Coach Tom Cable has the Raiders rolling in the right direction and it's beginning to show on the field.
Coach Cable took things to the 'extreme' as he was the only Coach this year to go one full week without pads. Fundamental's being the key.
It was basically going back to School for the team. I've read comments about how refreshing those practices were. Everyone is up beat and ready to move foward.
“It seemed like it was weird at first when he talked about the concept, but you go through it and it’s a great concept,’’ Cable said. “We’re doing a lot of learning, get all the mistakes out the way.
Jon Alston put it best last week with this comment, “I think it’s great because we get to get our bodies and our minds re-acclimated for getting to football, so when we get in on Monday, it’s pop, pop, pop, and you don’t have any excuse about rust, because you’ve already had an opportunity to get it out of the way.’’
What did that week of practice lead to? A crisp, error free practice with pads on Monday. When's the last time you heard that? I seriously can't remember. Seriously.
One thing that I've gotten used to hearing is, "Tommy Kelly jumped offsides". It didn't happen yesturday, not once.
Check the notes from Sunday's Practice and you'll see what that week of 'fundamental no pads no hitting practice did'.
Justin Fargas has been a Raider since our decline in 2003 even sounded upbeat, “I noticed there weren’t too many repeats. I didn’t see too many blown assignments when we were going on hard cadences and things like that. Nobody was flinching, jumping offsides, things like that. Things that have killed us in the past.”
So everyone is on the same page but it doesn't matter unless JaMarcus Russell steps up. And from the look of it, Coach Cable has done a solid job guiding him.
JaMarcus Russell has been on the hot seat with the Media for awhile. The spotlight was put on bigtime when he missed an interview with the NFL Network crew last year prior to their game vs. the San Diego Chargers. The Raiders lost 34-7.
JaMarcus followed that with a 2-1 record, 49 for 78, 626 yards with 6 TD's and 2 INT's. This is where it slowly started. Instead of letting JaMarcus feel as is something was accomplished, this took place.
Tom Cable then publicly 'lashed out' on JaMarcus by calling out his lack of hard-work. That caused JaMarcus to come in to voluntary workouts in March.
Even during these camps, JaMarcus was very shaky. He's be inaccurate too often. He'd miss guys by 5 yards, he'd throw behind them and to their feet. That was prior to the camp.
JaMarcus then went on to schedule his own passing camp after the teams mini-camps and OTA's. You can see Coach Cable slowly getting to JaMarcus Russell.
Looking at notes from David White's Twitter Page, I've got hope for our cannon arm QB. When's the last time you read a comment like this about Russell? "JaMarcus much, much sharper in intermediate range over the middle."
Potential starting Left-Tackle, Mario Henderson has weighed in on Russell, “I can be sitting at home watching TV and hear that, ‘JaMarcus hasn’t done this, he hasn’t done that,” ” Henderson said. “People don’t know that he has made such great strides since coming into the league, it’s amazing."
JaMarcus talked about the coaches that Coach Cable wanted to help him, that'd be Ted Tollner and Paul Hackett.
“I think those guys are some of the best coaches. They been around for quite some years. I think you guys see that. And what they’re doing is putting us in a place for success. Everything’s a process, and right now we’re working on it.”
With news like this coming out of the first seven days of training camp, how can't we be happy?