Cable: We’re on brink of getting this thing going


News, notes and quotes from Tom Cable’s press briefing and minimal open locker room access the day after a 23-3 loss to the Denver Broncos:

— “You guys write what you want, we’re on the brink of getting this thing going,” Cable volunteered at one point Monday as he answered repeated questions about a hugely disappointing AFC West defeat.

Putting up a brave front or merely delusional?

To be fair, Cable said similar things last year heading into the last two games of the season, with the Raiders winning both and earning him the job as head coach.

— Although never booed to the extent JaMarcus Russell was Sunday, left guard Robert Gallery was the object of scorn among Raider fans for failing to live up to his status as a franchise left tackle. He was booed when his number was called for penalties, and before the 2007 season, was booed at the Raider Nation Celebration.

So Gallery has at least some idea of what Russell is going through.

“As long as he can get up every day and look in the mirror and say he did everything in his power to be prepared to play, then it’s part of football,” Gallery said. “That’s kind of how I dealt with it when things were going bad. I knew I did everything I could to be the best I could be and things have obviously worked out pretty good for me now. He’s just got to do that.

“As long as he can get up every day and say he’s prepared, and put in the time that he needs to, then the fans pay the money to come and you’re going to have that. We want to win and they want to see a good show.”

— Since moving Russell to guard isn’t an option, as it was for Gallery, he’s going to have to remain a quarterback. Cable made it clear Russell is far from the only offensive player struggling and that he has no plans make a change to backup Bruce Gradkowski.

“I have to have faith in the guy going out there playing quarterback for us and I do have that faith,” Cable said. “It seems to be a roller coaster ride. I want to flatten that out and make it more of a smoother ride. Haven’t been able to get there yet, but we’ll continue to work at that.

“To me, it’s just too easy to blame one guy and say that’s a problem. Let’s top the run, let’s run the ball better, let’s tackle better, let’s be more explosive on special teams, let’s play better at quarterback, let’s have better ball security.

“I mean, when you start looking at the issues here and in particular to yesterday, there’s enough work here for all of us.”

— Part of the problem with the offense is the inability to convert even the most basic plays into the kind of meat and potatoes short gains which can sustain an offense.

“I think it’s just a matter of making the easy plays,” tight end Zach Miller said. “A lot of times we don’t make the easy pays, easy catches, easy throws. We’ve got to make sure we can do that and get in a rhythm. When our drives are successful we’re completing those easy underneath passes and moving the chains.”

Exactly why the Raiders aren’t able to walk before they can run is a mystery.

“It’s first-day-of-camp stuff,” Miller said. “We’ve got to make sure the receivers are doing the right things, then just being on time with the quarterback and in the right places.”

Said Cable: “I think we’re just pressing like crazy. There are so many easy plays that we’re not making.”

— Miller, being Russell’s favorite target is getting bracket coverage as teams look to take him out of the mix. Cable thinks Russell learning to go elsewhere will be good for the quarterback in the long run.

— Cable’s assessment of Heyward Bey: “I thought he was open a number of times. I thought he did some really good things. He blocked well. We just didn’t, obviously, get him the football.”

In other words, as “solid” as any rookie starting receiver in the league with one catch for 17 yards.

— Russell could have increased his yardage output by nearly a third if a 28-yard pass to Miller hadn’t been reviewed late in the first half. Russell broke free, rolled to his right and threw probably his best pass of the game to Miller along the sideline. Replay showed one foot was touching the sideline.

“I thought for sure it was going to be a catch because both refs said it was inbounds,” Miller said. “I’ve go to do what I can to keep my feet in, I guess.”

— Cable thought the Broncos did way too much damage on first and second down and gouged the Raiders defense with what he called “explosive plays,” which he defined as pass plays of 16 or more yards and running plays of 11 or more. The Broncos exploded like a trick cigar on the Raiders nine times _ twice with passes and seven times with runs.

“There was a lot of work done (by Denver) on first and second down,” Cable said. “Once they got settled in to what they wanted to do, I did not think we handled it well in terms of adjusting to it and making the stops.”

— Cable said he believes 90 percent of the roster “gets it” in terms of a standard of performance it takes to succeed and that “we’ve got 10 percent that we’ve got to get there as coaches. We’ve got to improve them. We’ve got to get them to a point where they can go in and perform like the other 90 percent.”

— Although Cable conceded Russell is part of the 10 percent, he rejected the notion that his quarterback isn’t doing what it takes to succeed in terms of preparation.

