By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Monday, January 4th, 2010 at 8:49 am in Oakland Raiders.
History suggests if Al Davis is to fire coach Tom Cable, it won’t happen today.
The Washington Redskins have already fired Jim Zorn, and the Buffalo Bills have dumped their entire coaching staff. The Raiders, however, have been inclined in past years to allow even the lamest of ducks to quack one last time for the assembled media before breaking out the chopping block.
Mike White_Last game of the season was a 28-21 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Dec. 22 to finish 7-9 (he’d be coach of the year material for that now). Infamously told of his firing on Christmas Eve by Bruce Allen.
Joe Bugel_Last game of the season was a 20-9 loss to Jacksonville on Dec. 21 but wasn’t fired for 16 days, getting the word on Jan. 6. He even showed up and kept a speaking engagement at a local school, telling kids he’d been fired. The Raiders were 4-12 and lost their last five games and eight of the last nine.
Bill Callahan_Last game of the season was Dec. 28, a 21-14 loss to the San Diego Chargers, a game in which starters Charlie Garner and Charles Woodson were benched for missing an evening snack session on the eve of the game. He was fired three days later, a day after Rich Gannon met with the media and said there were serious issues with discipline on a team the coach had called “the dumbest team in America,” following up a conference championship with a 4-12 season.
Norv Turner__Last game of the season was Dec. 31, a 30-21 loss to the New York Giants. Turner got word four days later. Turner was misty-eyed as he got the game ball on Nov. 20 when the Raiders beat the Redskins 16-13 to improve to 4-6. Then they dropped their last six.
Art Shell_ Last game of the season was Dec. 31, a 23-3 loss to the New York Jets to complete a 2-14 season, including the last nine in succession. He was fired six days later, validating a late-season report by the NFL Network’s Adam Schefter that Shell would be fired at the end of the season. The Raiders responded to that report with a denial and saying Schefter was a “false rumor mongerer.”
Lane Kiffin was an in-season firing, four games into the 2008 season after the Raiders had carefully built a case “for cause.”
Jon Gruden was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneeers for $8 million in cash, two first-round draft picks and two second-round draft picks on Feb. 19, 2002, a month after the 13-10 loss in New England in the “Tuck Rule” game. Talks at a contract extension had fallen apart when Gruden believed the Raiders had reneged at an offer which would give him control of the coaching staff and final say over the make up of the 53-man roster.
So chances are good Cable will be at the podium much as his predecessors have been to wrap up the season. Most talked of high hopes for the following season, either in denial or unaware a pink slip was coming.
The only aberrations were Callahan, who read a terse statement regarding the suspensions of Woodson and Garner and exited the building without taking questions, and Turner, who understood what was coming and thanked all the reporters present for being fair.
The strangest firing of all pre-dated the Raiders return to Oakland. In 1994, the Los Angeles Raiders finished 9-7 following a 19-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Days later, rumors swirled that Shell would be fired and White promoted to head coach. It wasn’t confirmed by the Raiders for 27 days, and no one is sure when the transition took place.
An open locker room session with players who haven’t already vacated the building is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. (PST), with Cable’s press conference following at noon.