And now, with the Napa D.A.'s decision to not pursue criminal charges against Tom Cable, back to some football news...
Chaz Schilens' trumpeted return (the Raiders put out a press release Tuesday announcing the likeable second-year wide receiver with 15 career catches for 226 yards and two touchdowns like he was the Second Coming) seems to have hit a speed bump.
Schilens, out since Aug. 18 with a broken left foot, did not finish practice Friday.
"He got a little sore today," Cable said. "We don't know if there is anything wrong, so we'll list him as 'questionable' for the game.
"At this point, we may know something this afternoon or tomorrow, exactly what our plan will be, but a little sore today. So we shut him down."
Legit concern, or some gamesmanship subterfuge for the New York Jets' benefit? Perhaps a little bit of both. Schilens was not available for comment in the locker room on Friday.
I asked Cable if Schilens had been running with the first-team offense.
"Doing both," Cable said. "We'd used all three of them (Schilens, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Louis Murphy), just kind of mixing and matching."
Speaking of Cable, he finally addressed publically his potential legal woes of the past two-plus months. Following, then, a transcript of his Q&A with reporters following practice Friday morning at the Raiders' Alameda compound:
Question: Your reaction to the District Attorney declining to pursue criminal charges yesterday?
Cable: OK, the whole experience was interesting to me, humbling to me. I'm obviously very thankful that the authorities did the thoroughness that they did in terms of getting the facts and all that. Other than that, really, my family and friends, really supported me through it. Never let it become a distraction because, as I mentioned many times, I just had a lot of faith. I knew what happened, and it's just amazing what happens. Like I always tell you guys, I respect what you have to do, but it certainly got made out to be more than it needed to be. But it's done, and now the focus is even moreso on the next opponent, which is the Jets.
Question: Would you consider civil litigation on your part for some of the things that were said?
Cable: For me, right now, it's just worrying about football, it really is. It has to be that way. I was very adamant the whole time that I knew what had happened and trusted the system. So for me, it was just to keep coaching and it's nice to have this behind me.
Question: Nice for the DA to go out of his way to explain everything, rather than just decline to press charges and let it go?
Cable: Absolutely. I think that all the speculation and opinion and whatever that was said, I thought the DA did a tremendous job in really laying out exactly what went down.
Question: Are you glad to not have to answer questions about it any more?
Cable: Yeah, again, as I said, I knew what was going on. I never meant any disrespect to any of you or anything like that. It's a process that has to run its course.
Question: Why did you choose not to answer questions about it instead of going in and clearing it up with law enforcement?
Cable: Well, because I felt, because if I do that, I'm getting involved. I become part of the turmoil, part of the issue, and it grows. That's not what I'm here to do. I'm here to be the Oakland Raiders football coach and get this team to win and turn it around. That needed to be my focus and I think it was. I think we handled that the right way.
Cable seemed more relieved than vindicated but was also a tad chippy. Perhaps a shot across the bough of the U.S.S. Warren Sapp? It was Sapp who crowed long and loud on Showtime's "Inside the NFL" after the Raiders' Week 2 win at Kansas City that the Raiders come out and lay an egg after tasting some success.
So when Cable was asked about keeping the Raiders from becoming overconfident following Sunday's win over the two touchdown-favorite Philadelphia Eagles, Cable was succinct.
"You know, we talked about that," he said. "I heard it remarked by someone, I don't even remember, the Raiders are at their worst after they do something good, and to me, that's someone that really doesn't know what the hell they're talking about. I mean that, you can quote it just like I said it.
"For us, it's learning from it, how to do it again. It's not about confidence, it's the lesson that was there, and take it and use it now, and that's what the hope is for this weekend. What do we have to be confident about? We're 2-4. We have to be confident about going in, playing this opponent Sunday and trying to be 3-4."
The Raiders will hold a Halloween costume contest in the Raider Rookie Zone on Sunday before the Jets game at the Coliseum.
Boys and girls, 14 years old and younger, along with a parent/guardian signature are eligible to participate.
Youngsters are encouraged to visit the Raider Rookie Zone, located inside McAfee Coliseum - between Sections 234-235 - dressed in their best Halloween costume to get a picture taken between 11:00 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. on Sunday, October 25, 2009 or otherwise submit a valid entry by mail.
Those interested in participating on the contest may download and print an application on the team's official website, www.raiders.com.
Just received an email telling me that while Sunday's game will be blacked out, "one way for local fans to get around this Sunday's blackout of the Raiders game is to watch NFL RedZone (Channel 427 for Comcast's digital customers)...many viewers already have this channel, and just aren't aware of it, since it only launched at the beginning of the NFL season.
Following is the official release:
The Oakland Raiders' home game against the New York Jets on Sunday, October 25th will be blacked out locally on KPIX in the Bay Area and on KOVR-13 in the Sacramento DMA because the team did not sell out the game in time. However, Comcast digital cable customers in Northern California can still watch key action from the game live on the new NFL RedZone network which is carried on Channel 427 (standard definition feed); as well as on Channel 785 (high definition feed) in select Bay Area cities and Channel 985 (high definition feed) in select Central California cities .
NFL RedZone, part of Comcast's Sports Entertainment Package (SEP), is produced by NFL Network and airs every Sunday from 10:00 a.m. (PT) through late-afternoon games, providing Comcast SEP customers with every touchdown from every game, as well as live look-ins and real-time highlights. On Sunday afternoons throughout the NFL regular season, the channel keeps fans up-to-date in real time, moving from game to game each time a team is poised to score inside the 20-yard line. The channel also has in-studio coverage to provide real-time scoring and fantasy updates to fans.
Comcast subscribers can order the Sports Entertainment Package (SEP) for $4.99/month by calling 1-800-COMCAST. SEP includes several sports channels - NFL RedZone, the NFL Network, NBA TV, MLB Network, NHL Network, ESPN Classic, CBS College Sports, Fox College Sports, Fox Soccer, Big Ten Network, Gol TV, Speed, the Tennis Channel and other networks.