Post-draft Cable Q&A


A transcription of Tom Cable’s post-draft press conference:

Cable: Let me open up by just talking about the draft. I feel like we’re lucky. You get 11 players and what I mean by 11 is the nine that we drafted over the last three days. Obviously we used an earlier three on Kamerion Wimbley and then an earlier five on Groves, Quentin Groves the defensive end. Put those guys together, that’s your draft. We made a couple moves inside the draft that were very beneficial for us as a football team. After that the thing that is most important is we improved our team. We filled a lot of needs. That’s how you would categorize draft, a need-filled draft for the Oakland Raiders.

Q: Does the positive perception of this draft change the culture of negativity?

Cable: You know how I’ve been. For a while I’ve said at some point things will start to change. The only way to do that is to do things that make people feel like there’s change, make it feel like you’re improving your team and doing what it takes to improve your team. If that’s the feeling out there it would be second to the feeling in that draft room. We realized when we got going in this thing that there was a great feel that we were getting good football players. Guys that you could see how they’d have a chance to compete and compete on this team for jobs and
help us be a much better football team.

Q: Jason Campbell told NFL Network he believed he was the starter, what does that mean for JaMarcus Russell?

Cable: We really never got into any of that. What it comes down to is that we’ve got five quarterbacks now and we’re going to have a great competition. There will be some decisions to be made here in the next month or so, whatever that is. We’ll just leave it at that until we get through some of those decisions. Right now we felt like adding Jason to this football team was very important. He’s a guy in need of a fresh start himself. He’s proven that he can do some things and have some success in the NFL. We’re all familiar enough with Jason to know that
we’re getting a guy who has proven he can play in the NFL. We have five quarterbacks. We’ll have great competition and we’ll have decisions to make here real soon.

Q: Surprised Bruce Campbell slipped to fourth round?

Cable: As I said all along, he’s a numbers guy, extraordinary numbers really when you get down to it for an offensive lineman. We like him. We got him right where we thought he fit. The feeling in the room was the draft kept coming to us. When he was there it was pretty much a no-brainer. It gave us more depth, it gave us more competition in the offensive line. It’s a good pick really.

Q: When did you first start talking to the Redskins?

Cable: We worked on it a little bit. Once we were able to see where we were at and what we need to do to get this team to where we want it to go then it became obvious, let’s get to work on trying to improve it. The quarterback talk came out. Once that happened we moved quickly.

Q: Any way JaMarcus could start?

Cable: Well sure there is if he competes for the job and he’s doing all those things that your starting quarterback is supposed to do. If he’s the best guy than yeah.

Q: What special skill does Jason Campbell bring to the mix?

Cable: You know, probably you’re looking at a little more height, more arm than a couple guys, pretty good athlete, can run around like a couple guys. So he may have a little bit of everyone in him, to be quite honest with you. I don’t think you’d categorize him like you would JaMarcus or categorize him like Charlie or Bruce, Kyle. I mean, they’re all kind of different in their own way and I suppose Jason’s got a little bit of everybody in him.

Q: Filled a lot of needs, anything you missed in the draft that you’d liked to have had?

Cable: Yeah, I mean, you know, I thought there was another move to get in there, it didn’t come our way. But very pleased. But, you know, you can always do better. I’m sure after we have some time to reflect on it, Jerry, we’ll look on it and say, ‘Man, I wish we could’ve done that or that.’ But shoot, man, that’s a heck of a draft for the Raiders. It really is. And as you said, you can put some checkmarks next to some very important issues in this football team.

Q: Is Campbell a better fit for this offense than he was for West Coast?

Cablel: I don’t know about all that. I just think he fits for what we’re doing. All that stuff, this game’s really about opportunity, and catching some breaks and having good people around you, regardless of what system you’re in. So I just think he’s got something new to look forward to, as do many players on this football team, and hopefully we are a good fit for him.

Q: Is Jacoby Ford your punt and kickoff guy now, and how far is he from being an NFL receiver?

