By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Monday, October 25th, 2010 at 8:09 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Have no idea what the problem was with this blog as well as others in this group, but here’s the transcription of coach Tom Cable’s press briefing Monday with the Bay Area media the day atter a 59-14 win over the Denver Broncos:
Cable: OK, quick Injury update: Darrius Heyward–Bey should be fine from the illness. He’s feeling much better today and worked out today and all that, so don’t see any issues there. One questionable deal from the game yesterday is Louis Murphy. We won’t know much here for about 48 hours. New injury that came out of the game is Robert Gallery was a calf strain. Doesn’t look to be serious but we’ll know more on Wednesday. Satele with a concussion, felt better today. But we’ll again have to wait until Wednesday. Michael Bennett had a hamstring strain, was very slight and should OK by Wednesday. Wimbley felt pretty good this morning from the groin injury. We’ll, again, see on Wednesday. Shaughnessy and Chris Johnson both with concussions, felt pretty good today so we’ll see on Wednesday.
Q: What’s Murphy’s problem?
Cable: Well, we don’t know that yet and that’s kind of what the issue is. Something going on the chest area, looks to be like a contusion, but how severe it is and how much it limits him is really the question.
Q: So it’s not related to the earlier clavicle injury?
Cable: No it’s not.
Q: He got hurt on that play along the sideline, colliding with Marcel Reece?
Q: Was the play of Jacoby Ford and Nick Miller encouraging if you might need to call on them if Murphy is out?
Cable: You know, definitely, in Jacoby’s case, he played a ton of snaps, when Darrius went out, I think he played 10 or 11, so he was forced to play a lot of football, and it wasn’t too big for him, and the more he played in that game yesterday, he actually got better and better as the game went along. So I’m excited about being able to count on him and where he can help this team now. I think his role can expand and is certainly ready to. Nick certainly came in and made a big play. He’s doing a fine job on the punt returns. It’s just good to know some guys we can go to.
Q Asked if team turned corner yesterday, you said, `We’ll see.’ How do continue momentum, especially after a day like yesterday?
Cable: I just think you take this one and learn from it. I know I always say that, but that’s what this game is about. You’re either learning or not, and if you’re not, you’re going backwards. To me, see what came out of it, look at it and be very critical of ourselves. That to me will be the next step for us. There’s certainly plenty to work on from that game. We will get better, we have to get better, but our focus will be on that, just worry about us and how do we get better and how do we make the things that were negative better the next time out. If we can do that I think that in itself, that process will take care of winning this second one.
Q: Silly question, but are they professional enough hat you can sell them on the idea they did things wrong in a 59-14 win?
Cable: Sure they are, because one thing about it, they know when I talk to them I’m not going to make just arbitrarily make something up or say we need to do this better, we need to do that better. I’ll put it on a cut-up for them and say, here it is. And we’ll do that if necessary in front of the team so we’ve got everybody’s attention. That’s something that we’ve done and I think they’ve taken acceptance for that if you will and been accountable for those things and it’s helped them.
Q: What were your concerns coming out of a great effort like this?
Cable: The effort was not a concern in any way shape or form, but we did not finish blocks in the offensive line at two spots very well, and that’s got to get better. Defensively, we blew a coverage, the first pass they completed to the flat there that Rolando had to run down there and make the play, and we blew a coverage there. There are some things there that we can still clean up. There are some alignment issues defensively, and there were a number of them, when we weren’t lined up on the right shoulder. Offensively, I think able to manage the clock, not have a delay of game, being able to get lined up in some formations, the false start penalties, three of ‘em, those are the things I’m talking about. Those are the things that if we’re going to be good, we’re going to have to keep chipping away at that list and try to minimize those things.
Q: The false starts aside, and know you don’t put them aside, did Veldheer have as good a game as it looked when left side and some of the things he was doing?
Cable: He played really well. I mean. Yeah, he played really well.
Q:At center, too?
Cable: At center too. I mean, it was really a joy to watch him go out there at left tackle and play well in the pass and play well in the run, both front side and back side, and then when needed, goes inside and snaps the ball and takes care of things, and guided the protection and he’s just a guy that’s on the come. But the thing that’s really exciting for us is for him to get his first start at left tackle and perform at that high level like that.
Q: How did Mario do when he went in to sub for him?
Cable: He did some good things. One thing I was geeked about, and I can’t wait to see him, I haven’t seen him yet today. We got on the goal line when we ran the ball with Marcel for the touchdown and Marcel punched that guy out three yards deep in the end zone. It was a great block. Those are the kinds of things I’ve been trying to bring out of him, and he certainly showed it there, so it was certainly a positive.
