Bush, Zach Miller, Higgins or DHB and you’ve got the potential for a big gain.

    problem is the wildcat we tried last season didn’t work because we weren’t risky enough with it. how many of those plays were just mcfadden or fargas runs up the middle for a short gain or loss? 9 out of 10 i’d say … plus Bush & Higgins weren’t very involved until injuries forced them in the lineup

  • SnB Defense

    That’s why Colt McCoy, Sam Bradford and Tim Tebow stayed in college.

  • Norco Bob

    There is zero doubt that Garcia will emerge from Napa as starter…as I have said, if all qb`s on roster were making same money,..it would be Garcia starter,..Gradkowski 2nd string,..whoevers left at 3rd string,..Russell cut…period,…but Russell is in the the middle of a contract that allows him to steal 62 million dollars, so he cannot be cut as of today,..manageable after the 2009 year though,..so he will be here this year, with headphones on on sidelines,..probably not listening to OC,..but rather some local rap.

  • SnB Defense


    The wildcat is a gimmick offense. It worked in Miami by Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams are good running backs. That’s why it worked.

    I wouldn’t wasted much time with it. I think its a fad…just like SEC football…take the ball…drop back and throw it….or hand it off and run it.

    That wildcat will go nowhere next year

  • Norco Bob

    Bo I didnt need any of those things til the beginning of 2003,..and I clearly still need them,..would like to see you attend every game like I do without them.

  • RaiderRockstar


    if you judge players based on 16 starts Nnamdi Asomugha would be a bust too

    what is he now? a pro bowl starter and the best cover corner in the league

    please shut your pie hole

  • Lol @ Norco. That would be difficult to watch without a little “help”.

  • Norco Bob

    Im out,..off to Tahoe for the day. I will leave you with this,..Jamarcus Russell sucks.

  • SnB Defense

    Norco Bob,

    Maybe if the Raiders signed Kurt Warner, he was a free agent, then I could see Russell getting benched.

    But not for Jeff Garcia. He’s a below average QB that has one playoff run to show for his last 12 years in the league. If he was any good…Minnesota would have given him the keys to city.

    Garcia is a terrible QB. I would rather watch DMAC direct snap it every play than see Garcia take one snap from scrimmage. Now Garcia 12 years ago….maybe

  • RaiderRockstar

    The wildcat is a gimmick offense. It worked in Miami by Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams are good running backs. That’s why it worked.


    DMC & Bush are good running backs too. DMC made that gimmick offense famous in Arkansas, remember? only difference is they called it the wild hog instead and he was paired up with Felix Jones

  • SnB Defense

    Jeff Garcia = Josh McCown…a fiery short-armed QB that will underthrow receivers, take uneccessary sacks but will say the right thing in press conference and show emotion when he screws up

  • SnB Defense


    But the “Wild Hog” was SEC ball. The SEC is the worst football I’ve ever seen on television. Its predicated on getting bigger and faster players than the opposition and then just beating them with speed and size. No Xs and Os in college. That’s why so many SEC/Big 12 players struggle mightily in the pros

  • Come on, Russell isn’t getting benched this season. No way. Al won’t allow it…that would be admitting Kiffin was right!

    Besides, Russell has to be given at least this year to prove himself…maybe even next year too.

  • Bob Marley Says:
    May 21st, 2009 at 6:57 am
    “It’s too early.

    Last year a number of people wanted to cut JLH and Mario Henderson during training camp, the year before Fargas and Chris Johnson were the “targets”.

    Let’s wait a while.”

    Amen to that. I can always count on Bob to be the voice of reason.

  • SnB Defense


    Russell has to show progress this year. If by the end of this year he hasn’t improved to a “serviceable QB” then it will be time to go back to the Josh McCown/Jeff George strategy.

  • SnB Defense

    But if Russell were to fail…which I don’t think he will…it really will be an indictment on the Raiders. They really have not done the things necessary to develop a young QB. Coaching changes, bungled contract negotiations, multiple offensive systems, lousy O-Lineman…

    Yes Russell has to personally step up his game….but the Raiders haven’t exactly raised up Russell like the Colts did with Manning

  • I don’t see how any performance by Russell could be worse than a “Josh McCown/Jeff George Strategy” just let him play, anybody can hand the ball off to McFadden and Bush for the next few years, might as well be our multi-million dollar investment.

  • Dakota,

    Yeah shocking that First Take had two knuckleheads who didn’t what they were taking about. I just don’t see Vick being able to provide much at any other position, it’s not like he would embrace a WR role and be blocking on run plays.

  • SnB,

    Read your “contrarian” comment from last night, and while the spin was impressive, there was some logic behind that and could prove true.

  • Norco Boob is the guy I count on for ridiculous assumptions and boligerant ramblings. His “I go to every game” BS is so weak. Going to every game DOES NOT equate to a higher level of intelligence or does it make you the beneficiary of inside information. He makes this very clear with every post. Do you guys remember before he called “Norco Boob” he went by the name “Alameda Ins!der”. LMAO!