“His growth in the last year has been extreme with regard to his work ethic,” Cable said. “I want everyone to work harder and do more. I don’t think think he’s any different that way than anybody else . . . if he was where he was a year ago or even two years ago, I’d be pretty disappointed right now. But he has brought himself to another level that way.

“What I want to see is continued progress. I want to see it continually day to day, week to week. My belief is when you do that and stay the course, then you have your breakthrough and become what everyone wants you to become.”

Russell’s current passer rating is 39.8, which over a full season would be the lowest since Ryan Leaf had a 39.0 rating in 1998.

— Cornerback John Bowie is doubtful to face Houston Sunday with an MCL strain, and Cable said wide receiver Chaz Schilens was questionable. Schilens has been out nearly six weeks with a broken bone in his left foot and it remains to be seen what kind of shape he’s in after just starting to run recently. Wide receiver/punt return specialist Johnnie Lee Higgins (shoulder) is sore but improving, free safety Hiram Eugene (calf strain) remains questionable and Jonathan Holland had what Cable called “a little elbow issue, a dislocation, but seems to be OK and should be fine for this week.”

If a dislocated elbow equates to a “little elbow issue,” the sport in question is probably fooball, rugby or ice hockey.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • GalacticGus

    if it is true that Hanson is being sought by players.. then I would really want to question what the whole Jawgate incident was about and why is Hanson still receiving checks as an assistant. It really makes me wonder if something is wrong. Who knows, for all we know, Hanson could very well be a defensive Wiz in the making. If Cable cannot get it done, as much as I favored Cable.. well someone mentioned to get Hanson in a management position and have him hire Gruden or another coach that is available.
    We can have the offensive Wizardry of Gruden bringing back the west coast with some occasional downfield strikes and keep the hybrid of ZBS and power running. Bush is the new Wheatley, and as long as McFadden does not fumble the new Kaufman/Garner.

  • Bobby Bushay

    I want to see INTENSITY on both sides of the line. Week one was sweet when it came to smackin’ the other guys in the mouth. That, as much as anything, is Raider Football. C’mon Cable, get them punching the other team in the mouth on the line o’ scrimmage!

  • dave r

    cable says we’re on the brink of getting this thing going where to the toilet ?

  • VARaider

    The Raiders need to make a trade for another QB with either the Eagles or the Vikings. I am sure the Raiders can get Michael Vick pretty cheap. Even though Vick has missed the last two seasons, I am sure he can learn quickly the same easy dumbed down play book Russell runs, and complete over 50 percent of his passes.

  • raiderdav

    on the brink of getting what going? can somebody tell me? oh wait i know on the brink of getting a hamburger eating contest with jalwarus and cable guy

  • TBuckey


    i agree with you VY is better than Russel at this point.that guy is a playmaker unlike Russel who cant make plays with his arm or those heavy legs.

  • doriangray

    to heck with cable for believing in dat big dumb bum. us fans cant do anything but cry. i wish errbody would boycottt the next home game. i mean empty stadium other than texans fans. i swear . then stand outside wit signs dat say cut russell now!!

  • TBuckey


    if i lived in oakland i would be there right along with you.too bad im in Utah with a bunch of Broncos fans.

  • Raider kENN

    Crow Says:
    September 28th, 2009 at 4:16 pm
    Russell got his payday. That’s all he’s interested in at this point.

    Exactly, all this fat piece of shytt cares about is partying, and living it. He’s got his money, why would he care what the oakland raiders do?

  • doriangray

    umm vince young sukks crap too! he sukked in college cant throw a 10 yard out . we must play one dem white boys . hell sing sum new white boy . most white qbs at least take da time out to study film. russell i sjust a idiot who wears white fur coats to press conferences after games and goes to the strip club on saturdays. ( the pink flamingo )

  • ragin

    Oakland will win this week f hanson

  • raidercirca70

    I have an infant son and one on the way, it would be child abuse to raise them to be raider fans. What a damn shame…

  • TBuckey


    Russel looks like he cant do that either.at least with VY he could scramble and make plays unlike Russel

