192

Cable Q&A

A transcription of Raiders’ coach Tom Cable at his press briefing Tuesday:

Cable: We moved practice tomorrow to 9:30 am just because there’s too much time in the morning. We’ve got a meeting we want to hold to.

Q: Get accomplished what you wanted to?

Cable: Yep. We put some new things in on both sides of the ball and addressed some things in the kicking game and did about 40 reps of team. That’s about what we wanted to do each day and we’ll kind of continue with that same thing tomorrow and introduce a little bit of Pittsburgh to them and we’ll be done.

Q: Any chance of getting the injured players back this week?

Cable: Probably next week. We talked about that a little bit this morning and we’ll get a little better feel for it come Monday. The plan is that we should get a number of those guys that have been out a while back to work. The effect that has on the game, we won’t know for few days after that but we’ll get them back to work.

Q: McClain and Branch practiced today so they’re OK?

Cable: (Yes).

Q: How much do you put into Steelers game last night as opposed to their next game?

Cable: You want to know who they are and where you’re headed with your plan and then you’ll adjust it as we get into our gameweek with them. But right now the most important thing is to study them, know who they are and what are they presenting to us in terms of their scheme. Personnel will be more of an issue come Monday or Tuesday is regards to Pittsburgh. Right now, just identifying what they are scheme-wise.

Q: How much different are they from last year’s team?

Cable: They’re not, other than the fact that we didn’t play against Polamalu. That’s the biggest difference. He really is the straw that stirs them up. He’s everywhere pressure-wise and all the things, and they’re very similar, they come from everywhere. They certainly have a different mentality when he’s in the game.

Q: How good are Seymour and Kelly playing?

Cable: I think they’re playing at a very high level. I think collectively as a defense we’re improving but there are some reasons for that. I like our play on the line of scrimmage. It’s not just those two guys. Houston, Scott and Shaughnessy have added to it as well and Desmond Bryant. That group of six guys has elevated their game a tremendous amount. Tommy and Richard, there’s times when they’re unblockable. They’re really playing at a high level.

Q: Is bye coming at a bad time because of lost momentum?

Cable: I’m not so sure about that. We haven’t had a break at all. We went right from camp into Tennessee preparation, and most teams will take a day or two at that point and kind of recharge as you get ready for the season. We didn’t do that so this is a good time irregardless.

Q: The defense had a meeting a few weeks back that sounded along the lines of the `cut it loose’ meeting on offense and has played very well in recent weeks. What has been the difference?

Cable: I think it’s more everybody being able to be on the same page. When they talk about something or make a call or signal something to each other, we’ve got 11 guys knowing exactly what it means rather than a front guy knowing this and a DB knowing that and a linebacker knowing this. It’s more of a jelling effect, if you will. The biggest thing to me is we’re not doing a lot, we’re really not. We’re lining up and we’re playing and we’re saying, ‘Here we are, let’s fight.’ That has probably paid off more for us than anything else.

Q: So it’s keep it simple and let them play?

Cable: Let ‘em rip it.

Q: So much has been made of Raiders and minimal blitzing other than end of Chargers game . . .

Cable: If you look at us, and we’re doing self-scout this week, we’ve been very good and very efficient with our blitz game. We’re probably blitzing three times as much as we did last year. Are we going to be a blitz team all the time, someone like the Jets or Pittsburgh? No, we’re not. We’ve taken it to a whole new level and it’s been very very productive for us.

Q: You’re blitzing more and getting there more?

Cable: Yep. If you call a blitz and it ain’t getting there, what’s the sense in calling it? You could have done that playing Cover 3. But we’ve got people coming free, whether it’s been a safety or a ‘backer. The four down have gotten there on their own quite a bit. I think it’s added to that, it’s helped it.

Q: Pleased with success against the run overall, not just fact you are reducing the really long, long runs?

Cable: We’re finding the consistency, there’s no question. What’s helping us is, our tackle-for-loss numbers are up. We’re able to put people in second-and long, third-and-long, simply by making plays in the backfield. It bodes well toward eliminating the long run, obviously, because you’re tackling them on their side. But the fact that we stop the big play and we’re getting better at that is huge. But, when you really look at it, we’re getting more done on first and second down.