    Norco Boob’s new name: Captain Delusional. Or maybe Reggie Rehab, he sure as hell needs to get off the drugs. It is clearly deteriorating his normal, everyday functions, as well as stopping him from having any kind of cohesive thought process.

  • Has Vick ever played WR at any level? You can’t even assume that he will be a below-average WR at the NFL level; he has never had to run routes, catch the ball or block. Whoever takes Vick would use him as a Wildcat QB and that is all, like a run-first team with a noodle-armed starting QB.

  • Oh yes, the Raiders have certainly put Russell behind the 8-ball with all the chaos and BS, but he also has to take some personal responsibility and step up his game this year. No excuses this time. The coach is in place. The world’s fastest WR is in place. He had a QB camp just for him. The o-line must be great because we passed on great tackles and centers!

    Sink or swim Russell…I have faith that he will swim (really, who couldn’t swim with all that blubber?)

  • RaiderRockstar

    He’s a below average QB. Garcia is a terrible QB. I would rather watch DMAC direct snap it every play than see Garcia take one snap from scrimmage. Jeff Garcia = Josh McCown


    come on S&B. you can’t be serious. this guy is quite possibly the BEST back up QB in the league. He’s had success for San Fran, Philly and Tampa Bay. yes he struggled for the Browns and Lions. What QB for those 2 teams hasn’t? he’s not terrible. he’s not below average. he’s not josh mccown

    should Russell start? yes. is garcia past his prime? yes. garcia has a lisp, he’s short and he has happy feet. gotta give credit where credit is due though too. This guy makes plays. He’s a winner. He’s a hard worker and a professional. If Russell spends 10 years in the league, 9 of them being a starter many of us will be happy with that. especially if he can take us to the playoffs or make the pro bowl. Russell is the man in Oakland, but thats no reason to hate on Garcia.

    and if you want to compare these 2 players, compare all of last season. not 1 lowsy game. the Bucs beat Atlanta, Carolina, New Orleans and Green Bay last year. Does that make Jeff Garcia a better QB than Matt Ryan, Jake Delhomme, Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers? it’s a team sport man. think about it …

  • RaiderRockstar

    be back later …

  • edward teach

    Garcia is a little b*tch. That radio interview in LA proved it. The hell with “being competetive”. How about being a team player? I don’t care if the guy competes his ass off, saying stuff like that to the media is NOT what a professional does, especially one that’s been brought in here specifically (according to the head coach of this team) to back up and to mentor Russell.

    Cut him now. He can’t make the throws anyway, and if JaMarcus struggle early he’ll be the first one lining up for an interview. We don’t need that.

  • Edward,

    If Russell can’t handle a little competition then maybe we should cut him and not Garcia.

  • Dakota

    “Come on, Russell isn’t getting benched this season. No way. Al won’t allow it…that would be admitting Kiffin was right!”

    Ding Ding!! Good answer!!

  • edward teach

    It’s not the competition I’m worried about Dakota. Competition is great. Mouthing off to the media about it is not something a professional does, especially one that’s had his role identified for him before he even signed a contract.

    Compete, fine. Just keep the other stuff in-house. The media is not going to name you the starting quarterback.

  • I am sure that Russell feels the heat from the media, the fans, the coaches and most importantly us bloggers.

    If he can do it this year with all this on the line then it may be time to talk about bust but he deserves at least another 16 games before we all nail him to the cross.

    This is the year he has to come of age and I am sure he is aware of it.

  • M Lonetree

    Peyton Manning, hardest working QB in the game = 1 ring
    Snake, hardest partying QB in the game = 1 ring
    Favre, set every passing record there is, = 1 ring
    Jim MacMahon, a parody of himself, = 1 ring
    Journeyman QBs with no discernible greatness – Doug Williams, Brad Johnson, Trent Dilfer, Jeff Hostetler – each = 1 ring
    Rich Gannon, obsessive worker, = 0 rings
    Dan Marino, previous owner of most passing records, = 0 rings
    Dan Fouts and Warren Moon, two of the greatest passers to ever play the game, = 0 rings
    Ben Roethlisberger, slow, inconsistent but gutsy, = 2 rings
    Jim Plunkett, slow, lousy stats but gutsy as well, = 2 rings

    Anyone see a consistent tone here? I don’t. QB play is but an element to the ring. A team game? Yes, that is the pattern.

  • M Lonetree

    Joe Gibbs won three Super Bowls with three different QB’s as to already dispel that myth that you need a Montana, Elway, Unitas to win the big one.

  • Tom Brady, one of the most demanding QB’s in the league and tireless worker and studier = 3 rings and counting.

  • M Lonetree


    I suppose my point is I find it unfair to dump all success or failure on The Franchise QB.

  • M Lonetree

    Eli without David Tyree = 0 rings