Cable still irked by line of scrimmage issues


Upon further review, the ruling still stands.

The Raiders got their butts kicked at the line of scrimmage.

That was coach Tom Cable’s day-after assessment Monday of a 31-24 loss to the Houston Texans at the Coliseum.

For a veteran line coach, the way the Raiders lost far overshadowed any grit or progress the they may have shown in other areas. Football is for tough people, and the Raiders were far from it.

“It’s just playing, throwing the fight at them, and we didn’t do that,’’ Cable said at his weekly press briefing. “What matters is what you do on game day, and to know what’s coming at you and not handle it better than we did is disappointing, but we can’t sit around and dwell on it all week.’’

The players talked about it some on Monday, conceding the Texans had pushed them around and pointing out the season wasn’t over at 1-3 with the first division game approaching against the San Diego Chargers.

“They just came out and played better to tell you the truth,’’ safety Tyvon Branch said. “It took us too long to start stopping the run, and once we started stopping it it was too late.’’

Branch is apparently talking about the final 10 carries, when the Texans gained just 37 yards while milking the clock, carries which included five plays designed to do nothing but avoid fumbles following the Raiders’ final interception.

Cable said the coaching staff would continue to look for answers while putting together a game plan to begin introducing Tuesday against the Chargers.

“For us to be the kind of team we think we can be, we can’t have days like yesterday,’’ Cable said. “That’s just unacceptable. We all know that. I think it’s very clear in everyone’s mind that it’s unacceptable.

“So yeah, it’s exciting to be playing San Diego this week, it’s a division game and all that comes with that. It’s a great week for us and a good time to come, but we need to clear some things up.’’

More news, notes and quotes from Monday’s media availability and Cable’s press briefing:

— The early injury report update finds running backs Darren McFadden and Michael Bennett and starting weak side linebacker Quentin Groves with hamstring injuries, linebacker Thomas Howard with a knee strain and quarterback Bruce Gradkowski with a sore A-C joint in his throwing shoulder.

Gradkowski seemed to be the least serious of the four, Cable said, with more known about McFadden, Bennett and Howard by Wednesday.

“Normal Monday,’’ said Gradkowski with a smile, “except my feelings are hurt.’’

— Sat in the press box Sunday next to veteran reporter Frank Cooney, the Raiders presenter for the Hall of Fame and a guy who has been around long enough to have helped George Blanda carry his belongings to his car after he was waived.

In talking bout the rash of hamstring injuries for the Raiders, Cooney noted it was a cool summer and that perhaps it wasn’t hot enough at training camp. An old school theory to be sure, but what the heck, I asked Cable about if that could have any effect on muscle pulls.

“I don’t know,’’ Cable said. “You would have to really dig into some fitness or exercise physiologist or something like that.’’

Cable said the Raiders are continuing to look into it the problem, and again invoked the possibility of overtraining. He finds it strange that it’s still happening in early October.

“Now that we’re in to the season, you’re kind of in your routine, so we’ll look at how much we’re doing and that sort of thing in terms of the skills players, how much they’re running during the week and see if something there,’’ Cable said.

Cable said McFadden and Bennett both reported feeling better Monday, and that McFadden told him his new injury isn’t nearly as bad as the one that cost him there weeks in training camp.

— Defensive tackle John Henderson is undergoing more tests on his injured foot “to see if we can really figure out what’s going on with this. He was getting better every day and then Saturday and Sunday it got really sore doing nothing,’’ Cable said.

Regarding the other long-term absences _ wide receiver Chaz Schilens (knee), left guard Robert Gallery (hamstring) and linebacker Travis Goethel (lower back), Cable said, “This week, you have the potential for one or two of those guys, but we’re looking more like next week or the week after.’’

— The Raiders committed only two penalties, perhaps because the players have been taking it upon themselves with a little peer pressure to try and eliminate them.

“The players have started a deal. If the defense jumps offside’s they’re running and same with the offense now. They’ve kind of taken that on their own shoulders, which is good. I like that. Yesterday when you look at the film it was just really a clean football game all over the place by both teams.’’

