Cable says Raiders need to eliminate distractions

Oct 12, 2009 - 11:22 PM By JOSH DUBOW AP Sports Writer

ALAMEDA, Calif.(AP) -- After watching his team endure yet another blowout loss, Oakland Raiders coach Tom Cable said one of the keys to getting his team back on track is to eliminate distractions.

Cable was talking about the how the team responds to adversity early in games, when one bad play or bad call can lead to more and end up in a lopsided game.

The potentially bigger distraction of Cable's legal problems regarding his alleged training camp assault on defensive assistant Randy Hanson is not an issue, Cable said Monday.

"I don't believe it is," he said. "I would never believe that because, as I've said, I know the truth and I trust in the system, the process, and I just know that what's supposed to happen will happen. I've not let it become an issue. I've not put a lot into it, and, quite frankly, haven't brought it to the team because it's not their issue. It's mine."

The Napa police announced last week that they have ended their investigation and forwarded the results to the district attorney's office. The DA's office has not said how long it will take to decide whether to file charges, leaving this issue hanging over Cable's head for the foreseeable future.

The NFL is also monitoring the case and Cable could face a suspension from the league depending on how the legal process plays out.

Hanson ended months of silence by talking to Yahoo! Sports late last week, saying Cable threatened to kill him during the August attack at the team's training camp hotel in Napa that left him with a broken jaw. Cable has denied the allegations and admits it is difficult not to give his side, even though he has been advised to stay silent.

The more pressing issue for Cable is fixing an offense that has managed only 13 points during a three-game losing streak. The Raiders (1-4) have gained just 426 yards in that stretch, a mark that has been reached 25 times in a single game by other teams so far this season, including the Giants' 483-yard effort in Sunday's 44-7 victory over Oakland.

"Obviously guys are frustrated. They aren't happy with how we're playing on offense," tight end Zach Miller said. "We're not going to win games the way we're playing on offense."

The Raiders trailed New York 28-0 before recording their initial first down of the game and never even had a chance. Their only touchdown of the past three weeks came after Sinorice Moss fumbled a punt at his 15 and the officials ruled Justin Fargas' forward progress had stopped before an apparent fumble that New York returned for a touchdown.

Oakland finished with 124 yards of offense, was sacked six times, lost three fumbles and managed only seven first downs.

"When you're kind of riding that rail of having a breakthrough and going backward, you can't allow like what just happened to us to keep pushing you backward," Cable said. "You have to keep fighting through it. I think it takes three wins in a row to really get faith and a belief in what you're trying to do, and we're just not there yet."

The Raiders haven't won three games in a row since their Super Bowl season in 2002, going 25-76 since the start of the following season in the worst stretch in franchise history.

Offensively, the team has never been worse than it's been the past few weeks. Oakland has failed to reach 200 yards of offense for four straight games, doubling the longest streak in franchise history and joining last season's Cleveland Browns as the only teams to reach such depths of offensive ineptitude in the last 32 years.

The Raiders have failed to reach even that low mark of production six times in the 13 games since Cable took over as the play-caller midway through last season. That matches the number of times the Raiders failed to record 200 yards in the entire decade of the 1970s.

Cable said he doesn't plan to relinquish the play-calling duties despite the team's offensive struggles.

"I really look at it as, is the play you call, does that have anything to do with executing it?" Cable said. "Does it have anything to do with being in a manageable third down? Those kinds of things probably weigh heavier on my mind than what play's being called."

Things don't figure to get much easier the next three weeks with home games against Philadelphia and the New York Jets and a trip to San Diego before the bye week.

"The problem is not who we're playing, the problem is us," Cable said.

NOTES: LB Ricky Brown injured his right ankle and could miss the rest of the season if he needs surgery. If an operation isn't necessary, Brown will likely miss four weeks. ... WR Chaz Schilens (foot) and LG Robert Gallery (leg) could return from injuries this week.

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