Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

March 18, 2009
Cal's Mack attracts Raider coaches

BERKELEY - Nothing like spending part of the afternoon in the most beautiful place watch a football game (in my biased opinion).

But back to the lecture at hand ...

Cal held it's Pro Day this afternoon and everyone was looking at Cal center Alex Mack.

Raiders head coach Tom Cable, offensive line coach Jim Michalczik and assistant offensive line coach Chris Morgan all stood in the bleachers behind the south end zone to get a good look at Mack.

According to NFL.com, Mack ran the 40-yard dash in 5.17 and 5.23 seconds, posted a 28 1/2-inch vertical jump, an 8-foot, 10-inch broad jump, a 4.75 short shuttle, a 7.31 three-cone drill and did 20 bench press reps at 225 pounds.

Cable was interested in seeing Mack move outside of game film.

"You just want to see athletically, how he is," Cable said. "How he moves around, just to get a feel for him."

The Raiders need a center after losing Jake Grove in free agency. John Wade is on the roster, but isn't a long-term solution.

Mack is the best available in this year's draft. But even for a team that selected a kicker in the first round, taking a center seventh overall would be a stretch.

Cable said taking a center that high isn't bad "if you need one, that's the bottom line."
Ideally the Raiders would use their second-round pick (40th overall) on Mack, but he is expected to be off the board by then.

Mack might mean trading back into the end of the first round. Don't look for the Raiders to trade down.

Michalczik was Mack's position coach at Cal before joining the Raiders. Cable sounded relunctant to put too much of Michalczik's opionion into the mix.

"I've really kind of kept that separate and told Jimmy, 'hey we'll make an opinion of the guy and well match him later. Let's not hear a lot aobut it now from you and those types of things.' And you really don't want to cloud your judgment."

Mack (6-4, 307) certainly sounds like the kind of player Cable would like. He loves football and is willing to learn.

"If they want me to play wide receiver I'm going to play that," Mack said. "They can teach me whatever they want and I'll do whatever they want me to do. I think one thing I'm good at his technique. That's something they really want me to learn. And if someone else has different techniques and there are other things to do, I'm more than happy to learn it. They're trying explain some of those drills out there, and I think I was asking too many questions for them. `You want this, or do you want that?' How does this work? I try to do whatever the coaches want. I'm happy to play anywhere."

Mack also beliefs his aggressive attitude is contagious. If you watched Cal the last couple of years, it wasn't uncommon to see Mack blocking until he heard a whistle - even if he was 15 yards down the field.

"I think one of the things that I'm well known for is my finish, and my striving to finishing plays," Mack said. "And that's something I think is contagious. I think you see one guy busting his ass out there, running down the field blocking people late, finishing to the whistle, the other four guys on the O-line that are watching him do that, they're going to join in. I think that's something I could definitely contribute to any team I play for."

Now on to more Raider news from the day:

*Cable said Mario Henderson would "compete" at left tackle. This is a question because the Raiders signed LT Khalif Barnes over the weekend.

"Mario did a fine job the last three games," Cable said. "Can't agrue it. For us we have to get better in the offensive line so it's important to get competition in there. And that may mean the draft, that may mean free agency which we've done a little bit."

The other tackle the Raiders have signed is former Denver starter Erik Pears.

Cable, however, didn't dismiss the idea of Henderson switching back to the right side.

"Right now," Cable said, "...he's the left tackle for sure."

*For those of you wondering about who will be the new strong safety, Cable said Tyvon Branch would step into Gibril Wilson's spot.

But finding a safety doesn't appear the top priority.

"We've got to get some places better on the football team," Cable said. "For us it means something like protecting JaMarcus Russell. I think that's where we have to start."

Speaking of Russell, Cable said the quarterback would be back in town next week to join the voluntary offseason program.

*Remember Raiders owner Al Davis' not-so-subtle request for more power in the running game last month?

Cable said that doesn't mean the team will change from being a zone-blocking team.

"No we'll be the same," Cable said. "And what he means by that is what you saw against Tampa Bay....that was more two tight end, those kind of things."

--Jason Jones

About Comments

Reader comments on Sacbee.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com

Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at feedback@sacbee.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to feedback@sacbee.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.



About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

FOLLOW US | Get more from sacbee.com | Follow us on Twitter | Become a fan on Facebook | Watch Bee news, lifestyle videos | View our mobile versions | e-edition: Print edition online | What our bloggers are saying

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31