Part of the Bay Area News Group

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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  • http://sizzurp Dr. Steven Hawking

    This is the difference so far, and camp is only a few hours old!!

    “It was interesting talking to those guys last night after they got checked in, just how that whole group of quarterbacks, they’re so much further ahead and prepared right now than we’ve been. It’s a tribute to all those guys, and it starts with Jason.”

    It’s a stark change from a year ago when Russell arrived for his third NFL season out of shape and uninspired. He struggled mightily in camp and when the season started before finally losing his job to Gradkowski midway through the campaign. Russell completed 48.8 percent of his passes, with three touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a 50.0 rating that was the lowest in 11 years. He was released May 6, shortly after the Raiders’ mandatory minicamp.

    http://www.nfl.com/trainingcamp/story/09000d5d8195a161/article/cable-cautiously-optimistic-about-raiders-campbell-is-no-1-qb?module=HP_headlines

  • Plunketthead

    MR is getting all his trolls lined up in a row

  • http://sizzurp Dr. Steven Hawking

    Coach Elkins Says:
    July 28th, 2010 at 8:08 pm
    Bitter? Not bitter.

    Disgusted is a better word.

    ———————————————-

    LMFAO. STFU puzzy!! :-)

  • Coach Elkins

    Sell crazy someplace else fellas….

    6-10

  • JB

    Sorry Coach, my crystal ball says 10-6 & AFC-W champion. I guess we’ll just have to wait & see.

  • http://sizzurp Dr. Steven Hawking

    Coach Elkins Says:
    July 28th, 2010 at 8:23 pm
    Sell crazy someplace else fellas….

    6-10

    ————————-

    What do you “coach”, synchronized swimming?

  • http://www.mrc.org Simon

    Good stuff Jmc.

    Thanks

    KB in LV,WA

  • aig

    for those who didnt catch the presser today…here is the live vid. good jog Raiderfans….net

    http://www.raiderfans.net/forum/oakland-raiders-forum-message-board/167071-2010-day-1-tom-cable-press-conference-video-clip.html

  • aig

    ****job

  • Plunketthead

    Coach, whats like in Kansas City this time of year?

  • Coach Elkins

    Im not here to tell you what I think, Im here to tell you the Oakland Raiders of 2010 will be 6-10.

    Fill in the blanks!

  • http://sizzurp Dr. Steven Hawking

    Coach Elkins Says:
    July 28th, 2010 at 8:28 pm
    Im not here to tell you what I think, Im here to tell you the Oakland Raiders of 2010 will be 6-10.

    Fill in the blanks!

    —————————–

    You shoot blanks?

  • Coach Elkins

    Is that all you got Dr.?

  • fat kidd

    coach elkins is called coach cause he flys coach instead of 1st class.

  • Coach Elkins

    Cable’s play it safe mentality during training camp is itself a mistake.

    Avoidance is just the recipe needed for fear of injury to grow in the minds of the players….

    Case in point, last season.

  • Coach Elkins

    I do fly Coach…always!

    Why not?

  • http://sizzurp Dr. Steven Hawking

    Coach Elkins Says:
    July 28th, 2010 at 8:41 pm
    Cable’s play it safe mentality during training camp is itself a mistake.

    Avoidance is just the recipe needed for fear of injury to grow in the minds of the players….

    Case in point, last season.

    ————————————————-

    WOW Elkins, that is deep bro. I think you are over analyzing things just a bit…… Kind of borderline weird!

  • Nnamdi21
  • http://sizzurp Dr. Steven Hawking

    Ok Nnamdi21 waiting on your link to your website….

  • Coach Elkins

    Why are we spending 4 days walking through stuff we learned in min camp?

    Makes no sense.

    Turn it up.

    Make the guys learn on the fly, not slowly….

    Just tells me the staff is completely behind themselevs…which is obvious by our record the past 7 years!

  • Nnamdi21

    Note how Monte takes every opportunity to back hadn the Raiders with stats on how horrible they are and is the only guy still talking about Jawhatsits.

    You’re gonna hate it when we start winning aren’t you Montague?

  • Nnamdi21

    Dr. Steven Hawking Says:
    July 28th, 2010 at 8:48 pm
    Ok Nnamdi21 waiting on your link to your website….

