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Cable Q&A

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A transcription from the weekly press briefing by Raiders coach Tom Cable Monday, the day after a 35-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers:

Cable: OK, injury update from yesterday. Obviously Trevor Scott has a torn left ACL, that has been confirmed. He will be out for a good period of time here, perhaps the rest of the year. We haven’t talked about IR or any of those kinds of things yet. Chris Johnson, as I mentioned yesterday, had a groin strain, doesn’t look to be too bad. Hiram Eugene came out of the game with a stinger and Tyvon Branch with a sore AC shoulder, sore A-C in the shoulder. Everyone else appears to be ready to go.

Asomugha is better today. Zach Miller is in the boot for protective reasons. Other than just some soreness, for the first time being on it, he’s better. Darrius Heyward-Bey is better as well. After watching the film, it’s just what I told you. We got whipped in a lot of areas but particularly in the fact that we couldn’t’ do anything offensively. Defensively, we were able to get some stops early in the game and we were never able to get a couple first downs and change first downs in that first half and I thought that really set us back, and then the turnovers. They scored 14 points off the three turnovers, and not a very good job on our part in terms of trying to get back in the game.

Started out OK, but never seemed to do anything from there. Disappointed, but we’re OK. We’ve got Miami coming in this week and we’ll go back to work, try to fix a couple things are fixable.

Q: Three wins having built up enough confidence that a loss like this shouldn’t affect you as it might in years past?

Cable: Yeah. There’s no question about it. We’re disappointed in yesterday, but as I told the team, I’m taking this one, because we haven’t played well when we’ve traveled to the East Coast. We’ve played well twice _ Tampa three years ago and Pittsburgh last year, enough to win the game anyway, but other than that, going back to the Giants last year, Jacksonville before, we just have not done a very good job of playing there, and Tennessee this year.

I’m going to look at this, see if I can look at why, how we get there and all that isn’t going to be an issue, but maybe the body of work during the week, we can adjust some things, and look into that. Felt like we had a good bye week, came out yesterday a decent start, but after that, really never really seemed to get going offensively and it was really a tragedy because I think we’re good enough to go back there and play in that game and make it a game, but we didn’t do that yesterday.

Q: You haven’t won a post-bye game in eight years, last three by combined 85-16, anything you can put your finger on . .

Cable: This week we did it different than we ever have, so I mean, trying to look at that and see where we can change and all that, we were different this year than the previous three years. For me, really, I think it’s just a matter of coming out and maintaining a level of intensity it takes to win, and we didn’t do that.

Q: A lot of skirmishes, lot of chippyness, talking, . . .

Cable: It’s the Raiders and the Steelers . . .

Q: Exactly, is that something that’s just natural to two teams looking to the playoffs or did you get caught up in that a little bit and did it hurt you?

Cable: Well, certainly, I think Richard would be the first to tell you he probably made a bad decision, but I think as you become a tougher mentality and you become a team trying to enforce your will on each other, which is what those two teams did yesterday and obviously they got the better of it, some of that comes with that mentality, but we need to maintain our discipline. Our penalties were about half of what we’ve been getting, the yardage was down in that regard. But I don’t think that really had anything to do with the game. I think it was about blocking and tackling.

Q: Have you had a chance to see the play when Seymour got ejected?

Cable: You can’t really see it. I saw it on a TV replay, but you can’t see it on film.

Q: Are you concerned he’ll get suspended or do you think there will be a fine?

Cable: I don’t know. They’ll notify us. I would hear rather quickly, hopefully this afternoon at some point. What’s happened had happened. Like everything I believe, he’ll learn from it. He texted me last night and feels bad about it and knows he was wrong, and we’ll move forward.

Note: Not long after Cable meet with the media, the NFL announced Seymour would be fined $25,000 and there was no accompanying suspension.

Q: Do you change your approach as a lackluster performance?

