By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Monday, November 1st, 2010 at 4:42 pm in Oakland Raiders.
A transcription of coach Tom Cable’s press briefing with the Bay Area media:
Cable: Injury update: Obviously, you want to know about Nnamdi Asomugha. He does not have a fracture in the ankle. We’ll know more Wednesday in terms of the extent of the injury. We’re doing all the tests and everything so we know exactly what’s going on. Just appears to be an ankle sprain. And how long that means or this week or any of that, really won’t know here for about 48 hours.
Other issues that came up in the game, we got a knee sprain with Satele. Zach Miller’s got, again, a sore foot, kind of what restricted him last week in practice. Darrius Heyward-Bey has a sore shoulder. But again, none of that appears to be serious at this point.”
Q: Does Nnamdi have a high ankle sprain?
Cable: We really don’t know that. We’re running, doing all the tests to see if he simply rolled it, or if it’s a high-ankle sprain.
Q: Any chance he could play this week., based on what you know at this point?
Cable: Yes. Based on what we know right now, the fact that there’s no fracture or anything, then I would say yes. But you see how it responds here in the next 48 hours before you can really make some determination.”
Q:Did Zach’s foot get worse during the game?
Cable: Nah, it’s just about the same. About the same.
Q:He is on crutches . . .
Cable:Just to be precautious, and be smart about it.
Q: Can you comment on the performance of Kamerion Wimbley of late and against the Seahawks?
Cable: I think Kam, like all those guys, is doing a good job. I mean, he’s playing outside linebacker on first and second down and then on third down, he’s raising our pass rush to another level. And I think it’s a great combination with him and Trevor, Shaughnessy. All those guys seem to really be impacting. And then we got some great push inside with Tommy and with Richard and Desmond even gave us some real action in there. So, it’s a good thing going on right now. I think they’re really starting to get a feel for each other, in terms of some of the stunts and things that we’re running, and it’s a nice mix.
Q: Was the way you handled the Seahawks game, in a way, of more benefit to you guys than having everything go right against the Broncos?
Cable: Absolutely. We talked about that. It was a nice job of going in at halftime and you’re up 10-0 and having a real sense that we’ve got to, one, settle down and get some things worked on and adjusted to. Defense, keep playing the way you are and those sort of things. It was a nice job offensively of being able to come out and kind of put that behind you and move forward with some adjustment and, really, just some real roll-up-your-sleeves grit, to go after it and keep pounding at that rock. It wasn’t anything new, it wasn’t anything we were tricked by, it was just simply execution in the first half. We did a better job of it, no question, in the second half.
Q: Do you have any interest in signing Randy Moss?
Cable: “I just heard about that before I came down here, so I don’t know a lot about it. I know he would have to clear waivers and all those sort of things. But, we have an interest in anyone we think can help us. It’s just it hasn’t been a discussion yet and then the fact that it just happened and there’s so much that has to go on.”
Q: So, you’re saying there’s a chance?
Cable: Well, I wouldn’t. I don’t think you ever do if you think it can make your team better.
Q: Is there any chance that Gradkowski would not be your starting quarterback after the way Jason Campbell has played?
Cable:: No, it’s clear cut. There’s no issue there in my mind. What we’ve done is some nice things in the last two weeks. You got to take your hat off to Jason. He’s a perfect example of what Jerry just asked about from first half to second half. So, it’s a nice job on his part, as well as the rest of the offensive players. But, we know who our quarterback is.
Q: Where is Bruce health-wise?
Cable: His comments during warmup and after warmup is this is the best I’ve felt. So I think he’s on his way to recovery now. I think we’re really making progress with it and we’ll see where we’re at come Wednesday.
Q:With injuries stacking up, can the bye get here soon enough, is it bittersweet because this huge game is coming up and have some guys hurt?
Cable:You know, we’re not even concerned about the bye right now in all reality. We even talked about that. We’re not going to worry about what we’re going to do that week or anything. We’re going to worry about this game. The truth of the matter is we’re actually getting real healthy right now. We’re getting guys back this week that we haven’t had for a month now. We do have some things to work on and we’ll see how it works this week, but we’re going to get some guys back that are going to help this football team.
Q: Assume that would mean Goethel, Howard . . .
Cable: Goethel and Howard come to mind right away. Henderson comes to mind right away, whether or not he’s back, yet to be determined, but he’s certainly making progress. We’ve got some other guys, Schilens, who’s making some good progress. Murphy, I would expect would be out again this week, but he’s getting better, so I just think all in all the health of our team is improving at the right time.
Q: Biggest game in eight years, how to characterize it with players?
Cable: I think it takes care of itself that way. We just finished a team meeting here, we talked about the same things as normal, we put the thing that weren’t good enough on tape for the team and the things that are, and we talked about it, and the goal is for every man on this team, and coach, to get better this week, and if we just stick to that belief and that process that’s going on, then we’ll be ready to go come Sunday. It’s exciting, that’s the term I used. It’s an exciting time for the organization, the community, the fans, but you’ve got to keep in perspective, it’s about our team continuing to get better, and that’s what we’ve been able to do lately, and as long as we stick to that we’ll be fine.
Q: As a guy who likes his Raiders history, is it pretty cool to have the Chiefs-Raiders game mean so much?
