Jason La Canfora of NFL.com reported at the end of September that Randy Hanson had been enlisted by the Raiders’ defensive backs to help them game plan their next opponent on the schedule.
At the time, it seemed like an odd statement coming from Randy Hanson’s attorney, but the team’s defensive backs suddenly became more difficult to find during the week. The only times that they’ve been available to talk to has been after games since the report came out, and even then it hasn’t been all that easy tracking them down.
Finally, on Wednesday prior to the Raiders’ practice, Stanford Routt was cornered at his locker for what began as a standard recap of his play from Sunday. It ended as anything but standard.
Before going into the comments that Routt made during the interview, let’s recap the original story. Here’s an excerpt from La Canfora’s story:
McGuinn said that despite Hanson being barred from the Raiders facility, several players have continued to reach out to the coach and solicit his advice. McGuinn said players managed to get him a team laptop that previously belonged to Willie Brown, with the defensive backs in particular hoping he could help with game plans and give them tips.
Said McGuinn: “Before their last preseason game several players contacted Randy and said they needed help. They said, ‘If we get you a computer can you help us come up with some tips?’ Randy worked with them and they played really well in that game, particularly the defensive backs.
“So the guys asked him to do it again and he met with them before the Monday night game in San Diego (Sept. 14), and the defensive backs played well again. (Owner) Al Davis doesn’t know (Hanson has) been providing detailed coaching for these guys, and Randy has not gotten any credit for it.”
So obviously, the question that has been on my mind ever since reading that was, ‘Is there any truth to that?’
It turns out there is some truth, but nothing that conclusively backs up the story as told. Routt was asked if the Cable-Hanson situation had an affect on the team. The fifth year corner had little to say about the issue.
The way I look at it is, it didn’t happen on the field, so it doesn’t even matter. We only worry about what happens in between those white lines. Anything else that goes on, that’s it, I don’t have any control over it, none of the players do. Hell, none of the coaches really have control over it. It doesn’t matter, so we’ll just worry about what we can control. I know that’s something I try to take to heart.
But what about the report that defensive players had enlisted Hanson to help them game plan prior to games? Is there anything to that or is it nothing but another rumor that has turned out to be false? That was what I wanted to know, so I asked if he knew anything about that actually happening.
Did what now?
Did Hanson call the DB’s together for the first couple of games to help with the game plan?
No, I don’t know anything about us meeting together as a defensive back group.
By this time, my intent was understood by other reporters, so they began to help rephrase my question. One reporter mentioned that there had been computer correspondence.
I don’t anything about that.
Another reporter explained that question, by mentioning that Hanson’s attorney had said that some of the defensive backs had sought the expertise of the broken-jaw, defensive assistant.
His attorney? I don’t know anything about that. I can tell you that ever since training camp I have had a phone conversation with him or two, but as far as players calling him, asking him for this tip or that tip or whatever you want to call it, not that I know of. I’ve had a conversation with him or two. I didn’t know it was illegal.
Illegal? No, not that I’m aware of, but it might not be something that Coach Cable is going to be happy to hear about. It also partially confirms the claim that Hanson’s attorney made about at least one defensive back getting some advice from the assistant in exile.
Does this mean that it’s safe to assume that everything we’ve been reading about regarding the altercation is exactly the way it happened? No. According to Cable, when everything is all said and done, we’ll understand why he’s kept everything so close to the vest and not made any statements regarding the alleged altercation between he and Hanson.
For those of you wondering why Routt would be calling Hanson if he wasn’t doing it to get advice, the cornerback does have a history with the coach.
He’s been my third down coach for the past, ever since the ’06 season, and I know he’s helped me out a lot in the nickel and playing in the slot, with my improvement and awareness in the slot, so I’m always going to have a good relationship with him, you know what I mean? I remember, we were playing the Broncos or Chargers, he may send me a text message saying, `Hey, watch out for this play, they like to do it.’ I don’t’ really let what happened get to me. I don’t take sides on anything like that.
Many on the outside looking in have already made up their minds and are already beginning to call on the Napa County District Attorney, Gary Lieberstein, to file charges. There are crimes and then there are crimes that can be prosecuted, but the D.A. is noncommittal so far as to what he’s going to do.
Monday, Lieberstein’s message promised some sort of announcement late Wednesday or Thursday. Maybe then, we’ll know how much of Hanson’s story to take seriously. For now, we’ll have to go by what we’ve been told–from ALL sides.
Which isn’t much.