  • silvernblack209

    I was at the game, here is what we need to do and I what I observed, first what we to do to improve our offensive play calls, why aren’t we running reverses or quick passes to heyward-bey, we need to get this guy the ball in space..run up field, what happened to play action roll out plays too? I saw Russell scan the field but the receivers are running down the field way too far, we need come back routes where the receives take off plant and turn and the ball is there, also cornell green sucks in pass protection, our o-line was not getting to the second level onto the LBS. We need to go to a double tight end set with Myers on run plays or play action pass plays. And its true the fans were booing Russell every time he took the field, and in the start of the 4th qtr, alot of people started leaving the stadium. We got gashed on run plays giving up big yards. Russel missed open receivers too though, meaning he didn’t see them open, I would have to say its a combination of poor pass protection mainly on RT tackle green side, receivers running deep patterns that need a bit more time, and Rusells poor accuracy and poor reading of the defensive soft softs. On defense it looked like most of the big runs given up were off tackle. I think Warren it washed up, and Ellis is ok, but no long term answer, next years draft, DT, LB OT, CB.

  • lwshooter

    Is it bad that I was hoping that the Broncos would take JRUSS out. I would rather lose with a second string QB that to see all that money wasted on someone that can’t even command respect. By the way it wouldn’t hurt getting a season receiver out there to show these punks what real football is all about. Is Harrison still available? I remember the old raiders used to always pick up the haz benz, on their way out players to build a team with, UMMMM Plunket?

  • Dark Forces

    Russell can barely complete passes that 98% of QBs in the league can throw. Russell has yet to throw a single bomb that wasn’t a completely blown coverage. So much for his “big” arm. Everything is way high and completely off the mark. His long passes are often wobbly and underthrown. He makes Jeff George look good. Meanwhile rookies Sanchez and Stafford are tearing up the league and looking like seasoned vets

  • pbcee

    Dark Forces (119),

    Sanchez and Stafford would not do the same if they were wearing silver and black. Think about it. Rookie QBs are only as good as their coaching staffs and ours is a train wreck because of Ally Al. I think if you put Russell in a different uniform you will see results closer to his LSU days.

  • JT

    Is another QB bust brought to you by Al Davis football, in the lines of

    Jay Schroeder
    Jeff George
    Mark Wilson
    Kerry Collins
    Aaron Brooks

    The man cant spot talent at the QB, thats it, deal with it

    Only time he has had succes is with non-Davis qbs


  • JT

    The 3 amigos, the 3 busts

    JaWalrus (fat and lost at sea)
    McFumble (runs 3 yards and slips or fumbles)

  • JT

    Al Davis & Herrera
    may intimidate and shup up the players & coaches
    and sell you ther hit for brains team
    but they cant intimidate the Raider Nation

    Lets keep booing Rusell at the black hole

  • wswalnutraider

    At the game a fan was so pissed he took off his Russell jersey as our entire section was telling him to toss the jersey down below. To our delight he finally did. For the first time in all my life I am embarrassed to wear the silver and black. F Russel, McFumble and ALzheimers Davis!!!

  • playcalling also suck when you have a struggling QB and are suppose tb be a running team why freaking start throwing out of your endzone?

  • DarthPirate

    McFadden’s still on the team? Well that sucks.

  • fletcher

    Here is my problem with the Riaders and what they are trying to do: 1st Copy what the Saints do with Reggie Bush. Darren Mcfadden needs to on the field as much as possible but not as the primary running back. Michael Bush should be carrying the ball about 18 to 0 times a game. He will tire out defenses leaving it easy pickins for Mcfadden with his speed to catch passes and for some runs mostly on the outer edge.
    2nd and this will never happen because of our owner is to reshuffle the receivers and their roles that they are in. Heywood-Bey can not get out of the way of his own feet. That’s ok… it’s rare for a first year receiver to actually do anything in his first year. He is constanly tripping and falling to the ground making Russells throws look worse then they are. Play Bey… but as a 4th receiver not a number 1 or 2. Walker should be number 2 Shillins who really needs to get back at number 1 and Murphy at 3. With Shillins and Walker playing Murphy will look that much better and Bey will get reps and have a lot less pressure on him. Thats all for now… let me know what you think… it was my first post on this site.

