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Cable won’t rattle

News, notes and observations from Monday’s open locker room session and Tom Cable’s season-ending press briefing:

– Can’t say I’ve ever seen a coach who can shake off a crisis quite like Cable.

As he stood before the local media and answered questions about his job performance and job security, Cable was every bit as cool and confident as he was through a turbulent season.

Included was Randy Hanson and Jawgate, an ESPN story alleging he had a history of violence toward women, an underperforming multi-million-dollar quarterback and so many one-sided losses the Raiders finished with the second biggest negative point differential in franchise history.

The Raiders were outscored by 182 points in 16 games, meaning they on average were outscored by 11.4 points per game. The 1961 pre-Al Davis Raiders were outscored by 15.8 points per game, finishing 2-12.

The Raiders were 31st in scoring (scoring less than 200 points for the second time in franchise history), 31st in offense, 23rd in scoring defense, 26th in total defense and 29th in run defense.

None of which matters a whit to Cable, who looks at the last seven games of the season and sees something special in the offing.

“The next step is not only to compete and be in (the games), but to win them and get over the hump,” Cable said.

Cable said he is not troubled by speculation regarding his job and hasn’t given it a second thought.

“All I know is I have a contract right now,” Cable said. “Whether or not it’s honored is not up to me. I’m a ball coach. I’m a damn god football coach so things will work out. They always do.”

He laughed when asked if all the controversy had taught him to ride through a storm.

“I’m the master. Any of you got problems, call me,” Cable said.

– Count quarterback Bruce Gradkowski in the Cable camp.

“To be a head coach and come in this league and only get one year, one shot, it’s tough,” Gradkowski said. “The good teams in this league, their coaches have been there for awhile with the same players and got to work together. It’s not only hard on the coaching staff but it’s hard on the players to continually learn new systems, new coaches.

“It’s all about consistency.”

Said tight end Zach Miller: “Guys play hard for him. All year I think guys kind of rallied around him and played had for him and put all our good effort on the field for him. I think that’s something that’s good.”

Left guard Robert Gallery, making his first appearance in an open locker room since back surgery, is an unabashed Cable supporter. Cable was the position coach who switched Gallery to guard and helped transform the perception of him from draft day disappointment a top-tier player. He believes all the Cable support goes far beyond just talk.

“I think you know when people are giving you the company line and I think you know when people are serious and say it from the heart, and I think guys truly believe in him,” Gallery said. “I know the majority of the guys in here _ the guys that matter _ want him back and know he’s trying to do the right thing.”

– Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, with nine catches for 124 yards and a touchdown in 11 starts, said he came up short of expectations.

“I was inconsistent. I didn’t play the way I wanted to play,” Heyward-Bey said. “I graded out the way I wanted to, didn’t mess up on assignments and stuff like that, so from that standpoint it was solid. But definitely I was here to make plays and that’s what I wanted to do.”

Cable, who likes Heyward-Bey’s work ethic and attitude, stressed patience.

“We’ll get Darrius back and get him through the first-year blues if you will, and get him relaxed and calm down and continue to develop the group (of wide receivers),” Cable said.

– Reading between the lines, it sounds as if Cable realizes his insistence on being the offensive coordinator, calling the plays and essentially taking over for line coach Jim Michalczik when the line was struggling only served to spread himself too thin for his main job as head coach.

If Davis hasn’t already made up his mind and wants Cable to give up play-calling duties, the coach will be receptive.

– Turns out Gallery had surgery to widen a narrow portion of his spine, had three vertebra fused, and calcium deposits removed from his back. He said doctors anticipate a three or four month recovery period. The initial injury left both legs numb.

“It’s something that was a big deal, obviously, if it was hitting my spinal cord, but it was easily fixed and taken care of and I should be fine,” Gallery said.

It concluded a season in which Gallery missed much of training camp with an emergency appendectomy and then sustained a broken fibula in week 2 before returning to play in six games.

“It’s funny because I never thought I’d be able to handle something like this very well and it’s kind of out of my control,” Gallery said. “I was doing everything right, there were kind of some freak things _ that kind of year. Could have been worse. I’ll be ready to go.”

– Quarterback Charlie Frye was having an MRI for the lower back strain sustained against the Ravens. Linebacker Ricky Brown said he was going to Los Angeles to rehab and train at Athletics Performance Institute in Los Angeles and plans to be ready for organized team activities should he be re-signed. Brown was tendered a $1.7 million tender to stay with the Raiders last year.

– Gradkowski was staking his claim to be the No. 1 quarterback come training camp.

“Worst-case scenario, it should be a competition for the starting job,” Gradkowski said. “My play showed itself up on film. I’m always for open competition. I know coaches will do the right thing.”

Gradkowski said he’s about two weeks from being healthy after two MCL tears which did not require surgery. He’ll go home to Dormont, near Pittsburgh, and relax, then begin intensive study.

