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Tom Cable Q&A

A transcription of coach Tom Cable’s press briefing Friday the day after a 24-7 loss to the Dallas Cowboys:

(I was traveling from Dallas and did not attend)

Cable: Quick injury update from the game. Greg Ellis was the only one who didn’t finish. Had some fluid on his knee. Ike Ekejiuba, really no worse for wear. Took another shot to the knee. It’s just basically a pretty good bruise. Cornell Green sprained an ankle, doesn’t look to be too serious.

Q: Is there a common theme to the big plays allowed?

Cable: There’s a couple of miscommunications. More than anything, we’re a man team, play press coverage, and we didn’t really play them up real tight. The runs, really, were empty gaps, people not defending the gap properly. But just too many of them. That’s really the tale of the game defensively. Offensively, ran it pretty consistent. Threw it OK, threw it better than last week, but still, against a good team like that on the road, you’ve got to throw a little bit better. And some of that, I think more in the first half just getting untracked. That’s progressing, and special teams was very solid it seemed like all day in terms of covering. Really didn’t get much chance to return. Just really too much to fight back from, too much to overcome.

Q: Was the short week a factor defensively in terms of communication?

Cable: Well, you hope not. They had to do the same thing. So I wouldn’t make an excuse like that. We just did not get it done there.

Q: What was behind the decision to move Trevor, have him play (weak side linebacker)? And do you anticipate doing that more?

Cable: I thought for what we asked him to do, he played well. The only difference in what we had done in weeks past is just stand him up more, not so much on the end but behind he line of scrimmage. Really it just gives us a little more physicalness. We figured going in that they would really try to run the football.

Q: Is that something you anticipate doing more of?

Cable: I think it’s something after looking at it on film was a positive thing and certainly will get better.

Q: Can you address struggles in the passing game with Bruce Gradkowski?

Cable: I would think that’s the only thing I would probably relate to the short week. It’s just the timing of our passing game. You know, it’s better this week than the week before, but like you just said, when you look at it on film, it’s literally a foot here a foot there from being a heck of a throw and a great completion. So if you look at that, that’s something that will just naturally get better and better. But that’s an exciting part of our team, because you can see it coming now.

Q: When you look at the tape, how was the protection?

Cable: Good. You know there was one sack early, we stepped up into one right there at the end of the first half, and then just the one in the second half. A couple of times he got a little antsy in there, but again, Mario’s playing a great player who got him one time. He got him on an over-set. We had a double with a tight end and a back, and it got split, and then one time just pushing up in the pocket. I think it was Spencer came underneath someone.

Q: Any consideration of moving the pocket so that Gradkowski can utilize his mobility?

Cable: Absolutely. But if you look at the width of their ends in this game, they were ready for that. Definitely. It was going to be part of the plan was to move him, but they were playing those guys, if you noticed, backside end was never a factor in our run game.

Q: You said pass protection was ‘good’, what was the grade?

Cable: What would the grade be on protection?

Q: Yeah.

Cable: I’d say ‘B’. You know, it was, for that group of guys, you had three other hurries. That’s really pretty productive against that particular group.

Q: Kelly said the front seven needs to get their act together in terms of communication and being on the same page . . .

Cable: Well I think, communication is all 11. You know, it’s getting the call, the huddle call, being able to get lined up, and fitting off each other, playing in front and behind each other, all the things it takes to be gap sound. You know the thing I took–one of the quotes I saw from him was, ‘We’re stopping them, we’re stopping, we’re stopping them, then bang!’ And that’s a very true statement. You know, you see a lot of high integrity defense, fitting it right, tackling it well, and then the next thing you know, bang, something comes out.

Q: Is that a thing where guys are relaxing after the two good plays?

Cable: When that happens it’s a person letting up somewhere in there, whether it’s a lack of focus or concentration or maybe over-running something, that’s part of it, too, is maybe you understand what it is and what you’re doing but you may get a little antsy and overrun it.

Q: What’s a successful week in terms of points allowed?

Cable: If you’re in that 14-17 range you’re doing pretty well in this league. If you’re doing better than that you’re probably one of the very top defenses. It gives you a chance to go out, offensively, and score two touchdowns and two field goals to have a chance to win it. I think we’re capable of doing that.

