By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Sunday, December 20th, 2009 at 9:58 am in Oakland Raiders.
When Mike White was let go, the majority of players in the locker room merely shrugged their shoulders and moved on.
There was a procession of players who went to the office of Al Davis and campaigned for Joe Bugel, which everyone realized was a mistake the moment Bugel barricaded himself inside an office and later compared a last-second loss to the Chiefs (Elvis Grbac to Andre Rison) to the death of his mother.
Jon Gruden’s departure, despite the whole contact issue and persistent rumors, came as a shock because of the timing and the way it played out (traded for $8 million, two first-round picks, two second-round picks).
Bill Callahan? After the “Dumbest Team in America” line, the prevailing opinion was not to let the door hit him on the way out.
That begat Norv Turner, who was 9-23 years, and one look at Norv’s face was all you needed to know that he’d had enough.
Art Shell’s demise was celebrated by the one unit you’d think would have backed him to the hilt _ the offensive line.
By the time Lane Kiffin was fired, the locker room pulse was erratic and confused, because it was hard to know who was more at fault _ Kiffin, for orchestrating his way out after a difficult first off-season, or Davis, for waiting too long to end the charade.
Which brings us to Tom Cable.
Steve Corkran touched on it in his story today in Bay Area News Group Papers. If anything, Cable’s stormy off-field issues have only strengthened his hold on the locker room because of the way he’s dealt with it.
If Cable is eventually fired, a self-preservation mode of sorts will kick in because that’s what players do _ look out for their own interests and their families. But make no mistake, Cable easily has more support within the locker room as well as within the building than any coach since Gruden.
His problem is he doesn’t have the won-loss record to match, and he’s got three games left for a minimal upgrade in that area.