“I always like to watch Drew Brees. I’ll probably go back and watch his game film and Tom Brady and Peyton Manning and the consistent quarterbacks in the league,” Gradkowski said. “You like to go watch them and wee what they’re doing and see why they’re so successful and try and learn from that to continually get better.”

– Cable continued to evade questions regarding the starting job and Russell in particular. When asked if everyone was at the team meeting that was expected to be there, Cable said yes. When asked if Russell was there, Cable said no, but his absence was excused _ just as was an absence by defensive end Richard Seymour _ for personal matters.

It’s fair to say Russell’s absence did not go unnoticed in the locker room.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    I’ll use my own words right here. Keep doing your thing, Kell.

  • r8eray

    SCOUTS INC.’S TOP 32Player Pos. School Grade

    1. Eric Berry* S Tennessee 97
    2. Ndamukong Suh DT Nebraska 97
    3. Gerald McCoy* DT Oklahoma 96
    4. Joe Haden* CB Florida 96
    5. Derrick Morgan* DE Georgia Tech 96
    6. Russell Okung OT Okla. State 96
    7. Rolando McClain* ILB Alabama 96
    8. Trent Williams OT Oklahoma 95
    9. Jake Locker* QB Washington 95
    10. C.J. Spiller RB Clemson 95
    11. Sam Bradford* QB Oklahoma 94
    12. Earl Thomas* S Texas 94
    13. Dez Bryant* WR Okla. State 94
    14. Anthony Davis OT Rutgers 94
    15. Navorro Bowman* OLB Penn State 94
    16. Sergio Kindle OLB Texas 93
    17. Jason Pierre-Paul DE South Florida 93
    18. Taylor Mays S USC 93
    19. Bruce Carter* OLB North Carolina 92
    20. Brandon Spikes ILB Florida 92
    21. Carlos Dunlap* DE Florida 92
    22. Jahvid Best* RB California 92
    23. Jermaine Gresham TE Oklahoma 92
    24. Bruce Campbell OT Maryland 92
    25. Patrick Robinson CB Florida State 92
    26. Golden Tate* WR Notre Dame 91
    27. Bryan Bulaga OT Iowa 91
    28. Jimmy Clausen* QB Notre Dame 90
    29. Arthur Jones DT Syracuse 90
    30. Jonathan Dwyer* RB Georgia Tech 90
    31. Vladimir Ducasse G UMass-Amherst 90
    32. Ricky Sapp DE Clemson 90

  • 504 Raider

    Vegas,
    The same exact way it took years for Nnamdi to get to the Pro Bowl. Can’t get the numbers if teams don’t throw your way. He doesn’t have sacks because Saban trusts Jackson’s cover skills more than he trusts Arenas, which is why Arenas gets sent on the blitz often.

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    If that’s the case, good for Kell. Good riddance. N orco was funny at first, when he was just targeting Al and therefore being on topic, but his bigotry got old.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Why isn’t Boise State in the WAC? The WAC would get stronger and Boise State would gain a respectable schedule

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    I still think B and N orco are the same person, btw.

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    And of course that would mean our friend “godliness” is the same person. I’ve also noticed that Richochet disappeared. N orco Bri pops back up, richochet gone? Just an observation.

  • The Return of Godliness

    # SnB offense defense specialteams Says:
    January 4th, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Why isn’t Boise State in the WAC? The WAC would get stronger and Boise State would gain a respectable schedule
    ***********************

    Boise plays frsno state utah state nevada idaho and sj state…..there are in the WAC

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    SnB offense defense specialteams Says:
    January 4th, 2010 at 8:58 pm
    Why isn’t Boise State in the WAC? The WAC would get stronger and Boise State would gain a respectable schedule
    =======================================================
    I meant the Mountain West Conference

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

    Isn’t Boise in the WAC?

    Great game. Both teams got jobbed having to play each other.

  • Thec07

    Khazer Kell….

  • The Return of Godliness

    MR you keep saying this but countless times you have seen me and Bob in here at the same time and see have seen others disagree with your assessment

  • r8eray

    Good night Nation and thanks for the laughs!!

  • The Return of Godliness

    504 at every university they have the lil white prostitutes seal the deal to get the players to commit there

  • The Return of Godliness

    # 504 Raider Says:
    January 4th, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    Back in 30, the wife just slid the thong a couple inches east.
    ****************
    LOL 504 have at it.

    Senorita wishes it was here sliding that thong

  • Dmac20

    To 504 raider whos keeps wishing tom cable be fired I just wanna ask, “you’re not that bright are you?” lol

    Cable being fired will do nothing but set this team backward unless Al hires someone like bill cowher which will never happen. If Al hires another coache he may have a better offensive scheme than cable but he will have no balls, players will revert back to the give up attitude, and he and al will fall out like the others.

    Norv turner had a great offensive mind and what happened?? He had no balls, players didn’t respect him and didn’t play hard, and al fired him. Lane kiffin had a great offensive mind but we still lost and he couldn’t get along with al.

