The National Organization for Women is calling for coach Tom Cable's suspension while the Raiders and the NFL investigate allegations that Cable physically abused his first wife more than 20 years ago and abused a former girlfriend in January. NOW president Terry O'Neill sent the request to USA Today.

"Tom Cable's history of violence against women raises a question: Why is he still the head coach of an NFL team?" O'Neill's statement said in part. "Mr. Cable admits having battered his first wife, and he stands accused of battering two other intimate partners as well ...

"The Oakland Raiders, properly, say they are undergoing a 'serious evaluation' of these recent allegations. At the very least, he should be suspended during this process."

Cable said Thursday that he doesn't think outside forces such as NOW will influence his future with the Raiders.

"I don't think so," Cable said. "I think it will be handled properly. I'm going to leave it at that right now."

Cable issued a statement Sunday saying he slapped his first wife, Sandy, "more than 20 years ago," but that he hasn't had inappropriate contact with a woman since. Sandy Cable said in an ESPN report that she was punched in the face.

On Wednesday, Cable said he discussed the most recent allegations with Raiders managing general partner Al Davis earlier this week. Davis has not addressed the matter, though the team issued a statement saying that a "serious investigation" would be undertaken.

Cable wrapped up the team's final practice on Thursday before a three-day break for the bye week.

  • Raiders wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey completed the first half of his rookie season with only five receptions for 74 yards and no touchdowns. But he believes he is primed for a breakthrough in the second half.

    "Looking at the first game on film, just studying myself how I've improved, I'm happy with what I see now," Heyward-Bey said. "I see improvement."

    Players are graded after each game. The receivers get marks for things such as route-running, blocking and catching the ball. How well Heyward-Bey has graded out gives him reason for optimism.

    "I haven't made the plays I wanted to make, but I've definitely been solid just looking at my grades that come out of the game," Heyward-Bey said. "I've been very solid."

    Cable said that Heyward-Bey is making significant progress, even if it isn't reflected in his reception total.

    "Darrius' development the last two weeks has jumped out," Cable said.

  • The arthroscopic surgery performed on defensive end Greg Ellis' knee Wednesday "went fine," Cable said. Ellis might be ready to play against the Kansas City Chiefs on Nov."‰15.