*With the Ravens preparing to take on the Oakland Raiders this weekend, two members of the enemy team answered a few questions about their squad. *
*BR.com gives you Raiders head coach Tom Cable and defensive end Richard Seymour. *
Head coach Tom Cable
Is there an explanation for playing better against better teams this season?
Cable:"I think the only explanation is we're not getting it done in those games [against weaker teams]. And trying to learn how to win on a consistent basis is our biggest task right now."
What is the mentality of the team going into the last game of the season?
Cable:"Well, you know we have goals of our own. If we can win the game, it would give us six wins, which is more than the Raiders have won since 2002. It would end the year on a positive note, it would certainly stir up the playoff thing, obviously. But more importantly, we need to get better, play better and see if we can finish the season the right way."
Is playing the spoiler role of any importance to your team?
Cable:"I think naturally that will run its course, but I think the biggest thing for us is our own goals in trying to finish the season the right way."
What can you say about Darrius Heyward-Bey's development this season?
Cable: "Well, he was [getting better], and then he got injured. So, whether… I don't know that he's going to play this week; it's questionable at this point. He's been out I think for about three or four weeks now. So, up until then, he had a good month before that. I thought he started out a little shaky, but really started to come on there, and then got hurt. So, we're hoping that he can play this week, but we'll have to wait probably until tomorrow, maybe Friday."
How has your defensive front four been so successful in the pass rush this season?
Cable:"Well, it's a good group. We've got [DE] Richard Seymour, and [DE] Greg Ellis in here. [DE] Matt Shaughnessy at the end spot, and then inside with [DT] Gerard Warren, [DT] Tommy Kelly and [DT] Desmond Bryant. And I think we've been able to… You know, they kind of off-set each other, complement each other in many ways, so we're going to obviously need a big day out of them on Sunday."
DE Richard Seymour
How do you expect the Raiders to play?
Seymour:"Well, it's our last regular season game and we want to finish out on a strong note. Obviously we didn't… You know, I think we've played up to our potential, I think we have a lot of talent on this football team, I think everyone knows that, but we've been inconsistent all year. You know, that's why we can go out and beat a team like [Philadelphia] and Denver and Pittsburgh, and then lay some eggs in other games. So, I think it's important for us to finish up on a strong note, because all the people always say, 'What do we have to play for.' But, I think if you look at it, this is a production league. And if you don't produce, if you don't get wins, then it's always going to be a lot of change the following year. And everyone is going to be evaluated, so you don't want your name on that chopping block. So, I think if you look at it, we have a lot to play for; we're playing for our jobs."
What specifically needs to be done to fix the inconsistent play?
Seymour:"Well, I just think it's focus, week in and week out. I think it's just human nature when you go out and you do well, you feel like it's going to happen the next week if you just show up. But, you still have to prepare and do the little things that it takes to win in this league. That's why I have so much respect for some of the guys on this team, where preparation is important to them. And just the things that… You know, film study, taking care of your body, understanding where you're supposed to be on defense, and being accountable. I don't think we've done a good job of that all year long."
Is there inconsistency in your practice approach?
Seymour:"Yeah, I mean, I just feel like week in and week out, like I said, we can put it together from time to time, but we'll do it one week and won't do it the next. Well, we didn't do it last week, so maybe that's a good sign we'll do it this week."
What is the defense able to do when there is a consistent pass rush from the front?
Seymour: "Well, I think if you look at our secondary, I think we have… You look at [CB] Nnamdi [Asomugha], he's one of the guys that can really cut off one half of the field, and he's really done a good job and he's a true pro. I think we definitely need more guys like him on our team, and I don't think we'll change the position that we're in right now. But, I think it works hand in hand, the secondary and the front seven; if we get pressure on the quarterback, then it makes their job easier, and if they can get up in the face of the receivers and jam them and throw off their route, it definitely helps us. So, in fact, we've been working hand-in-hand all year."
Is there anything the Raiders can take out of the Ravens/Steelers film with regards to blocking schemes and patterns?
Seymour:"Well, I think they do a good job. Obviously, I think they have some dynamic runners. They do a good job of breaking tackles and if the run is not there, they do a good job of kind of ad libbing and maybe not hitting it where the lines would be hit… If the hole is not there, they do a good job of just making a play. And so, we have to be aware. You know, the ball can go anywhere, so everyone is really at the point of attack this week, and it's going to be an exciting game, because obviously they want to come in and run the football, and I think if you look on the film that's what they do. So, if they can run the football on us, it'll be a long day for us. But you know, we'll be ready to go, and I'm definitely going to have the guys ready to roll here on Sunday."