Cable: Circumstances dictate Bush’s use

News, notes and quotes following Tom Cable’s press conference Monday following a 20-19 win over the Denver Broncos:

— One of the most consistent complaints among Raiders fans concerning Cable’s use of personnel is the underutilization of running back Michael Bush.

Bush gained 133 yards on 18 carries and had a 23-yard touchdown run against Denver, owns each of the last three 100-yard games by an Oakland runner and is currently the Raiders leading rusher with 519 yards on 103 carries, and has the best yards per carry average at 5.0.

Yet Bush vanishes for long stretches _ he carried only four times for nine yards in the previous three games and didn’t get a single touch in a 34-13 loss to Washington.

I said to Cable that people wonder why he simply doesn’t commit to 15 or more carries for Bush per game and work from there.

“I do that too, sometimes, really,’’ Cable said.

Bottom line?

“The real issue is we have gotten ourselves in a turnover issue or (have fallen behind) and it’s taken us away from that,’’ Cable said. “That’s not fair to anybody, but it is what it is, and that’s the situation we have to eliminate. When that happens I think we’ll see whoever getting it 15, 20 shots at it.’’

Cable said fumbles have not affected his judgment about how he uses the backs. Both Bush and McFadden quickly got carries following fumbles against Denver.

— As promising as it was for JaMarcus Russell to come through against Denver with the game on the line, it’s apparent enough things went wrong on the two prior series that Cable isn’t considering reinstating him as the starter unless absolutely necessary.

“What I’m proud of him is kind of persevering and he made the ones that counted right there at the end to get it done, and that’s a big deal for him personally,’’ Cable said. “I think it’s good for his teammates to see him go in there in that situation and get it done when it really had to get done.’’

The quarterback situation will be come clear Wednesday, and Cable wouldn’t yet rule out Bruce Gradkowski. If Gradkowski were to recover sufficiently and miss only a single game with two MCL tears, aside from being a medical miracle, he’d be the starting quarterback.

Since Frye is the choice to start (assuming Gradkowski can’t play) if he passes neurological exams following a concussion, it makes sense he would be the backup. Presumably, Russell’s game ball will keep him ahead of J.P. Losman.

— While Frye’s stats were unimpressive (9-for-17, 68 yards, a 38.4 passer rating), Cable gave him a “B’’ and thought he was two throws away _ deep passes to Chaz Schilens and Louis Murphy _ from an exceptional game.

On both throws, Cable said Frye had gotten a safety out of position and took legitimate deep shots. He also lauded Frye for taking over when the helmet radio went out and called plays based on his personnel groups with no sign of panic.

— Asked about how he has responded to all the off-field aspects which blindsided his first full year as Raiders coach, as well as dealing with a makeshift offensive line and quarterback problems, Cable cited the work ethic of his team and his belief things are turning for the better.

“I knew the truth and trusted the system, and it’s worked the way it’s supposed to,’’ Cable said. “My passion for turning this thing around and going to the playoffs with the Oakland Raiders is the coolest thing to me.

“I want that more than anything, and it’s not going to happen this year, but it’s going ot happen soon.’’

— Sunday’s win was Cable’s most satisfying because “of the quarterback issue’’ and the fact that “nobody blinked. I think that’s what makes you who you’re becoming and makes you a champion.’’

— Aside from Russell, who Cable said following the game had won a game ball, other recipients were Bush and Tony Stewart on offense, cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, middle linebacker Kirk Morrison and defensive end Greg Ellis on defense, and Sebastian Janikowski on special teams.

After the loss of Brandon Myers to a concussion, Stewart was responsible for lining up emergency tight end Erik Pears, an offensive lineman whose girth added to the Raiders rushing attack that finished with a season-high 241 yards on 34 carries.

Stewart also had three receptions for 27 yards, including an 11-yard first down catch on fourth-and-10 on the final drive.

Pears had studied up on playing tight end in an emergency but hadn’t taken a single rep there during the week.