  • halster

    Hello all, I’m new to the blogs but I have to say that I haven’t
    laughed so hard in along time! As a longtime Raider fan I haven’t
    had anything to laugh at for a while so thanks for that. First of all
    I have read all the comments and for the most part I agree with
    the digs on most of the under achievers. Lets not forget who has
    all the say in who is drafted, traded for or to and how the team is
    run. Al Davis is the man behind the curtain period! When I read that we are seeing Al go back to the vertical game, I have to say that even in the 60’s and 70’s “The Bomb” was a function of solid ground game with short and medium passes to the backs,recievers and the tightends. If you look at any of the most successful Raider teams this was also the case. As for Al’s genius in finding players either through the draft, trades or off the waver wire, he had Ron Wolf
    doing that job. The problem with the Raiders is Al. It doesn’t matter who coaches the team. As long as Al has the power the Raiders will fail. We have all probably even worked for someone that hasn’t had a clue about running a job or an organization. They would rather go down with the ship than be right. Al is going down with the ship.
    I recently told my daughter who is a bigtime Raider fan that it might be time to give the team a rest untill either they turn it around or Al has a stroke and his son or some other responsible adult take over.
    My personal choice for the short term is the Colts. You don’t have to guess what they are about or where they are going. I am still a Raider fan but as most of you I can’t afford either mentally or financially to invest my valuble time watching the train wreck! So while I still care and remember the fantastic games( I was at many of them), I will continue to watch the news for Al’s demise.

  • UCSBPreMedMike

    If Cable is wrong, and we are ALL right, then I propose:

    2010: Gruden as head coach. Gannon as GM. Russell can serve out the rest of his contract as our PR man since he’s always soooo positive. Draft a line. Don’t bring Vick in, consider bringing back Garcia for a year…maybe…see what else is out there. What’s sad is these potentially very dangerous “rookies” are going to get use to losing, and will never know what it’s like, more less know how to win with the current situation….just like us fans have gotten use to losing. We are not just risking a QB who may or may not EVER develop into a QB, we risk losing an ENTIRE team that DOES have Super Bowl potential. If it’s coaching, then fix it. Don’t hold back the play book, open the damn thing up. Give people a chance to rise to the occasion and see who will seize it. Unless…of course, these coaches and players are just using the Raiders as a “stepping stone” kinda of like Kiffin anticipated his time here would be.

  • raiderdeek

    “Since moving Russell to guard isn’t an option…”

    Why is this not an option? He weighs just as much as any O-lineman. And did you guys see him leadblock on the reverse in the San Diego game? I thought it was Cornell Green for a split second.

  • UCSBPreMedMike

    But seriously, I DO BELIEVE the personel on this team has what it takes, just as another other team. But the question is do THEY believe? Cable said that Russell will eventually be “what everybody wants him to be.”

    THAT’S THE PROBLEM. It’s not what everybody else wants him to be, WHAT DOES HE WANT TO BE? Did they ask him this before drafting him? It’s been well documented that Russell is pretty careless since the beginnning. And it’s unfortuante. It’s unfortunate that ALL of these coaches and players take what they have for granted and forget that playing for the Raiders is much more than just collecting a check.

    They forget that fans like me aren’t fans because they are some local team. Or that since society has said I’m a gang member, then I must like the Raiders. I am a fan because I believe in what the Raiders once stood for, in what the Raiders once represented.

    At 27, I’m finally looking at my bachelor’s by the end of the year. I started when I was 21 with a crazy idea of becoming a doctor. Unlike high school, I was doing pretty well in school, but at the same time the Raiders weren’t. EVERYDAY I think about police officers, teachers, coworkers telling me I wouldn’t be anything in life…just as many have told players in the NFL that they wouldn’t be anything else in football. Nobody believed in them, except themselves. Al gave them a chance. He gave them a chance and they proved that they could do it. They could WIN! They proved that they were worth something. But that drive, the same drive I have to be the first among ANYBODY I’ve ever known to go to college, more less medical school is what these players are missing.

    It hurts all of us fans, that have been fans long before these players even began playing football, to be disrespected. Sadly, it’s not just football that we’re losing…it’s our identity…it’s our heart….it’s our drive to have an opportunity and come out on top and kick some a$$ for 4 hours of Raider Football.

    And sadly, just for the reasons that drive me to shut everyone up about how I STILL can’t make it into medical school, I hope this damned organization finds it quick, THIS SEASON. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, do what you have to do get the play book down. Coaches, call the plays the give these gusy the opportunities to win, Offense more than anything, put in more hours of running the plays to get this down. Russell???? Come on man…be the leader and bring the entire community back together. You’re play is bigger than you or anything you could have ever imagined.

  • halster

    Sadly, it begins and ends with Al! Get over what it could be should be or any
    other scenarios as well meaned as they might be. As long as Al is there, there is no there!