Q: And for him to do in week when he’d be replaced as the starter . . . does that bode well he reacted that way?
Cable: I think so. That’s what I ask guys to do. If you have a setback, how do you turn it into a come back or how do you turn it into a positive. I think he responded well, and I’m proud of him for doing that and we needed him to go in the game and he played well when he went in.
Q:Has Mario got any work on right side, might he now with Jared at left tackle?
Cable: You know, we do some of the unbalanced, the heavy stuff, and so he’s had some work over there, but you know, we’ll start thinking about what his role can be in all that as we go further here.
Q: If Samson can’t go, it’s Veldheer back at center, Mario at left tackle?
Cable: That’s correct. I think Samson will be fine.
Q:What Mario did more comfortable . . .
Cable: I am. Again, he took what I think is just a setback and took responsibility and when he got his opportunity performed like you want him to, so to me, that’s what a pro does, and that’s what a guy who’s trying to get it right, trying to do things the things the way we ask him to do it.
Q: Difference in Jason this week to last?
Cable: Cut it loose. Really, there’s only a couple of times where you say, he kind of held it and re-read some things, I mentioned yesterday, but it was only a couple times. To me he just went out there and just really kind of stayed on time and cut it loose. And I think that’s what he has to do. Obviously, if you really break it down, you look at the start of the game for him and that’s a pretty fair start for anybody.
Q: Said a week ago Gradkowski would be quarterback again when he’s healthy. Is that still the case?
Cable: Yes, definitely.
Q: Will it be this week?
Cable: Well, we’ll have to wait and see come Wednesday and we’ve made a lot of improvement there, but is he ready to go and do it the way we need him to? We’ll see. We just don’t know yet.
Q: Was there a dramatic difference in the way you called that game offensively from the 49ers game?
Cable: The one thing I told Hue — and I thought he did a nice job of staying aggressive early, and certainly momentum was in our favor and the defense made two huge plays, the interception for a touchdown, the fumble – I just liked how we were attacking right away. And I think that’s what we’re trying to be as a football team, be tough and physical but try to use our skill players to attack people. I think we got in a nice rhythm doing that yesterday.
Q: Use of read option stuff – is that the first time you broke it out?
Cable: No, we’ve used little parts of it, but not maybe to the extent of that. Absolutely.
Q: Just something about the Broncos made it the right time to break that out that extent?
Cable: Yeah. You figure how you game plan. You game plan to win that game against that opponent so it really comes down to whether or not it fits with what they do. And if it’s something that’s going to give you an advantage you want to do it, obviously.
Q: Considering Jason had a sore knee, you had to be pretty sure he was going to be ready to go if you’re running that . . .
Cable: He felt good on Saturday, which was really the key for us. I had mentioned that to you guys, if he did we’d move forward in saying he’s going to start and we did that on Saturday.
Q: Is Darren McFadden ready to join the elite in the NFL on a week after week basis? What did you think of his play Sunday?
Cable: Outstanding. He had a lot of help, which always when you have that kind of day, there’s some other people did a lot of things. But specific to him, yeah, he showed some tremendous skills. His burst was there, ran very physical, very tough. Do I think he can become an elite player? Yes. I think we thought that when we drafted him. As I mentioned, you’ve just got to keep him on the field, healthy, and he’s been productive. This year he’s probably taken it to a new level. No question.
Q: Gratifying to see all the rookies contribute yesterday?
Cable: It’s great. It means we did all the right things … in terms of the draft and evaluating and doing those things. It’s just good. As you said, every week there’s a core group of that group that’s been contributing, but more and more as we go in weeks, guys are showing up, and I think that’s a real positive.
Q: After you see so many players do outstanding, can you see their true capabilities? Start talking to the team about raising expectations to a new level?
Cable: We did that yesterday in the locker room. I’m one of those guys as a line coach or even as a head coach, if you show it to us and you show me what you’re capable of and you’ve been able to do it more than once, it’s expected. It’s called raising the bar. And when you raise the bar you’ve got to be accountable to that. That’s why I mentioned yesterday after the game, whatever the future holds for us, we’ll either earn it or not, but we’re not going to go backwards, we’re going to move forward.
Q: Are you going to bring up winning two in a row or are just going to talk about what you need to do to beat Seattle?
Cable: That’s right. We need to worry about Seattle, and to do that, we need to worry about us more than anything. And I think we all want to win two in a row and we all know what that means and all those kind of things, but the process of doing that is far more important than talking about a two-game winning streak.
Q: Thoughts on no TD for Lamarr?