Q: Bush no carries in first half?

Cable: Really if you look at how we started the game and you start looking at how those three guys are used, look at how we started the game with the two tailbacks in the game at the same time and using some spread formation, and then a lot of three wide receiver with one back. I think nothing more than we started the game that way.

Q: His fumble vs Cincy had nothing to do with it?

Cable: No.

Q: How is Chaz and does he have the burst he had before the injury?

Cable: Looks like it. He seemed to be very much in control of what he’s doing out there and so for him to be back like that, that’s a real positive.

Q: Is Fargas a guy you can hold up as an example?

Cable: Sure I do. In terms of a bellcow, he brings it every day, practice, game day, loves to play, plays inspired football whether he’s getting it or not. If he’s out there protecting, blocking, catching it, whatever, you’re going to get 100 percent from that guy. He definitely would be an example.

Q: Will Bruce start against Pittsburgh?

Cable: Yes.

Q: How much did TD help DHB’s confidence?

Cable: As I mentioned after the game, every time those young guys do something like that, score a touchdown, hit a couple of big plays, go through a game without s drop, whatever that is. Those are breakthroughs and you just want to keep piling them up and pretty soon that confidence factor will kick in and you got what you wanted.

Q: Did you sense relief from DHB after TD?

Cable: Sure. I think it’s exciting any time a guys scores his first touchdown in the NFL. It’s a big deal for those guys.

Q: Worried about losing guys?

Cable: No. I mentioned this a couple weeks ago. The character of this team is really too strong. I just feel like we’ll go to work every day and put forth the right effort, put forth what it takes to succeed. It’s just a matter of being more stubborn than that negative emotion or negative feeling.

Q: Did you see improvement this week?

Cable: Parts of it. Look at the 5-something average per rush. The completions were up, throwing the ball for 200 yards, again another touchdown pass, some things that we haven’t had here. Those numbers are starting to come where they should be or need to be for us to successful. It gets back to continuity to solve your problems. That’s getting more chunk yardage, big plays in the passing game, and more consistent defense.

Q: How much does running game success a result of Bruce?

Cable: Yeah I think it bodes well for the run game but it also helps the passing game too. As I mentioned earlier, they weren’t going to let us run the boot game or move the quarterback and reverse stuff because they were playing two, three yards outside the tackle and tight end. They just weren’t going to let us do it. That’s space. By alignment they are creating space for us. It definitely is starting to complement each other.

Q: What will you do with extra time, rest or more practice?

Cable: Both. We’ll have an extra day again on Monday so we’ll take advantage of that, introduce Pittsburgh, come back Wednesday, Thursday, Friday like we normally would and travel on Friday. It will be pretty similar to a normal week with the added day of Monday.

Q: Weekend off?

Cable: We’ll be back in Sunday.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • 4evaRaider

    I say the book isnt finished on above said players

  • neilb

    I’m fine 4eva thanks for asking.

  • neilb

    Just been looking at who we’ve kept from our draft picks.I’ve got paper all over here……

    from 1999 to the ’06 draft we’ve kept 11 players out of a possible 61.I don’t know what other teams look like or if that’s good or bad.For me it sounds pretty bad.

    THE PLAYERS:
    Jano
    Lechler
    Walker
    Nnamdi
    Sam Williams
    Fargas
    Gallery
    Routt
    Morrison
    Huff
    Howard

  • neilb

    That took me forever to type with one finger!! Ain’t doing that again !!

  • 4evaRaider

    Chili day here in west central 53 degrees

  • 4evaRaider

    ok…why you type wid 1 finger???

  • neilb

    Don’t want to sound rude or ignorant 4eva…..but I always thought Florida was always hot and sunny.

  • neilb

    ……because that’s all I can do !! I’m useless with a keyboard.

  • 4evaRaider

    It usually is Neilb but sometimes you know!!! lol

  • 4evaRaider

    Attention!!!

    Neilb…your post #153 has disappeared from the inter-net…please Re Post lol

  • neilb

    That’s not funny !!!!

  • neilb

    Off to watch some premiership football now….

    Enjoy your Saturday 4eva.

  • 4evaRaider

    cool Enjoy Neilb!!!

