Conference Call with Cable

Head Coach Tom Cable spoke with the media through a conference call on Sunday evening.

Tom Cable's opening statement…

"Some updates here injury wise. (Chaz) Schilens with the knee, obviously, this is going to be a three to six week issue for us. (Samson) Satele will be ready to go back to work tomorrow. (Michael) Bush fractured his left thumb and will need a procedure on it, and whether or not that keeps him out remains to be seen.

Jason Campbell suffered a stinger like we thought after the x-rays yesterday, but does not appear to be too serious. Just needs to rehab it to make sure he's ready to go. He also fell on his wrist, his right wrist.

Chris Johnson will be ready to go back to work. Other injuries in the game: (Joey) Thomas with a concussion will be day-to-day obviously. Desmond Bryant hyperextended an elbow; that'll be a day-to-day issue as well. Jay Richardson will not be ready to play Thursday night, and Alex Daniels will probably not be ready to play Thursday night."

Q: With Campbell, which is the bigger issue at this point: is it the stinger or is it the wrist?

"Right now, I guess it's probably the wrist as far as we can tell."

It wasn't on the same play was it?

"No, it was actually on the series before." Samson, when he comes back, if he's healthy, will he get his job back and go right back in, or is that something you want to look at a little bit longer between him and Jared Veldheer?"

"No, I want to look at. There were a few things from last night's game that I wasn't pleased with but there were also a lot of good things at the center position. I think the fact that Samson is back and ready to go from the injury, that is the most important thing."

Did Bruce Gradkowski solidify himself as the backup quarterback?"

"I think he impressed. There are things he would probably liked to have done different, he has a couple more plays to make out there, but overall, he definitely showed himself well and strengthened our football team at the quarterback position.

But you're not willing to say he's the backup at this point?

"I think he is. I never said he wasn't."

There was a competition though before, right?

"Absolutely. But remember, he hadn't done anything."

You guys didn't do a lot of padded or live stuff in camp. Do you think you needed to do more in retrospect?

"No, we were fine that way. That wasn't an issue."

So what was the issue?

"I'd like to see us wrap up when we tackle. I think that was the biggest negative we took away from the game. And I'm very disappointed in our kick coverage teams, those two things, and we need to play better at offensive tackle. Those three things you can put your hand on pretty clear."

After looking at the tape, what did you see from Veldheer?

"I think I saw a guy playing center for the first time in this league, and he needs to learn where to put his helmet a little more consistently. But when he did, it was pretty good stuff, and so there is a lot to grown on. I thought it was actually a pretty good effort by him."

For you guys to go 20 for 30 in passing and have probably five or six drops, for that many passes to be on target, what does that say for the timing in your passing game as compared to where you were last year."

"I think more importantly the fact that we've had so many guy in and out—Chaz out, Louis Murphy has had a time out, Darrius Heyward-Bey had a time out—I think it bodes well for the direction of where we are headed. I think it speaks volumes to how far we've come from years past. But if you look at those drops, we still have to get our hands for third down.

We were pretty good last week in Chicago and last week we dropped off again. There is a direct correlation between us having success and how we are as a football team on third down, and you can say the same thing on defense—we weren't very good on third down last night."

Has Marcel Reece done enough with the blocking where he has a good chance, or maybe is the leader to start at fullback, or is that still wide open too?

"He just continues to get better and that's the thing he has shown us—that from one week to the next he goes out and improving on whatever his negatives were from the week before. It's starting to show up more and more that you can coach this guy and he'll take it and he'll go get it done. I certainly think he has shown himself the right way."

His dimension as a receiver is something none of the other fullbacks can offer?

"That's a true statement."

With Heyward-Bey and Murphy, how would you assess the play of the receivers?"

"I think there were some opportunities out there that we didn't take advantage of, a few drops, but I thought the group as a whole would like to see more happen there at the end. We had a chance to really win the game even with just a little bit of time left and we didn't get it done. I think overall the group is moving forward the right way. I would just like to see a few more guys step up."

Stanford Routt has had a lot of playing time in the last few weeks. Is he still pushing for that starting job?

"I don't think there's any question. He's had a tremendous opportunity presented to him with the injury to Chris Johnson. Stanford has certainly taken the opportunity and done well with it."

What did you see out of Darren McFadden?

"I saw explosive play. I saw a guy run hard between the tackles. It's nice to get him back and it's good for him to get his first action. And I've said all along, when he's healthy, I think he's very important to what we're trying to do."

How did you think Chris Cooper and Quentin Groves played last night?

"I think Cooper is a consistent guy who shows up and does things right. Played the boot well a couple of times, rushed the passer well a couple of times, and disrupted the pocket. Groves showed up a couple times, as a linebacker playing the pass defense and then rushing the passer, hurried the quarterback twice."

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