“We kind of did it by the seat of our pants and he made it work,’’ Cable said.

— Greg Ellis didn’t practice until Friday and estimates he played only 30 snaps, a schedule he will probably continue throughout the season.

“The Cincinnati game I think I made a mistake because I played 61 plays coming back less than two weeks off a scoped knee and shoulder,’’ Ellis said. “Probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do. That probably set me back some.’’

— Cable said he hoped Darrius Heyward-Bey would be on the field running this week. He said an ankle injury to cornerback Chris Johnson and knee sprains to Cooper Carlisle and Justin Fargas seemed relatively minor.

Tight end Brandon Myers will join Frye and Zach Miller in line at the computer taking tests to determine if they can return from concussions.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • SnB offense defense specialteams


    The problem, in my opinion, is the Raiders are trying to split carries with 3 running backs. That’s almost impossible to do.

    The truth is, the DMAC pick was uneccesary. I think a 1 – 2 punch of Bush and Fargas would have worked just fine.

    But we are here now. You need those long runs. They track 20+ runs for a reason

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Nov. 15, 2009 – 5:23 p.m. ET

    Kevin Smith rushed 12 times for 55 yards and caught three passes for 10 yards in Sunday’s loss to the Vikings.

    Smith had some nice, big holes in the first half but couldn’t break any big runs. We’re not sure if his various nagging injuries were bothering him, but he didn’t look explosive at all. Once the game got out of hand, Smith was replaced by Maurice Morris. He has a great matchup against the Browns next week, but make sure he’s feeling healthy before using him.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Nov. 13, 2009 – 10:06 a.m. ET

    Lions coach Jim Schwartz wants to see more “explosive plays” from his running backs.

    Kevin Smith, averaging just 3.3 YPC, is beginning to come under fire in Detroit. “To get those type of runs you have to break tackles,” said Smith. “I guess I’m not breaking any tackles to get those explosives.” While Smith is in no danger of a decreased workload this year, the Lions may look to upgrade in the future.

  • mistic1

    When bush gets the ball enough times he produces. macfadden hasnt been healthy enough to get the ball before the last two weeks. The last two weeks he has looked pretty damn good. They can both improve on ball security, Tiki barber did it. They are learning to be pros. Our offense is extremely young, as these guys grow together they will get better. Be patient.

  • mistic1

    Here is why macfadden is special. Not only is threat in the backfield, circling out of the back field into the flat, you can also line him up in the slot or wide and he can make plays. This is one thing I dont like about cable, he hasnt found ways to use macfaddens skill set. Maybe this has to do with his health concerns, but we need to see him with the ball in his hands alot over the next two weeks. We already know what fargas is, now its time to find out what our young back bring to the table.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Bush has 3 fumbles and he lost 2. Ok, I get it.

    BTW, Fargas fumbled 3x last year. We didn’t give up on him did we?

    BTW, Adrian Peterson has 6 fumbles and lost 5…but then again he has 15TDS and 1200 yards with 2 games to go.

    Chris Johnson has 2 fumbles and lost both of them

    Guess it would be platoon time if Peterson or Johnson was in Oakland.

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    McFadden and special should not be in the same sentence.

    He has improved a lot the last few weeks. But he is going into his third year with very little sign of being an effective between the tackles runner.

  • Plunketthead

    Fargas picks up the blitz and does a great job blocking. Thats another reason why Cable starts him.
    Lord knows they need help blocking.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Plunketthead Says:
    December 21st, 2009 at 5:24 pm
    Fargas picks up the blitz and does a great job blocking. Thats another reason why Cable starts him.
    Lord knows they need help blocking.
    I am cool with that and respect what Fargas brings to the table. But we are forcing him into the lineup as a starter when its not working.

    At the end of it all…I see Bush as a starting running back in this league that is capable of putting up 1200+ yards per season. He’s got to get the ball.

