A day after the Raiders made history for the second week in a row, Tom Cable took to the podium to discuss the state of the Raiders. The biggest question coming from yesterday’s beat down of the Seattle Seahawks was the health of star cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha.
“Obviously, you’re gonna’ want to know about Nnamdi Asomugha,” Cable began. “He does not have a fracture in the ankle. We’ll know more Wednesday in terms of the extent of the injury. We’re doing all of the tests and everything, so that we know exactly what’s going on. It just appears to be an ankle sprain and how long that means, or this week or any of that, really won’t know here for about 48 hours.”
Cable also revealed that center Samson Satele had a knee sprain during the game, Zach Miller is still dealing with a sore foot, and Darrius Heyward-Bey has a sore shoulder. Fortunately for the Raiders, none of those injuries seem to be serious. Miller was seen on crutches in the locker room, but Cable said that he should be fine for Sunday. Asomugha is also on crutches, but Cable said that was for precautionary reasons.
Some won’t be happy about Cable’s answer to the question about Randy Moss. Cable was asked if the Raiders would consider picking the embattled receiver off the waiver wire and Cable said that he wouldn’t rule it out.
“I know he would have to clear waivers and all those sort of things, but I think we have an interest in anyone we think could help us. It just hasn’t been a discussion yet and the fact that it just happened. I mean there’s so much that has to go on.”
When asked point blank if he hadn’t ruled out bringing Moss into the fold, Cable responded, “Well I wouldn’t. I don’t think you ever do if you think it can make your team better.”
Personally, and it seems to be a popular ‘hope’ in the Raiders press room and on Twitter, I would love to see Moss team up with Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens on the Bengals. Having those three in the same locker room bitching about Carson Palmer, would be a reality program that I would add to my DVR’s season pass.
If Asomugha isn’t able to go this Sunday, Cable said that Chris Johnson has now been cleared and that he would team up with Stanford Routt in normal situations and Jeremy Ware would step in when the team goes into the nickel package. While losing Asomugha would be a big loss on any team, Cable is happy with his depth at corner.
“The only thing, we’re pretty blessed here is, we got a bunch of good corners. You know, Jeremy Ware went in there yesterday and had a couple of struggles but really played well for being thrown in the fire like that, and he can get better. And there’s some things, you know we just got done with him and talking to him on film what he can do fundamentally, I think will help his game. But he’s got it. He’s got the mentality for it and to play that man coverage, and he doesn’t have fear, but he can certainly clean it up. And I think we’re lucky because we have great depth at that spot.”
What has been talked about by players and coaches quite a bit over the last few weeks is the issue of trust. It’s been common to hear players talk about trusting one another to do their respective jobs and concentrate on their own individual tasks on each play. Since the San Francisco game it’s certainly paid off. The Raiders outscored their past two opponents 92-17, and all but maybe a handful of plays, they have looked dominating for the last 120 minutes of action.
“We started this push for that [trust] in camp,” said Cable. “Some of the things that we did in terms of team-building and really kinda’ listening to each other, learning to communicate with each other.”
Cable said that he thought it was interesting that on a football team certain position groups didn’t even know players in other position groups and he used offensive lineman and defensive backs as his example. He also said that getting that trust on the team is important for a winning program and it has been an emphasis that he thinks is improving.
“You can’t trust anyone, you can’t commit to anything until you really understand what it is that they’re about,” said Cable. “And I think that this team has taken to that, and I think they continue to do that.”
This Raiders team is beginning to sound much like the Raiders teams of the 70’s, minus the hi-jinx. Cable commented on how loose the team seems in the locker room or during the down times, but that when it’s time to work, they are working hard.
As far as the Kansas City game coming up in Oakland, Cable said, “I fully expect the crowd to be there and to be going nuts, because this is going to be a fun time.” Cable said he ‘really’ believes that the Raider Nation will help the Raiders have a huge homefield advantage on Sunday and reiterated a comment he had previously made.
“I think that the way we’ve played, and I think the investment that we’ve put into this thing as a football team and as an organization — I mentioned this before, when we start to do our part, we’re going to need you, and we need them now. We need to take over that stadium in silver and black on Sunday.“