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Cartwright humbled, then back to business

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Sunday, March 11th, 2012 at 9:26 am in Oakland Raiders.

Rock Cartwright insisted that in the business of the NFL, it wasn’t all that unusual to be receiving an award with a dinner in his honor by a franchise which may or may not want to retain his services for the coming year.

“Not really, man,” Cartwright said before the Commitment to Excellence dinner at the Oakland Airport Hilton. “I lay my heart out there every game I was out there. I really can’t worry about stuff I can’t control. That’s between those guys and my agent, and hopefully something can be worked out. I love it here. I would like to spend the rest of my career here. How long is that, who knows? But I’m going to let the front office and my agent handle that.”

A 10-year veteran, Cartwright has won the award each of the last two seasons. It is given to the player based on hard work, leadership and excellence on the field and is voted upon by the team.

The Raiders will continue the process of putting together a roster under general manager Reggie McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen. Both attended the dinner for Cartwright (neither spoke to the two reporters on hand, myself and Paul Gutierrez of CSN-Bay Area). Cartwright got a chance to talk to both men Friday and Saturday but seemed to have no better idea whether he is in Oakland’s plans or not.

NFL teams learn the exact salary cap number (expected to be in the $120 million range) Monday then must be compliant on Tuesday before free agency begins.

“You can’t predict anything right now,” Cartwright said. “You never know what’s going to happen. I think Tuesday is going to be an interesting day for a lot of people. A lot of people’s lives are going to change, including myself, probably. (It) may not be Tuesday, it may be a week after the draft, but it may change, and you’ve got to prepare yourself for that.”

Other Cartwright observations:

His relationship with the other running backs

“Those guys are like my brothers. I’ve known them for two years now and it seems like I’ve known them forever.”

Darren McFadden’s health

“He’s able to do everything that he used to be able to do, run routes, things like that. I know Darren. He loves the game. He’s one of the most humble first-round draft picks since I’ve been in the league. He’s working to get back and we have to surround him with good people and a good group of guys so he can do the things he’s capable of doing.”

McFadden’s history of injury

“When you see a guy that puts so much into something and gets hurt on a check-down, and it costs you your season, you feel for the guy. It’s like every time he has something going it’s like there’s something that wants to set him back. But he keeps coming back out and producing. I think he’s going to get healthy, I think he’s going to stay healthy and I think once he does he’ll probably be the best back in the league.”

The viability of free agent Michael Bush as a ever-down back

“I think Bush is an every down back. He’s able to run the ball, he’s able to catch the ball, he’s able to pick up blitzes. He’s able to do everything. I think if given 20 to 25 carries a game, I think he’d definitely be one of the top rushers in the league.”

On former coach Hue Jackson

“I spoke with Hue a couple of times. We didn’t speak about what ahppened, we just spoke about the future and what he had going on and he just told me to stay in contact. I’m sure he’ll get an opportunity (to be a head coach) again some time down the road, because I think he’s a great leader and a great man, and I wish him the best.”

Editorial aside _ with Jackson having a role helping coach the Bengals’ special teams, don’t be surprised to see him push for Cartwright with coach Marvin Lewis. As the story goes, Jackson made the draft pick as a Washington assistant when Cartwright came into the NFL.

Whether he sees himself as a teammate or mentor

“A little bit of both. But I think the big thing is, they listen to what I saw. When you have someone who listens to what you say and they go out and do it, it’s like, wow, that’s what you get excitement from. Seeing those guys have great games on Sunday, it’s like I had a good game, because I’ve seen them put in the work during the week.”

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  • RaiderRetribution

    #1 position this off season (i.e., position tagged the most), kickers. least expensive position to tag.

  • http://freepriesttjnow.org Cranberry

    http://www.freepriesttjnow.org/sign_the_petition

    Welcome back Tj. Your insight is still appreciated.

  • RaiderDebo

    our Bush Says:
    March 11th, 2012 at 12:05 pm
    RaiderDebo Says:
    March 11th, 2012 at 11:00 am

    The best teams in the NFL are the teams with the best coaching and scouting staffs. That’s why teams like Green Bay, the Pats and Steelers are good year in and year out.
    =========================================

    Not necessarily. Because of the free agent system, good players that have been in marginal programs can leave, take a pay cut, and go to those “winning” programs for a shot at the playoffs and Super Bowl. Look at Peyton Manning right now. If Manning signs with the Chiefs or Bronco’s it is not going to have a lot to do with their “scouting”.
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    Precisely why you need continuity in coaching and scouting. The Steelers lose good players to free agency every year and are never big players in free agency, yet they’re always challenging for the title. I agree about Manning, but you’ll probably never have a player like him available again. We’ll still have to see how it works out though. Peyton Manning has been far and away the best QB in football for the last decade or so and the Colts have only won one SB.

  • http://freepriesttjnow.org Cranberry

    http://www.freepriesttjnow.org/sign_the_petition

    RaiderDebo Says:
    March 11th, 2012 at 11:00 am

    The best teams in the NFL are the teams with the best coaching and scouting staffs. That’s why teams like Green Bay, the Pats and Steelers are good year in and year out.

    _______________________________________________

    Agreed. We had good players on the D this year but zero to ass bad coaching. Also, GB Pitt and NE provide a level of consistency to go along with the good coaching. Players need to know what to expect, not some random hit or miss coaching carousel of bottom tier coaching that thinks schemes will work without the proper players needed to implement those schemes.
    Good firm coaching staffs win championships.

  • RaiderDebo

    Cranberry Says:
    March 11th, 2012 at 12:37 pm
    http://www.freepriesttjnow.org/sign_the_petition

    RaiderDebo Says:
    March 11th, 2012 at 11:00 am

    The best teams in the NFL are the teams with the best coaching and scouting staffs. That’s why teams like Green Bay, the Pats and Steelers are good year in and year out.

    _______________________________________________

    Agreed. We had good players on the D this year but zero to ass bad coaching. Also, GB Pitt and NE provide a level of consistency to go along with the good coaching. Players need to know what to expect, not some random hit or miss coaching carousel of bottom tier coaching that thinks schemes will work without the proper players needed to implement those schemes.
    Good firm coaching staffs win championships.
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    Exactly. How do the Texans go from worst to 1st on D in one year, WITHOUT Mario Williams??? Two words: BUM’s SON.

  • lefty12

    #31-SnB says”I’m glad YOU don’t have a say in the roster decisions”.
    I feel the same way whenever I read one of YOUR comments.You are totally clueless.

  • http://freepriesttjnow.org Cranberry

    RaiderDebo Says:
    March 11th, 2012 at 12:39 pm
    Cranberry Says:
    March 11th, 2012 at 12:37 pm
    http://www.freepriesttjnow.org/sign_the_petition

    RaiderDebo Says:
    March 11th, 2012 at 11:00 am

    The best teams in the NFL are the teams with the best coaching and scouting staffs. That’s why teams like Green Bay, the Pats and Steelers are good year in and year out.

    _______________________________________________

    Agreed. We had good players on the D this year but zero to ass bad coaching. Also, GB Pitt and NE provide a level of consistency to go along with the good coaching. Players need to know what to expect, not some random hit or miss coaching carousel of bottom tier coaching that thinks schemes will work without the proper players needed to implement those schemes.
    Good firm coaching staffs win championships.
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    Exactly. How do the Texans go from worst to 1st on D in one year, WITHOUT Mario Williams??? Two words: BUM’s SON.
    ====================

    Always liked Wade Phillips. A case where the players knew what to expect, and good smarts as a coach. A good coach considers building around personell into the mix of things. Coaches coach, players play.

  • lefty12

    #25-A lot of Al supporters over-rated our players.Conversely,many Al critics disliked and undervalued players Al gave big contracts just because.

  • Gdog

    Precisely why you need continuity in coaching and scouting. The Steelers lose good players to free agency every year and are never big players in free agency, yet they’re always challenging for the title.
    >>>>

    All these teams also have the best QB’s.

    Brady, Brees, Rodgers, Rothy, Mannings…

    Its not salary cap management that makes a consistent team.

    Its having a top QB that does it. The only team even close to doing it without one is Philly.

    If CP returns to his pro-bowl form… we will once again be contending every year… all this hand-ringing about the cap and dumping Kelly… etc etc, is MEANINGLESS if Palmer has a horrible year.

  • RaiderRetribution

    Salary cap, franchise tag, and tendered numbers are now posted on NFL.com

    120.6 salary cap for 2012;

    6.212 franchise tag dollars for Mr. Branch

  • lefty12

    It is one thing to discuss rosters and certain players,but to come here and advocate just cutting all your better players because YOU feel they are overpaid is ridiculous.You don’t better by dumping your better players-even if they aren’t living up to YOUR expectations.You get better by putting more good players around them.Kelly is a perfect example.Once another good player was added next to him,he flourished.Many forget he lead the team in sacks last year as a DT.Ask any coach or QB what disrupts the passing game the most and they will all tell you pressure UP THE MIDDLE.

  • RaiderDebo

    Gdog Says:
    March 11th, 2012 at 12:59 pm
    Precisely why you need continuity in coaching and scouting. The Steelers lose good players to free agency every year and are never big players in free agency, yet they’re always challenging for the title.
    >>>>

    All these teams also have the best QB’s.

    Brady, Brees, Rodgers, Rothy, Mannings…

    Its not salary cap management that makes a consistent team.

    Its having a top QB that does it. The only team even close to doing it without one is Philly.

