By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Monday, January 3rd, 2011 at 5:47 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Blogs were down for part of the day and I’ve been working on the print product with beat writer Steve Corkran stuck in a travel nightmare from Kansas City, but here are a few highlights from coach Tom Cable’s final press briefing with the local media Monday:
His level of satisfaction with the Raiders’ progress
I’m elated in that regard. I’m disappointed in the playoff thing, though. There was a time in the season where I felt like there would be some key games in there and if we could get one of them it would happen for us. It didn’t and it’s unfortunate, but that’s pro football. You have to take care of business but we certainly got this thing back on its feet and we’re very proud of that.
As I said yesterday, you can’t call us losers anymore, at least from this point forward. That’s a huge accomplishment for this team, particularly for the guys who have been around here for a number of years, and the organization itself. It gives everybody, the city of Oakland, everybody in football, something to look forward to as we move forward.
Grading the season
I would say a B-minus. Anything more than that would have mean going to the playoffs. But there was so much accomplished in terms of getting the team together and keeping them together and playing hard really every week, and going out there and doing it the right way for each other and responding to the challenges that we set out for them, the improvements that we made on offense … we still have some inconsistencies, we turned the ball over too much and too many penalties.
If you’re looking for something as you move forward into 2011 I think those have to be at the top of the list in terms of getting better.
Grading the draft class
I’d give it an A-plus, just flat-out an A-plus. I think those guys from top to bottom have contributed, and they’ve contributed it the right way. They’re awesome young men that just love to play and they do it right and they work at it every day and it shows up on game day how much they’re contributing and they level they’re contributing.
On when he’ll meet with Al Davis to discuss his future
I’m going to rest, you know. I’m going to rest for a few days here, seriously. We’ll have a chance to meet sometime in the next two weeks, I’m sure, but nothing’s been set up. There’s nothing like that. Right now, today, it’s not necessary. We’ll do that moving forward. I think right now, a chance to reflect by everybody, evaluate the team, evaluate the staff, and do those things. I think those things are most important right now, and we’ll sit down whenever it’s right and necessary and we’ll make those decisions.
On speculation reappearing on his future even with a much-improved team
I think it’s more the culture of what it’s been like here. It’s been so up and down for a number of years. Am I surprised by it? No. I’d like for it to just go away and have Al and I sit down and discuss it, which we will. I know what we’ve done. I think everybody else who knows football knows what we’ve done. Whoever says it or writes it probably doesn’t know what the hell they’re doing. You can quote that.
On if it would be frustrating not to be able to finish what he started
Well, it would be, but it’s not for today, I can tell you that. Right now is to get through with the team today, which we just finished up before we came down here, and get ready to start evaluating.
I think that’s the most important thing. One of the things that we did in this organization last year, I felt better that in the years I’ve been here, is we looked at everything and evaluated it, and I think that helped us go into the offseason and really make good decisions, and good choices in the draft. I think collectively, we did it right, and I think it’s on us, the challenge for all of us right now, is to be able to repeat that, if not improve it somehow.
If we can do that, certainly that will give this team another boost if you will and we’ll certainly have something might be special as we go forward.
More to come . . .