Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

February 28, 2010
Cable says Russell will compete for starting QB job

Raiders coach - and, yes, he is the Raiders coach - Tom Cable spoke at the combine today. Here are the highlights of what he said.

On the team's quarterback situation
TC: Well, you know, getting ready to start off the season and we'll get to OTAs, minicamp and let the job be competed for. You know, I think that's where we're at in terms of our starting quarterback. (Which quarterbacks?) I mean all those guys so long as we can get some of them resigned and see if we add anybody to the mix.

On JaMarcus Russell
TC: JaMarcus is working and doing the things he should be doing right now and he'll get himself prepared to compete for the job. And I think that's the only way to look at it.

On his job status after the season.
TC: Nah, it wasn't (a question). We went through the evaluation process. I was told, 'You're under contract and we need talk about everything.' And that's what we did. So there was a lot of speculation, but kind of the whole time I just went to work every day and did what I knew I needed to do to be ready for the evaluation, ready for the Senior Bowl, ready for all the things that were coming up.

On when he was told he'd be coming back.
TC: Well, I was never told I wasn't. ... That's the one misnomer. A lot of speculation, but every day I went to work, every day I got ready for the routine, the things you would normally do. For me, sitting back I kind of wondered what all the fuss was about. I was just going to work every day.

On Javon Walker's status.
TC: Really we've had the emergence of those young players, and certainly Louis Murphy and Chaz Schilens and Johnnie Lee Higgins give us something. And Darrius Heyward-Bey gets hurt and misses a big chunk of the season. So I think it's the development and trying to bring that group along. Will he be there next year? We'll see.

On Darrius Heyward-Bey's rookie year.
TC: Well, I think there was some good and there were some things that were probably disappointing. The injury to me was disappointing. The amount of pressure that was put on that kid from all angles, the scrutiny he came under the minute he was picked - probably unfair but, hey, this is the NFL and that's what it is. But with his work ethic and his character, he's going to be what he's supposed to be, really. You'll be excited to write about him soon.

Could quarterback be a position you add in the draft?
TC: For us, we have to look at a number of things, so I don't think you would discount that or any other position.

What are the top areas you're looking at in the draft?
TC: For us right now it's probably working a little bit on the line of scrimmage and the secondary and things like that. And really come away from this combine knowing what's available so you can put your finger on that.

-- Matt Barrows

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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.

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