  • jhill

    There are at least 7 team that would pick in front of us right now. That’s actually pretty amazing, lol.

    But we will probably win another 2 games or so, by hum bug alone, and end up picking around 10 or 11.

    Not a real prime spot. I really think we are going to take a corner with Routt being a FA and no one behind him. Nnamdi and CJ will be the only corners on the roster.

  • jhill

    Can anyone tell me why Thomas Howard was benched in favor of Trevor Scott?

  • jhill

    I mean, why Howard instead of Williams?

  • Raider Dell

    Jhill

    I’m still wondering were that move came from and the decision of that defensive move.

    I was at the Cinn game and the 66 yard run and the screen pass was on the Will side were Howard plays. Also Jhill, the last few games the other teams has been successful, with some big chunks of yards on the Will side, where Howard plays.

    Howard missed a blitz of Romo. I still would want Howard out there instead of Scott.

    My question is why wasn’t Cable asked for the change. I didn’t read the answer or why the change anywhere.

  • 4evaRaider

    doo doo

    could be a wrinkle…could be more

    doo doo

  • Florida Pete

    ah, let’s see…

    DHB got a catch and it was a touchdown…

    correction… it was not a catch… his hands missed it and he trapped it against his chest… rather be lucky than good…

    truth is: Hey-Bey can’t catch… i’m not sure he ever will…

    dump him and his salary and move on…

    Russell is not and never will be the answer for the Raiders… you can’t teach self respect… you can’t teach work ethic… you can’t teach JR…

    dump him and his salary and move on…

    McTiptoe has reached his limit… he is simply not a pro-caliber running back…

    dump him and his salary and move on…

    Morrison is not and never will be a good middle linebacker… he can’t shed blocks… can’t stay in his lane… is not intinidating in any sense of the word…

    he is and has been playing out of position… don’t bother resigning him…

    Kelly and Warren are minimum acceptable DTs… there you have it… minimum acceptable, yet highly paid…

    dump them and move on…

    the entire right side of the line (plus center) is minimum acceptable… need to upgrade… this past draft would have been an excellent opportunity…

    at quarterback there is no-one on the roster now who is capable of leading this team next year…

    Cable isn’t the guy… but unless we bring in a Gruden, a Cowher or a Fisher (if available)… we may as well stay with Cable…

    the ZBS sucks… has always sucked… and will always suck…

    we have a really schitty GM… that probably should be fixed first…

    this past years draft was the absolute worst draft in Raider history… (yes, you kind gentlemen are welcome to nominate other years)…

    bottom line…

    your defense will never be good without a top-notch run-stopping MLB… intercepting passes is not the primary function of a MLB…

    your offense will never be good without a mature, intelligent QB… chucking the ball 60 yards while consuming a cheeseburger should not be the main qualification one looks for in a quarterback…

    i could go on, but why bother…

    the season was over when Russell reported to camp with a fat ass… think about this: we have a QB (Jacarcass) who can’t take snaps from under center because he is too fat and clumbsy to turn around and move away from the line…

    i am so disgusted and discouraged with this team…

  • Charlie

    I realize we are a 3-8 teama and by know means am I happy about it.

    The first thing you need to realize is that 2003-2006 were completely wasted years with Lombardi giving Mr Davis terrible advice.
    Lombardi was the architect of those awful teams and continued to preach that it was a coaching problem not a talent problem to take the focus on the poor job he had done.

    Though it cost Shell his job, he made Mr Davis realize this by going public with Lombardi’s ineptitude.
    Mr Davis went with Kiffin to upgrade the talent but clearly Kiffin was immature amd unable to handle the job.

    The bottom line is we have improved since 2006 by playing the game the right way and building a young team of potential.
    Penalties are down, accountability is up and when performance is not there you sit.(See JR).
    With the exception of Kelly and Warren, high salaried under performing vets are gone.
    Those two will be addressed this off season.
    JR will need to renegotiate or he will be gone.
    The Ravens proved that with strong line play you can be effective with average QB play and we will start with the lines next year.

    I continue to push building the lines because it is the last step in the process.
    Cable has cleaned up an enormous mess in a little over one year.

    I understand that the buck stops with Mr Davis but Lombardi really hurt this team.

    We are on the right track.

