After one game, the Tom Cable Raiders don't appear to be all that different from the Lane Kiffin Raiders. Actually, they might be a little bit worse, seeing as how Kiffin at least had them playing somewhat competitive football.
Perhaps that's because Kiffin wasn't asking second-year quarterback JaMarcus Russell to "empty the playbook," sort of like Cable did on Sunday afternoon when the Saints bulldozed the Raiders back to Oakland.
But, hey, give the new Raiders coach some credit. He seems to have learned from his mistake and now realizes that Russell is still in a "developmental stage," and perhaps throwing the kitchen sink at him wasn't exactly the best game plan. From Raiders beat writer Jerry McDonald of the Contra Costa Times:
"We certainly put him in a lot of situations, moving him around, move the pocket, three steps, five-, seven-steps and play-action, and really kind of ran the gamut with him," Cable said. "And I think we really found out a lot about where he is. And it's obvious he's still in a stage of development. It's obvious maybe he can't handle that much. But it doesn't changJaMarcus Russell e the fact that we need to continue to throw the football and continue to find ways to get completions and throw the ball down the field."
Russell had his worst game of the season on Sunday, completing only 13 passes and tossing an interception -- and narrowly missing a few more. The Raiders offense, at this point, should be running through that three-headed monster they currently have at running back (Darren McFadden, Justin Fargas and Michael Bush) and tight end Zach Miller. Throwing the entire playbook at Russell -- or any first year starting quarterback, for that matter -- doesn't seem like the best move, especially when the talent around him is sort of lacking.
On a somewhat related note, Cable seems to be as frustrated with his teams receivers as the previous coach was.
"Specifically who and all that I don't know that I'm ready to speak on that yet," Cable said. "But I do know this. We've got to catch the ball when it's thrown to us and we've got to run the right routes that we're supposed to and be where we need to be on time.