    Take the carries away from DMAC then. The question should be “How to split the REMAINING carries between Fargas and DMAC”

    That should be the question!

  • http://www.Move2Alameda.com KoolKell

    Bush blocks as well or better than Fargas.

    Primary job of a RB is to carry the football.

    Bush, by the numbers, is the best on the team.

  • mistic1

    I disagree, he has made some tough yards between the the tackles, 2-4 yard gains. Between the tackle runs show up in the second half, again between carry number 10-and 20. This is where they pay off. We have not seen enough of a work load from him to judge that. Also the o-line has been terrible, they havnt opened the holes. The only question about dmac is his durability. The last two weeks show me he is rounding into a solid pro.

  • Plunketthead

    I want to see the Skins kick arse

  • Florida Pete

    Silver-n-Smac Says:
    December 21st, 2009 at 4:54 pm
    Hey Koolkell:

    Enough with your freakin’ statistics? I could give a rat’s ass about stats. And the only reason I mentioned Fargas having over a 1000 yards in barely over a half-season is because you’re so in love with your stats.

    And if you want to dwell on his “3.6 yards per game”, let’s do some simple math:

    3.6 yards (1st down) + 3.6 yards (2nd down) + 3.6 yards (3rd down) = 1ST DOWN!!!!!

    Guess what that means?

    The drive stays alive!


    honestly… how many drives have stayed alive with Fargas carrying the football???

    Fargas’ best year was two years ago…

    since then he has been the featured back…

    how many 100 yard games since then???

    how many 1000 yard seasons???

    oh… and if you want to bring up staying in to block…

    3 TD’s, 10 ints, 30 sacks… those are Russell’s number in his 1st ten games this year…

    so how valuable was it that Fargas is a better blocker than Bush???

    personally, i like running backs that can run the football…

    i’ll take Bush anyday on my team… he plays 1st string… Fargas can come in when Bush needs a little “me” time…

  • Plunketthead

    I dunno how much longer I can hold on to the high hopes I had for the President.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Bush has fumbled 3x….its not like he’s fumbled 7 or 8x

    Trust me. The opponent feels pretty good holding the Raiders to 60 or 70 yards rushing.

    We don’t have the Patriots offense or the Cardinals…the Raiders have to run the ball and run it effectively.

    Get the 4 and 5 yards on 1st and 10…sure makes the QBs job a lot easier.

  • Plunketthead

    Cable will start Bush for the next 5 years.

  • http://www.Move2Alameda.com KoolKell

    Silver-n-Smac Says:
    December 21st, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    And if you want to dwell on his “3.6 yards per game”, let’s do some simple math:

    3.6 yards (1st down) + 3.6 yards (2nd down) + 3.6 yards (3rd down) = 1ST DOWN!!!!!

    Guess what that means?

    The drive stays alive!
    Yeah, as if the Raiders have been a First Down Making Machine the last 7 years. lol

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Thank you Florida Pete…..the running backs primary job is to run the football for yards.

    Adrian Peterson has fumbled 6x and lost 5 of them. They still feed him the rock.

    I guess Chris Johnson’s 2 fumbles would cost him two games here in Oakland.

    Justin Fargas had 3 fumbles last year…

  • mistic1

    Cable better win these next two or he is gone, you cant be a five game winner two years straight in this town

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Plunketthead Says:
    December 21st, 2009 at 5:33 pm
    Cable will start Bush for the next 5 years.
    Start Bush and spell him with Fargas.

    What’s wrong with that!

    Fargas is also turning 30 years old. We better hope Bush wants to stay around after next year.

    There is a market for the running back right now!

  • lefty12

    When you listen to Cable, he is constantly talking about everything as ‘team’-people having each others backs,etc.It may not be right,but last year Bush was asked to play FB due to injuries.Unlike big L.Walker who moved to a different position for the ‘team’,Bush refused.Fargas has always been a ‘team’ player.That probably plays into the equation-right or wrong.

