Tom Cable met with the media Thursday after practice. He talked about his new starting quarterback, his special teams, a new edition to the practice squad, and some of his next opponent this Sunday.
The following is the transcript of that press conference:
Cable opening statement: Okay, up to speed on the injuries; [Chaz] Schilens (knee) did not practice, [Robert] Gallery (hamstring) did not practice, [Travis] Goethel (lower back) did not practice, [John] Henderson (foot) did not practice. Guys who were limited today; Hiram Eugene (hamstring), Chris Johnson (hamstring), Walter McFadden (hamstring), and Michael Huff. Michael Huff, like a illness or a headache. We think due to an illness. Full today was Michael Bush (thumb) and Richard Seymour (hamstring).
Q: ‘Limited’ guys expected to play on Sunday?
A: I would say we’ll do that tomorrow but you’re looking at McFadden being the most questionable.
Q: What about Gallery?
A: I don’t know. He’s very questionable right now.
Q: Henderson gonna play?
A: I believe so, but again that will probably be a game time decision.
Q: Seen a player make catches in traffic like Larry Fitzgerald?
A: I think Andre Johnson’s pretty good, too, a guy we face next. I think they’re both elite players. The thing about Larry is he’s really good running after the catch. So if he does get his hands on it you have to get him on the ground.
Q: Their other receivers developing too?
A: Breaston’s probably been the most impressive guy. To me I think, the opportunity he’s been given, he’s taken hold of it, he’s making plays, he’s become a go-to guy because Larry’s getting a lot of coverage rolled to him, a lot of double coverages and Breaston’s answered.
Q: Jason Campbell No. 2 QB?
Q: How is Chaz’s knee?
A: We’re making progress. I would say they’re probably happy with where he’s at right now. We still have a ways to go but we’re progressing.
Q: Any ETA on his return?
A: No, not at this point.
Q: What was your take on Samson Satele’s play from Sunday?
A: Good. He was solid and everything. He handled those pressures extremely well, got us targeted right and was able to control the line of scrimmage that way. Where he really showed up was running the ball.
Q: What are the benefits and disadvantages of rotating left tackles?
A: I think if you look at the second half, the benefit is how they both played. We got both of them into a good rhythm and we got good play out of both of them. The downside of it, you’d just like to have a guy that’s settled in there and hopefully we’re going to get there by doing this.
Q: Being young, does it give each player an opportunity to watch the other for improvement?
A: Absolutely. When Mario is not in there and Jared is in there, their job is to watch. To know what the play is, watch if there’s any issues — they can be a great help to each other when they come off between series.
Q: Cardinals lost 41-7 last game. Is it hard to get a gauge on a team like that?
A: I don’t think so. I think this is a good team that’s two years removed from being a special playoff team. So you can see who they are. They are a very talented, very good football team but they have some turnover issues. Hopefully they will continue that Sunday.
Q: Both the Raiders and Cardinals share an opponent in the Rams. Does that help you compare your team to theirs in any way?
A: Um, I think you can get some information that way. Definitely. But we have to be focused on us and we’ve got to do better, regardless of who we are playing.
Q: Dockett and Porter get so much attention. Does it free up other guys on defense?
A: You have to pay attention to them. They’re that good.
Q: Double-team Dockett?
A: He is a very, very good player. When you talk about defensive linemen, you’re looking for a guy that’s disruptive, that can play all three downs, penetrate – he can do that – but I think his greatest asset is ability to rush the passer in one-on-one situations.
Q: How is ‘Bruce’ Campbell coming along as a rookie?
A: I think he is on the right climb. He is moving in a direction that we want him too. There’s some days out there where he gets you so excited, and then there are other days where he has to clean some things up to continue that consistent improvement. I think a lot of that for him is learning what it takes to be a pro lineman. It’s an everyday job, it’s 365 days a year, it’s the nature of the position.
Q: He still staying just at guard?
A: Thus far yes.
Q: Any different preparations from last road game?
A: I think we’ve talked about what it is playing on t he road and the crowd noise, how we want to handle audibles, how we want to handle the line of scrimmage. Certainly we learned from the Tennessee game.
Q: Jason Campbell told us that he was asked not to talk to us. Did that come from you?
A: I’m not aware of that. I did not know that.
Q: You signed Quentin Scott. What’s his position on the team?
A: He’ll play linebacker um-hmm.
Q: What’s his story?
A: From Northern Iowa. Was in Chicago’s camp all the way until the last cut. Big, tall, rangy guy that can run. That was obvious today in day one. But I think adding him to the practice squad is a good move in that it puts another really quality athlete. You know, just after one practice he was impressive in some things.
Q: Which linebacker spot?
A: Umm, we released…umm…Slade Norris and added Quentin Scott.
Q: What did you see from the kick return game last week with Jacoby Ford and Johnnie Lee Higgins?
A: You know, for me, some excitement, because we’ve been trying to get back there and we’re really close on the kickoff return. Gotta’ clean up just a couple of things now. And then in the punt return, we had a chance, you know, and didn’t get the punter blocked. But we have a real opportunity now. I feel like we can have weapons again and be able to score some points, change field position. So I’m very excited where we’re headed, and I like the progress that those two groups are making — both the punt return and the kickoff return.
Q: Had trouble with coverage during the preseason in kick coverage. Is that problem solved?
A: So far, we’ve been good, but we’ve challenged our guys this week. We’ve got a real test in both these returners for Arizona. They put one for a long touchdown return on a kickoff return last week, against a very fast team. So, we’re well aware of both their guys, and we’ve got our work cut out for us.
Q: Some players might not express how angry they are about not starting. Have you noticed a change in Bruce Gradkowski this week since he’s starting?
A: He’s the same. You know, Bruce is Bruce. I mean he is — every day he’s into it. He loves football. He loves practicing. He loves the preparation. He’s the same guy every day.
Q: With all that Gradkowski has been through, fighting for a spot on the team, getting injured after getting the starting job, then getting injured in the offseason, how has all that translated to the field for him?
A: Well I think what it does more than anything, you know I think it earns the respect of your teammates. You know, to battle through all those things, and still to stand tall. He didn’t panic. He didn’t shy away from anything. He was very disappointed, obviously, when he strained a pec lifting weights. You know, he’s gotta’ have surgery on that. And then, he comes to camp and strains a groin, and now he doesn’t get to play for two weeks. But the thing about Bruce, you know I admire that part of people, is that whatever negative or whatever curve ball you throw at him, you just take it and you keep pushing.