Campbell: There’s some work that needs to be done. I don’t think he’s any different than a lot of guys coming out of college. But specifically, you kind of hit it on the head. I’m looking for that guy to see if he’ll take the reins of our return game and become a guy like that for us. And I think those are the expectations early on, as we get ready to have mini-camp next week and get ready for OTAs after that. But there’s certainly a role for that on this football team, and we picked him with that in mind. He’s obviously a very fast guy. He shared return duties with C.J. Spiller, which is a pretty tough guy to share ‘em with. But prior to C.J. getting all the returns, he was the guy in high school and prep school and early at Clemson, and he’s really about as phenomenal as C.J. Spiller was. So we just felt like have to do it, gotta have it, because, you know, we need to change the game in the return game. We’re very good at covering kicks here. We’ve proven that for a period of time now. But we’ve not been very good in the return game and hopefully he can add to that.

Q: Whose decision to trade down?

Cable: Well, it’s the best thing for us. One thing I’m really proud of, I think as a team today, the organization, and that includes everyone, the coaches and the scouts and everybody involved, the owner, we were in synch. We worked together on it, and it just made the most sense, you know? We were fortunate when it was time to do those things that our guy, A or B, was still there. And so you knew you were gonna get A or B, and you could afford to move around a little bit. And it just worked out good for us.

Q: Excited about seeing Bruce Campbell on special teams?

Cable: I think that’s what you do with someone like that. You know, in high school he was a defensive lineman, a defensive end in fact, as well as an offensive lineman, and then went to Maryland and played on the offensive line. Can run, can jump. He’s extremely trim, big guy. But right now we’re gonna put him there at right guard and right tackle and let him go to work. And let’s get him started there and we’ll see what else he can do after that.

Q: So he can be an inside player for you?

Cable: Definitely. Yeah, definitely.

Q: Who contacted whom about Jason Campbell?

Cable: We were contacted. We were contacted by a lot of people, first of all. That was just one of the many phone calls. So, you listen to some, some you don’t. That one we happened to listen to.

Q: Washington struggled protecting Campbell, how might your offensive line mesh with him?

Campbell: Well, first and foremost, both offensive lines have to get a lot better. To really answer your question, the quarterback, his job is to make good decisions, get it out of his hand as quick as he can. In both places, both the units need to play much better than what they did. I don’t know how they’re going to complement each other, other than he’s going to be better at what we ask him to do and we got to be better at protecting him.

Q: What’s your take on your late-round picks?

Cable: Yeah, Goethel excites me for the fact that he’s a true inside linebacker that’s a tough, downhill player. Just as important, he’s going to enhance our special teams. That gives us a real quality guy there. Ware, I liked him at corner, from Michigan State . He’s a guy that’s extremely good playing the gunner in special teams, was a jammer on the punt return team, but he can play man-coverage. So, you like him. McFadden, probably to us, he was the one we were really geeked about today because we thought he was going to go earlier. And he was there for us. We think he definitely can come in and help this football team right away. Ford, we talked about the kick return ability. I would think Goethel, McFadden, Ware, Brown, all those guys there, can have a real role on this football team.

Q: Have you talked to Russell, and will he be at the mini camp?

Cable: Yeah, there’s no reason for him not to be here. I have not talked to him yet. I haven’t talked to anyone other than the players that have been drafted and focused on that. We’re working on free agency right now. We’ll reach out to who we need to.

Q: Is Bruce Campbell’s big issue his consistency?

Cable: You hit it on the head, the consistency in how he plays the game fundamentally, He is raw. You’ve got like this giant piece of clay to develop here. It’s a good piece to work with. There are some things fundamentally that he will improve on very quickly because of the athleticism, because of the fact that at this level he’s going to have to figure that out very quickly because of the competition. Probably the biggest thing that I see for Bruce is that Bruce is going to have to understand that at this level it’s such a demanding thing every day in your life as an offensive lineman. How you take care of your body, how you train, all those (things). He’s going to be great at that because he already looks like a monster the way he is, looks, is built, the whole thing. But, mentally, how you prepare, how hard you work every day, how hard you have to play every time the ball gets snapped will be the first hurdle he has to get over. Once he does that, this guy is going to be something.

Q: To clarify, was Jason Campbell told that he is the unquestioned starter?

Cable: No, no. I was in that conversation. It was Al and I. We didn’t even ever talk about that. In his mind, he’s coming to compete, he’s been a starter, so I can certainly respect that. But it never was part of the conversation. So, it’s really insignificant right now. That will be decided (later).

Q: Did you talk to Heyward-Bey about Bruce Campbell?