Q: Is Pittsburgh the most physical team you will have played so far this year?

Cable: I would think maybe but, at the same time, there’s been some real physical games. That one Sunday was a very physical game. We made the Seattle game a physical game. We made the Denver game a physical game. Ultimately, the reason we beat San Diego was making that a physical game. That’s who we’re becoming. Our opponents, I would say they’re going to be in the top group, certainly.

Q: The thinking is Kelly and Seymour help keep people off McClain, but does it work in reverse as well, does having McClain open things up for Kelly and Seymour?

Cable: Absolutely. One thing I would say to you, and the question was raised about Tommy and Richard’s play, we lose Rolando after the 20th play in the game. So, Ricky goes in there and plays 42 plays, whatever it was, and it doesn’t hurt us. So, that shows you they’re playing well. The flip side of that, when Rolando’s in there, you have to get out of combinations quicker, being a line coach. You can’t let 55 just run free in there. He’ll kill you. So, you’ve got to, instead of getting double longer at center, you got to get off that and get on 55. So, we’re creating, he’s creating, more singles for those two tackles inside. So, it’s worked both ways.

Q: How are you going to decide who the quarterback is? Hue involved? Al Davis involved?

Cable: No, I’ll do it. I’ll do it. I’ll sit down with those guys, One thing about it, I’m always in communication with them, so they know how I’m feeling, what’s going on. There’s no need for that other stuff.

Q: What’s your philosophy about a player returning from injury? Get his job back?

Cable: A lot of this is premature because he has not done enough or shown enough. I keep using this statement, can he do everything that we need him to do? So, in all fairness to him, I want to get him healthy before he really becomes a part of this conversation. At the same time, he’s getting closer. That brings up, what’s going to happen. Right now, my feeling is, we’ve won four of the last five games with the same guy. When you’re winning, you’re winning. You don’t mess with that.

Q: Were you aware of McFadden being so physical? New to his arsenal?

Cable: No, this was something that was in him. Regardless of that, that’s all on Kelly. Kelly Skipper was a fine running back himself. What he’s done is taking Darren back to what he’s best at, running behind his pads. If you notice the first couple years in the league, he kind of got that deal about him where everybody said he runs high, he’s going to take a lot of hits, a little bit like Justin Fargas used to do. As a coach, you look at that and you hear those kind of things and you start studying it, and it’s true. He doesn’t break as many tackles when he’s running high, doesn’t bring the force to break those tackles when he’s running high and his hips aren’t low enough to the ground to make people miss. People would say, well, Darren McFadden gets knocked down easy. It’s an arm tackle, you can get him on the ground. This year, it’s different. That’s just Kelly and his ability to get him to understand, hips lower, your shoulder pads down, you can do all those things you used to do. And he’s kind of gotten back to who he should be.

Q: Do you chart how often he is making yards after contact?

Cable: We do look at that, yards after contact. And that’s a big deal for anyone who touches the ball. And certainly backs are going to have more yards after contact than anyone else on the team. But there’s some great examples just from Sunday, where he hit the safety a couple of times, whether it was catching the ball and running with it or running after a hand-off, where he’s knocking a guy back 2 or 3 yards. It’s been that way pretty much all year.

Q: How do you account for so much success on third-down plays defensively past three games?

Cable: There’s a direct correlation to that and how well we’re playing on first and second down. It’s tough in this league. We always say ‘staying on schedule.’ If you can get the game to third-and-medium, you have a pretty fair chance to have a lot of extended drives. When we look at those breakdowns, we’re getting people into third-and-7s plus. It’s just a direct reflection on what’s going on in first and second down and then, obviously, we can cover well and rush the passer. Those two things are coming through for us on third down. OK? Thank you.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • aig-raiders

    100…you got a linkie?

  • Try Some Reality

    MCPAIN! Man, I really like this dude and enjoyed reading the Q&A. He has the right swagger. And I don’t mind one bit that he doesn’t like doing interviews. Heck, I probably wouldn’t like it either. But I do like the game sellout for interview deal. I think this kid’s just going to get better and will be good for us for a long time.

