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Cable Q&A

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Monday, September 13th, 2010 at 4:10 pm in Oakland Raiders.

A transcription of Raiders coach Tom Cable’s press briefing with the local media Monday:

Intro: After getting a chance to look at it on tape, my feelings after the game were justified on film. It’s disappointing, it’s a setback, but it’s not going to determine what we are. The most disappointing thing was just coming out and not cutting it loose. I think that, probably more than anything, bothers me on film. But every issue that’s on that film, we’ve been through and probably had it happen already during preseason and have been able to fix it, so we need to be a little more focused, a little more attention to detail, and don’t let this one beat you again. That’s really the big issue.
Q: Any injury updates?

Cable: I’ll do that all on Wednesday.

Q: Tough day for Jason Campbell in his debut, how did he handle adversity?

Cable: You know, he seemed fine on the sideline. I couldn’t tell you in terms of the huddle. He didn’t mismanage anything or anything like that. He was fine. I think he just kind of represented our whole football team, just really not able to turn it loose and play. A little too cautious for all of us, and that’s just unfortunate, especially in your opener, because you really thought you’d go down there and make a statement, and we didn’t do that.

Q: Something with the snap count that allows them to get off the ball so quickly?

Cable: It’s loud. It’s really loud. Maybe they see something, but that’s really kind of that deal in that stadium, if you do your homework, you kind of know they lead the league in false starts and all those kinds of things.

Q: Did you identify any tipping off of the snap?

Cable: That’s a great crowd. Seriously. Guys, if you do your homework, they’ve led the league for years now in opponents’ false starts, pre-snap penalties.

Q: Did you see a change in Jason’s demeanor and confidence?

Cable: No, no, no, no no. Jason’s fine. Just we had a bad day. We’re not going to sit around and overanalyze it or overcook it. We’re going to look at what the issues are and fix it. We feel great about our team. We just really did not play very well yesterday, but the cool thing is you can put your hand on what it is. It’s unfortunate at the same time.
Q: Was Jason gun shy at all after getting sacked a few times?

Cable: No.

Q: How do you fix the protection issues?

Cable: Keep working at it. We’ve got to play better at tackle. That’s the bottom line here. We’ll do that. We’ll keep working at it, putting it together, using different ways to help them. We’ll just coming up with a process to help those two guys with their issues.

Q: Will you keep the same starting line this week?

Cable: I don’t know. We’ll see about all that as we get down the road. There were some positives in that game. We ran the football pretty good and consistently with a nice average. Darren I thought played extremely well when you got a chance to go look at the film. There was some improvement in that area. If you remember in preseason, that was my concern. I didn’t think we were very consistent in running the football, and certainly I think showed up well yesterday. Just their ability to throw and make some chunk plays that we didn’t do.

Q: Jason at one point used the word “flat.” How can a team be flat for the opener?

Cable: I don’t know. I don’t think you can sit around. It’s funny because there’s 16 of us or actually 15 of us today sitting around, wondering the same thing. I’ve looked at a lot of stuff. We’re not the only ones that really kind of feel like we didn’t go out there and get done what we expected to get done. And take your hat off to Tennessee. They’re a good team. They played their tails off, the runner’s good, all those things. Great home-field advantage. All those things. But, no excuses. We didn’t play well enough to win.

Q: Some players talked about nerves being an issue, any evidence of that?

Cable: I know who said that, and I wouldn’t expect that out of a veteran player. I think we were pretty calm. I looked at the young guys, probably took my key from them, and they were not nervous at all and ready to go. Rolando played a fine game, as did Lamar. There were a lot of positives from the guys you might expect to be nervous, so I don’t know that we were nervous.

Q: Do you think in your heart of hearts that this O-line is fixable?

Cable:Yeah, I do. It has to be. I do believe that.

Q: What did you think of Veldheer on film?

Cable: Very competitive. He battled and battled and battled. There were some timing issues with the whole offense, and that starts with the snap. Those are some things to work on.

Q: Some snaps got away – pin those on Veldheer, or were they catchable?

Cable: One was over his head, so that’s definitely on the center. The other one was right on his left thigh, and we just mis-handled it.

Q: Do you regret at all putting a Division II center in that kind of environment as the starter for his first game, and is it possible that exposing him to all that will be a good thing?

Cable: Yes and no on the first part, yes on the second part. How he handled himself was good. You always question yourself when you don’t win, and some of that was part of the issue, for your ability to operate offensively. So yes and no on part I, do I question whether I should have put him in there in that environment. And as for how he did, he battled his tail off.

Q: What will your biggest focus be in the passing game this week?

Cable: Just relax and go play. Just cut it loose. That’s what we are. One thing we know about us is when we just go play fast and cut it loose in any of the three phases, that’s when we’re a good football team. And I think to come out and to not get busy right away kind of set us back, and we kind of took a backseat approach to it rather than being the driver, and that’s what we have to be.

Q: What did this do to the young players’ confidence?