— Middle linebacker Rolando McClain has probably never been part of a team which gave ground as easily as the Raiders did Sunday. He was right in the middle of it, as responsible as anyone else for the poor play, but unavailable for comment Sunday or Monday.

“He sent me a text this morning with some of his thoughts, and it is important to him and he’s embarrassed about it like everybody,’’ Cable said.

— Wide receiver Louis Murphy offered no alibis for the fourth-and-16 drop which ended up a diving interception by Houston’s Troy Nolan, saying it was a catch he should have made.

Murphy talked after the game about the soreness in his bruised clavicle and conceded he didn’t know until just before game time if he’d be good to go. It was still sore on Monday, he said, but improving.

Asked directly if Murphy should have been playing, Cable said, “Oh, yeah. He was fine. He’s fine this morning.’’


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • beach

    “It’s just playing, throwing the fight at them, and we didn’t do that,’’
    In my own words, it’s called a bunch of pansies playing football. Schaub should have been wearing an apron yesterday. A bunch of effin pathetic losers who have no pride.

  • beach

    mistic1 Says

    Besides the fact that these bandwagon grads fans wont admit that he sucks, or at the least has sucked since entering the line up.

    Compared to any QB I’ve seen suit up the past 8 seasons, I’ll take Bruce and his 24 points to the bank any and every day.

  • BenRaiderfan

    have used both crabs, and crapkowski,a crab is a louse, and crabs game has been lousy.

    Its not about who is more or less responsible football is a team game. I dont like the way so many people were so quick to run our stater out of town after six quarters of sub par football, but after 2 1/2 games of terrible football crabs gets a pass.

    Besides the fact that these bandwagon grads fans wont admit that he sucks, or at the least has sucked since entering the line up.


    Crabs getting a pass because he’s putting up points/yards on defenses that won’t crack the top 20 this year. It’s BS. He hasn’t scored once in the third quarter as a starter but everyone keeps talking about how we just barely missed winning.

  • RaiderReggie

    Cut Michael Huff NOW!!!!! We need safeties that knows how to do a basic tackle. Your safeties are you last line of defense and they should be good tacklers.

  • BenRaiderfan


    Tell me exactly how “Crabby” is worst than Jason. I’m all ears “bra”. Please point to some credible evidence that you can back up.

    You continually spew your ignorance on here. But keep on hating cuz I doubt you’ll see Jason score 24 points per game this year. And please none of this Jason’s feelings are hurt or whatever, He’s been benched before. It’s called trying to bring Cutler in last year and dumping his a$$ by Ratface this year in favor of McNabb. Are you sure he’s never been benched?

    You’re right JC won’t get 24 points again because we won’t be playing the Cards (29.5 per game) or the Texans (25.5 per game). That’s why Cable pulled that lame crap and put the Brucester in the second half. He knew he would have two games where he would look like a genius. The alternative was to fix the damn offensive line so that a pocket passer could pass. Neither happened. We lost the next two games and now we’re playing teams where the defense wears pants instead of skirts. Hence, why we were experimenting with all the checkdowns (ala JC) in the Texans game. He could have dialed those up in the second game against the Rams with JC but he wanted you to be happy so he threw in the Brucester. Now that you’re happy and we’re still 1-3, he doesn’t know what to do. It’s not in his Coaching for Dummies book so he’s clueless.

  • Its sad when the highest paid team has the lowest attendance – and the owner still spends money like a drunken sailor on washed up past talent and overated draft picks. Word is this strike is going to happen and the succesful teams are tired of carrying and sharing revenue with the likes of this team and therefore would prefer to trim the league way down to
    ONLY the succesful markets. what a concept!

  • raideralex99

    Misty … the Raiders only got blown out once this year … that’s when Jason Campbell was the QB.
    Gradkowski is NOT the problem he’s just an average QB with heart and leadership … when was the last time scored more than 20 points 2 games in arow. I think you have to get over this thing about a black QB leading us to the promised land … never going to happen.
    The defence had a bad game … that’s it … next week will be different … Gradkowski will beat the Chargers next week … take it to the bank.

  • raideralex99

    I though Al drafts the fastest guys … it seems like every team has a fast KR return that actually returns kicks for TDs or good yardaged … so where’s Al’s man.