    ================

    Ok Hawking, waiting on your unified field theory…

  • Nnamdi21
  • Nnamdi21

    Ha ha ha!

    RAIDERS!!!

  • http://sizzurp Dr. Steven Hawking

    RRRRAAAAIIIIIDDDDDEEEERRRSSSSS!!!

  • Coach Elkins

    Yards 206.1 31st
    Points 12.3 31st
    1st Downs 14.5 31st
    3rd down %(30%) 30th
    TOP 28:18 27th
    TO -13 30th

    ___________________________________

    Yeah, you guys are right, Cable deserves another shot???

    NOT!

  • http://sizzurp Dr. Steven Hawking

    Nnamdi21 Says:
    July 28th, 2010 at 8:52 pm
    http://www.raidernationstation.com/

    ————————————-

    Your title of, “A New Hope…” is actually really cool. Kind of Star Wars esque…

  • JB

    Coach Elkins Says:
    July 28th, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    Why are we spending 4 days walking through stuff we learned in min camp?

    Makes no sense.

    Turn it up.

    Make the guys learn on the fly, not slowly….
    **********************
    Not sure what they learned at mini-camps. What I do know is 40-60% of the O-line will be new; 50-75% of the D-line will be new; 66%-100% of the LB starters are new; the WR group is basically new; the QB is new; the OC is new. With all that newness it kind of makes sense to stick with the basics a little longer than perhaps normal just to make sure everybody is on the same page. Oh, did I mention winning regularly will also be new so everybody needs to start from GO and do not go to jail and do not collect $200 – Just win baby, win.

  • fat kidd

    Nnamdi21 Says:
    July 28th, 2010 at 8:52 pm
    http://www.raidernationstation.com/

    where are the raiderettes?

  • aig

    Monte is still finding ways to defend Jawalrus.

  • http://sizzurp Dr. Steven Hawking

    Post 79 makes wayyyyyyyy to much sense for Elkins to comprehend. No need to explain to him, he just doesn’t get it.

  • fat kidd

    aig Says:
    July 28th, 2010 at 8:56 pm
    Monte is still finding ways to defend Jawalrus.

    …………………..well in defense of jawalrus he did not have many turnovers.

  • JB

    As far as Cable goes, this is his year to make or break. He no longer has the anchor around his neck. He now has an NFL caliber starting QB. He has a real OC. He has new talent on BOTH lines of scrimmage He seems to have more unilateral control of his assistant coaches. And, at least for now, AD appears to be giving him what he needs to make significant improvement over past showings. If he fails this time around and does not produce competitive results, he’ll be gone and next years HC will be Hue Jackson. The stage is set and the curtain is about to go up. I personally, am expecting a good show.

  • Coach Elkins

    Hue Jackson isn’t the answer either…but thats a topic of a future discussion.

    Jackson has been an OC twice, 4-12 and 5-11…

    No difference between he or Cable as a Head Man…

    None whatsoever

  • fat kidd

    JB Says:
    July 28th, 2010 at 9:06 pm
    As far as Cable goes, this is his year to make or break. He no longer has the anchor around his neck. He now has an NFL caliber starting QB. He has a real OC. He has new talent on BOTH lines of scrimmage He seems to have more unilateral control of his assistant coaches. And, at least for now, AD appears to be giving him what he needs to make significant improvement over past showings. If he fails this time around and does not produce competitive results, he’ll be gone and next years HC will be Hue Jackson. The stage is set and the curtain is about to go up. I personally, am expecting a good show.

    ……………………..we dont want hue jackson as HC no jackson no michael jackson no janet jackson no Jermaine Jackson , no Marlon Jackson no Jackie Jackson , no Randy Jackson ,no Tito Jackson etc.

  • Coach Elkins

    We should be taking about Super Bowls, instead we’re talking about getting back to respectablity…

    Ha ha

  • JB

    Finding respectable HC’s for Oakland has become a real challenge. Unless we promote from within, the likelihood is that the candidate will be an unknown. About the only known entity I can think of that might accept the role if offered is Gruden. I’m not even sure he’s a real option. AD is known for underpaying his coaches and more importantly not respecting their span of control when it comes to players. My hope is that able can pull a Madden and magically turn this team around. Madden was an unknown when he started so it is possible for an unknown to make it happen. Will lightening strike in the same place twice? Who knows, maybe, just maybe.

