Quote sheet: Cable and Morrison
Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
Courtesy of the Carolina PR department, here is a conference call transcript with Raiders' coach Tom Cable and linebacker Kirk Morrison. The call was before Oakland cut cornerback DeAngelo Hall so Cable didn't discuss it.
On how the team is responding to last week and looking forward to Carolina
Last week was tough on us. That's certainly not something that we're very proud of and obviously we have a lot of work to do to get our team in a competitive frame of mind. That starts with putting last week behind us. We have done that. We start today with Carolina and obviously they present a huge task for us. They are very physical on the line of scrimmage, on both sides of the ball and have an excellent run game. They have tremendous play-makers offensively and a veteran quarterback. Defensively they play the game the ways it's supposed to. It's 100 miles an hour, very physical, they bring some pressure and kind of mix things up.
On East Coast travel being a factor in their game preparation
No. The most important thing we can do right now is take care of the Oakland Raiders. We've had to make those trips ourselves, gone out to the East Coast, we've had the Jets come out here, Atlanta has come out here. Everybody has to do it. It's just part of what the League is, scheduling and all that. I think those kinds of things are really secondary to us being focused on us.
On protecting the football being key in their preparation
It is every week. I think the turnover issue in the National Football League speaks for itself. If you can take care of it and you don't give it up, your chances of winning go up tremendously. If you do do a good job of taking it away, your chances go up tremendously. We are aware of that and it is something we work on every day.
On what has gone right for the Raiders this season
I think we are learning in a lot of ways how to be a team. I think we have proven a number of times now that we can compete. We proved it when we do it right with great focus and great effort, that we are capable of winning. It's just really getting them through that part of it, getting that faith, that belief and confidence in them to expect to go out and win games rather than 'see how that thing is going to go,' see if we have a shot here at the fourth quarter. Changing that mentality I think is the one thing I feel good about as we're starting to head in the right direction. Even with the struggles the last two weeks we're seeing the right things, we're practicing it the right way. That's just the process you go through as you learn how to win.
On the development of JaMarcus Russell so far
I would say it's been good and, its been bad. There are moments where you say wow and moments where you say man we still have long way to go. The thing that's great about JaMarcus is he is very stable emotionally. It never gets too high and it never gets too low. He handles himself very well and leads his football team the way you should in a huddle. He manages the game well. I think those are the real bright spots. Now what we have to do is get him kind of cutting it loose, just letting it go and not processing too much, just play.
On the Panthers running game
They are both very good. It starts up front for them. They're going to be healthy on the offensive line, and that's a tremendous group and they're well coached. With that group of offensive linemen I think a lot of guys could have success running the football, but they're fortunate. They have two great runners back there. So it makes it twice as tough. We have our hands full with that.
On the Panthers' defense
It's going to be a tough task. It's probably a good thing for us right now because we've been through it with Baltimore. I liken them to Baltimore a little bit in terms of their style of play and the way they line up and knock you around. They are very physical, very high in intensity and a lot of speed on the field. It's a tough task, but its one that we're prepared for and we'll see what we can do on Sunday.
On how the team is reacting to Sunday's loss and if they are bouncing back
Oh yeah. That's the one thing. I was asked in an earlier question, what's one of the good things that are happening in what has been a rough first half. We have good character. We've been able to stay in there together and keep fighting for each other. We really have broke this season down. We're fortunate to play in the division that we do, it's still up for grabs. There are a lot of unknowns out there and we have the whole second half to play. What we can do is worry about us, keep getting up off the ground when we get knocked down and continue to move forward.
On DeAngelo Hall possibly being waived today
I think later today we'll address that issue, right now we are not ready to do that.
On their cornerback situation
We're a team that's fortunate. We have more than just one corner here. We like who we have playing on our football team. Who we're going to line up with on Sunday we feel good about. I think if your asking how does Nnam feel about it, Nnamdi (Asomugha) feels great. He's a good player, believes in himself and believes in what we're doing.