Cable: No. I think the biggest thing you’ve got to do is get it behind us. We all feel mad as hell about what happened yesterday. I don’t think we feel sorry for ourselves or anything like that, which is good. So it’s time to move on. We’ve got Miami coming in here. There’s a lot that we’re playing for in these last six weeks, and it starts this Sunday.

Q: How do you account for losing Trevor? Does Quentin Groves move to end at all?

Cable: We’re going to talk about some of those things this afternoon. That’s one option. Obviously the option of adding someone to the roster if we think that’s the right thing. But we’ll get to that pretty quick.

Q: The level of physicality was higher yesterday than what your team saw the previous three weeks. What do you think your guys took from that?

Cable: I don’t think it was higher than what we’ve seen. We probably were the takers yesterday rather than the givers, because we’ve given that kind of intensity in the last three weeks in that winning deal. In fact it was said to me that all three of those teams lost the next game. That went even a step further with the TV people on Saturday saying all three of those coaches mentioning how physical, maybe they hadn’t gotten over the Oakland thing yet. But unfortunately we got the tables turned on us. In that regard I think it’s probably a good lesson for us. We’re the ones that are learning how and growing into imposing our will, and that’s what happened to us yesterday.

Q: Is part of that the Steelers’ defensive scheme you faced, so good at blitzing and what they do?

Cable: That part doesn’t have anything to do with scheme. That’s like you step outside with a man and you fight and one goes back in and one doesn’t. That’s what that is. We didn’t go back in.

Q: Nnamdi warmed up before the game. Was the field condition a concern with him?

Cable: No. He just wasn’t ready.

Q: Why will this team bounce back?

Cable: I think how much we’ve grown, our level of maturity and learning that it’s not always going to be perfect. When you do something like this you have a choice. You either dwell on that and say woe are we or you say that ain’t good enough and you move forward from it and take what you can and learn from it. I think it’s good for us in that it defined us a little bit more that you can’t go into these big games like this and not be the giver.

Q: What was flight home like?

Cable:: It was long. Real long.

Q: Is there a spot where Nick Miller shouldn’t catch ball?

Cable: Yeah. We talked to him about if you’re getting cupped, meaning they’re down on top of you maybe protecting it a little bit more. The one they did field there at the 5 or 4 he felt like he was cupped. That’s not where you want it obviously but you don’t want it at the 1 either.

Q: Is Zach Miller 100 percent?

Cable: I felt like and we talked about it this morning. I felt that he and Louis was probably a product of not getting enough work of late. They both had some of the same issues in terms of catching the football. They both seemed to run good routes, and seemed on time and all that. Zach’s blocking was very good. There’s one thing about catching the ball at live speed that’s a little bit different. They haven’t been exposed to that much because of their injury issues. We’ll get through that rather quickly here now that they’ve played already.

Q: Did Louis Murphy secure that ball well enough or was it just an outstanding Pittsburgh defensive play?

A: He’s got to secure the ball better. Good play by them.

Q: Why were they able to stop Darren McFadden?

Cable: What did he have 13,14 carries something like that?

Q: Ten.

Cable:: That’s not enough. That’s not enough. The great runner can be a tough go early but I think the more you feed him the better it goes for him. That’s just not enough.

Q: Looking back on it do you think you made the quarterback switch at the right time or do you wish you’d done it earlier?

Cable: I don’t know that doing it earlier would have been any different. I thought Jason started the game off extremely well and was good up until that point where it got to be so much pressure. It got to him a little bit and then you had to make a change. Certainly once we put Bruce in there we moved it a little bit but it was the same result in terms of scoring points. We didn’t.

Q: Can you expect more pressures from defenses like Pittsburgh did or is that kind of pressure unique to Pittsburgh?

Cable: When you’re playing on the road in an environment like that with a pressure team you can expect it. You have to make your choice in this league. Either you’re going to throw hot, meaning there will be someone free and you’re going to try to beat that guy with the ball or you protect and use bodies and numbers to do it. We typically do a little bit of both but they got to us with some things.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer