NAPA -- The Napa portion of the Raiders' training camp concluded Thursday, and the team made it through without any of the zany story lines that have dominated headlines in the past.
The focus stayed on football and never wavered, just as coach Tom Cable predicted when players arrived July 27.
"We came with our plan, we got through everything, we installed everything we wanted to," Cable said. "The mission was to try to get better every day, not have those days where you're really disgusted or disappointed as a coaching staff, that, 'Man, we really went backward today.' We didn't have any of those days. So, well done by this football team."
The Raiders, who now settle into their year-round facility in Alameda, still have two exhibition games and must purge 27 players from the roster in preparation for the regular-season opener Sept. 12 at Tennessee.
But much of the heavy lifting is done even though Cable made only two roster moves in Napa, making good on his stance that he is pleased with the players already in place.
The work never is done, of course. There is plenty Cable hopes to accomplish between now and Oakland's season opener. In the interim, here's a look back at how Cable fared with the five most pressing issues entering camp:
1. Finding a successor to Russell. Cable accomplished this before the first practice when he anointed Jason Campbell the starting quarterback July 28.
Bruce Gradkowski wanted
Campbell, acquired from Washington in the offseason, validated Cable's decision by displaying the kind of leadership Russell lacked during his three seasons in Oakland.
2. Shoring up the run defense. Defensive coordinator John Marshall, defensive line coach Mike Waufle, linebackers coach Mike Haluchak and secondary coach Lionel Washington harped on stopping the run throughout camp.
Eleven players converging on the ball carrier became a common sight during practice. The results in Oakland's first two exhibition games have been encouraging, save an 89-yard touchdown run by Chicago's Matt Forte.
Cable said stopping the run is a mindset as much as it is players executing their assignments. The players seem to have received the message that an eighth straight season of struggling against the run won't be tolerated.
3. Figuring out the running backs rotation. A hamstring injury that sidelined Darren McFadden for 16 days has left unanswered whether he or Michael Bush will be the featured back. McFadden is back from the injury and is ready to rejoin the fray. Cable has two more games to decide which player is the better option.
4. Learning a new offense. New offensive coordinator Hue Jackson's philosophy appears similar to the one used by Cable the past two seasons, so it didn't take long for most of the offense to pick up nuances that bear Jackson's stamp. Campbell is the main one playing catch-up, given he arrived via trade in late April.
5. Incorporating new linebackers. Cable made a point of telling anyone who would listen that the linebacking corps was the weak link last season. To that end, the Raiders traded Kirk Morrison and benched starters Thomas Howard and Ricky Brown. Rolando McClain, Trevor Scott and Kamerion Wimbley are the new starters.
Wimbley has played as if he's been in Marshall's system for a decade. McClain, the team's first-round draft pick out of Alabama, has proved a quick study and made Morrison's departure a non-topic. Scott's solid play has relegated Howard to an afterthought.
Notes: Defensive end Jay Richardson (knee), defensive tackle Alex Daniels (hamstring), center Samson Satele (ankle), wide receiver Chaz Schilens (knee) and cornerback Chris Johnson (hamstring) won't play Saturday night against the 49ers, Cable said. ... McFadden is "full go" for Saturday, Cable said, and is expected to start. ... The starters will play into the third quarter, Cable said.
49ers at Raiders, 6 p.m.,
TV: Chs. 36, 44 (tape-delayed at 9 p.m.)
Radio: 1050-AM, 1550-AM
49ers' Michael Crabtree ready to play; Aubrayo Franklin close to signing. Page 5
Raiders offensive coordinator Hue Jackson is new voice of authority. Page 5