On last week's game
We felt embarrassed last week. That was a tough one to swallow. That was one of those games where I feel like you just look back and say "what just happened?" That's the kind of feeling that we have.
Whether the Atlanta game challenged their pride
Definitely. I think so. One thing about the NFL that I've learned is that you play for this team. You play for the name on the front of your jersey. But also, at the end of the day, it's also about the guy with the name on the back of his jersey. With that said, you are playing for yourself probably too. What you put out there on the field reflects on the name on the back of your jersey too. I think a lot of guys felt that we didn't play up to our expectations that I know we can play at. We've had some good games this year but we know that when we do things right, this is going to happen. That didn't happen last week. So I think Jake's assessment was right. We're going to come out and play a different ballgame because we don't want to repeat what we had last week. It's something that I want to let go and not even think about it anymore and move forward. I think that a lot of the guys on the team understand that and understand that we need to play our style of football, which is knocking guys back on defense and letting our offense run the football.
On a report that DeAngelo Hall might be let go
It's all news. We've had news and we've been through this already in the beginning of the season where our head coach was getting fired after every game. We've seen news, we've seen reports. We as players, we've had to go through a lot at the same time and it's us going out on the field and performing. We can't let the outside forces or what you see on TV affect what's going on in this organization. So right now I don't think guys are going to let it affect them at all. We just have to go out there and play and not worry about it.
On whether criticism of ownership has made it difficult
It's just been difficult for us because we know we're a better football team than what we've been showing. That's the big point. You look at the games that we've played this year. We lost on a last-second field goal to Buffalo. Against San D
iego, we were up by two scores in the fourth quarter and we lost that football game. Then we didn't play well against Denver and New Orleans. You look at what happened the last couple of weeks with Baltimore and Atlanta and we feel like we should at least be at even or even over .500 just because of the talent that we have and the kind of football that we know we can play. That's what's frustrating because we go out and practice and we've seen it in practice, we've performed in games but we haven't put it together for four quarters. When we have done that, we've won two ballgames. When we haven't done that, we've lost six. That's where the mindset is right now and that's where the frustration comes from.
On what it's like being around Al Davis
He's just a guy that wants to win. He's seen winning. He's been a part of three Super Bowls. He's won some championships and been around five or six Super Bowls. We have an owner that knows about winning, that's been around winning and knows how to do it. Even our motto is "just win, baby" and a commitment to excellence. That's an owner that's willing to do things to make sure that the team is in the right position to win football games. That's what I admire about him and that's one thing that being a Raider is all about. You want to find any way to get it done, and we're going to find a way.
On stopping Carolina's running game
It's going to be tough. They've got two great backs. When I say great backs, they've got Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams. They run the ball hard. We know Stewart. These are guys that you can't just get them down with an initial tackle. Those guys keep their feet moving. They are strong. They definitely can hit the hole and go, we need to fill our gaps. A lot of times we've been out of position. There are so many different things that go into the running game that we have to be stout on. We have to be disciplined. We have to tackle better. It's a collective effort, it's not just one guy. It's all eleven of us working well together and that's what the goal is this week. Let's see if we can get all eleven guys to be in the right position, know what's going to happen and be there for it when it does happen. We understood that over the last couple of weeks because the rushing numbers that we gave up are pretty bad, but at the same time, you see that Atlanta rushed the ball 57 times last week. That's unheard of in the NFL for one game. We know what's ahead of us, we know what teams are going to try to do and how they are going to attack us now, but to us we're going to put ourselves in front and go out and play as hard as we can. Because we know what they're going to do to us.
On the situation of DeAngelo Hall
I can't really say. If it does happen or if it won't, I'm not sure. But if it does, the competition on this football team is just going to increase because there are a lot of guys that want to get more playing time who have been practicing well and playing well. When you are 2-6, sometimes you look for change. You look for guys to step up and that's all over the team. All over the board, I know there's a lot of guys that definitely want to step up and get on that football field and show what they can do.