Oakland Raiders Head Coach Tom Cable spoke to the media immediately following Wednesday's practice session at the team's Alameda, Calif., facility.
Coach Cable: Okay, injury update on the guys who we expected to come back and practice: [Chaz] Schilens, practice...stayed limited, looked fine. [Darren] McFadden practiced, limited, looked fine. Robert Gallery practiced limited, did fine. Probably all three of those guys, 50-75 percent of the practice. People who didn't: [Tony] Stewart, [Cornell] Green, expect Green back on Monday, full-go, ready to go. Nick Miller, Jon Alston, from the game did everything today, he's fine, passed all of his tests. Ricky Brown obviously still out. Ellis having a scope today. Gerard Warren and Chris Johnson did not practice either.
Q: If you get Gallery and Green back for the Chiefs, what do you do with center?
Coach Cable: [Samson] Satele
Q: What has Satele done to win that job back from Chris [Morris]?
Coach Cable: Playing well, very well. When you evaluate his play, and Chris' play when Chris was playing center, he surpassed it, and he's been really a bright sport for us lately.
Q: Is that what you were looking for, you traded for this guy, it's someone you obviously expected to be a starter?
Coach Cable: Yeah, and I think that him missing all that time because of the shoulder surgery, he's had enough work now in the system where he's comfortable and he can direct protections and all those things that really matter.
Q: How hard was it these past several weeks to rearrange all those guys on the offensive line? It wasn't just one move.
Coach Cable: It's difficult for everyone else; your quarterback, your runners, for all that. It's difficult as a unit to get in sync, so it's nice to be getting healthy, and now we have some guys who have played, so we've actually built some experience and some depth.
Q: In recent years, or ever since you've been here, the bye has always been pretty early in the schedule. With it being right here at the mid-season point, is that one reason to go a little lighter in practice, and only going two days?
Coach Cable: Yeah, I think this team needs to get fresh physically, but also mentally. We've had pretty good effort as a football team, but if you look at us, we have a lot of nicked up guys that we need to see if we can get over that hump. We need to get that group that we've been talking a lot about to get over that hump, and be all the way back, as opposed to being a day here, a day there and not certain on game day whether we have them or not.
Q: How's the self-scouting that you said has been going on, how's that been going, specifically on special teams?
Coach Cable: That was one area where we were able to continue grow, and we were able to prove where that growth came from, and what needed to be. It was all in the return game. We were fortunate to get a little bit of return out of both those guys; Jonathan Holland, Johnnie Lee Higgins. Coverage has been really solid, other then that one return we had in Houston. The kickers have been outstanding. So that part of it; excellent. But we needed to create some returns. We were able to do so Sunday, but now we need that to become us, we need some consistency with it.
Q: Did you see in the self-scouting anything you could be doing differently, calling plays, did you see some things you could change?
Coach Cable: Well, there are some things that need to be changed, I don't know if it's necessarily how you call a play, or whatever, but maybe it's more completions, to be quite honest with you. When you look at the self-scout, it really is all about completions.
Q: Is Holland going to be the kick returner, or is that open? Is that going to be dependent on if Nick Miller comes back?
Coach Cable: I think it depends on Nick's health. We expect him to go to work on Monday, but right now, it's getting him where he can run, he's running on the treadmill, and then you have to transition out here. Can he get that all done by Monday? We'll see.
Q: Is self-scouting done entirely by the coaching staff, or do you have some fresh sets of eyes from your personnel people to look at stuff too, and come up with something that maybe you may not see, just because you're too close to it?
Coach Cable: No, you do it on your play, the actual stuff that's going on. It's not a matter of needing fresh eyes, it's a matter of the data that you get back. When you're going from week to week, planning for the next one, planning for the next one, sometime you tend to get away from something that you shouldn't, or you're doing too much of something you shouldn't be doing. So if gives us a chance to put it all out there, and really look at the whole thing from top to bottom.
Q: Have you had a chance to look at the Chiefs the past couple of weeks, to see how much they've changed?
Coach Cable: We have. We've been playing some teams, following them following us, that kind of thing. So we have seen a little bit of them. They look to be a little bit similar, there are a couple things they are doing that jump out at you that are different. But we'll start on that today.
Q: What kind of things do you do out here in practice, in general what kind of things are you working on?
Coach Cable: Everything we did in practice today, and everything we will do tomorrow, will be directly related to what the negative issues have been thus far, in the first half. It is very much focusing on just us, and where we've had problems, and where they need to get cleaned up, and trying to get some things cleared up for certain individuals. And that's the way it will be tomorrow as well.
Q: Does that make having a bye in the middle of the season an advantage over maybe the third or fourth week of the year where you really don't have a trend set?
Coach Cable: I think it's huge. I think because of the fact that we've played eight games and then the ability to really rest your team up. It's been physical, and now it's going to get even more physical in the second half. It's imperative that we are fresh physically as well as mentally.
Q: How can the kick and punt returners get better, how can they improve?
Coach Cable: Well, the fact of the matter is, sustaining blocks and hitting it as a returner. You know, making one decision, putting your foot in the ground and going. I think we had a little bit of that going Sunday, but we've not had much of that, quite frankly, we've not.
Q: Higgins got hit a couple time in the game the other day, it looked like he was okay with it, is that what you want to see out of him?
Coach Cable: Yeah, I think you always have to do that; you have to take another shot after he had a big shot like he did in that Monday night game. To me now, he's back, he's smiling, he's bopping around again, and that's who he is.
Q: Your team has the tools to be an explosive offense, but you're not quite there yet. The identity going forward, is that going to be more of a ball control, play defense type of team?
Coach Cable: We have got to push it, in terms of throwing; we have got to have three or four substance plays throwing the football every game to win in this league. You can't shy away from that, you can't say you're going to run it every time; you have to do that in order to win in this league. You really can't shy away from it, you really have to press on, and you've got to find a way to get the ball thrown outside, and get it in those guys' hands.