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A striking difference in Cable

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Wednesday, July 28th, 2010 at 6:23 pm in Oakland Raiders.

It was hard not to think of the possibility of Randy Hanson sitting at home watching the Tom Cable press conference on Comcast Sports Net Bay Area when the head coach was asked about the pregame ritual of defensive tackle John Henderson.

Henderson, signed as a free agent after being cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars, likes to have a member of the training staff smack him in the face to get him ready.

“I love it. I think it’s awesome,’’ Cable said Wednesday. “I hope I’m the guy that gets to slap him. I think it will be great. I just don’t want him to hit me back. That’s a big dude.’’

The guess here is Cable never made the connection, so far in his rear-view mirror are Hansongate and the allegations of domestic violence as reported by ESPN. He was relaxed and resolute, with neither issue amounting to anything other than a spate of bad publicity.

After all that, being docked two days of OTA practices by the NFL was small potatoes. If Cable truly grew stronger from events that didn’t kill him last year, the coach is a veritable King Kong.

“Like everything in life, things happen to all of us,’’ Cable said. “You work through it, you get by it and you learn what you’re supposed to learn from it.

“I’m looking for a great camp for all of us here and for us to be where we’re at today and be somewhere better next week and the week after that even better. And when we leave here, to be the kind of football team I think we can be.”

How good?

“We’re going to go after the AFC West. I’m not afraid to say that,’’ Cable said. “If they picked someone else for it already, that’s too bad. It doesn’t work like that. You’ve got to play the games. This team will be ready to do that.’’

Cable said his “culture change,’’ something he has been talking about since taking 28 games ago for Lane Kiffin, is complete. Mission accomplished.

“The next step is to not listen to all the negative. People are going to have an opinion,’’ Cable said. “That’s just what it is. But they’re not going to dictate who we are or what we are. All that is back there. What’s in front of us is winning a championship. That’s the goal now. Let’s go for it.’’

Asked if he felt like it was “his’’ team, Cable said flatly, “Yes. Absolutely. There’s no question in my mind.’’

Cable presented the aura of a coach who isn’t looking over his shoulder and had a plan of action he fully intends to execute.

There were no meandering quotes like Norv Turner, no veiled jabs at the limitations of the organization like Kiffin.

Cable talked a good game, and presented a more coach-like figure in terms of authority than anyone since Jon Gruden.

Which means in fact he has proved nothing other than he can talk. The next month we’ll start the process of backing it up.

Some more observations following Cable’s media session with players off-limits until Thursday afternoon:

– The coach is sold on the “learning intensive’’ practices and their value, and that’s fine, but of course the players are going to be on board with it.

Guys, would you rather have four days of walk-throughs or start knocking heads right away?

Surprise! He got positive feedback.

– Cable promises it won’t be a “soft’’ camp.

“We’re going to hit. We’ll have a pretty lively camp here before we’re all done.

“We got a long road to go. The important thing is is hopefully we get through this thing healthy and this team that showed up last night gets a chance to go out together at Tennessee and play together and everybody is healthy. We’ll certainly get the physical work in.’’

– Naming Jason Campbell was the common sense call considering Gradkowski’s inactivity following a torn pectoral muscle.

“I just think, how can you do it any different?,’’ Cable said. “He just hasn’t done anything for three months.”

– Cable manages to work in just the right touch of tradition without beating you over the head with the “Greatness of the Raiders’’ and the “Team of the Decades.’’

He did it when discussing the death of Jack Tatum, as bringing aboard former linebacker Greg Biekert.

All Raiders coaches say they were Raiders fans as kids. Cable, it’s clear, is telling the truth.

“I know what he was, and what he meant, and I think his teammates and people in the Raider Nation have recognized that, too. (He) did a lot of great things, and really was a great man on top of being a great football player.’’

Cable did manage to gloss over one of the more uncomfortable business moves regarding a popular player when noting that Biekert was part of one of the last good Raiders teams “for a two-year span there.’’

The Raiders won three straight division titles, but in Year 3, Biekert was given the option to either take a pay cut or accept his release, with rookie Napoleon Harris moving in as the starting middle linebacker.

Biekert chose the latter, moved on to Minnesota and never burned his bridges with the Raiders.

– Cable isn’t getting too slap-happy regarding Henderson, who will need to prove over the next month he can still be a top-quality run-stuffer.

“I think John Henderson will come here and we’ll see what he’s got,” Cable said. “I expect a lot of big things out of him. Whether that makes him the starter or not or he gets to that point, he’ll determine that.’’

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  • Norco Bob

    Hi old friends!!!

  • Just Fire Baby

    Coach of the Year!!

  • Norco Bob

    God how Iv missed you all…hey great post Jerry baby!…reminds me though of what I said last year around this time,..Hanson and Toms ex old lady both got what they deserved,…hey Iv read a few threads,..wow,..our little friend MR and his multiple names in here,..one thing they all have in common,,…all crybabies,..hang in there little dude,..and as always, you are invited to tailgate with me and brian,…dont be scared little buddy, we wont hurt you…hey Im in Napa this saturday,..will give you my thoughts on whats up there,.and by that I mean the scene at the Marriott pool,…Raider Nation!