    Atleast with cable the players respect him and play hard, he’s shown he can work with al and he has balls. He’s done what other coaches have not been able to do and thats change the culture or attitude of the players. Players actually care about playing for this team now, they want to win and believe they can win. Under cable this team plays with heart. We’ve witnessed 4 4th quarter comebacks this season with cable as coach(steelers, broncos, chiefs, bengals) something that hasn’t been done for a while. Has cable made some bonheaded calls… yes but so has bill belichick, andy reid, even the best slip up every now and then. But at the same time i’ve seen cable call some good calls where he hit it on the money and at times where the players just didn’t step up and make the play where he has no control over. So I say keep cable and if you see different you must Like choosin new coaches every year.

  • The Return of Godliness

    Fassel is another no nut having guy who would take orders from Al

  • The Return of Godliness

    dmac20………yeah i wish we could get cowher but al knows he wont get any credit for any turnaround so it wont happen

  • The Return of Godliness

    anyhow time to go………..Kell you gonna tell me how many times I posted tonight or what?

  • Dmac20

    Yea cowher would be good but his demands are too much and not even for just al davis, other teams even feel he’s asking for too much control. But the way I see it cable isn’t that bad of a coach i’d like to see what he can do with a real qb behind center for a year and no distractions like jawgate. I don’t think we will find anybody that will win over the players like cable did and still manage a decent relationship with al like cable did… Idk I just have a good feeling that if al loses cable he’s going to lose the team as well because they don’t want a new coach. like gallery said those guys in that locker room really like cable and they’re sincere when they say it, and if al gets rid of him its going to be pretty depressing to them and put them in a different mind set than what they would have had going intoanother season with cable. Their mind set would change from we can do this to here we go again… I doubt they’ll give their all or the same effort if al brought in a new coach.

  • MTraidernation

    the idiocy on this site is staggering. anyone who thinks cable should be fired is as shortsighted and retarded as the owner. tom cable IS NOT the greatest football coach in history, but he offers exactly what this team needs; continuity. firing the head coach every other year will never produce the desired results, unless of course the desired outcome is a 4-12 year. al davis is the definition of insanity: doing the same things and expecting different results. give cable another year. if he finishes next season with 5 wins, then show him the door.

    step number two(and three): CUT JAMARCUS RUSSELL AND DRAFT TIM TEBOW. russell is an entitled, overpaid lazy child who will never succeed in the NFL. tebow is the anti-russell. while he doesn’t possess the skill set russell has, he is a hard-worker and would be an awesome student under gradkowski and another veteran next year. in addition, tebow won’t cost 30 million. he’ll be an easy grab in the 2nd round.

    keep cable, cut russell, draft tebow and a slew of lineman and this team competes next year. mark it.

  • Culebra

    Gotta keep Cable. I didn’t agree w/ his play calling much, and he should give it up, but w/ Grads and Losman, maybe even another vet competing for the job next season, i just don’t see this team losing 11 or more again. 8-8 wouldn’t be unrealistic.

  • Kirk

    Draft an offensive tackle and a defensive tackle.

    Please!

  • Culebra

    And, of course, gotta have a strong draft. Pick a lineman in the first draft Al, it won’t kill you…yet.

  • DKnight007

    # r8eray Says:
    January 4th, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    SCOUTS INC.’S TOP 32Player Pos. School Grade

    1. Eric Berry* S Tennessee 97
    2. Ndamukong Suh DT Nebraska 97
    3. Gerald McCoy* DT Oklahoma 96
    4. Joe Haden* CB Florida 96
    5. Derrick Morgan* DE Georgia Tech 96
    6. Russell Okung OT Okla. State 96
    7. Rolando McClain* ILB Alabama 96
    8. Trent Williams OT Oklahoma 95
    9. Jake Locker* QB Washington 95
    10. C.J. Spiller RB Clemson 95
    11. Sam Bradford* QB Oklahoma 94
    12. Earl Thomas* S Texas 94
    13. Dez Bryant* WR Okla. State 94
    14. Anthony Davis OT Rutgers 94
    15. Navorro Bowman* OLB Penn State 94
    16. Sergio Kindle OLB Texas 93
    17. Jason Pierre-Paul DE South Florida 93
    18. Taylor Mays S USC 93
    19. Bruce Carter* OLB North Carolina 92
    20. Brandon Spikes ILB Florida 92

    ^^^^^^^^^^
    Notice how Cody is nowhere on that list.

    The pick for the Raiders SHOULD be McClain, Williams, Okung, Smith, or Morgan.

    BUT the old man will do something looney and draft Mays, Pierre-Paul or Cody way too high.

  • raiderzmaverick

    Russell will stay. I really doubt they’ll cut him. I just hope he will have to prove himself to get on the field next year or else be the 3rd string QB.

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  • ldynblk26

    GRUDEN GRUDEN GRUDEN !!!BRING BACK CHUCKIE!! WE NEED ANOTHER SUPER BOWL!! ldy n blk26