Raiders Head Coach Tom Cable chats with Cowboys Head Coach Wade Phillips after the Raiders 17-9 preseason win over the Cowboys. Photo by Tony Gonzales.
Q: Did you get through the game healthy?
Coach Cable:We spoke of three guys last night; Walter McFadden, Sam Williams, and Swayze Waters. We know a little bit more about each one of them. Walter McFadden's injury does not seem to be serious at all. He may be ready to go to work tomorrow. Sam Williams may have a slight concussion and he'll start the protocol today for that. Swayze Waters, we are very fortunate, when he got roughed on the PAT attempt that it's just a bruise. No one else came up today after the game, so we look like we are in pretty good shape.
Q: Tom, what were your impressions with the first team offense?
Coach Cable:It's a guy here and a guy there. It looks to be probably a little better than what I thought after the game so I think we can fix it. We can fix it rather quickly, and the biggest negative I see is the four false start penalties. But there was good ball security, no turnovers or anything like that. Both Rock Cartwright and Michael Bennett ran the ball tough. I thought the second group of linemen blocked some things and the longer they played, the better they got. I think Kyle Boller went in there and did some nice things...did some things I'm sure he'd like to do over again, but he also was able to make some big throws and give us a couple of plays that gets us into a chance there.
Q: In terms of getting the plays in and out, in terms of Jason Campbell getting the team to the line of scrimmage, in terms of looking like an organized team for the first time…how would you rate that part of it?
Coach Cable:I thought we could have maybe been a little faster in our tempo in and out of the huddle but that's kind of normal for the first game in the preseason. In terms of communication we ran a little bit of no huddle and handled that very well. So I was pleased with that.
Q: How important was it to get Lamarr Houston, for his growth and maturity, to get him back in the game there…at the end of the game to kind of get him a feel of what it feels like to close a game out?
Coach Cable:Well, I kind of got asked that last night. You have to understand that he and Matt Shaughnessy are both on a second nickel team so they were going to be in there regardless. Guys wanted to make a point that they were playing all game but that wasn't really my plan. Normally they would not be in the first nickel group. It would be Trevor Scott and Kamerion Wimbley, but once we took the starters out, so to speak, and started to play the second units, they were a part of that second unit. Therefore they had to play the whole game.
Q: How encouraging were the plays of Shaughnessy and Houston?
Coach Cable:I think it's exciting in that both of them are productive. They were productive not only in disruption of the passer, but against the rush. They could get better at some things for sure, but I think that they definitely had an encouraging start.
Q: Game situation and you are going for a field goal with a reserve kicker who is probably not going to be on the team as opposed to trying to maybe going for a first down is there an integrity of the game that you are worried about, or are you just trying to get a game worthy of getting your team ready for the season?
Coach Cable: No, I think getting us ready to play we were pretty lucky last night, in that we got to deal with an incredible amount of situations throughout the game, you know usually it doesn't happen like that, not one game or even this early in the preseason, so I really just kind of took the situations as they came and we coached them and adjusted to them. It was really good for our team, that's what we took out of it. We were able to be in a number of different situations and so you just kind of go with what you had planned and then you go from there.
Q: How important was that last drive for Jason, you sent him back in the second quarter and they were able to move the ball a little better than their first two drives just in terms of grace and confidence and some rhythm for that group?
Coach Cable: Well, I think the rhythm thing was most important, I did not like the second series very much and just felt like I'm going to put the line and quarterback out there together, and like you said see if they could put some cohesiveness together which they were able to do a little bit, so, the thing that I'm encouraged about and we can fix a guy here and guy there that were breaking down and I look forward for us to be better next week.
Q: With all the players you held out of the game, it didn't seem like anything was really serious, do you expect players like Bruce Gradkowski, Darren McFadden, and Chaz Schilens to have to possibly play against the Bears or do you know that yet?
Coach Cable: We don't know that yet, certainly the report today said they were all better and improving so we'll just see how the week goes.
Q: From what you saw of Johnnie Lee Higgins, did you like what you saw on the punt return?
Coach Cable:I mentioned this before; it was a big emphasis for us to improve our return game. Unfortunately he [David Buehler] knocked the ball to the back of the end zone every time. Hopefully we will get some more chances here in the next three weeks. The one return that Johnnie had I think that he handled the ball well. I look forward to getting those other guys in there as well, and we will take what they will give us.