  • Florida Pete

    charlie…

    if we are on the right track…

    please explain this past years draft…

    how did that draft help this team???

    that draft alone told me we are actually going backward…

    by the time the lines are rebuilt…

    we will be needing all new skill players…

    rebuilding is not a 8 year effort…

    it should take no more than 3 years with a competent GM…

  • 4evaRaider

    QB Bruce Gradkowski JaMarcus Russell Charlie Frye
    RB Darren McFadden Michael Bush Justin Fargas
    FB Luke Lawton Gary Russell
    WR2 Chaz Schilens Louis Murphy Todd Watkins
    TE Zach Miller Tony Stewart Brandon Myers
    LT Mario Henderson Khalif Barnes
    LG Robert Gallery Chris Morris
    C Samson Satele Chris Morris
    RG Cooper Carlisle Chris Morris
    RT Cornell Green Erik Pears
    WR1 Darrius Heyward-Bey Johnnie Lee Higgins Nick Miller
    ****************************************************

    If you look at the line Chris Morris is like the only back-up we need depth and starters on the O-line yet I think this year the DT’s and MLB will be addressed or who knows

  • Florida Pete

    4evaRaider Says:
    November 28th, 2009 at 8:24 am

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    now that is a seriously depressing list…

  • 4evaRaider

    sorry to ruin the start of the Holiday Season…

    But yeah…not good,imo

  • Charlie

    Pete,

    Mr Davis has generally built teams from the outside in.
    I do not like it because I think it takes longer to be competitive that way.

    If you have the patience it can yield some very good results. The Cowboys of the early nineties were built exactly that way but they did not start winning until they drafted Russell Maryland at DT.

    All I am saying is that we have a core group of hard working palyers that are playing the game right.

    Buffoons like Sapp, Moss, Jordan etc are not on the team.
    We have solid proven assistant coaches that have clearly pointed out to Mr Davis that our lines need help (See Seymour trade).

    I am as frustrated as are all Raider fans but we do have a plan. With the exception of Kelly and Warren, there is no over payed dead wood on the team.
    Those two will be addressed this offseason.
    Warren will be gone.
    JR is a dissappointment. Who else would anyone have drafted in 2007?
    No one challenged that pick.
    I am not giving up on him yet but the draft is never a sure thing.
    The young skill guys need to get more experience but we must improve our line play.

  • Raider Joe

    Charlie, you asked who everyone else would’ve drafted in 2007 over Russell? (8% of the posters here are going to respond with one name: Calvin Johnson.That he would’ve been the savior.Ignore the fact that either Aaron Brooks or Andrew Walter would have been the starting QB. All the Johnson boosters seem to forget that.I am in total agreement that Russell does appear to be a bust. but I supported the pick at the time and stand by that. Because the #1 priority was a QB, no two ways about it. Calvin Johnson would have been an immediate waste with no one to throw the ball to him.Al definitely missed on Russell,unfortunately but there’s really no way of knowing he’s fail be until he’s on your tame and stinking it up. So the hope was that he would transition into an NFL QB, but it didn’t happen and that has happened with numerous #1 pick QB s in recent years as someone pointed out earlier. You could also throw out that old standby that Al should have taken Ben Roethlisberger instead of Robert Gallery that year. Or Larry Fitzgerald over Michael Huff.Hindsight is 20-20 as they say.

  • Florida Pete

    Charlie Says:
    November 28th, 2009 at 8:42 am
    Pete,

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    Charlie…

    i was one of those people against that pick…

    i liked Walter… still do…

    but generally speaking… i am never in favor spending a first round pick on a rookie QB…

    my method would be to find that experienced QB with maturity who can lead the team for 5 to 10 years…

    we’ve had success with that… Gannon, Plunkett…

    as for patience????

    are you kidding me???

    half of the people on this board would have the Raiders winning football games by now if they had taken over 3 yaers ago…

    seven years of futility is not an arguement for patience…

    it is an arguement for a change in management…

  • Kirk

    Hindsight? Davis has blown every first round pick except Aso.

