Head Coach Tom Cable addresses the team at the conclusion of the first practice of the Raiders 2010 mandatory three-day mini-camp. Photo by Tony Gonzales.
Coach Cable: Just real quickly let's talk about guys who didn't practice - Chaz Schilens, Nick Miller, and Bruce Gradkowski. Those guys, I think, for obvious reasons, Bruce, just having the [pectoral] issue. And then Nick Miller, just he's sore, his shin splints are sore so we're going to be cautious with that, same with Chaz (being cautious).
Q: Coach, is it safe to say that all five quarterbacks are in an open competition for a starting position?
Cable: Very much so. And I've said that now for quite some time that's what it is and that's how we're going to do it.
Q: What, particularly, did you like from JaMarcus Russell?
Cable: First of all, I think he's handling what's going on very well. And that's to his credit. You know I think that shows maturity on his part and he's dealing with it and he went out and worked just like everybody else.
Q: What were your impressions of Jason Campbell out there today?
Cable: Well about the same, you know a lot of this is new for him. So you know the other quarterbacks have an advantage over Jason right now, because 80 percent of what we're doing right now is much the same. So they're able to get it and go with it. For [Campbell], it's a little bit of catching up. But you know what I saw was a guy who has been exposed to a couple different styles of offense at Washington. And I would say he's adapted very well. I think we're going to have a great competition.
Q: For Robert Gallery to have back surgery and then come to the first mini-camp and take almost no snaps off…for him to take that many snaps, is he farther along than you thought he would be at this point?
Cable: You know to tell you the truth, he's right where they thought he'd be. Fortunately it wasn't down in the lower back with some of those issues, it's in an area that has a great recovery rate and the procedure went great. We figured he'd be there and he's good, with no issues.
Q: Who was behind the decision to have Bruce Campbell move to guard?
Cable: That's where I want to start him. We need to expose him a little bit to playing in there. You know we're getting Jared Veldheer here and we've got Khalif Barnes, Eric Pears. We've got some numbers now. So getting this thing started a little bit, to me was important to put him in there where he would get a lot of reps in camp.
Q: Is that something you see for him?
Cable: I don't know that. Let's find out how he learns and how he adapts to what we're doing. But for right now, again if I put him at one of those tackle spots he would go in there as a third. This gives a chance to put him in there where he's in that second huddle where he's going to get a lot of work, we can start his development right away.
Q: What about him and his game in general?
Cable: If you're an offensive lineman, you're an offensive lineman. The biggest issue for him is that he's been in a left-handed stance. We'll get through that transition, I suppose by the end of the day, after that second practice, playing in a right-handed stance. But to me, that will be the only real thing holding him back.
Q: You hired an offensive coordinator. It must have been a little different to step back. Does it feel different?
Cable: I have a lot more notes from practice from what I saw on special teams, with the DB's, some with the linebackers. I kind of walked off the field feeling really good about what I saw and was anxious to go look at it on film and to cross-check myself but you're right, it does give me a chance to look at a lot of things.
Q: How would you letter grade the first day of practice?
Cable: I would give us a B. There was a few offsides, there were a couple of turnovers. The ball security didn't look great on offense. So a ton of work to do.
Q: How did Rolando McClain handle his first practice? It's putting quite a bit on a young guy, as a middle linebacker, a lot to learn?
Cable: You know there is. There's a ton. I thought he was very poised. He seemed to adapt to go in and call the huddle right away and he's been here, really, for less than 24 hours and this shows the level of intelligence that this guy has and his background. And he was very impressive in that way. Now he's got to learn how to play on our defense.
Q: What is your main goal, what is it that you mainly want to get out of this mini-camp?
Cable: I want us to learn. I told the team, no one is going to get a job or earn a job on this team between now and the end of June. What you can do, is A: you can get yourself cut because you don't know what you're doing and you're not working hard. And B: you can prepare yourself to go to camp and to earn a job. I think that's the most important thing is that we're really wired into what we're doing and how we're doing it.