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Conference call: Oakland Raiders

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    Raiders coach Tom Cable and quarterback Bruce Gradkowski answer questions Wednesday as the Raiders prepare to host the Chargers.


    Head Coach Tom Cable
    With as much change as there’s been over the years, is it unfathomable to you that any team can have this kind of a run against another team?
    I think it’s very difficult. I think what they’ve accomplished is a bit extraordinary, but they’ve been the best team in our division for a while, so they’ve earned it.
    Where did you feel most improved coming into this year?
    I think there’s some areas in the passing game I think we’re improved on. There’s some things that I thought we would be improved on like playing run defense. I felt better about it until last week, obviously, but we will work on it and try to get it back where we think it can be.
    What went right the first three games and what went wrong last Sunday?
    I just think aggressive style of play. I think we were getting after it and finishing plays and doing the things it takes to be a good defense in the first three weeks.
    Is a lot of that youth?
    I don’t know about that. You get four preseason games and this is the third or fourth regular-season game so you had a chance to play what, 10, 11 games already?
    Did you come into the season knowing that McFadden’s hamstring was going to be a precarious thing from week to week?
    No. He had a little strain in camp, but other than that, he was healthy in every way, shape or form. Obviously he started out in our first three weeks of the season playing very well. Fortunately it’s not bad and they’re probably not going to lose him for very long.
    Can you say whether he’ll be playing Sunday?
    I’d like to but I can’t.
    Did you come into the season with playoff expectations?
    I absolutely did and I still believe that, but as I tell the team all the time, talking about it’s one thing and doing it is another. The doing it’s where we need to get busy.
    Is this game important since it’s within the division and you don’t want to fall two or three games back?
    I do think they’re all important. I know that’s coach talk, but certainly a divisional game is always more important.
    What do you see from the Chargers?
    I think they’re a hell of a football team.
    Do they seem any different to you?
    There’s some differences about them, sure. They seem to be a little bit more attack-oriented on defense. Structurally they’re the same but those guys are playing hard. I think they’ve improved on the line of scrimmage. As long as that quarterback is standing then they’re a good offense. He’s one of the very, I think exceptional players at his position in this league.
    Did you know much about Mike Tolbert[​IMG] this week?
    You knew who he was and certainly his special teams value. He’s been a rock on their special teams. But when you watch him run, he’s a very talented runner.
    How different if at all is the team with Gradkowski behind center?
    I don’t know that we’re a whole lot different. We seem to score a few more points now. We seem to be improving in some areas. But I think that’s natural for any team. I just think that this team continues to do some things better and better each week and the question is, when we can put it all together we’ll be where we want to be, and that’s obviously what we’re working at.
    What has held the Raiders back over the years from not being considered a very competitive team for several years in a row now?
    I can only speak to my time here and I think for me it’s always been about getting over the hump and finishing the job. We’ve had an opportunity to win a lot of games in my time here as both the line coach and the head coach. But in this league, really the fourth quarter decides so much. I think being confident and settled about playing in those three-to-seven-point games all the time, you’ve got to get used to that. That’s the NFL.
    What’s the value of a tight end like Zach Miller?
    It’s the same thing y’all live with down there. You’ve got a special football player who’s a team guy and tries to do everything he can to help his team win. He’s going to fight to the end and he’s going to make every play that he’s capable of making. He’s going to block for you. He’s going to protect for you. I think both teams are pretty lucky there. They’ve got two quality players.
    On if he sees the Chargers doing more with Antonio Gates[​IMG] with changes in personnel at WR
    I know I would. Certainly I think they have. I think he’s a dynamic player. Like I said, the quarterback is really a unique guy in that he’s very talented. He’s got command. He knows what he’s doing and he can bring it from behind. He can beat you up top with big plays. I just think he’s got great command of that football team. And then you’ve got an elite player like Gates, it is what it is.
    On if it’s mystifying how open Gates has been through Week 4
    Do you think you could cover him? There’s a lot of good athletes in this league, but you look at his career, this isn’t just now. He’s done this for quite a long period of time. The guy is a unique talent.
    Quarterback Bruce Gradkowski
    If you start last year’s season-opener against San Diego, how do you think that game ends?
    I don’t know. It was a good game. It was Monday Night Football last year and it was exciting. It was a great atmosphere. We had the home crowd into it. I would’ve liked to have been out there but I wasn’t. Any time you face the Chargers that’s a good football team so you know you’re in for a good fight.
    Does that game come up this week?
    You talk about games of the past, but we’re not really focused on that. We’re just focused on now and this season and this year. This is the first game of the division so we’re excited for it. Any time you face the Chargers you know you’re in for a good football team.
    Any difference in the Chargers defense this year?
    They’re a good football team. That defense, they’ve got good players. (inaudible) They’re an all-around good football team, so we’re in for a dogfight.
    What do you like about Zach Miller?
    He’s a good football player. He’s tough and makes plays. Any time you throw it his direction he’s going to make plays and do the best he can.
    Is he your No. 1 target?
    Zach’s a great target. Any time you want to get him the football you try, but our receivers are good as well. Whatever opens up, whatever is happening in the game, we’re going to play it out that way and see what happens.
    On the positive attention before the season and if the start of the season is discouraging
    It hasn’t been discouraging at all. It’s only the first quarter of the season. We’ve only played four games. I’ve only started two games, so we know there’s a long year ahead and this is our first division game. That’s what we’re focused on now. We know there’s a long season ahead of us so we’re excited.
    On the 13-game losing streak to the Chargers
    That’s pretty crazy, but the past is the past and we’re talking about now and this season. It’s a whole different mindset, a whole different attitude. It’s going to be a good game.
    Can you describe that mindset?
    The mindset’s a winning football team. We have good players in this locker room and we know what it takes to win. We just need to do that and get on the right track.
    Do you expect to have McFadden on Sunday?
    We prepare to have everyone to play. If it works out that way it would be great. If not I know the rest of the guys will be ready to play, but I think McFadden, the type of warrior that he is, he’ll do the best he can to be out there.
    Having Zach Miller there in practice, does it help defense prepare for Gates?
    I think so. Antonio Gates is a good player. They have some good players on offense and Philip Rivers[​IMG] runs that offense and he does a good job. You’ve just got to do the best you can and study as much as you can and prepare for the guys and just be ready to make plays.
    From a Raiders perspective, what team is your No. 1 rival?
    I think all the games are huge, but the Chargers have been winning the division and that’s a team we need to beat. That’s the way we look at it. The Chargers are a good football team so we’re going to have to bring our ‘A’ game and we’re going to have to play four quarters and it’s going to be a good game.
    On the Raiders still having a nine-game lead in the series
    That’s crazy. Those are the kind of stats that you guys love. But to be honest, you really don’t look at the past too much. You’ve just got to worry about the season at your end and take it from there. It’s good to see that the Chargers and the Raiders always have good football teams so it’s always going to be good games.
  2. mainstayjames

    mainstayjames BoltTalker

    Sep 12, 2010
    I like Tom Cable's math skills. 4 preseason games + 3 or 4 regular season games = 10 or 11 total. Solid.
  3. boltsnow

    boltsnow BoltTalker

    Oct 13, 2006
    Ah ya beat me to it. Unfricken believable. I had a pretty good laugh when I read that.

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