Cable: Yeah, absolutely. They’re having a heck of a year. They’re finding ways to win games, and they don’t turn it over. They do a good job of taking it away. They’re playing really good football right now so as we continue to improve it should be a heck of a game.
Q: Which of the teams when you were watching the Raiders was the one that caught your attention most, was it the Broncos or Chiefs?
Cable: For me it was – you had to throw Seattle in there, too, because as a kid once the Seahawks came that became a good rivalry in the AFC West back then. But it was always the Chiefs and the Broncos. Those two things kind of always meant a lot to me as a young fan, that’s the two teams that the Raiders have to win if they’re going to be anything. That’s the way I looked at it.
Q:How’s Murphy? Does he need more tests this week?
Cable: It’s just healing. Just time and healing.
Q: Did Chris Johnson pass his concussion test?
Cable: Yes, he’s passed and ready to go.
Q: Is the offensive line as good as you thought? Are they getting better each week?
Cable: I think they’re improving. I think there are some things we’ve asked them to do the last couple weeks and they’ve bought into it. The level of consistency that they’ve displayed the last two weeks has helped this cause. There’s no question about it. But they’d be the first to tell you – we just finished watching that film, and there’s still a lot of things we’ve got to clean up there. I just like if they’ll continue to improve and continue to play with the consistency that they’re starting to get, then they have a chance to be what we thought they’d be, and that’s a very solid group.
Q: Is this a playoff team?
Cable: We’ll see. I think the nice thing is that we have a long way to go. If we continue on the path we’re going then certainly that will become a reality for us. But right now the most important thing is to keep doing what we’re doing because it’s working. I think it’s got us on course to be where we want to be, to become a playoff team. All that matters is go to work on Wednesday and find a way to win on Sunday.
Q:That Stevie Brown play on the onsides kick . . .
Cable: That’s a touchdown.
Q: Is it not challengable?
Cable: Well, what happened is they blew the whistle. What made it unchallengable is they blew the whistle, causing one or both teams to stop play. But … you know … I don’t know how much I can say here … it wasn’t the right call and it is what it is. It was clearly a touchdown.
Q: What challenges does KC’s running game present?
Cable: They do a lot of things well … The little bit I have looked at, they do a number of things well. They’ll formation ya, they have some power aspects to their game, they have some zone aspects, the draw game. Charles is playing his tail off and they’re blocking for him up front. To me, you gotta really take it apart and see what it is, but for right now it looks to be a number of things that they do well.
Q: Has Routt made a considerable improvement in his quality of play?
Cable: I believe he has (improved). I don’t know about a considerable … What I see is a consistency there that hasn’t been there in the past. He’s always had that talent, that ability to play at that high level, but I think he would be the first to tell you. … That job is like being a tackle – you have to be right down after down after down after down and that takes a great focus and a great commitment. I think he’s there now. He’s putting forth that type of mentality, attitude and that discipline that it takes to be consistent every play and he’s playing at a very high level.
Q: Does his play make it easier to play if Nnamdi is hurt?
Cable: I think so. The one thing we’re pretty blessed here is we have a bunch of good corners. Jeremy Ware went in there yesterday and had a couple of struggles but really played well for being thrown in the fire like that. He can get better. We just got done with him, talking to him on film about what he can do fundamentally that I think will help his game. He’s got it. He has the mentality for it to play that man coverage. He doesn’t have fear. But he can certainly clean it up. We’re lucky because we have great depth at that spot.
Q: Who would replace Nnamdi if he can’t go?
A: It would be Chris and Stanford with Jeremy being the nickel player.
Q: Is there a growing trust with the team?
Cable: I have. We started this push for that in camp with some of the things we did in terms of team building and really kind of listening to each other, learning to communicate with each other. It’s interesting being in football how sometimes your linemen don’t know your DBs or vice versa because they aren’t in that world, they don’t play that position. They’re on the opposite sides of the ball. But when two men sit down and get to know each other and talk about it, whether it’s over dinner or whatever, you find out you got a lot of similarities. One is just a lot bigger than the other. That’s about the difference. And a little faster. We started working on it in camp. That was really just get to know your teammates. You can’t trust anyone, you can’t commit to anything until you really understand they’re about. I think this team has taken to that and I think they’ve continued to do that.
Q: Anything you’ve done in the season to build trust?
Cable: We talk about a lot of things in camp. But I think one of the things is just communicating. That’s the thing that’s going on with this football team. I mentioned it after the game yesterday and we talked about it in here last week, we like to have fun but when it’s time to go to work this team is able to do that. I appreciate and admire when they have fun. I like that camaraderie and that interaction that is going on. If you walked out there and saw it for the first time, you’d say ‘Wow, this team is kind of loose that way.’ But it’s a good thing. I think their personalities are starting to show and they’re accepting each other for that, who they are and what they’re about. But again when it’s time to go to work they do that.
Q: What do you say to the fans who aren’t coming?
Cable: I think this. I think they’ll be there this week. I really believe that. I think that the way we’ve played and the investment that we put into this thing as a football team and an organization. I mentioned this before. When we start to do our part we’re going to need you. And we need ‘em now. We need to take over that stadium in silver and black on Sunday. It’s already been hit with me today. Do you think the Coliseum can be as big an advantage as it is to play in Kansas City. I think it can be. I fully expect the crowd to be there and to be going nuts because this is going to be a fun time.