Tom Cable and his Oakland Raiders braved the 103-degree heat on Tuesday in their preparation for the 2010 NFL season. According to weather.com, that temperature would match the 79-year old record for the day, set in 1931.
Practicing in high temperatures is surprisingly foreign to a team holding their training camp in California, but this summer has been nothing if not surprising when it comes to weather in wine country. During the month of August, Napa has recorded six days in which the high was below 70 degrees compared to only four days (all within the last six) has the mercury topped anything over 80 degrees.With their first game on the road in an expected warm and muggy Tennessee, Tom Cable is enjoying his time in the sun. In stark comparison to Napa, Nashville has only had four days (all within the last seven) in which temperatures haven’t hit at least 90 degrees. Of those four days, the temperature has hit highs of 88 degrees twice, 87 degrees, and the freezing temperature of 84 degrees.
Cable spoke with reporters after the practice. The following is the transcript:
Opening Statement: Let’s talk about who didn’t practice today. Chaz Schilens, first and foremost, he has had a procedure on his knee. It’s an arthroscopic procedure. I cannot tell you yet – he’s not back – as to a timeline, but we’ll know here pretty quick. Satele, obviously has an ankle injury. It does not look to be serious but will not force the issue there. Langston Walker, held him out today. He has some lower back tightening. Alex Daniels didn’t finish today. He moved back to defense. Got a sore groin. Jay Richardson is back at camp with the knee issue. Richard Seymour, continuing to rehab the tricep, and Chris Johnson rehabbing the hamstring.
Q: Planning on shutting Satele down for the remainder of the preseason?
A: I know I’m going to shut him down this week. There’s a chance he could be ready to go, but I’m just not going to push that, I’m not going to do that.
Q: With Schilens having arthroscopic surgery, does it bode well that you’ll only lose him for a couple of weeks?
A: We hope so. That’s what I’m waiting, for him to get back so we know more. We just don’t have any of those answers for you right now.
Q: Good practicing in the heat?
A: It was great. It was exactly 103. It was perfect. But we needed it. I talked about before, we had a chance to go to Dallas, it was like 104 when we got off the plane. We played in Chicago last week. We were hoping to have a lot of humidity, and we just didn’t get it. It was actually a pretty cool night. What I’m getting at is the fact that we’ve got to go and open at Tennessee, so we’re going to need to be in this kind of environment a little bit. And it was good for it. I really am excited how we handled it today as a football team. We just went to work, and that’s what’s cool about this group of guys. There was no complaining or moping around or anything like that. We just went right to work and, ‘Yeah, it’s hot. So what. Give me something cold to drink and we’ll keep moving.’ I like that about our team.
Q: What will it be like to finally have a home game this week?
A: We talked a little bit about it this morning. We’re all very excited … to come home. We’ve been on the road now, two weeks in a row now, two long trips, but now we get to come home and be in front of our crowd. We’re all tickled about it, excited that we’re playing the 49ers this weekend, and we’ll look forward to it.
Q: Since it’s the third game, will you treat it like a regular season game or just another preseason contest?
A: I think a little bit of both. I think a little bit of both goes into play there. The biggest thing right now is to keep evaluating our football team. There’s some real issues in terms of – you know, the cut is approaching. We have to make some tough calls coming up here, and then at the same time we’re going to treat this week a little bit more like a normal game week would be.
Q: What caused you to move Alex Daniels back to the defensive side of the ball?
A: I just didn’t feel like we made the improvement as quickly as I’d hoped. He was brought in here, started out on defense to be a pass rusher, and obviously, it’s good to get a set of legs back over there. It just didn’t feel like, to me, it was working.
Q: How is DHB feeling?
A: Much better. Much better. It looked like it today. He ran around well and looked crisp, fresh legs underneath him, as did Darren McFadden and a couple of the other guys that came back. It was good to see.
Q: With Darren McFadden missing so much time, do you plan on playing him in the coming game as normal or ease him back into action?
A: Our plan right now is to go through the week like normal, that he’s back and ready to go. We’ll be smart in terms of his workload, is probably the only issue here. Once we get there Saturday we go play.
Q: Since Bruce Gradkowski has missed time this preseason, are you planning on giving him more rep’s than you normally would?
A: I think you may see him play a little bit more, yes, in these next two weeks.
Q: Will he (Gradkowski) be the second quarterback in the game?
A: I think so at this point, but we won’t do all that until Thursday, Friday, but we’ll certainly let you know.
Q: What is the hottest weather for a game that you’ve been involved in as a player or coach?
A: 2006 at Carolina to open when I was with Atlanta. It was miserable. It was brutal.
Q: How was Satele doing prior to getting hurt?
A: There’s a lot of good things. I think there’s some improvement. I’m kind of excited about the direction he was going. To me this is a little bit of a setback.
Q: How has Robert Gallery performed so far?
A: I liked the Chicago game. I didn’t obviously like the two penalties to start with, but he’d be the first to tell you that better focus and concentration. But his overall play improved from Week 1, and that’s really all we care about is to get better every week.
Q: Who is your starter at center with Satele out?
A: I don’t know yet.
Q: It seems the players are more aggressive and focused this year. Does this camp feel different to you than last year?
A: I think that’s a good term for our team. We’re trying to have a purpose every day and put a focus to something every day. The mantra for the staff has been to go out as a position coach and make one player at your position better every day. And if we can do that collectively, I think it allows us to improve in the right steps, but I think for the standpoint, it’s just been have a purpose every day.
Q: With 12 sacks in the first two games, do think the defense is beginning to create an identity for itself?
A: I hope so. That’s exciting and it’s very positive, certainly. Now let’s see ‘em continue to do it. I think we have a chance to have that kind of impact with our defensive front. We’ve really not pressure at all. A few times but nothing like you might in the regular season. It’s just really been our pass rush of our four down people.
Q: What about Saturday impressed you the most about Kamerion Wimbley?
A: I don’t know if it so much impressed me. I see it every day. It just was a matter of he got a couple opportunities. He said it best. He got one early and it really got him energized. The way he beat him on the first one kind of set up the second and the third one. A lot of it’s timing, being in the right place and the right guy. You get him with the right move and then you kind of set up some other things. He said it best, the first one kind of got him juiced and ready to go.
Q: Does the fact that the defense has eight sacks against the number one offense on the opposing teams carry more weight for you?
A: It does. I think that is far more important than the big number overall. I think it’s how we’re doing vs. the other team’s starters.