Cable: Yes, I did. Yep. One of the things that I value a lot through this whole process is the players on our team that have been around these guys that we’re drafting or potentially are going to draft. I put a lot of weight on that because I trust these guys. They’re Raiders, and they know that what we’re trying to build is what they want, and that’s to win and succeed. So, I just tell them, ‘Tell me straight, can this guy help us be a playoff team or not? If he can’t and you can tell me why he can’t, I’m good with it. If he can, and you can tell me why he can, I’m good with that, too.

Q: The early reviews are positive, compare how you feel today with how you felt last year?

Cable: I think we’re very excited right now. We can walk out of the building today and we’re going to say, you know what, the Raiders got better today, we improved and it’s not just trying to be positive and all that stuff. It’s real, you can see it, it’s there, it’s not just saying it, I think it’s everyone that knows this game and knows the draft and all those kind of things. We walk out of this place a better football team. So we’ll go to minicamp and we’ll go to work. It’s time to build that football team now. But we’re better and I think that’s the way everybody feels.

Q: But you’re feeling better than in past years?

Cable: I think there’s a little more excitement, because we were able to get who we wanted with the first pick and we were able to get who we wanted with the second pick and we were able to do it by moving around a little bit and creating more for our team down the road, and that was really cool. Then we get to the third pick, and we said, let’s be patient, let’s be patient, it’s our turn, and then the guy we said we wanted to have was there. I mentioned after the first day, everyone wanted to have Okung and Williams, those tackles, they’re good players, but they’re not (there), you’ve got to do a great job evaluating, and where we were going to be, Veldheer was the guy for us and it just worked out, so we felt like we were able to move back, get a couple of picks, we got who want, got who we want, then we got the tackle we wanted, and it was like, right on, man, let’s see what Saturday brings and we’ll go from there.

Q: How long should Gradkowski be off the field and how much of a setback is it?

Cable: I don’t know that it does right now. I don’t know the exact answer for you on that. I know he’s going to be ready prior to camp. So that means this summer sometime. He’s probably not going to do a lot between now and then. Any time you get injured it sets you back, so that’s not good in that sense. I know Bruce, as soon as I say, hey, are you ready to go?, man, he’s kicking and screaming saying, here I go. From that standpoint. I don’t think it’s going to hold him back. The injury in itself is going to keep him from getting work, but we’ll have him for camp. That’s the best way to look at it.

Q: You have to make tough business decisions, but how hard is to part with a guy like Morrison?

Cable: I’m glad you brought that up. I think, from me, personally, to Kirk, thanks. Thanks for working. Thanks for being a Raider. Thanks for his honor. You guys know me, that’s big deal to me and Kirk Morrison is an honorable, honorable man, and the way he went at it was the right way, and so, parting with guys in this business, at this level is tough sometimes. He’s a tough one, but at the same time, he’s going to be fine in Jacksonville and he’ll do well there., but you’ve got to take your hat off to Kirk and what he stood for being an Oakland Raider.

Q: Couldn’t find a fullback to your liking?

Cable: We had a couple of guys targeted that got taken, but we’re looking at a couple of guys in free agency and we’ll certainly address it .

Q: Might you be interested in Alan Faneca?

Cable: I don’t know right now. We’ve got Robert Gallery playing left guard, who’s a fine, fine player, and hopefully he’ll be healthy this year and stay healthy, so at this point, we’re not opposed to anything, but I’m not that sure it makes the most sense to us.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • edward teach


    Agreed. One thing I am pretty convinced about, though.

    He’s better than anybody else on the roster at the moment.

  • Yo 8)

    ahhhh,still basking in the draft and the F/A signings

    its April and Ima already ready!

  • Vegas!

    he still gotta beat out Bruce and I just dont think he can.for one thing Bruce has 3 years with Hackett and Jason has a big fat ZERO,sooo

    Bruce will be our starter,imo

  • You People wanted the next Gannon, so Al got you the next Gannon.
    Welcome J Campbell!!!!!

  • Skins fans griping about Campbell has more to do with their record than the qb himself.

    The Skins were 13th in the NFL in Passing Yards per game.
    They were 5th in the NFL in Sacks Allowed at 46.
    They were 27th in the league in Rushing at 94 yards per game.

    This tells me that the offensive line was horrible.

    Campbell still managed to average 237 yards per game passing despite getting sacked or hurried on every play and having no running game.

    I know that Oakland has the same problems, but 237 yards per game is almost 60 yards per game more than what Oakland averaged last season.