Cable: It’s poorly done. Clearly the ball was out. It was missed. It didn’t take much of a review to really see that. They blew the play dead because that was another touchdown defensively. It’s a heck of a play by both of those guys.
Q: Is this first victory Monday?
Cable: No. It’s not the first time but it is the first time this year.
Q: Why this week?
Cable: I just think a feel for your team. We’ve not had any time off. It’s nice to have a day off, we have Tuesday off in the NFL but you’re still studying and doing those things. Physically, but even more importantly emotionally and mentally, it really takes 48 hours to kind of relax and get your brain back where you want it. I like where we’re at as a football team. But I think a little freshening up is good for us.
Q: Tell Seymour take it easy on official?
Cable:: You know what. I did not see it until I turned the film on this morning. My wife told me about it obviously. But that was a heck of a hit. Pretty good. The nice thing that that shows is we’re doing those things in practice. You talk about turnovers and takeaways. You got Michael Huff and Mike Mitchell both of them punch a ball out. They wrap and punch the ball out. Just exactly what we do in the drills. You have guys scooping and trying to score. You’ve got the interception and guys turning to block. And then that deal with Richard, ‘when the ball is on the ground d-line, go get the ball because you never know.’ You’re in the pile, you don’t whether it was forward or backward or where it was at. So if it’s on the ground, go get the ball. He’s just doing what we coach him to do and it’s a really a great effort play on his part. Unfortunate for that official.
Q: How much does Mike Mitchell’s versatility help?
Cable: The way he’s improved, particularly in the last three weeks. He does give us an extra bonus in there because of those things you’re talking about. He’s a physical player that can run. He just seems to get better and better. In fact, he and Chris Johnson got the two game balls on defense. On offense, it was Darren McFadden. Just want to keep him coming because he’s exactly what you just described. I think he’s a bonus for us. We have Thomas Howard go down because of the knee injury. He stepped right in and has improved with each game.
Q: When did you feel comfortable to let up?
Cable: We’ve been in that situation too much, maybe not up by that much, but where you feel like you let up. I think that’s part of the growth I was talking about earlier. For us to learn and grow from it. That’s what champions do in the ring. If you get someone hurt, you knock him out. I think we’re trying to take that mentality and really grow with it if you will.
Q: How was flight home?
Cable: It was pretty bumpy, a lot of storms. John, don’t you think? Actually it was great. Really it was great. It was good, in the locker room after the game and all that, to win the game and visit with them on the plane after the game. There’s just a level of excitement and confidence that comes with playing good as a team and accomplishing the things that you talk about all the time. It’s been good to see them around here today even though I gave them the day off, most of them are around training and taking care of their bodies and doing those things. It’s good. They have a good look in their eye.
Q: You often walk the plane after a game, win or lose and talk to players?
Cable: A little bit. I always try, especially the ones maybe that got nicked up. And just check on them, if I know someone that maybe had some struggles, too, I try to make sure that they’re all right and get them ready to go to the next one. Because what’s done is behind us and everything that’s in front of us is what matters. So, try to stay with that mentality.”
Q: Was Brandon Myers’ concussed self close to playing?
Cable: Yeah, we got him on the field and, you know, just the light sensitivity and those things, so you cant do it.
Q: Why wasn’t Kyle Boller allowed to throw the ball?
Cable: No, we tried to throw it a couple of times, ran him a couple of keepers but at that point, managing the clock was the most important thing.”
Q: Reaction to coming back home to play at Coliseum?
Cable: Well, as I mentioned yesterday, we’re extremely excited. We want to have the fans know that we’re believing and that we’re moving in the right direction. As I said to them before, when we can get this thing going, when we can do our part, the good teams and the playoff teams in this league, they have a great homefield advantage. And we’re hoping to build that and, let’s get started this week in doing that.
Q: Marcel Reece got some touches, made a nice catch, had at least one good block, did he have a solid blocking days?
Cable: He did. I would say ‘solid’ is a great way to put it. I wouldn’t say it was ‘good.’ Can it be better? Yeah. He’d be the first to tell you. The thing I’m really excited about him, he’s really starting to get on people. Initially, that initial punch, he’s getting it now. And that’s the next step. And now, that mentality, even though he’ got a tremendous skill set, he’s kind of a pseudo-guard back there. And so he’s got to have that mentality to try and bury that guy in the ground. You know, and I think that’s the next step for him, is to finish. Become more of a finish-player in his blocking. But we’re very thrilled with what he’s doing initially. He’s getting on the right people, he’s making great impact at the point. But we’ve got to get him finishing more blocks and, obviously, those things he’s doing as a skill player, they speak for themselves.