  • aig-raiders

    TSR,

    Leaders usually have that natural IT factor. I think the Alabama Slamma has IT.

  • priesttj

    I don’t want to sound moribund because it’s not that bad in fact we are better off than most teams in the league with these two guy’s. BUT neither gives me goose bumps watching him play. They’re both on the edge types struggling to establish themselves. When I hear people hating on one a pimping the other I think immediately alterior motive. Because neither has shown that they have LOCKED up this job, far from it. And until they do I’m always looking out of the corner of my eye for the next guy. Sorry but that’s how I feel.

  • djohnnyg

    I see where you’re coming from on the throw to Ford at the end of reg. I didn’t see the whole field so I don’t know that everyone else was covered so I’ll have to take your word for it if you did. I’m just saying I do know Grads beat Pittsburgh last year, and I just don’t trust JC yet. Me personally, if you tell me Grads is starting I feel better about our chances. I’m just not sold on JC yet. My hope is he’s learning and getting better each week.

    I will say that we’ve won three in a row WITH JC so I can’t argue with the idea that it’s all about winning and it’s been shown we can win with JC.

  • 100PercentRaider
  • priesttj

    TSR McClain is special just special he is a true throw back. He just wants to have an impact anyway he can and he finds ways to do it. zI’m telling ya’ he will be as good for us as the guy across the bay is for the niners and I know people will disagree but IMO HE HAS IT all of it. A helluva player………..period

  • Try Some Reality

    Mistic – you are one giant jackazz, aren’t you? You’re still coming at me with your senile rants about JC? Good grief, man. Give it up already. You’re embarrassing yourself. Our head coach himself said that JC left a lot of plays on the field and your mumbling about his play being legendary? LMAO! Even Solomon Wilcots was going on about JC not making the throws. Ford bailed his azz out. You know it and I know it. There could have easily been 4 picks if not for Ford’s ballsy play and the DBs dropping those ducks.

    Get some therapy, homie.

    Come back when you can act like a man and don’t take this sh1t so personally. You’re like a 7 year old with your “I told you so. He kicked your azz. Nah Nah NaNah Na” posts. LOL.

    And as for me learning football from you….LMAO @ that crap. I’ll give you one thing. You bring some good comedic relief to this blog.

  • 100PercentRaider

    McClain will get it, he has already started showing signs when he jumped that pick and started blowing up runs in the backfield and not just screens. The kid is dedicated, he said he watched film of last years games. That means he knows his teammates and the playbook. Thought it was funny how he pretty much called out Morrison

  • 100PercentRaider

    Here is the link to the article that says Al over ruled Cable on JC
    http://www.contracostatimes.com/raiders/ci_16569270

  • Nnamdi21

    152, Me too and thats the hope.

  • Try Some Reality

    Priesttj Says:
    November 9th, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    I don’t want to sound moribund because it’s not that bad in fact we are better off than most teams in the league with these two guy’s. BUT neither gives me goose bumps watching him play. They’re both on the edge types struggling to establish themselves. When I hear people hating on one a pimping the other I think immediately alterior motive. Because neither has shown that they have LOCKED up this job, far from it. And until they do I’m always looking out of the corner of my eye for the next guy. Sorry but that’s how I feel.

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

    I agree. Both have their pluses and minuses. Personally, with the D playing lights out and the running game in full swing, I’ll take JC and his efficient game management. When nothing is working and the team needs a spark, I’ll take Grads out there pushing the ball to the receivers.

  • Try Some Reality

    100PercentRaider Says:
    November 9th, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    McClain will get it, he has already started showing signs when he jumped that pick and started blowing up runs in the backfield and not just screens. The kid is dedicated, he said he watched film of last years games. That means he knows his teammates and the playbook. Thought it was funny how he pretty much called out Morrison

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

    100Percent – Yup. I found that funny too. Good point about him studying last year’s games. I don’t know man. I get goose bumps thinking about how good this kid can be.

  • aig-raiders

    Steve Corkran is a good writer. I always trust him when he quotes sources…KoolKell, you can go back to hating AD again.

