As sentiment builds that Tom Cable be held accountable for allegations of violence against women, the Raiders head coach wrapped up his team’s final practice Thursday during its bye week determined to do his job until the situation comes to a resolution.
In a column by Christine Brennan of USA Today, National Organization for Women president Terry O’Neill called for Cable’s suspension by the NFL.
Although there are no legal issues, Cable’s current problems are more serious in nature than the alleged assault against assistant coach Randy Hanson which wasn’t pursued because evidence insufficient to sustain a conviction.
Cable, when asked about the NOW statement and if he was concerned that outside pressure would influence the ultimate resolution of the situation, said, “I don’t think so. I think it will be handled properly. I’m going to leave it at that right now.”
There have been no additional discussions with owner Al Davis, Cable said.
“We talk a lot about football, personnel and those kinds of things,” Cable said. “We put that, not necessarily behind us, but we’ve had that discussion and we’ve moved on to the football team.”
Raiders left guard Robert Gallery said Cable has an ability to push aside the outside controversies and focus on football.
“The thing about Cabe is he’s a steady guy,” Gallery said. “He loves football and he doesn’t really get fazed. Obviously he’s had his own issues, right or wrong, he’s dealt with them the right way. He’s here to win games. He’s doing everything he can to his power to help us win games.
“ He hasn’t changed a bit. That’s one thing I’ll give him credit for. No matter what’s been thrown at him, he hasn’t changed. That’s good as a player to see that because there’s been situations in the past where you feel like guys kind of at this point backing off or whatever and he’s definitely not like that. That’s the type of guy you want.”
In the end, Cable is likely to be judged on his record _ which at the present time, is 6-14.
“I think he knows we all support him, especially our group, we’re pretty tight in the line room,” Gallery said. “We’ve got to help him out by winning games. That’s what it comes down to. That’s the name of the game in the NFL so part of that’s on us so we kind of carry that on our shoulders as a team but we’ve just got to go back to work. Not a whole lot to be said about it.”
A few news and notes as players quickly vacated the the facility to get on with their weekend:
— No changes in status among injured players. Gallery and wide receiver Chaz Schilens were limited. Cornerback Chris Johnson (groin) sat out. Defensive tackle Gerard Warren (foot) was limited. Wide receiver/return specialist Nick Miller is still not on the practice field and linebacker Ricky Brown remains in a cast.
Defensive end Greg Ellis underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his arthritic knee, and Cable would not rule him out for the Nov. 15 game against the Chiefs. Running back Darren McFadden had arthroscopic knee surgery and missed four games (he is expected back for Kansas City).
Cable said the difference is McFadden needed to have a meniscus repaired, whereas with Ellis “there wasn’t any repair, so to speak. So, it was just kind of clean it up, vacuum it out, that kind of deal.”
— Defensive end Richard Seymour missed practice to go home a day early to South Carolina, a early departure that was agreed upon when he came to the Raiders just before the opening game of the season.
— Asked about pleasant surprises in the first half, Cable listed the folloiwng things:
1) The consistency of the running game over the past 2 1/2 games.
2) Goal line defense _ Cable said the Raiders have given up just three touchdowns in 11 goal line snaps.
3) Third down defense in recent games.
“Third and long has been kind of a sore issue for us,” Cable said. “But anything from three to 10, we’ve been pretty productive for the last month.”
— With regard to personnel, Cable said cited the recent play of center Samson Satele and said “Darrius’ (Heyward-Bey) development over the the last two weeks has jumped out.”
Defensively, said the play of rookie end Matt Shaughnessy and defensive tackle Desmond Bryant “stood out from the get-go,” and said, “Tyvon Branch has been as rock solid as you could ask him to be.”