Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

August 29, 2010
Cable's day-after thoughts on exhibition loss to 49ers, focusing on Campbell, Bush, Gradkowski and McFadden

Raiders coach Tom Cable spoke to Bay Area reporters late Sunday afternoon to discuss the Raiders' 28-24 exhibition loss to the 49ers on Saturday night.

I have written on quarterback Jason Campbell's "stinger" injury for tomorrow's paper, as well as about running back Michael Bush's fractured left thumb (yes, he's a lefty). As such, a sampling of topics Cable hit on:

Jason Campbell cart.jpg

-Campbell's "stinger" that affected his left side seems to have subsided, but the quarterback also endured a right wrist injury that is considered more serious. Still, it is not considered serious enough to keep him out of the season opener at Tennessee on Sept. 12.

"We'll need to see more on that in the coming days," Cable said of Campbell's wrist injury. "

-Cable said Bush will undergo a "procedure" on the thumb Monday and said there was a "good chance" he's still play in the opener as it would be "protected," but not necessarily with a cast.

Michael Bush TD.jpg

-Cable called receiver Chaz Schilens' arthroscopic knee surgery last week a "three-to-six week issue for us." Knowing Schilens' injury history, bet on the latter. Still, when asked if the Raiders had any interest in an available veteran free-agent receiver such as Antonio Bryant or Laveranues Coles, Cable said, "We haven't had any of those kind of discussions at this point. Right now we're more focused on our group and trying to find, really, that fourth and fifth receiver. I think that's really key for us right now."

-Center Samson Satele (ankle) and cornerback Chris Johnson (hamstring) are both expected to practice full in this short week. Good thing for them, too, since rookie Jared Veldheer started for Satele against the 49ers and Stanford Routt is gunning for Johnson.

But while defensive tackle Desmond Bryant (elbow) and cornerback Joey Thomas (concussion) are day-to-day, rookie defensive end Alex Daniels (hamstring) and defensive end Jay Richardson (knee) our out.

-Cable made a point this past week to say the No. 2 QB position was still open, what with Bruce Gradkowski missing so much time in OTA's and camp with injuries. So, with that stellar showing against the 49ers, is Cable ready to proclaim Gradkowski as the official backup, over the game Kyle Boller?

Bruce Gradkowski.jpg

"He definitely showed himself well," Cable said, "and strengthened our football team at the quarterback position."

But you're not yet ready to say he is indeed the back-up?

"Well, I think he is," Cable said. "I never said he wasn't."

Got it?

-The Raiders seemed to take a step back in run defense, allowing 5.0 yards per carry. Cable's take?

"I'd like to see us wrap up when we tackle," he said. "That was probably the biggest negative that took away from the game. I was very disappointed in our kick coverage teams. Those two things, we got to play better. And offensive tackle. Those three things, you can put your hand on those pretty clear."

-Of course, the next question was on left tackle Mario Henderson and his job security. It was his man - Travis LaBoy that knocked Campbell out of the game and it was Henderson's guy that injured Gradkowski against Washington last season.

"Everyone has got to continue to improve and all that," Cable said. "I don't see any reason for him not to. My feeling on it right now is that he's not unlike anybody else. He's got to get better."

-I asked Cable what he saw in Veldheer's play at center after watching the tape.

"I saw a guy playing center for the first time in this league," Cable said. "You got to learn where to put his helmet a little bit more consistently. When he did, it was pretty good stuff. So, there's a lot to grow on. It was actually a pretty good effort by him."

-I also asked Cable what he saw out of Darren McFadden, who was making his 2010 exhibition debut and had nine yards rushing on seven carries. He did, however, have a 24-yard reception negated by an illegal formation penalty on receiver Louis Murphy.

DMC.jpg

"I saw explosive play," Cable said. "I saw a guy run hard and between the tackles. You know, it's nice to get him back. You know it's good for him to get his first action. I've said all along that when he's healthy...he's very important to what we're trying to do."

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For timelier updates, follow me on Twitter @PaulHGutierrez

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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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