    Oakland Raiders managing general partner Al Davis calls shot at quarterback, insisting Jason Campbell start
    By Steve Corkran

    Raiders managing general partner Al Davis has expressed to coach Tom Cable his desire for Jason Campbell to remain the starting quarterback for the foreseeable future, according to sources inside and outside the organization.

    “Mr. Davis likes what Jason has done the past month and doesn’t see the need to change when things are going well,” a person familiar with the situation said. “He thinks Jason is a classic fit for the Raiders style of play.”

    One source said Campbell’s accuracy on deep throws endears him to Davis.

    Nine days ago, Cable said Bruce Gradkowski was the “clear-cut” starter and there was “no issue” regarding the situation.

    Now Cable is saying he is inclined to stick with Campbell indefinitely, even if Gradkowski recovers from a right shoulder sprain in time for Oakland’s next game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 21.

    “I want to get (Gradkowski) healthy before he really becomes a part of this conversation,” Cable said Tuesday. “At the same time, he’s getting closer. That brings up, what’s going to happen? Right now, my feeling is, we’ve won four of the last five games with the same guy. When you’re winning, you’re winning. You don’t mess with that.”

    However, Cable added that he will be the one making the decision on whether to stick with Campbell or return to Gradkowski for the Steelers game.

    There have been numerous times over the past month when Cable was steadfast about Gradkowski being the unquestioned starter.

    When Campbell passed for a combined 514 yards and four touchdowns in lopsided victories over the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks, Cable still said Gradkowski would start when his shoulder healed.

    At one point, he said, “We know who our quarterback is.”

    Campbell is avoiding the situation.

    “I haven’t talked to (Cable) about it,” the quarterback said a week ago. “My main obligation is to just win and keep winning and try to play at a high level. The decision is Coach’s decision.”

    Cable and offensive coordinator Hue Jackson removed Campbell at halftime of Oakland’s second game this season in favor of Gradkowski, who rallied the Raiders to a 16-14 win over the St. Louis Rams.

    But Gradkowski injured his shoulder against the Arizona Cardinals the following week. He nevertheless started the next two games, before his injury sidelined him before the Raiders played the 49ers on Oct. 17, a game Oakland lost 17-9. Gradkowski has missed the past four games.

    Campbell endured the worst game of his NFL career against the 49ers, completing only 8 of 21 passes for 83 yards and two interceptions. But he rebounded with back-to-back superb outings against the Broncos and Seahawks.

    “I’ve been in the league six years and starting for a while,” Campbell said. “You have to be prepared for all types of situations. My mind-set right now is not even about that. It’s about going out and continuing to try to play hard and at a high level and doing whatever it takes to win.”

  • Try Some Reality

    Good points Aig and Priest. I think we can all agree that McClain will be a force to be reckoned with.

    Man, he may be a shy guy but that interview made me that much more of a fan. He’s definitely not short on self esteem. And I love how he ended the last question in the interview regarding when he’ll interview next and just responded with “next sellout”. That works for me, RoMac.

  • 100PercentRaider

    TSR,
    I am more of a Grads fan, but I am inclined to agree with what you say about switching. When everything is going well around him, JC is a dangerous QB. He is a distributor. Grads is kindof the opposite. He takes the shots downfield that may not be advisable but it forces the recievers to make a play that might not have been there.

  • djohnnyg

    As much as I didn’t like the pass JC made to Ford at the end of reg. and people saying if Ford doesn’t make that play we lose and therfore “should” have lost.If that’s the case than you can say the Giants “should” have lost the Super Bowl against N.E because David Tyree “should not” have made that tremendous catch over the middle. The fact is Tyree DID make that catch and Ford DID make his despite less than perfect passes.

    We deserved to win the game. Woulda, shoulda, coulda doesn’t cut it in the NFL.

  • Try Some Reality

    Aig – I don’t doubt that story and was actually wondering the same thing. As soon as JC connected with Ford on that last pass, I just knew every fault of his would be immediately forgiven by the big cheese. That’s his bread and butter. Loves the deep pass. Too bad that’s the first one JC has thrown with accuracy though. But, hey, I’m not complaining. Even though I feel the reason we were in that position at the end of the game was due to JC’s inconsistent play (and the refs), we’ve been winning games, so just stay the course. Better to press forward with JC and have a capable QB coming off the bench if he bombs than to mess with what’s working and waffle back and forth. As long as we’re winning, it’s all gravy. Unlike the goons around here (we all know who they are) that root for certain players to fail and others to succeed.