  • Florida Pete

    oh, i would have taken Joe Thomas in the first round of that year…

    or… if i really were the owner of the franchise… i would have selected a legitimate 2nd rounder and offered 2nd round money… sign, don’t sign… it wouldn’t matter to me…

    i’d rather throw away a top ten pick for nothing… then draft one and have it cost me a fortune…

  • Charlie

    With all due respect C. Johnson will do nothing for a team without an Oline or QB.
    See Detroit’s record since Johnson was drafted by the Lions.
    Johnson is the poster child of why WR’s are the very last thing a team needs.
    They are the equivalent of a great DB without a good Dline. Useless.

    Sound familiar?
    I would agree with anything that builds the lines so I would have fine with Joe Thomas.

    My only point is we did need a franchise QB.
    The percentages say you will find more franchise QB’S in the first round than in the fourth round.

  • Dark Forces

    Calvin Johnson caught 12 TD passes last year for the awful Lions. Do we even have 12 TDs as a team this year?

  • Raider

    “# Dark Forces Says:
    November 28th, 2009 at 9:45 am

    Calvin Johnson caught 12 TD passes last year for the awful Lions. Do we even have 12 TDs as a team this year?

    *****

    good observation. Despite the Lion’s record, they still managed to have their QB put the ball into their best player’s hands 12 times for a touchdown. TWELVE TIMES to one reciever. Defenses know that Johnson is who they need to plan against, and they still get the ball to him. That, my friends, is a playmaker. Culpepper to Johnson would have worked just fine until we found a permanant solution at QB.

  • Nnamdi21

    Jamarcus Russell HAS been a bust so far yes. In agreement. I still believe he’ll come around and perform.

    Who knows what Davis will do, but we may get some new blood on the lines next year.

    If we do and they perform, theres a vast array of talent on both sides.

    Huff may not be the answer, but Tyvon and Mike Mitchell have quietly been fairly solid all things considered.

    I know one thing, I’m going to give Mike Mayock some cred when April rolls around…

  • Nnamdi21

    Wonder if Cable sticks. He’s good at the ZBS and looking at some of the drafts prospects, O line looks thin again.

    ZSB is supposed to help that. Hope we can find some good O line guys. Davis probably thinks we don’t need any. Cornell Green is fine at RT…:(

    Okalahomans vie for 2010 Drafts top lineman

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=AjOnujRK7P4gXxYgtCApOA5DubYF?slug=pfw-20091127_oklahomans_vie_for_top_o_line_spot&prov=pfw&type=lgns

  • Nnamdi21

    Draft the Pouncey’s.

    Though the brother combination thing hasn’t worked out for Philly and the Andrews…

  • Florida Pete

    dacarcass will never come around…

    he doesn’t even know he sucks…

  • DKnight007

    Florida Pete Says:
    November 28th, 2009 at 8:07 am
    charlie…

    if we are on the right track…

    please explain this past years draft…

    how did that draft help this team???

    that draft alone told me we are actually going backward…

    by the time the lines are rebuilt…

    we will be needing all new skill players…

    rebuilding is not a 8 year effort…

    it should take no more than 3 years with a competent GM…

    ^^^^^^^Exactly!

    Once Al Davis stops making the football decisions and draft picks…starts hiring a REAL GM/PERSONNEL man and a REAL head coach….then and only then will the Raiders start winning again.

    Thats the bottom line….

  • jhill

    Thanks Dell!

    Kinda strange how Cable decides who to bench. The again, without much depth, Morrison and the rookie WRs have to stay out there.

    I wonder what the long term plan is for Howard? If Scott is now the Weakside LB, then we should just cut the BS and go with the 3-4. There are so many times when we play around with it any way by standing a DT up.

    Let’s just get on with it!

  • jhill

    Well, since Cable seems to like the I formation and running up the gut, why are we running the ZBS? We need some Oline guys that can just line up and punch you in the mouth.

  • Florida Pete

    side note:

    i hate the ZBS…

  • jhill

    The ZBS is why we miss the old Oren Oneal. He made up for a lot!

  • DKnight007

    jhill Says:
    November 28th, 2009 at 10:28 am
    Well, since Cable seems to like the I formation and running up the gut, why are we running the ZBS? We need some Oline guys that can just line up and punch you in the mouth.

    ^^^^^^^Running a straight up man to man O-Line blocking scheme is not the way to go either.

    Art Shell tried that and the offense was worse than this years offense.