  • buckeyeraider

    ‘Sup Bob.

    Man, that opener makes me nervous. The new and improved run D gets put to the ultimate test right out of the gate. CJ2K. I hope they give em a good beaten. Like to see MM34 put a Tatum-esque shot on his azz.

    The Raiders tend to struggle in those 1:00 et starts, though. Cards stacked against them. Drew a tough opener for sure.

  • Plunketthead

    I must have been reading Jerrys mind

    Plunketthead Says:
    July 28th, 2010 at 5:54 pm
    Cable has been “impressive” with the press.
    He seems, determined, passionate and energized.

    My Cable jersey looks great!

  • Raider guy

    Go coach cable!

  • Norco Bob

    Its coo,..Im focussing on the home opener,..we will have the ultimate tailgate,..bout 8 cars strong,…we are alreadfy marinating the wings,..plenty of Patron,..beer,..Jack….pills…grass,…and hopefully we will have a huge punch bowl full of Purple Drank…my boy Brad promised it if we beat the Titans.

  • Norco Bob

    Actually my focus is on Napa saturday,..hangin at the Marriott pool,..party with some legends.

  • Norco Bob

    Every training camp I have some beers with Villapiano,..Im sure he will be there saturday.

  • http://raiderthoughts.com RaiderThoughts.com

    I sense a major differenc in cable alos. Much more to-the-point-no-BS than usual coach speak (aka bull turds). I loved the something like “while we’re on it Jason is our starter in camp”.
    Check out http://www.RaiderThoughts.com if your twitter-challenged but want to just read what the players are saying in real time.

    GO RAIDERS!!!

  • J Wiggle

    we are alreadfy marinating the wings,..

    ——————————————————-

    LOL!

  • MVTARaider

    Really feel a difference in the teams culture this year. Maybe Coach Cable is correct about the change being completed. We’ll see in a few weeks’ time…

    Go RAIDERS

    Silver & Black Forever

  • supapimp

    The tone at camp has been set by richard seymour being the first to get of the bus with the rookies. It’s all about being a professional and to play like a champion. Let’s go raiders!!!

  • J Wiggle

    Houston-Kelly-Henderson-Seymour ????

    Surprised Matt S isn’t in the mux to start.

  • buckeyeraider

    I like Cable. He takes a lot of heat on here, but I think the continuity of keeping him is going to do wonders for this franchise.

    Vegas,
    Did you notice Harbaugh at the end of the NFLN game of the week highlight vs Balt. It could’ve been nothing more than coaching fraternity. He knew Cable was embattled and his job was rumored in jeapordy. But most of the times those post game handshakes are just a polite handshake and a cursory “good, game coach.”, but Harbaugh really sought Cable out and kinda grabbed him and said “you’re a damn good coach. And that’s a helluva football team you’ve got over there”.

    The Raiders had just pushed his Ravens to the limit. He had to be relieved to win and make it in.

    I just thought it was interesting and wondered if you or anybody else caught it right at the end.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Life without Jamarcus probably made Cable look a few years younger as well as this hip new attitude he has going.

  • Just Fire Baby

    I didn’t catch it, but Cable seems to have some respect around the league.

    I don’t know if it is pity or what, but he seems pretty well-liked, and a lot of his handshakes are like the one described.

    With the one notable exception of when he sent Gruden to the booth.

  • Norco Bob

    Buckeye,..are you seriously spending the offseason analyzing coaches post game hand shakes?..damn…you are on your way to ending up like MR dude,..scale it back bro.

  • raiden305

    Wow IVE BEEN DYING FOR A POST LIKE THIS!

  • buckeyeraider

    Damn Bob. That hurts. If I ever get that bitter and angry at the world (or at least Al Davis), a call to Dr. Kevorkian is in order.

    It was just on NFLN last week. Those game of the week things are awesome. That’s how this one ended. I thought it was interesting. Sorry.

  • Norco Bob

    Its amazing,..you guys who live in this blog,.get all amped about crap Jerry writes,..wanna get excited?…join me and brian at the coliseum.

  • Norco Bob

    Buckeye,..shut the hell up,..the off season is over and Im back,..no more of you and the rest in here whinin and snivlin,..ya heard me?

  • aig

    “I love it. I think it’s awesome,’’ Cable said Wednesday. “I hope I’m the guy that gets to slap him. I think it will be great. I just don’t want him to hit me back. That’s a big dude.’’

    ————

    I am pumped! I hope they play that on the jumbotron. those of us who backed Cable are feeling vindicated BUT we have to wait for the results. So far so good…….Go Raiders.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Yes Bob you are here… to set our grammar and spelling back about 6 grade levels.

  • Norco Bob

    Iv got brian on the phone,..he confirmed to me that losers like MR, Jhill,..Vegas,..spent the off season in here cryin, complainin, snivlin,..I told him I guess nothings changed…sad.