  • Plunketthead

    You can if you have a strong pimp hand

  • spellcheck

    silver n smac….give it up….you’re wasting your time
    Besides the only one dumber than a moron is the person who’d argue with one.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams


    If Fargas was putting up the numbers and getting the yards…I’d be all cool with him running the football.

    But an offense like ours needs those 100+ games to really be effective….in my opinion….

    Fargas does well in spots…like that last drive to help seal the Philly game….but he doesn’t get the runs that help win the game with a big run here or there….his average is 3.5ypg puts pressure on the passing game…a passing game that still needs a lot of work.

    I see Bush and the dynamics change….he can break that big run…because we’ve seen it.

    Cable needs to find a way to get Bush 15 to 20…if Fargas gets 15 to 20 as well…then I am cool with it.

    Bush should be the focal point of this offense

  • Florida Pete


    if you thought you were way better at your job than the other guys on your crew…

    would you want to be their apprentice???

    i wouldn’t… and i won’t…

    Bush would have a job before midnight if the Raiders cut him right now…

    and that goes for anytime this season…

    or last for that matter…

  • http://www.Move2Alameda.com KoolKell

    Lefty12 Says:
    December 21st, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    When you listen to Cable, he is constantly talking about everything as ‘team’-people having each others backs,etc.It may not be right,but last year Bush was asked to play FB due to injuries.Unlike big L.Walker who moved to a different position for the ‘team’,Bush refused.Fargas has always been a ‘team’ player.That probably plays into the equation-right or wrong.
    I can’t think of anything else. But winning is more important, no?

    Or trade the guy.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Do you guys want to win? Do we have a passing attack that can carry the load?

    Does Fargas deliver the big play ability….does he grind the opponent down while getting positive yards?

    Play the best players.

    Perhaps we can trade DMAC or move him to receiver?????

  • Mistabrown

    This world is upside down:

    Pres Barback Hussein Marx 0bama talking about fiscal responsibility while bankrupting the Country spending Trillions.

    Coach Cable saying BUSH’s fumble has no bearing on BUSH riding the pine.

    Mindless Raider fans still having Fargas’s back.

    Record LOW temps in the East Coast as the Global Warming HOAX continues.

    God help us..

  • lefty12

    S&B-I’ve always been a Bush supporter.I didn’t want McFadden because we had him.I’m just pointing out what might go into the thinking of giving Fargas so much playing time-sort of rewarding him for being such a team guy all these years.As i also said-right or wrong.I also believe his starting status is something that is decided upstairs if you know what I mean.

  • http://www.Move2Alameda.com KoolKell

    SnB Offense Defense Specialteams Says:
    December 21st, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    Do you guys want to win? Do we have a passing attack that can carry the load?
    Then why did we try to? With 2 rookie WR’s for gawdsake?

  • Florida Pete

    it’s amazing… we park Bush on the bench…

    we keep an ineffective QB as our starter for half a season…

    we play two rookies as our primary receivers… one of whom can’t freaking catch…

    personally, i am amazed we’re 5-9…

  • Mistabrown

    Oh great SnB & Koolkell asking the same questions for the 1000th time.

    Do you both have Alzheimer’s or ADD?

  • Florida Pete

    um… we are 5 and 9… yes???

    the 5 seems like such a big number after all these years…

  • Mistabrown

    Pete I’m amazed you were wanting Cable to run the ball with 2 mins left in the game down by 7 points.

  • http://www.Move2Alameda.com KoolKell

    The Raiders should have let that stuff develop over the season, rather than forcing it from day 1.

    Like we ALL hoped they would in the pre=season.

  • Florida Pete

    Mistabrown Says:
    December 21st, 2009 at 5:50 pm
    Oh great SnB & Koolkell asking the same questions for the 1000th time.