  • I could care less if Gradkowski was cut tomorrow. He is not the answer. I don’t think Campbell is going to have any problems learning the Raiders’ offense. Since he has had so many offensive coordinators in his career, he probably already knows how to run every offense in the league. Besides, I’m sure the Raiders system isn’t too sophisticated.

  • imo,Raider O….

    Bruce is more like Gannon than J.C

  • I can’t believe you guys actually believe their is some sort of QB competition between Campbell and Gradkowski.

    Campbell was brought here to start.

    He said so himself. Who do you believe? The new guy who doesn’t know any better or the Raiders Organization who tries to keep everything a secret?

    Campbell was too dumb not to be honest about the phone conversation he had with Cable and Al Davis.

  • Bruce is more like Donald Hollas than Gannon.

  • Chris in NY

    Don’t count Gradkowski out yet is all I have to say.

    However, the thing I like most about Campbell is all the talk I’ve been hearing before and since yesterday’s trade that says he was badly miscast in Washington’s West Coast passing attack and that he’s perfectly suited for a team that uses more 5-7 step drops and play action because he throws a very accurate deep ball.

    When you think of the big, fast WRs we have like Schilens, Murphy and even DHB it seems like a perfect fit and that the big play could be back in Oakland. If Schilens can finally stay healthy he could break out big time with Campbell chucking the ball. Remember, Schilens is a guy who’s 6-4, 225 has 4.3 speed, a 40-inch vertical, arguably the best hands on the team, works hard and was the talk of camp last year. If he stays healthy and strikes up some chemistry with a QB who can deliver the ball he could have a 1,200 yard, 11 TD type season.

  • Cable said there was no truth that JC is just being given the keys….May the best QB win!

    If its JC GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    If its Bruce GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Coach on Wheels

    I like Morrison on a personal level and Fargas too but how is that different than liking Sam Williams? People accuse the team of having “scholarship” players but everyday fans on here whine about their own scholarship players.

    Cable is one of 32 NFL coaches who don’t think Morrison is worth a 3rd rd pick. 32 coaches supposedly “can’t evaluate talent”.

    Since Morrison moved to MLB the run D has never been in the top 20.

    Morrison hasn’t been voted by his peers to the pro bowl.

    Morrison was routinely out of position and making tackles down field.

    Tackles are not an official stat for good reason. Bad defenses get more tackles. A 3-and-out is 3 tackles. A 10-play TD drive has 9 tackles. Whose better? FS Stu S had far more tackles than Huff. Bring him back?

    Morrison didn’t get it done, that’s a fact. I wish him well.

  • I agree COW

    I wish Kirk all the best!

    he was a good Raider

    Now if only we can sign Fargas for RB’s coach!!!!

  • 4eva,

    I think J Campbell > B GarbageKowski.

  • Coach on Wheels

    B4 we dive too deep into the Campbell v. Grads debate…

    The biggest problem I had with Grads was he was by himself. In other words we were 1 snap away from Frye, Boller or garsp JarWalrus starting.

    Campbell – Grads or Grads – Campbell we are much better off with two competent guys in a NFL where QBs get beat on.

  • I can see that O….

    We shall see 🙂

    the thing about Bruce is he already has the teams respect.Not saying JC cant earn it too but….

    they gonna have to pry the starting job off of Bruces’ dead fingers,imo

  • We prolly gonna need both of em coach at 1 point or another this season….Good problem 2 have!

  • Chris in NY

    Real interesting feature on my boy Bruce Campbell:

  • Plus Bruce is Polish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Coach on Wheels

    Chris! Good to see you came in off the ledge when the Raiders grabbed BC!

  • Coach on Wheels

    Bruce Campbell is Polish? Go figure.

  • what kind of contract did JC sign?

  • Coach on Wheels

    1 year extension $4mil range

  • LMAO Coach lol!!!!

  • M Lonetree


    remember now, your job is wide receivers coach and you do have your work cut out for you. 8)

    what was that elkish thing haunting this place for the morning?

  • Got my nose to the grind-stone even as I type M Lontree!

  • The thing about Gradkowski the Great is….

    He is the ONLY Division 1A QB to complete more than 70% of his passes 2 years in a row! You guys know all the great Div.1A QB’s….well Bruce is the most consistent out of them ALL!

    He just knows where everyone suppossed 2B!

  • SteveAlford21

    I make no apologies for my opinion.