  • buckeyeraider

    Piss off Bob. Where the hell ya been all summer, anyway? Wanderin through the Calif. desert. High on peyote having hallucinations of Jamarcus leading the way to the superbowl, from your new seat in row 1? lol.

  • Norco Bob

    Just fire,..I would ask how your off season was but all I need to do is check the archives here…lol…funny,..sad but funny.

  • Norco Bob

    Buckeye,..dang,..sorry that alot of things go over your head…bummer for you.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Great to have a positive outlook. But remember that this team has new everything. It will take time for this squad to gel.

    I am looking for competition, discipline and better coaching this year. No more 30 point blowouts and strong competition from start to finish.

  • Norco Bob

    Its ok though for you losers on the couch,…we will post alot of our tailgates for youtube this year,…so at least you will get a feel for what its like,…but turn the volume down,..dont want to upset your moms.

  • Just Fire Baby

    I’ve had a great offseason, right on par with the Raiders.

  • Norco Bob

    Really?..someone hijacked your name,..and spent the summer in here…some loser I assume.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Why don’t you take your balling azz down to AZ for the Cards game Bob?

    Bring B with you, and tell him I will have his note there waiting for him.

  • Norco Bob

    I of course will be there…hopefully brian goes.

  • aig

    spreading the love there hah guys? Anyone going to the Tenn game?

  • Norco Bob

    Hey it was nice seeing you party animals again,..will get back next week, let you knoew how it was at the Marriott pool,…ciao.

  • buckeyeraider

    Adios Bob.

  • http://sizzurp Dr. Steven Hawking

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    July 28th, 2010 at 7:16 pm
    Yes Bob you are here… to set our grammar and spelling back about 6 grade levels.

    ———————————

    LMFAO. Couldn’t have said it better myself!!

  • http://sizzurp Dr. Steven Hawking

    SnB offense defense specialteams Says:
    July 28th, 2010 at 7:21 pm
    Great to have a positive outlook. But remember that this team has new everything. It will take time for this squad to gel.

    I am looking for competition, discipline and better coaching this year. No more 30 point blowouts and strong competition from start to finish.

    ————————–
    Agreed, but the positive outlook is definately something to get excited for!!

    It just feels different so far!!

  • http://sizzurp Dr. Steven Hawking

    It feels good to finally support our coach again. The last coach I liked and supported was Gruden. Honestly. Callahan was just a bit shady…

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Dr. Hawking,

    I’ve been beaten down so badly the last 7 years…that cautious optimism is the route I am going.

    I am just happy JaDavis was sent on the road and they got credible competition at some positions that needed it.

    I am most interested in seeing what this offense looks like. I’ve been conditioned on such bad offense, I forgot what Raiders and good offense looks like.

    Anyway, just be mindful that when a roster turnsover with new linebackers (3), new DE, new DT, new O-Line, new fullback, new QB and layer in a new O.C and a defense in only its 2nd year….you might have a few bumps in the road…..hell, it doesn’t even have to be just football…take new people in any endeavor and you will growing pains.

    We should be okay…but I would kind of put playoffs and 10-6 records in the back pocket for now.

    Let’s just see them hit somebody on time, complete 20 passes in a game and see at least 1 running back get 20 carries…….

  • http://sizzurp Dr. Steven Hawking

    SNB Post 41. Well said my Raider brother. I agree with you completely!!

    Good Raider offense disappeared after a playoff game against the Titans some 7 years ago or so.. Remember that? :-)

  • Coach Elkins

    It’s all entertaining if anything at all…

    Like I said,

    6-10 will be Oakland’s record.

  • Coach Elkins

    Cable is 9-19….

    Yippy!

  • http://sizzurp Dr. Steven Hawking

    Do you have a point Elkins?

  • http://sizzurp Dr. Steven Hawking

    In order for our running game to be successful this year we MUST see a large amount of Bush, and I’m not talking about the Raiderettes!

  • aig

    Elkins,

    Shouldnt you be on some Jags board? I know you still bitter about Morrison.

  • JB

    I think Cable should be the one that POPS John Hendersen before the game. It just seems right that the smackdown should come from the top (coach-wise that is). Besides, it would make a good human interest story & put the Raider organization in the new & correct light – ass kickin’ starts at the top. Lead by example will be Cable’s new mantra.

  • Coach Elkins

    Bitter? Not bitter.

    Disgusted is a better word.

  • JB

    # Coach Elkins Says:
    July 28th, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    Bitter? Not bitter.

    Disgusted is a better word.
    **********************

    Disgusted about what? This is the best draft we’ve had in years. The FA pick-ups that were made were not the crazy type; there were no MeAngelo or Yvonne Walker adds; we finally dumped JaLardAss who was really holding us back; the coaches appear to have more latitude this year; opposition teams in the AFC all appear to have problems; and we’ve never looked this good in the last 7 years. Why are you disgusted?