By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Tuesday, May 18th, 2010 at 9:34 am in Oakland Raiders.
Raiders coach Tom Cable made a rare local radio appearance on KNBR’s Murph and Mac show Tuesday morning in advance of his team’s OTA, discussing (up to a point) the departure of JaMarcus Russell, shooting down rumors of signing Terrell Owens and expressing confidence in his team’s ability to become a champion.
A few highlights:
– “I think we did what was best for our football team, that’s the only thing that really matters here,” Cable said regarding Russell being waived. “Why, why not, this or that, it doesn’t matter any more. What matters is we move forward as a football team and we did what we think gives us the best chance to succeed.”
Which didn’t prevent co-host Brian Murphy from following up with seven consecutive Russell questions with Cable advancing the “move forward” theme before finally saying, “We’ve talked enough about JaMarcus. Let’s talk about something else.”
Said Murphy: “You don’t want to talk about JaMarcus any more?”
Cable: “He’s not here any more.”
It was suggested that it was Cable’s opportunity to “tie a bow” on the situation and keep Raider fans informed, to which Cable said, “That I understand, but you can only beat a dead dog so many times.”
We’re assuming Cable was referring to the line of questioning, rather than comparing Russell to a deceased canine.
– As was the case last year, the most telling insights on Russell came indirectly as Cable talked up the work ethic and dedication of others. He even bit on a question which referred to Jason Campbell as the “opposite” of Russell as a locker room presence in terms of work ethic and integrity.
“I don’t think there is any question about that,” Cable said. “We make a trade, he shows up he’s here for four days, he goes to minicamp, never blinks.”
– Cable talked up his young corps of wide receivers, whose performance was erratic at best during the mandatory minicamp with Chaz Schilens out following surgery on his foot and Louis Murphy a practice casualty with a minor ankle sprain. Owens, Cable said, has not been a consideration.
“We really haven’t had any discussion about that,” Cable said. “We’ve got a good, young receiving corps, it’s never been a point of conversation.”
– All draft picks, Cable said, were at this week’s OTA session. He isn’t overly concerned about established veterans who don’t show up.
“I think the most important thing about OTAs is taking the bottom half of your team and raising its level,” Cable said. “You want the young guys here, and the guys you drafted a year ago, those are really the most important guys.”
Here’s a link to the page that includes the KNBR podcast with the interview.
Wednesday’s OTA session is open to the media and begins at 9:30 a.m. (Pacific Time) . . .