  • mikedlopes

    If this keeps up our attendance will be shot..

    I was bagging grocery’s today and I asked a fellow raider fan if he went to the game, and he responded, “naw mon, too expensive.. why would I spend my hardearned money on a bad product.”

    Is there anyway our team become so horrible and pathetic that the NFL intervene and force Al Davis to let go?

    Clear the coaching staff and bring in Gruden?

    Reduce the ticket prices to $30-$60 dollars?

    We could be 4-0 if you think about it.. maybe.. just maybe if Jason Campbell and Bruce Campbell started in a huddle together.. some Campbell soup phenomenon would occur and start some win. As Bruce and Jason Campbell would then have telekinesis and Jason would know if his blind side impacted.

  • BenRaiderfan

    Misty … the Raiders only got blown out once this year … that’s when Jason Campbell was the QB.
    Gradkowski is NOT the problem he’s just an average QB with heart and leadership … when was the last time scored more than 20 points 2 games in arow. I think you have to get over this thing about a black QB leading us to the promised land … never going to happen.
    The defence had a bad game … that’s it … next week will be different … Gradkowski will beat the Chargers next week … take it to the bank.
    This is exactly what I’m talking about. We’ve only played one team that has a legitimate defense. The Titans are averaging 4 sacks a game and are number 8 in defense. They’re supposed to be good. The Cards and Texans didn’t even know you were supposed to sack before they played us. But Campbell gets a rookie Division II left tackle for center who played the position 1 time in the preseason. That’s the protection he gets being a pocket passer. But he doesn’t get the cupcakes or the playcalling. When was the last time the Raiders ever went for it on 4 and 1 on the opening drive? Never. this is BS.

  • tobrocker

    This team is very satisfied with it’s mediocrity it seems. Tyvon Branch seems to think they stopped the run…But too late. They crammed the ball down your throat the last minute and a half. Converted a first down on you failing to get the offense the ball back. When everyone in the whole world knew that run was coming every play.. Sad. First because it happened. Second because they are in denial. Third because I am a fan for life and will have to go through this again next week. FYI we have the second highest payroll in the NFL. When half of the team belongs in UFL. I am disgusted. See you next week. Beat the damn Chargers!!!

  • zopi

    There is no way the Raiders win against the dolts. Make it 14 in a row, which seems like 140.
    Branch is the worst of all to talk, typical loser that somehow keeps his job. It’s like if you can spin it like Cable Al Davis likes it and keeps you employed. If you’re like Chucky Woods you’re gone.
    After the dolts is the niners, and the Raiders will no doubt gift wrap the niners’ first win. So that’ll make it 1-5, any chance of turning it around after that with this kind of coaching and lack of discipline spells doom.
    In all honesty true Raider fans knew this well, yes there were expectations at the beginning of the season, one can only dream, but once the season started it was back to the same crap we’ve seen for the last 8 years and counting.
    Cable is a lame duck coach, every player knows this and wouldn’t play for him if their life depended on it. Added to Cable’s plain incompetency and ineptness. Why would the players care to step it up or man up? When they’ll just keep taking their checks to the bank, this is after all the team with highest payroll in the NFL, Raider fans know this very well because this is also the team with the lowest attendance in the league.
    Great way to run a business Al. What a shame.

  • ohioraider

    This team is missing some huge pieces…but could be much much better with just a little bit of coherence and organization. It obviously is the way it is because every level of the team and management has no idea what it means or takes to be good.
    This is absolutely a correct assessment of the franchise. Never will be SB competitive so long as Al still runs things, but it could be an 8 or 9 win team if it simply got the basics consistently right and showed a little heart. Withs the exception of Grads, the team is completely heartless, beginning with the crusty old corpse at the top.

  • JN

    This team’s performance cannot be sugar-coated. They flat out stink. They have stunk for the last seven years. Nothing ever changes – O-line is a bunch of has beens and never-will-be’s and the D-line can’t stop the run. How come other teams can get better (ex. Chiefs)? This is the same circus as the last seven years except the names of a few clowns have changed.