ALAMEDA - Raiders head coach Tom Cable spoke publicly for the first time this morning about Marquis Cooper, the Raiders linebacker missing at sea.
Cable said he is "deeply saddened" by the situation but remains hopeful for a miracle.
"Well, you guys know me," Cable said. "A glass is half full to me so until they find you know a body to me I'll just keep hoping, that's the way I am. I'll just keep believing that there's some islands and things out and around there and you never know. People drift up on things. A log floats by and they happen to grab onto it and just let it take them where it goes and they'll find them so that's what I think."
That's the sentiment throughout the organization. Raiders assistant defensive backs coach Willie Brown said the Raiders are different than other teams because the Raiders are run more like a family.
Brown said Raiders owner Al Davis takes these situations especially hard.
"Anytime a Raider player, a former player or whatever, is involved in any kind of accident, any kind of death; it doesn't sit well with him," Brown said. "Death is something that's hard to deal with. I always tell the guys this, 'You don't know what it feels like until it happens to you.' You can speculate things happening and how families feel but if you don't have that feeling of going through it yourself, it's difficult."
None of the players at the facility wanted to speak publicly. Brown said they didn't want to be emotional in front of cameras and the thought of talking about Cooper had some players emotional.
Brown said he will continue to hope for a miracle and that Cooper will be found alive.
"You never know," Brown said. "I'm hoping a shark go by and just miss him, a dolphin go by and he catches his (fin) and take him to an island. There's always hope. Like Tom says, 'Until there's a body, there's still hope.' And that's what I'm hoping for."
*Meanwhile the team continues to conduct business. Free agent tackle Khalif Barnes is visiting with the team today.
Barnes, 26, started 16 games at left tackle for Jacksonville last season and would probably be an upgrade over the inexperienced Mario Henderson.
Out of respect for the families of Cooper and the two other missing men, Cable did not discuss free agency. But he did say working hasn't been easy.
"You probably don't do it with the right focus because this is real life, this is real people involved," Cable said. "There's a 3-year-old daughter involved, there's a wonderful young lady, a wife (Rebekah) involved, a mother and a father, so at the end of the day those things still matter most and yet at 3 o'clock you have this appointment, at 11 you have this one, gotta make this call, you do those things. You just do them with a heavy heart. When you wake up and before you go to bed you say your prayers and you're hopeful someone will look after this."