By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Tuesday, September 29th, 2009 at 7:22 am in Oakland Raiders.
With any luck, the whole Tom Cable-Randy Hanson story will reach some kind of conclusion soon, but that’s not the way to bet.
Weeks after the story of an altercation broke, we have Hanson’s attorney identifying Cable as the attacker (as had been reported with unnamed sources as well as speculated) which left the defensive assistant with a broken jaw.
According to attorney John McGuinn, as reported by Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network, it’s a “textbook case of felony assault,” and he goes on to say that Raiders defensive backs have been communicating with Hanson on the sly and hints that his client is partially responsible for a good opening game against San Diego.
The key phrase, of course, is “his client.”
It’s a lawyer’s job to make a case, just as it’s the job of a Raiders executive to belittle Rich Gannon if that is what the boss wants. So if the Raiders do make a statement in the near future, it’s not worth much unless it’s accompanied by the information that says either the case is closed or charges are being filed.
Fact is, we’re only slightly closer to the truth than a few weeks ago.
Hanson, according to the report, didn’t speak to Napa authorities until Friday regarding an event that took place Aug. 5 and was recognized by the Napa P.D. via its Web site on Aug. 21. The story was leaked weeks ago, an initial salvo fired by one side or the other interested in bringing the matter to some kind of resolution.
Hanson’s story still has to be found credible enough for a district attorney to press charges. Frankly, the claim that Cable broke his jaw seems more likely than the McGuinn’s assertion that Raiders defensive backs have been reaching out for Hanson’s help in his absence.
Listen to Raiders defensive backs for more than a few minutes _ particularly cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha _ and they’ll tell you playing in the secondary for the Raiders is not a complicated job. Mostly man-to-man responsibilities, a single-high safety . . . primarily the kind of “our players are better than your players” defense Al Davis is known for favoring and the philosophy espoused by John Marshall since he took over for Rob Ryan (who, not coincidentally, had the same philosophy).
When the story first became public, some defensive backs said they didn’t know Hanson was missing. Others said they assumed he was working back in Alameda. He was identified as a “defensive assistant,” and wasn’t the defensive backs coach, the job held by Lionel Washington, with Willie Brown also having considerable influence.
So let’s say I’m a little skeptical Hanson has been tutoring from a distance without the Raiders knowledge, or that the story is at least a little exaggerated. All that is missing is for McGuinn to say Hanson was only responsible for how the defense played in Week 1 up to, but not including, the final defensive sequence.
– Thanks to e-mailer Carlo Grossman, who recognized the error in identifying the Raiders attendance of 45,602 against Denver as the lowest since the 2005 regular season finale against the New York Giants. The Raiders actually drew just 43,687 for last year’s 27-16 win over Houston at the Coliseum on Dec. 21.