Cable: I doubt it does anything, quite honestly. We’re kind of pissed off, if I can say that. We’re not feeling sorry for ourselves. It’s a setback. It’s part of life, so that’s the way we’re dealing with it. We’re really kind of angry about what happened. We will expect to go back there and win that football game. Just leave it at that. So our confidence isn’t hit at all.

Q: This loss easier than last year’s last-second loss to Chargers?

Cable: Absolutely, but also let’s be realistic. Because as we talked, that’s what we have to, we have to put this behind us. But we’ve gotta learn from it. We’ve got to take so much. At the end of the game last night, or in the locker room, I asked ‘em, bring your notepads and bring an open mind tomorrow, cause we got a lot of work to do. We gotta straighten some things out. And when you see the film, as we talked in the team meeting, when you guys go look at this film, you’re gonna be very shocked and a little bit angry to see yourselves doing things that we used to do. Things we haven’t done all preseason. Things we kind of felt we had moved beyond. And there they are again.

It’s just things, taking your eyes off your man, making the wrong check in a coverage look, making the wrong protection call, taking a shorter drop rather than a five-step drop. Those kinds of fundamental little issues, you put your hands all over it. But we should put it behind us. Cause you can’t do anything about it now, other than learn from it. And it’s not gonna determine whether we win this week as long as we handle it the right way. If we learn from it, take from it what we’re supposed to, then we’ll be fine. Maybe our only setback, who knows? But I know this was a difficult pill to swallow, because we just expect more of ourselves now.

Q: Are you confident that the team from the preseason that wasn’t making those mistakes is the real Raiders?

Cable: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. That’s a tough place to go and play. We knew it would be, and so we made a kind of a deal about understanding the environment and being able to handle it — the great test on the road and all that. We just didn’t do that part. That’s what it is, but we’re going to have other issues like that down the road. We’ve got to go to Pittsburgh and go to Jacksonville, Denver, Kansas City, and down to San Diego. We’ve got to go to Arizona in a couple of weeks, so we’ll have that same kind of issue. Maybe not as boisterous a crowd if you will, but we’ll have to deal with some of those same things. And so, this can be a great, great deal for us if we use it the right way.

Q: Would you say Sunday was McFadden’s best performance since you’ve been here?

Cable: Yes. Yep, complete game. Quality. Would’ve liked to have maybe seen him come out and hit a homerun. That would’ve made even more complete. But consistently ran it hard, read it right, protected it, caught it, but we’ve already talked about that. When he’s healthy, that’s who he is.

Q: Even during the Chiefs game, his best yardage game, he didn’t have to break tackles and in practice you don’t tackle much. So, how did you know that about him?

Cable: Well I think, you know, we actually tackled more this year in camp than we had in the past, but your point is correct that you don’t do so much that you really know. I think that’s him probably hearing you all question whether or not he’s for real. So, good job by you guys.

Q: Run defense was stout early and then . . .

Cable: Yeah but one run. Like we talked about with them, we can’t take those back. If you could, you’d say ‘Gosh that’s a pretty good day, we’re making progress.’ But you don’t miss a tackle right in the hole and give up a seventy-something yard run. Period, end of story. That’s what it is. It reflects on all of us. It’s not good enough yet.

Q: How do you get Zach more involved in passing offense?

Cable: Again, when you look at the film there’s a lot of guys open all over the place. It’s just in the first two series he was sacked three or four times. You stand back there with those goons chasing you like that and get hit that many times. We have to fix that first. Let him get comfortable.

Q: What happened on Nate Washington TD?

Cable:Came out of coverage.

Q: Any Michael Bush update?

Cable: I’ll let you know on Wednesday. We’ll know all of that.

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  • daraider09

    Chiefs are dynamic with their rookies and Jamaal Charles. He might be 2nd to chris johnson here pretty soon. We have no talent like this. However I wish we would let jacoby ford return punts and kicks. Maybe he’s got some electricity like we just saw from mccluster.

    I drafted him on my fantasy team knowing this might happen. Cheifs upgraded a lot in talent this offseason. Not great but probably enough to embarrass our team.

  • NYC DAVE

    Coach CAble. How about Nick Miller on kickoff returns?

  • Dark Forces

    “Guys, if you do your homework, they’ve led the league for years now in opponents’ false starts, pre-snap penalties.”

    Then why the $%^& didn’t you prepare your team for that enviornment since you’re doing so much homework Coach Cable?

  • dokiewilliams

    It’s funny how Raiders fans are so critical of the team they support. One game and everyone is smarter than every coach and better than every player. The entire team sucks. Campbell should lose his job, Al Davis is to blame, blah blah blah.

    New QB + New OC + New offense + Revamped O-line + Rookie C + No #1 WR or RB + rookie MLB + rookie DE + new LB’s + new CB = early issues. Add in the toughest road stadium in the NFL + east coast trip with 10am PST kickoff + sweltering heat + oppressive humidity + good physical team comfortable in system and it was obvious we were in for a beating.

    The fact is, put almost any other team in the league in that game yesterday and they would look terrible too. It’s good Cable and the team aren’t treating it like the end of the world, because it’s not. It’s just too bad that they have to come home to a bunch of fools calling their own players names and booing them.