  • Mistabrown

    LOL

    Nnamdi21 Says:
    November 28th, 2009 at 9:59 am

    Jamarcus Russell HAS been a bust so far yes. In agreement. I still believe he’ll come around and perform.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Florida Pete #169,

    Post is right on the money.

    You and I were pleading everyday about fixing the lines. Everyone gave a thousand reasons why Raji/Brace or Monroe would be a bust….blah blah blah

    Run defense is still utter garbage. Yet you people talked about coaching, scheme, Rob Ryan blah blah blah

    Most of the so-called experts here are no smarter than Davis. Fascination with speed etc….

    Build the damn lines!

    Vikings were making the playoffs with Tavaris Jackson.

    Still we don’t learn.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Florida Pete Says:
    November 28th, 2009 at 10:32 am
    side note:

    i hate the ZBS…
    =======================================================
    Another great post. This team gets pushed around.

    ZBS is an excuse to bring in middling talent and pass them off as good

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    jhill Says:
    November 28th, 2009 at 10:34 am
    The ZBS is why we miss the old Oren Oneal. He made up for a lot!
    =======================================================
    Oren O’Neal is a beast. Cable can’t evaluate talent worth a damn!

    Get Cable and his “do-right” guys have decimated this franchise. GEt him outtah here and try and get a coach with NFL experience (read Fassell)

  • DKnight007

    SnB offense defense specialteams Says:
    November 28th, 2009 at 10:42 am
    Florida Pete #169,

    Post is right on the money.

    You and I were pleading everyday about fixing the lines. Everyone gave a thousand reasons why Raji/Brace or Monroe would be a bust….blah blah blah

    Run defense is still utter garbage. Yet you people talked about coaching, scheme, Rob Ryan blah blah blah

    Most of the so-called experts here are no smarter than Davis. Fascination with speed etc….

    Build the damn lines!

    ^^^^^^^Not that many people here wanted DHB or Maclin.

    Most wanted Crabtree, Monroe or Orakpo actually.

    The pick should have been Monroe or Crabtree OR a TRADE DOWN to get Harvin or Orakpo.

    But nooooooooo….the stupid old man GM does something STUPID……again on draft day!

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    jhill Says:
    November 28th, 2009 at 10:26 am
    Thanks Dell!

    Kinda strange how Cable decides who to bench. The again, without much depth, Morrison and the rookie WRs have to stay out there.

    I wonder what the long term plan is for Howard? If Scott is now the Weakside LB, then we should just cut the BS and go with the 3-4. There are so many times when we play around with it any way by standing a DT up.

    Let’s just get on with it!
    =======================================================
    No rhyme or reason to what’s going on here. HOward was the problem? Give me a break!

    Yet Eugene plays week after week, Morrison?

    Cable is a baffoon.

    Howard is a beast on another team with a real scheme and playcalling.

    This team is as far away from winning as it has ever been during the last 7 years!

  • DKnight007

    SnB offense defense specialteams Says:
    November 28th, 2009 at 10:42 am
    Florida Pete #169,

    Post is right on the money.

    You and I were pleading everyday about fixing the lines. Everyone gave a thousand reasons why Raji/Brace or Monroe would be a bust….blah blah blah

    Run defense is still utter garbage. Yet you people talked about coaching, scheme, Rob Ryan blah blah blah

    Most of the so-called experts here are no smarter than Davis. Fascination with speed etc….

    Build the damn lines!

    Vikings were making the playoffs with Tavaris Jackson.

    Still we don’t learn.

    ^^^^^^^^Not WE SNB.

    It’s Al Davis who doesn’t learn and loves his delusional world he lives in.

    Fact of the matter is…..the Raiders are dying just like Al Davis is dying.

  • jhill

    SnB,

    Dell made a good point about Howard giving up big screens. Huff has been starting for Eugene for a while now. It’s been at least 3 or 4 games. My issue is with Eugene playing over Mitchell. Slide Branch back to FS and bring Mitchell in at SS.

    Norris is already 245. Him and Nixon are essentially on the weight program this year, and are getting good run on STs now.

    This years draft should net us a solid DT around 10 or 11. We already have our 3/4 DEs in Seymour and Shaugnessy.