    Do you both have Alzheimer’s or ADD?


    actually Alzheimer’s and ADD are not mutually exclusive…

    one can have both…

    just trying to help…

  • Plunketthead

    Nice drive by the pissants

  • Florida Pete

    Mistabrown Says:
    December 21st, 2009 at 5:51 pm
    Pete I’m amazed you were wanting Cable to run the ball with 2 mins left in the game down by 7 points.


    i didn’t want Losman to pass… i thought a running play would have been a better idea…

  • jmeds

    Bush should be getting 15-20 carries a game, period. The numbers do not lie. Mcfadden was able to punch a few because the change of pace catches defenses tired. I would split Mcfadden out wide and in the slot all game. He has hands like a reciever. Leave Bush as a single back. We have weapons on offense that hopefully start producing like they are capable of. DHB would be a bonus. What’s done is done.

  • lefty12

    S&B-one thing Fargas does do is help grind the opponent down.Cable made the point of saying in his press conf. today that falling behind has limited the RBs carries.I am in no way sticking up for Fargas-I believe Bush should start and get 20-25 carries a game.

  • Florida Pete

    gotta go…

    back later probably…

    maddenraider won’t be in tonight…

    rack-of-schit handed his ass to him on a platter earlier…

    it was hilarious…

  • http://www.Move2Alameda.com KoolKell

    We do have weapons on Offense. I think Louis Murphy is a helluva instinctual WR. Can run, catch, get open, and loves to compete. A fighter.

  • Mistabrown

    Tires around the necks of the Oakland Raiders:

    -J Russel
    -J Fargas
    -A Davis
    -K Morrison

  • lefty12

    We would not have been starting 2 rookie WRs if Chaz hadn’t gotten hurt.Unfortunately,the one who probably would have sat would have been Murphy thus stunting his development.

  • http://www.Move2Alameda.com KoolKell

    As I recall, all of us thought the Raiders should lean on the running game this year.

    But Al Davis had delu, er visions of Russell to Bey bombs lighting up the sky, the greatness of yesteryear, etc…

  • jmeds

    I feel our offense gets stunted by misuse of our talent. It is not so much the play calling, but more the personell groupings. Murphy, Chaz, Higgins, and Mcfadden should be in three and four reciever sets. Miller at tight end and Bush in the backfield. Huddle up call the play and get to the line with 15 seconds still on the play clock so you can see the defense and make adjustments. Little things. I hate seeing cb’s 7-10 yards off a reciever and we do not audible to a quick smoke pass to get the 5-6 yards they are giving us. Third and 1 and we run Mcfadden at the line when we have a 245 pound monster ready to go.

  • truebeliever

    I hella heart koolkell, I think his posts are smart and spot on, and he rarely takes the bait from smacktalkers who hit below the belt.

  • http://www.Move2Alameda.com KoolKell

    Hehe, thank-you. Of course, they will say you are me. 😉

  • Florida Pete

    Pete’s Draft – 1st Edition

    1st Round – Center
    Stefen Wisniewski*, Penn State
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 298.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.13.
    We should trade down to pick up an extra pick in the 2nd or 3rd and then take this kid. A real live, smart center with a little bit of a pedigree…

    2nd Round – Defensive Tackle
    Dan Williams, Tennessee
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 327.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.25.
    2nd Team All SEC – I like big, mean, heavy loads in the middle…

    3rd Round (1st pick) – Middle Linebacker
    Micah Johnson, Kentucky
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 254.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.71.
    2nd Team All SEC – I like big mean heavy loads in the middle…

    3rd Round (2nd Pick) – Right Tackle
    Anthony Davis*, Rutgers
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 330.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.24.
    Big, strong guy… may not be there when we pick…

    4th Round – Right Tackle
    Chris Scott, Tennessee
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 341.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.43.
    Big, strong guy… should be there when we pick…

    7th Round – Defensive Tackle
    DeMarcus Granger, Oklahoma
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 330.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.40.
    He’s a medical basket case… but if he’s there… and he might be… we should take him…

  • Kirk

    Without Jamarcus, Fargas, and DHB we would be going to the playoffs.