Cable and players not happy with officiating

The game between the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs yielded 27 penalties for 240 yards. While the teams were shy of breaking any NFL records for most infractions and yards penalized, so many penalties between two teams in a single game is not very common.

The NFL record for most penalties by both teams in a game is 37, and most yards penalized by both teams is 374. Both records were set November 25, 1951 in a game between the Cleveland Browns and the Chicago Bears — before Dick Butkus, (who was eight years old at the time) and Jim Brown (15 years old) were college prospects.

Twenty seven penalties called on two teams in this league, in a game this big is unbelievable,” said Tom Cable immediately following the conclusion of the game Sunday. During the post game presser, Cable brought up or talked about the officiating three more times; the Nick Miller fumble, the total amount of penalties, and the Verran Tucker touchdown review that didn’t overturn the call on the field.

It’s safe to say that he was angry with the officiating and on Monday Cable’s irritation hadn’t subsided. When asked about the penalties, the head coach said, “Let’s get real about one thing, there are a number of things on film that we will turn in again. For example, when you get it back that [the] Stevie Brown [play] last week should have been a touchdown. Those things are unacceptable.

Many should remember the play that Cable was referring to. Seattle, in desperate need of a comeback, down 23-3, attempted an onside kick. Brown caught the kick, slipped to the ground, got back up untouched, and sprinted to the end zone for the apparent touchdown. An official ruled Brown down by contact at the spot of the recovery, and because of that the play wasn’t reviewable and the Raiders had six points taken off of the scoreboard. The Raiders ended up with a field goal instead.

Cable, still steamed about that play and others from the most recent game, verified that the league office admitted to the mistake and told the Raiders that it should have been a touchdown. “Those things are unacceptable to me,” said Cable. “We go out there to play hard and to play right.

He then continued, talking about the latest rash of plays the Raiders would be disputing this week. “There are things from this film that we’ll turn in again. Are we offsides too much? Yes. Do we have to take responsibility for illegal motion or being lined up in the neutral zone defensively? Absolutely. Holding? Absolutely. If your hands are outside, it’s illegal. They’re going to call it. And I’ve got no issue with it. But when someone’s on the ground and the ball’s still in his hands, he’s down. That’s what it is. We have work to do to clean it up. There’s no question. But it’s too many.

Every week after looking at the game tapes, teams send the league a file of plays they want reviewed by the head of officiating. The plays range from an incomplete pass being ruled complete, all the way up to an onside kick returned for a touchdown instead being ruled down at the 41. So how big was this week’s file? Was it the biggest file Cable has ever turned in? “Yes,” said Cable.

Cable was asked how many of the penalties were warranted and he responded, “I don’t know how much I can speak on that.” When asked to give a number, the coach declined to comment.

Ohhh, my goodness. I have to choose my words carefully here, because I don’t want to lose any money. There were a few plays… I don’t know, I feel like the league should look at ‘em – and like they always do, and evaluate – and see what was wrong. There were some plays – I don’t think I should get in trouble for that. There were some plays that were wrong, that we had good coverage or we had the good play, and they changed it to something else. That shouldn’t get me fined for that. There were some plays they just missed, simple as that.
- Mike Mitchell on the officiating during the game against Kansas City.

Flip Flop?

Say what you want about Tom Cable, but normally he’s a pretty straight shooter. When he replaced Jason Campbell midway through the second game of the season with Bruce Gradkowski, he didn’t flinch when telling the world that Gradkowski was his quarterback going forward.

When Gradkowski went down with a shoulder injury, Cable didn’t hesitate to inform reporters that Campbell would remain the backup quarterback when Bruce Almighty could return from injury. Even after the Raiders gained over a 1,000 yards combined in two consecutive games, Cable was steadfast in his position on Gradkowski being the starter.

Somehow, a fourth-quarter, come-from-behind victory for a third straight win, weakens Cable’s resolve when it comes to his original stance about the starting quarterback situation. Monday, Cable responding to a question about trusting Campbell, said he trusted his current starter, then followed that up with, “Your all getting with where am I going with the quarterback thing, Jason’s our quarterback right now and Bruce isn’t healthy yet, enough to have this conversation, that’s where this is at.

That response prompted the question of his commitment to his original statement about the quarterback situation. Has he wavered on who his starter will be when Gradkowski is healthy enough to play?

I really haven’t wavered, but I do have a belief in me about, you know, when you’re dealing it and you got the hot hand, and things are going in the right direction for your football team, you know, why would you make a change? And that’s where I think right now, but in the back of my mind I also say, ‘It’s not really making a change. He was a starter before I made the change with Bruce and he’s kinda’ come back and done a lot of good things for our team.’ What’s the negative of this? Well I have another problem. I got two good quarterbacks healthy again. That’s the only negative I see about it. I’m probably leaning towards staying with the hot hand. That’s just where I’m at.

The only thing to conclude from that, is that Jason Campbell is his guy…for now. So, in order to clarify that statement, Cable was asked point blank, ‘who will start if they are both healthy?’

On Monday if you ask me that, I’ll probably give you an answer, but today with Bruce not being healthy enough to do everything that we need him to do, it’s really not a fair question. But Monday, hopefully it will be and I’ll tell you then exactly what we’re going to do.

GMC praising a FORD?

Am I the only one who thinks it’s ironic that Jacoby Ford has been named a finalist for this week’s GMC Never Say Never Moment of the Week? It’s an award that represents ‘the best moment or play of the week that represents determination and perseverance.

The Raiders’ rookie receiver is up against Vikings QB Brett Favre and Jets QB Mark Sanchez, who both led their teams from behind for victories on Sunday. The winner is decided by fan voting. If you want to vote for Ford, you can do that by clicking here.

Ford became only the second player in NFL history to put up more than 140 yards receiving and 150 yards in returns in a game. The only other player to do it was Gary Ballman of the ’63 Pittsburgh Steelers.

For the game, Ford caught six passes for 148 yards and had 158 yards in kick return yardage for a combined total of 306 total yards.

Injury Front

Cable doesn’t expect Chaz Schilens to play in two weeks against Pittsburgh, but he is hopeful that the oft-injured receiver will be back on the practice field and be ready to get some time when the Miami Dolphins come to town. He also said that Rolando McClain suffered a hip pointer in Sunday’s game, but the rookie was, “much, much better,” Monday.

Nnamdi Asomugha, who has a sprained ankle, Zach Miller (foot), and John Henderson (foot) have a, “very good chance,” of playing against Pittsburgh, but he warned that he’d be more certain next week. Louis Murphy (lung) is expected to start working on Tuesday and will be ready after the bye and Tyvon Branch (concussion) may not miss any time at all.

Yeah, we have a shot. We don’t know that yet because some of those things, they’re at the end of the injury or the end of the rehab, so now we’ve got to get them back playing football. And in the terms of Chaz’s case, he’s missed everything thus far. So, to say that he’d be ready to go and all that might be a little premature. But, if we can get him back on the field, then that would put his window at maybe the next game afer that. So we’ll just see. We’ll see what we can get done come Monday.
- Cable on the odds of having ALL of his players healthy for their next game.

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