A transcript of Raiders coach Tom Cable’s post-game press briefing Wednesday with the Bay Area media:
Cable: Chaz Schilens practiced in a limited role, see if he can do a little bit more tomorrow. Zach Miller practiced limited, Bruce Gradkowski did not, Richard Seymour practiced limited, Asomugha, Branch and Chris Johnson did not practice.
Q: Which of those are most likely to play?
Cable: I would say Branch and then Asomugha, both of those guys.
Q: Asomugha went for second MRI, did it prove OK?
Cable::It’s just sore.
Q: Thoughts on Ford being AFC Special teams player of the month?
Cable: I just heard that. That’s a tremendous deal for our team. Obviously he has made a couple of big plays but he’s growing and he’s showing up more and more with each game. Hopefully we can do it again in December.
Q: Might he return punts at some point?
Cable: It’s something that we worked on at camp. I think that maybe that will be in his future but not right now.
Q: : Difference between a punt returner and kickoff returner?
Cable: :It’s the ball. The mentality’s the same but it’s a much different football that’s coming down. One’s turning over and spiraling and it matters whether it’s a right-footed or left-footed kicker, how the ball moves right to left and left to right, where kickoffs are end over end and pretty much sail.
Q: Is Jacoby currently a starter?
Cable: Based on our health at that position, yes.
Q: So you expect him to be out there this week?
Cable: Just depends on the health at that position.
Q: Is Darrius still struggling . . .
Cable: Actually he looked good today. Practiced the whole practice, looked very good, caught a lot of balls, a lot of tough balls today. It’s good to see him back.
Q: There was an issue vs. Miami with his health?
Cable: A little bit. He was tight and sore before the game.
Q: Could Chaz play this week?
Cable: Let’s see what tomorrow brings before we go down that path. But I just talked to him after practice and he said he felt really good, so that’s a real positive.
Q: Thomas Howard reinserted himself back in the defense?
Cable: I think we’re getting there. I think he showed up the other day when Kamerion got the cut in his hand and had to go in there and play some snaps and did a really good job. So I think, A, he’s back healthy and B, if he’s needed I think he’s ready to go.
Q: Do you see him as a strong side or weak side player?
Cable: I think really they’re kind of inner-changeable. So you would say, both ways.
Q: On the other side, Goethel is playing more often now, is in the mix also?
Cable: You know, it’s been about 50-50. But yes, he’s playing more because obviously he wasn’t in there for quite some time. But I think those two guys are splitting time and he’s doing some good things and we’ll just take that as it goes.
Q: How did Shaughnessy show up with the additional work with Trevor Scott out?
Cable: There’s an issue there in terms of getting the right rotation now because of really only having the two. We’ll see what we can get done with Jarvis Moss this week in terms of preparation, if we ca get him as part of that rotation.
Q: How much did Shaughnessy play?
Cable: A ton. I don’t have the snaps right off the top of my head but it was quite a bit.
Q: Speaking of the rotation, will any of these guys play end and tackle?
Cable: You know, the one guy that can do that is Desmond Bryant. He can play inside and then move outside to spell you. But I would say, maybe in nickel, you might see Lamarr Houston go inside. We’ve done that a little bit. But really, to answer your question, no, I don’t see those guys moving in there very much.
Q: What went into decision to have Nick Miller inactive?
Cable: Numbers. You only get 45, plus your 3rd quarterback and we’re only going to dress four receivers, at least at this point.
Q: Is Bruce healthy enough to be your 3rd QB?
Cable: We’ll see about that. He is sore, no worse for wear in terms of the damage from before. But if he took another shot, we’ll have to see how this goes.
Q: If he’s not, are you comfortable two quarterbacks or would you look for a third quarterback?
Cable: Well I think that’s something that will have to be sat down and discussed, you know? And we’ll know that here pretty quick on that, I’m sure.
Q: Are you optimistic he’ll be healthy by end of season?
Cable: Potentially. I mean, they’re telling me it’s a week or two now, so, um, you’re talking about five weeks from now. Maybe.
Q: Jason is the starter this weekend?
Cable: He is.
Q: Your thoughts on playing the Chargers at their place?
Cable: I’m excited. We’re all excited. It is what it is. It’s Oakland and San Diego. We’re playing in the division. You have a chance to win another division game against a very good team, a hot team right now, but we’re excited about this challenge.
Q: How does the injury to Gates affect what they like to do on offense?
Cable: You know, when he was playing so well early in the year, it’s pretty easy to see. A lot of things were going through him and to him, and all it’s done is really make Phillip kind of spread the ball around a little more.
Q: Are they tougher to defend because Rivers has been forced to spread it around so much because of injuries?
Cable: Yeah, I don’t know if they’re tougher to defend. I mean, I think Antonio is such a quality, quality player. He’s proven he can take over games, he’s tough to matchup in the red zone, tough on third down, and so even though you know there’s probably a good chance he’s probably gonna’ get it, you still have to defend him.
Q: Will Huff have the matchup with Gates?
Cable: : It could be Huff or Branch, either one, yeah. It could be Mike Mitchell as well.
Q: Who is the nickel if Chris Johnson can’t play?
Cable: You know, we’ll have to decide that here in the next few days.
Q:How has Walter McFadden bounced back this week after the rough game against Miami?
Cable: Very good today. Very good. You know, he’s hungry to get going again, and that’s really, as I’ve said, we just really need to get back to being who we are.
Q: Some of the players have admitted that they came out flat — no intensity — against the Dolphins. Does that concern you?
Cable: Sure it does. I think that when you’re playing for something, the excitement of what you’re playing for, I think handles that. We started off the game in fine fashion, but I really felt like from the third series on we weren’t getting much done. We kind of traded with them a little bit, but that’s not good enough when you have a chance to take over a game and we didn’t. We got taken over.
Q: Have you addressed the team about that?
Q: Chargers have great numbers in November and December — Besides talent, why?
Cable:: I really think it’s, you know, you’ve got a veteran team that really has been there and done it. I think they understand what it takes and how you have to be down the stretch, you know a coaching staff who’s been there and done it. So I think the combination of the two, a very mature team that knows how to handle themselves.