    I think that with the same blocking behind a much-improved line (better than last year), a healthy Grads would perform better than Campbell. I would prefer Grads and Troy Smith over Grads and Campbell. I just don’t like Campbell… particularly his demeanor when things go wrong on the field… it reminded me of JR a bit.

  • M Lontree…

    DHB is making my life most enjoyable and the Nation will see this this year!

  • Why do I have a feeling the Campbell/Gradkowski debate is going to devolve into a racial thing soon as Kell check’s in?

  • what was that elkish thing haunting this place for the morning?

    just another dilusional poor soul 🙁

  • M Lonetree

    Darrius Humuhumunukunukuapua’a-Bey

    New number. New name.

  • Yeah…. where is KK?

  • lefty12

    Troy Smith was a RFA and received no offers.I just don’t understand why some are so high on him.

  • RNOraiderFan

    Richochet, I remember everyone schooling Elkins on MVR. I did a few times myself. I remember about a year ago he was sayin he was getting a job with the Raiders. What a joke this clown is! Elkins you call yourself a coach? I coach HS ball and am only a OL and DL coach, and every conversation we had about football on MVR you got schooled. You quit even going to MVR because you could not take the beatings anymore. I remember some of your last posts, saying you would be a coach with the Raiders. Are you a coach with the Raiders yet? Loser.

  • SteveAlford21

    Kell and TJ will make sure that it’s a racial debate… even though I have been calling for us to get Troy Smith for weeks and I still am calling for that, they will call me a racist for not wanting Campbell over Grads, even though my opinion is football-based.

    They’ll say that the offensive line in D.C., along with everything else that went wrong there, is the reason for Campbell looking bad at times and that he’s a great QB… but they won’t talk about the OLs at the places Grads has been and the organizational problems in those places as reasons for his low completion % and other things. They will accuse me of racism and make excuses for JR and JC, but any problems Grads has had are all HIS OWN fault… yet WE are the racists… right…

  • M Lonetree


    some sort of Buckeye-colored glasses methinks.

  • raider91

    In case no one has posted this: Undrafted FA signings
    Manase Tonga (FB) (BYU)(Steal)
    Alex Parsons (G) (USC)(6’4 309)
    Alex Daniels (DE)(31 reps, good)(Cincy) (6’2 265)
    Andre’ Johnson (RB)(Tulane)
    Brashton Satele (MLB, DE)(Hawaii)(Satele’s cousin)(6’1 240)
    Chane Moline (FB) (UCLA)(6’0 247)
    and my fave, Kellen Heard (NT)(Memphis)(6’6 355)
    Trent Guy (WR/KR/PR)(Louisville)

  • RNOraiderFan

    Back to football. I really like the FA signing of the FB from BYU. What are your guys opinion on him? It seems every year we get a BYU player, is Al a mormon?

  • SteveAlford21


    With the end of the CBA and the draft being as deep as it was this year, almost no RFAs got offers. It was not your typical year in terms of the restricted market. In any other year, KM would have at least gotten a sniff for a 3rd round pick… not so this year. Troy Smith would have gotten at least a high 3rd most years.

  • It does seem like the Raiders always have at least one BYU player.

  • RNOraiderFan

    Where is everyone getting thier info that Houston in going to be a DE? To me he looks the part of a DT.

  • fat kidd


  • RNOraiderFan

    Maybe Al just wants to convert the Mormon boys to the Dark Side.

  • SteveAlford21

    Why did Al have to test that one mormon dude back in the day… and waste a draft pick on him? The guy emphatically stated to every team that he would NOT “work” on Sundays, so the NFL was not an option for him… and Al just had to draft him anyway. Al has made some of the most brilliant decisions in the history of the NFL… and some of the most retarded… particularly since returning to Oakland. Keep up the recent trend of good decisions and get us back to the top! Go Raiders!

  • SteveAlford21


    We’re getting our info from Coach Cable’s interviews. He has said in at least two interviews that Houston is going to be playing mostly DE, but that all our DL are going to be versatile and move all around the line during games.

  • Hey Thankx Raider91!!!!

    1 thing is fo sho….USC has always been able 2run the ball.This Parsons kid could really help us.Even tho cable has shown he likes O-men wid experiance,Parsons could very well be being groomed 4 later.Great depth on O-line!

  • RNOraiderFan

    THX Steve, for the info. Gotta run CYA Nation!