  • 100PercentRaider

    I hate articles like this because now instead of enjoying their bye week, they are gunna have to listen to reporters and the media talk about their QB situation, and probably deal with some questions from the media themselves. Exactly the distraction we didnt need before our biggest game. MR will be on here soon, telling us he knew this would happen.

  • Try Some Reality

    Johnny – we definitely deserved to win. I’m not saying we didn’t by any stretch. We outplayed the Chiefs and the refs tried to take it away. All I was saying is that Ford bailed out JC. That’s a fact. Ford was this game’s MVP by far. Props to that cat.

  • Try Some Reality

    Seymour is making Davis look real good on that trade. I hope the Billicheats end up picking in the late 20s.

  • djohnnyg

    170.Try Some Reality Says:
    November 9th, 2010 at 10:12 pm
    Johnny – we definitely deserved to win. I’m not saying we didn’t by any stretch. We outplayed the Chiefs and the refs tried to take it away. All I was saying is that Ford bailed out JC. That’s a fact. Ford was this game’s MVP by far. Props to that cat.


    I agree, and priest makes a good point that if no-one was open JC did the only thing he could do; give a guy a chance to make a play. Our player was better than theirs and if you have better players MOST of the time you win. Ford wanted it more, AND he has blazing speed. Talent + desire is a deadly combination.

  • aig-raiders

    I think Cable knows he’s a gonna so he’s going to do things his way. Cable knows Hue is inline for the job so Cable will do his thing regardless. Just like the Raiders rolled out Hue to tell the press he was the one that wanted to bench JC and take away Cable’s credit.

    Grad earned Cable’s trust not from this year but it goes back to last year. I think Cable should be smart and let JC starts against Pitt. I already predict he’s going to suck and then we dont have a controversy.

  • Try Some Reality

    This team has to play some good ball down the stretch. That victory was huge but the Chiefs have an easier 2nd half slate than we do. Still confident this team can do it if it comes prepared to play each Sunday but I’m just saying…it won’t be easy.

  • DaRayduh

    [Comment From SilverNBlackPASilverNBlackPA: ]
    A famous sea captain once described his crew as a “precious set of rascals.” Would you describe your blog commenters the same way?

    Tuesday November 9, 2010 2:00 SilverNBlackPA
    2:01 jerrymac: That would be the nice way to put it. I appreciate the time people take to comment, but the anonymous bickering and back-and-forth stuff wit profanities, sexual preference slurs . . you wonder if people will ever grow up. I get enough e-mails from Raiders fans to know a lot of people read the blog and never comment because of what goes on there.

    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    That there some funny sh1t.
    Mistique gets my comedic award for his bone polishing skills on Campbell, RMR is runner up for being RMR, and if the article is true in the CCtimes, I won’t answer my cell phone next time Al calls me.

  • Nnamdi21

    Davis calls the shots pover rides Cable to keep Campbell in…

    http://www.contracostatimes.com/raiders/ci_16569270?nclick_check=1

    Uh, yeah, kinda…

    Davis calls the shots on EVERYTHING Raider but Campbell’s wins and play during them is why he’ll stay at QB and when hes not producing he won’t be…

  • Seymour Bush

    Try Some Reality Says:
    November 9th, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    Johnny – we definitely deserved to win. I’m not saying we didn’t by any stretch. We outplayed the Chiefs and the refs tried to take it away. All I was saying is that Ford bailed out JC.
    ===========================================

    Didn’t Campbell hit Ford with a 45 yard frozen rope earlier in the game that clanked off Ford’s hands incomplete? I have a hard time saying Ford bailed out JC. JC kept going back to him after he dropped one and Ford came through for him over and over. Looks like a match made in heaven to me.

  • Nnamdi21

    171. Been saying it for a while this season. Seymour has been kiggin azz…

  • DaRayduh

    170.Try Some Reality Says:
    November 9th, 2010 at 10:12 pm
    Johnny – we definitely deserved to win. I’m not saying we didn’t by any stretch. We outplayed the Chiefs and the refs tried to take it away. All I was saying is that Ford bailed out JC. That’s a fact. Ford was this game’s MVP by far. Props to that cat.

