When the Oakland Raiders took the practice field Tuesday morning, it was truly the dawn of the post-JaMarcus Russell era. This week's voluntary meetings, playbook sessions, and practices are the first official Raiders team activities in the wake of Russell's release two weeks ago.
Raiders coach Tom Cable graced the Murph & Mac Show on KNBR Tuesday before the first practice, at the insane hour of 5:30 a.m. The segment is available online, and when host Brian Murphy asks seven -- count 'em -- seven JaMarcus Russell questions in a row, coach Cable gets a little testy.
He doesn't body-slam anyone into a cabinet, but it's clear he's not pleased with where this conversation is going.
To Murph's credit, his pesky and non-stop JaMarcus-related questions were insightfully worded and partially in Latin. "Was there any thought at all to letting (Russell) compete with Jason Campbell?," Murph asked, at this point on his seventh consecutive JaMarcus question. "When you guys made that trade, were you thinking 'I want competition', or was it a fait accompli?"
"Really," Cable said, having had enough, "We've talked enough about JaMarcus. Let's talk about something else."
"You don't want to talk about JaMarcus anymore?," Murph asked. He sounded disappointed, like he still had twelve more JaMarcus questions he wanted to get through.
"He's not here anymore," Cable replied.
Murph pleads his case. "The reason why I ask so many is I think Raider fans, who, you know, fill your stadium and buy your tickets and are the engine of your team, as you know, they're very curious," he says. "They're like, tying a bow on it, and this is their chance to kind of hear from you. So, that's why I ask so many."
"That I understand, but, you can only beat a dead dog so many times," Cable responds.
Coach, please be aware, especially with the Michael Vick thing and all, that the analogy is actually "beat a dead horse".
So you figure that's the end of that topic right? No, actually, not at all. Murph is clever enough to just wait a couple minutes, and then insert JaMarcus into a flatteringly-worded question about a different player.
"Lotta speculation about (Jason Campbell) being the opposite of JaMarcus as far as a locker room presence," Murph asks, "Is this true?"
Cable takes the bait. "I don't think there's any question about that. I think the way he's gone at it since we made the trade, you know, we make a trade, he shows up, he’s here for four days, he goes to minicamp, never blinks."
"Never one time did he back away from it, or, 'Wow this is too much', or any of that."
Gosh coach, you subtly comparing Jason Campbell to anyone in particular?