    If CP returns to his pro-bowl form… we will once again be contending every year… all this hand-ringing about the cap and dumping Kelly… etc etc, is MEANINGLESS if Palmer has a horrible year.
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    I agree to an extent. Salary cap management is highly overrated. But I think these QBs benefit greatly from having consistent, good coaching. Belichik won 11 games without Brady in 2008. The Steelers won 3 of they’re 1st 4 without Big Ben 2 years ago. Joe Gibbs won 3 SBs with 3 different QBs. I thinks that’s why NO is hesitant to give Brees what he wants. They know that Brees is in a great situation. I bet a lot of people would be surpised to see how Chase Daniel would fare in that offense.

  • RaiderRetribution

    Mcnabb was a top tier qb for years

  • RaiderDebo

    lefty12 Says:
    March 11th, 2012 at 1:08 pm
    It is one thing to discuss rosters and certain players,but to come here and advocate just cutting all your better players because YOU feel they are overpaid is ridiculous.You don’t better by dumping your better players-even if they aren’t living up to YOUR expectations.You get better by putting more good players around them.Kelly is a perfect example.Once another good player was added next to him,he flourished.Many forget he lead the team in sacks last year as a DT.Ask any coach or QB what disrupts the passing game the most and they will all tell you pressure UP THE MIDDLE.
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    Don’t agree with you on much, but I couldn’t have said this better myself.

  • Sweep The Leg.

    “I think Bush is an every down back. He’s able to run the ball, he’s able to catch the ball, he’s able to pick up blitzes. He’s able to do everything.
    ===============================================

    He thinks Bush can pick up blitzes? REALLY?

    Mike has more whiffs on defenders, than Stevie Wonder has at the batting cages.

  • r8eray

    Priest, you didn’t get laid off with the new regime?

    Glad to see your still around!

    ;)

  • Fester

    Ask any coach or QB what disrupts the passing game the most and they will all tell you pressure UP THE MIDDLE.
    …………………………..

    just like any good chess game, gotta own the middle. just like any good baseball team, gotta be good up the middle.

  • hwnrdr

    So the cap this year is $120.6 million. Where are we now? I know that we have to also factor in Branch’s tag…

  • r8eray

    Hwn, ask the cap expert….

    Your asking questions that are out of my league!

    ;)

  • lefty12

    Hwnrdr-wasn’t it mentioned we were already accounting for Branch’s tag money?

  • Chris in NY

    “I’m sure (Hue Jackson) will get an opportunity (to be a head coach) again some time down the road, because I think he’s a great leader and a great man, and I wish him the best.”
    - Rock Cartwright
    Team captain and two-time team CTE honoree

    This is above and beyond a PC endorsement. It’s clear from the comments made by Cartwright, Seymour, Palmer, Ford and others that the team was very much behind Hue. Can we please put that “Hue lost the team” nonsense to rest now? It’s clear that we changed coaches for one of two reasons: Mark Davis wanted him out as Mike Silver hypothesized; or Reggie McKenzie wanted his own guy (as RM stated) that he could take credit for finding and hiring if things go well, rather than keep Hue and be relegated to a role of secondary importance.

  • Hardline

    Chris in NY, 71

    Chris,

    Are simple enough to believe that an interviewee will never tell the truth?? You can’t say that Hue had the love of the players based on interviews of those players; they always speak falsely.

    Look what happened to Hue when he really spoke truthfully at his befated last interview. He was fired as HC and had a very hard time finding employment; some suggest the only reason the Bengals hired him is because he dropped the “greatest trade in sports at their feet.”

    The Mark Silver theory is blog filler completely based on hearsay evidence that Silver dreamed up. What would the new owner Mark Davis care if his father dressed him down at a meeting in which Hue was present?

    Hue was totally incompetent, a lousy game manager, a self admitted liar, a braggart, and a “bully” who couldn’t back up his own words. Hue did nothing beyond what Cable had done with a much worse roster.

    Most importantly, Hue carried AL’s disasterous taint, and had to go.

  • Hardline

    “ever**** tell the truth”

  • r8eray

    Now if you were to ask me…I say we’re gooooood!

  • RaiderRetribution

    We will still have to cut/ restructure at least three more contracts.

  • RaiderSam

    RaiderRetribution Says:
    March 11th, 2012 at 1:59 pm
    We will still have to cut/ restructure at least three more contracts.

    =======

    they just reached “compliance”…but still need to re-do deals just to even sign
    FA’s…

  • Gdog

    I agree to an extent. Salary cap management is highly overrated. But I think these QBs benefit greatly from having consistent, good coaching. Belichik won 11 games without Brady in 2008. The Steelers won 3 of they’re 1st 4 without Big Ben 2 years ago. Joe Gibbs won 3 SBs with 3 different QBs. I thinks that’s why NO is hesitant to give Brees what he wants. They know that Brees is in a great situation. I bet a lot of people would be surpised to see how Chase Daniel would fare in that offense.
    >>>

    No doubt. The NFL is Qb’s and coaching.

    Not sure what I would put first… prolly QB though.

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