    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    True to a T. That simple.

  • Try Some Reality

    DaRayduh – LOL! Yeah, Mistic is a real treat.

  • Nnamdi21

    164.
    Ha! Sorry we both posted that article!

  • Nnamdi21

    Read in RNS where our roster has 18 of 53 players as rookies or 2nd year guys.

    Thats a pretty young team just getting rolling me thinks…

  • Try Some Reality

    That’s some good drafting right there Nnamdi. Real promising considering how paramount the draft is to success these days. That and smart trades. Free agency now only has yesterday’s garbage.

  • 100PercentRaider

    It’s instructive to note that while Phillips is gone and Brad Childress is working his way out of a job in Minnesota, Tom Cable is leading a mini-resurgence in Oakland. Everyone’s favorite choice in the first-to-be-fired pool, Cable, is putting himself in position to be considered for Coach of the Year.

    There’s a reason: He projects in the locker room.

    Cable doesn’t care about anybody outside the team. To coach the Raiders, you need that quality, and he manages to understand the institutional dynamics of the job — they’re as weird as it gets — without using them as an excuse to fail. (Jon Gruden drew up that blueprint.) Cable has shown an unusual willingness to take responsibility for his bad calls, openly and publicly, and there’s no way you can overestimate how well that works in the locker room.

    It’s the difference between Childress, who doesn’t seem to have ever met a responsibility he couldn’t dodge, and Cable. It’s the difference between a guy who projects an image of confidence and solidarity and a guy, like Phillips, who made a career out of looking like it would be best for all involved if someone else went ahead and handled the hard stuff.

    =====================================================
    Took this from an article on ESPN.com about Phillips

  • DaRayduh

    I’m behind whoever starts, at any position, but don’t brag up JC to be a great qb. Granted he doesn’t turn the ball over, but he also has a talented emerging class of teammates. Defense put the game away in Denver, defense dominated Seattle, and J Ford was lights out vs KC. I would like to see a no-huddle, fast paced offense go out and dominate on offense, a well-oiled machine of offense and then we’ll have our qb. If that story is true, I hope he didn’t take Cables leash with it.

  • RaiderDebo

    I think Cable knows he’s a gonna so he’s going to do things his way. Cable knows Hue is inline for the job so Cable will do his thing regardless. Just like the Raiders rolled out Hue to tell the press he was the one that wanted to bench JC and take away Cable’s credit.
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    Hope you’re right about this. It’d be the 1st time.

  • 100PercentRaider

    When your first 3 draft picks are starting after 9 games in their rookie season, and your 5th pick has already won a game for you, chances are your draft is going to end up pretty good

  • Try Some Reality

    New post fellas. Jerry working late.

  • 100PercentRaider

    I took this from an article on espn.com
    ===========================================================
    It’s instructive to note that while Phillips is gone and Brad Childress is working his way out of a job in Minnesota, Tom Cable is leading a mini-resurgence in Oakland. Everyone’s favorite choice in the first-to-be-fired pool, Cable, is putting himself in position to be considered for Coach of the Year.

    There’s a reason: He projects in the locker room.

    Cable doesn’t care about anybody outside the team. To coach the Raiders, you need that quality, and he manages to understand the institutional dynamics of the job — they’re as weird as it gets — without using them as an excuse to fail. (Jon Gruden drew up that blueprint.) Cable has shown an unusual willingness to take responsibility for his bad calls, openly and publicly, and there’s no way you can overestimate how well that works in the locker room.

    It’s the difference between Childress, who doesn’t seem to have ever met a responsibility he couldn’t dodge, and Cable. It’s the difference between a guy who projects an image of confidence and solidarity and a guy, like Phillips, who made a career out of looking like it would be best for all involved if someone else went ahead and handled the hard stuff.

  • http://www.pro-football-reference.com/ KoolKell

    The most impressive, and encouraging sign of better things to come is, Both lines have turned into really physical lines.

    With that, anything is possible.

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