Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

August 30, 2009
The day after

Coach Tom Cable liked to downplay on-field skirmishes between his players during training camp, often saying of the fisticuffs with a wry smile, "Boys will be boys."

So were they just boys being boys the night before Saturday's 45-7 shellacking by New Orleans, not fighting but partying too much with the shackles of curfew broken thanks to camp in Napa ending two nights earlier? Veteran defensive end Greg Ellis intimated as much after the game.

Cable was asked if he knew anything about it in his conference call with beat writers early Sunday evening.

"You know, I don't," Cable said. "The one thing I can talk about - we talked about it as we broke camp - the one thing as a coach that you're always leery of is breaking camp is because then they get home, they don't have the curfew, don't have those kind of things, and so as grown men we've got to handle those distractions. And be able to take care of our bodies and stay focused on what we're trying to do."


Ready for your bad news, good news story, Raiders fans?

The bad news is, Cable said the Raiders reverted to poor form against the Saints. The good news? At least the Raiders realize it.

"Really, we looked like we have in the past - poor tackling, misaligned, missing some easy reads in terms of protection," Cable said. "Just really some fundamental issues that have kind of been our issue in the past, and felt like we were getting away from it, and it showed up again.

"At some point, the accountability factor has to really come in, and that's all of us...coaches, players alike. To me, it's a great lesson if you treat it that way. If you want to hem and haw, cry in your beer...then you'll have issues past this. But if you face it, and you deal with it the right way and come clean with it in all areas, you can move forward. And that's the way I'm going to approach it...the sky is not falling. It just looks really gray right now, and it's supposed to after you get your tail kicked like that and you really play poorly."


Cable is not worried that rookie receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, the No. 7 overall pick of the draft, has caught only two passes in three exhibition games and had only three balls thrown his way against the Saints.

"Well, you know, it's already happening," Cable said. "I said this would happen earlier. (Defenses are) already starting to lean towards him in coverage so it's going to help everyone else and obviously that's why those other guys were getting the opportunities they were getting."


With the emergence of undrafted Ivy League rookie defensive tackle Desmond Bryant from Harvard, Terdell Sands not playing against the Saints and cut days looming - 80-man rosters must be down to 75 players by Tuesday, the final 53-man roster is due on Saturday, it would appear as though Sands' days in Oakland are numbered. Right?

"It's too early for all that," Cable said, before explaining why Sands did not get on the field. "It's just where we were at in terms of rotation. (I) didn't expect to play the first group as long as we did in the second half. But (we) had to, and based on the rotation and the way it all worked out, just ran out of time."


Cable also defended another high-priced defensive tackle in Tommy Kelly.

"We actually have had two pretty good games out of him, the last two," Cable said of Kelly. "So it would not be fair for anyone to really question or devalue what he's done in the last two weeks. Is it perfect yet...? No. It was better (against the 49ers), then it was better this game in terms of getting his body down and holding off double teams. They've really not been able to run at his side, if you look at it."


No new news on the status of cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha's chip fracture in his left wrist, or on the stinger suffered by safety Rashad Baker.


Now at their Alameda headquarters, the Raiders practice Monday and Tuesday at 10:45 a.m., and hold a 10:15 a.m. walkthrough Wednesday before flying to Seattle, where they face the Seahawks Thursday night at 7 in their final exhibition game.

About Comments

Reader comments on 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 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 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 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 While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on 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.

Raiders stories on

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