By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Monday, January 3rd, 2011 at 10:32 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Some more of today’s season-ending press briefing with Raiders coach Tom Cable:
Challenges with regard to team-building with labor issues pending
For the coaches part of it, we’re really not as involved in that. I mean it’s going on and it’s going to affect us and all of that, but we’re really not part of it. We’re gonna’ have a East/West game, we’re going to have a Senior Bowl, we’re going to have the combine, we’re going to have a draft. So, you know, staffs are going to get hired during this change in time, whether it’s here or other places, and you know that part of it, I think is going to move forward.
The uncertainty is, as a coach, you’re sitting there saying, `Ok, what am I gonna’ be able to do with my team in the offseason program?’ That, to me more than anything, I think is what’s on my mind right now. I can think of four or five guys right now that need to get coached. They need to go work on certain things as we get ready for the new year and so you’re sitting there going, `Wow, maybe that’s not going to be possible this year if there is a shutdown.’ So we’ll just have to wait and see.
How to fix the turnovers and penalties
I think it’s really the discipline that comes with maturing. I think being able to, maybe not put so much on their plates in some areas where it’s a little bit simpler for them, maybe. In duress situations like loud stadiums on the road, those kinds of things. That’s one area. The turnover thing is just a conscientious effort to one, get more turnovers so that your turnover ratio can be balanced, but I think when you look at it, you can’t turn the ball over as much as we did.
It probably cost us three, four games, and that’s reality. You’d like to say, `Well your defense is going to go out and just get a stop and hold them to field goals’ but it doesn’t always work like that. So we’ve got to really look at it, evaluate it, and digest it completely, you know, and take ownership of it. And then we’ve gotta’ give to players in a way that allow them to grab onto it and make it better.
On whether Jason Campbell has firmly established himself as a No. 1 quarterback
I feel like Jason has done so much, you know, since the — really the last six, seven weeks in particular in terms of being just calm and running his team and organizing and being in control out there. I think it goes without saying that a good run game around him allows him to get into the play-action game and throw the vertical pass game, but I’ve also been impressed by his ability in (the) two-minute (drill).
You know, that’s something, an area, that we’ve been pretty good at all year. And when you look at these last six or seven weeks, I think he’s done an exceptional job in that situation. So, I’m very excited about what he’s done and where he’s come, and proud of him.
Points of pride, areas of regret
I don’t have any regrets, first of all. I don’t have a one. I wish we were better at the turnover department. I wish we were better in the penalty department. I also like the fact we play our butts off and we’ll hit you in the mouth. So I’m not going sit there and split hairs over well, are we too aggressive, are we this or that. I like where we’re at. I think just being better decision making and those things. But the things I’m most proud of, I love how this team came together. I like how they worked for each other. I think they honored each other by, you know, if we had an emphasis one week for the defense and the offense vice versa, they did it for each other.
I’m pleased as can be about the young people on this team, how much they improved steadily. I’m pleased for our quarterback, how much, after going through some tough times when I sat him down and put in back in and how he stayed the course and was a real pro, and then at the end I think continued to improve. I’m pleased for Darren McFadden. He was healthy, and look at what he was capable of doing. It was nice to have Michael Bush yesterday. Guys like Kamerion Wimbley, who we traded for, to come in and have that kind of year, and John Henderson coming in here.
I think we found some real leaders on our team. I think that’s one area I’m probably excited about as we move forward is I think we’ve got some good older guys that really showed some leadership and yet we’ve got some young guys that I think you can see are going to be outstanding leaders. There’s really a lot. I like how we got back to running the ball. I think the first couple of years I was here that was what we did well and then we kind of fell down last year but we came back this year and ran it good.
Having Hue Jackson as the offensive coordinator/play-caller
We talked about that a few times. It was a big help. I don’t think think there’s any question. I think it allowed me to touch the entire team and have, I don’t know, deeper, more solid relationships with everyone, rather than just that group I’m so dialed into all the time. I think it helped a great deal.
The possibility of Jackson being sought by other teams
Well, if that happens for him I’m going to be excited for him. That’s what everyone wants to do in this deal. Don’t want to lose him. If he gets the opportunity to do it, I’m supporting him.
On taking over play-calling if Jackson leaves
I like how it works now. I really do, and I think it would be wise of me, if I can say that now, to kind of keep it in terms of the organization that we have now and hire someone to do those things.