    A bunch of you same fools were the ones criticizing Gannon that couldn’t wait to get Collins on the field.One of the best QB’s we’ve ever had got a lukewarm reception while Phillip Buchanon gets a roaring ovation.

    Instead of being a know-it-all and hating everyone and everything, why not try rallying around players and the team for once? Obviously, the fans aren’t helping things at all lately and only serve to motivate the opposing team to embarrass us.

    Sorry, but it just gets so old reading koolkell and co. do nothing but complain and trash our own players and team more than our rivals do. It’s ridiculous and makes Raiders fans look bad and adds to the problem. How must it feel to be part of a team where even your own so-called fans hate you and the few who do show up mock the team at the first slipup?

    If we are below .500 after our 8th game, I will be the first one on this board to ridicule Al Davis and everyone associated with the team. But I think these guys just need to gel and would feed off a little support or encouragement from their own friends.

    Go ahead and rip me and call me whatever you want now. The sad thing is, even when we finally do turn things around, you’ll be calling Schilens a p—- for getting hurt or complaining that Cartwright isn’t tall enough and how Boller wouldn’t have overthrown his WR that one play, etc.

  • zopi

    Let’s face the truth this is a bad team.
    The problems continue to be the same in the offense because of the antiquated Raider playbook, very little if any creativity. When something different was tried it kicked back in the face, like that throwback pass to Campbell, and the failed end a run. Everything else was the same, McFadden looked great, but the execution in the red zone offense was once again pathetic. The only TD was a gift with the Titans exchanging points for time. Yes the OL is terrible, but this is directly the result of the play calling and blocking schemes, same situation seemingly as forever.
    The defense played better, but as I posted before there are still plenty of undisciplined dummies like Branch that will make that stupid play just in time to allow a big play to crush the team.
    The Raiders have always been high on potential, but the playbook and philosophies will continue to doom the team. Cable doesn’t help any and he just makes things worse by continuing to deny reality, i.e. see Singletary. And, Hue has his hands tied down by that infamous playbook.
    Luckily, except for the dolts, the division is just as bad. Maybe the Raiders can come up with a 3-13 season.

  • sirblitzalot

    There is no doubt it takes quick reflexes, agility and power to play the tackle position (especially the LT-b/c he is on the QB’s blind side); compared to the left GUARD position. Al picked Gallery, in the first round, b/c he was supposed to be a super left TACKLE but where is he now? Getting accolades for his superior left guard play! #76 is getting a pass, if you ask me. The Guard is a much less demanding position than tackle but Gallery is getting “1st round tackle” money for playing a “guard”. The guards and the center have a cozy little self supporting “pocket” (as long as all three hold up their end of the pocket). The tackles are out there on an island, they have to cover a much wider area and be able to react fast enough to keep up with the moves of some outstanding DE (and there are plenty of them in this league). But what do we have? Introducing as our starting LT: #75 Mario (330 lbs of protoplasm) Henderson, who is a pile that the DE just has to step around to get to our QB. I never thought I would say this but we would be better off with Barry “whiff” Sims! Even #76, “False Start” Robert Gallery would be an upgrade. Re-introducing the starting RT of the Oakland Raiders we have: Recycled (but not refurbished), underachiever, x-cal tackle, #70 Langston “WATCH OUT QB!” Walker. He sucked the first time around but lets hire him again. Maybe this zebra can be a stallion, this time. (I would have preferred to see Lincoln Kennedy recycled than this loser). Tom Cable, Offensive Line Coach extraordinaire, whom I affectionately refer to as “Curly Joe”, (of the 3 stooges.) decides to start #68, a kid from a Division II school, with no experience as center. With those 3 components in place, the rest of the line doesn’t even matter. The formula for failure against Tenn was complete. You guys can dissect the other two guards. These o-line problems cannot be fixed this season. Therefore, we Raider fans can expect another long season. There is hope, however: DEFENSE!! If #99, #92, #93,#96, #91 and
    #52, #55 and #54 can STOP THE RUN
    and #24, #33, #37 can DO THEIR JOB, we can win a few games (against teams with inferior D-lines).

    MORE ON OFFENSIVE LINE COACH CABLE.

  • imaquaman

    I think after the game was out of hand B K should have played some .i also feel gradkowski out played jason during preseason as well and bruce should be our no 1

  • imaquaman

    # daraider09 Says:
    September 13th, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    The offensive line is solely responsible for the loss, not the defense, or wide receivers, or running backs as so many peopl who panic try to blame.

    If you cant block the other team, you will never know what you have.
    I almost feel like they need to do what the Titans do; stick with the run. maybe with 10 more attempts, McFadden breaks the homerun if we stick with it throughout the game. We need to pass using the play action, because our traditional drop back passing game is pitiful since they cant protect.

    I say a stead dose of running plays, a little shuffling of the o-line and a little better work on defense and focus and we win next weekend.

    ……………………………………………….wow good eye i missed the part where our offensive line gave up the 38 points ,and here i was thinking our defense was responsible for the missed takles and blown coverages……..oh dopey me

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