  • PlunkforHOF

    I’m having a hard time telling who hates EVERYTHING Silver & Black more.. MR or Crotch Elkins?

  • Nnamdi21

    Dr. Steven Hawking Says:
    July 28th, 2010 at 8:54 pm
    Nnamdi21 Says:
    July 28th, 2010 at 8:52 pm
    http://www.raidernationstation.com/

    ————————————-

    Your title of, “A New Hope…” is actually really cool. Kind of Star Wars esque…

    =====================

    Again, not my site Herr Doktor but I got that reference too.

    The whole Darth Raider thing perhaps?

    Maybe seeing subtext that isn’t there…like in the Matrix and Avatar…

    TOUCHDOWN
    RAAAAAIIIIDEEEEERS!!!

  • JB

    What’s with Coach Elkins? Talk about a pessimist. He has a real hangup with Tom Cable. What, did he interview for a Raiders job & get turned down? He’s so negative he should really consider following another team. It’s not healthy to hang around something that brings you down so badly. I really don’t understand his stated disgust with this years’ prospects. Just doesn’t make sense to me.

  • JB

    Perhaps a case of coach-envy?

  • fat kidd

    Roach Elkins works as a scout he discovered ryan leaf and j. russell.

  • JB

    I think the addition of Greg Biekert as Asst defensive coach will be a good thing. He should really be able to help McClain. He could end up being his personal mentor. McClain has the size and the tools to get the job done well. Biekert should be able to school him in the little extras, techniques & reads, that will help him excel. He also brings the S&B tradition with him – hopefully to instill a winning attitude that will be contagious.

  • JB

    What’s with that ad at the top of this page every time you refresh the page? It looks like a BIG TURD being pulled apart revealing Ray Ratto. What are they trying to tell us? I don’t think that ad was well thought out. If it were JaFatAss’s picture then it would make sense. But, Ray Ratto? Who did he piss off?

  • EMRaiders

    It is interesting to me to see how many people are either way over optimistic or way pessimistic. It’s like extremes is the only way to go. The truth is that even though we have had one of the most promising offseasons in a long time, and I mean a long time, we still have a lot of question marks. Sure, on paper everything looks great, but that has yet to translate to the field. It is true though, that at this point, from the additions and subtractions of players to coaches, the odds are on our side to take a big step forward. I personally think that 8-8 is a realistic goal. Anything more would be an amazing turn around and the team should be awarded the NFL’s most improved team of the season award. Of course, 7-9 would be improvement and acceptable, but an underachievement of potential. Anything less than that would be enough to bring about questioning of who will be replacing Cable next season. With HJ being the top candidate. Specially considering our schedule and team talent. If JC performs below average, then whispers of a new QB might be surfacing as well, with Grad being brought to mind and why he wasn’t the starter.

    This are just my thoughts, agree or disagree, it doesn’t matter, at least not until the after the 3rd preseason game or so. Enjoy the show, it should be a good one.

    As always, GO RAIDERS!

  • JB

    Makes sense to me. No argument here. I fall a little more on the optimistic side. I’m expecting a 10-6 season, not far from your 8-8. I also expect to take the AFC-W title. Looking at our competition and what they did or did not this off-season, we should be VERY competitive.

  • Henry Lawrence

    aig Says:
    July 28th, 2010 at 8:56 pm
    Monte is still finding ways to defend Jawalrus.

    …………………..well in defense of jawalrus he did not have many turnovers.

    —————-

    Cuzz he was on the bench… err Buffet.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3ng4yHw2xk&feature=PlayList&p=E565EF0DE2F587FA&playnext= Raider75

    I hope Al is working through the night to get a deal done with McClain.

  • lefty12

    Coach Elkins is Randy Hanson.

  • Henry Lawrence

    Monte is still finding ways to defend Jawalrus.

    …………………..well in defense of jawalrus he did not have many turnovers.
    ******************

    2008 3,TD,s and 11,INT’s