It’s not Russell vs. Cable


Best guess at this point is still that Tom Cable goes and JaMarcus Russell stays, but to assume the their fates are intertwined would be to ignore how Al Davis operates.

When Cable said at his season-ending press conference the Raiders could have been a playoff team had it not been for quarterback play, it was viewed in some quarters as a “him or me” moment.

How could the Raiders possibly have Cable back as the coach and Russell still on the roster?

The same way they had Lane Kiffin as head coach and Rob Ryan, a coach he did not want, as defensive coordinator.

The same way they kept Mike Lombardi around even though Art Shell considered him a “fox in the hen house,” knowing that Lombardi had pushed for Bobby Petrino as the head coach.

The same way Shell and Jerry Porter, the moody No. 2 receiver, were allowed into a season-long cold war that benefitted no one.

The same way Randy Hanson showed up back at work on Dec. 9 in the same building as the man against whom he had hoped to press charges for assault.

The same way Shell was put in the position of having Marcus Allen stifled on the bench while his teammates smoldered because Allen had waged a public war with Davis over money after rejecting a lucrative contract offer.

Although both Cable and Kiffin have espoused changing the culture, promoted locker room harmony and a “playing for each other” philosophy, Davis doesn’t believe in chemistry. He considers it nonsense, something players say about a team after it has won games.

“I don’t believe in chemistry” is right up there with “I don’t believe in chain of command” in Davis’ press conference statements which explain a lot about the organization.

You put the most talented group of players together as possible, don’t concern yourself with how they fit together, and it’s up to the coaches to get them ready to play, ready to win.

If there are disagreements or issues along the way, so be it. There will be conflict among men in any endeavor of high competition. That Cable and Randy Hanson had issues was no big deal. The problem from Davis’ perspective was that it got Cable in the news, along with the ESPN allegations of alleged domestic violence, and Davis would prefer his coaches to recede into the silver and black background.

Here Davis had given Cable the opportunity he’d always coveted, and Cable winds up a daily news story for reasons other than play on the field.

He’s also got issues with 17 touchdowns in 16 games and another 5-11 record.

Davis isn’t pleased with Russell, either. Otherwise, he would have never told Cable, “You’re the coach, you make the call,” knowing full well his handpicked quarterback would be sent to the bench.

Judging from the public backing of the Russell-in-Vegas brushfire and common sense, the quarterback isn’t going anywhere for the time being. Davis bided his time with Robert Gallery, Michael Huff and Nnamdi Asomugha, he’ll do the same for Russell unless there are issues with go far beyond work ethic and immaturity. He’s not worried about how keeping Russell will “lose the locker room” because there’s no locker room to be lost. It doesn’t exist.

But if Cable goes, Russell will be only a small part of the equation. Davis has never cared about chemistry before, and there’s no reason to think he’s changed his philosophy.

If Cable somehow makes it through, chances are Russell will be there as well, as well as a round of minicamp and training camp stories wondering how it could have possibly happened.

Harbaugh . . . again

In an annual rite of January, Profootballtalk.com became the outlet to throw out the first Harbaugh, reporting that Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh is a “stealth” candidate for the Raiders (and Bills) job.

Any chance he can bring Andrew Luck with him?

Also a familiar name in the rumor mill _ Montreal Alouettes coach and former Raiders coach Marc Trestman, per National Football Post.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • raiderzmaverick

    Tienes una Head Coach por favor

  • new englandraider

    el tato
    dude had me going up to chicks at this new years party telling them in spanish that i like to eat raw meat with hair. this one chick wanted to fugg me up man

  • El Tato

    mota? Thats not spanish man

  • DMAC

    What is it?????

  • new englandraider

    buenos tardes amigos

  • El Tato

    I dont know, maybe you mean “moto”? motorbike

  • El Tato


    Jerry McDonald Blog spanish lessons

  • El Tato

    mota means nothing (I think)

  • new englandraider

    jery mac= punheta. did i spell that right tato?

  • new englandraider


  • El Tato

    punheta? maybe “puñeta” but you dont have this: ñ Ñ

  • Florida Pete

    raiderzmaverick Says:
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:11 pm
    # Florida Pete Says:
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    i don’t see how any conversation about a female head coach can be had without mentioning Maria Sharapova…
    Florida Pete….you’re nutz. I don’t know how you could think of including Maria Sharapova in the Head Coaching search. It’s Maria Sharapova for President


    you are, of course, correct…

    silly me…

    what was i thinking…

  • new englandraider

    lol tato. how’d u do that??

  • DMAC

    Mota means weed.

  • new englandraider

    el tato.
    lmfao. its hard enough to spell in english. nevermind trying to spell in spanish

  • new englandraider

    i like weed

  • new englandraider

    damn u. u better not be getting stoned. you should be jogging and blogging. no more slipping

  • new englandraider


  • El Tato

    Ñ appear in my Keyboard here in Spain, when I was in the US I had a hard time writing emails home because I hadnt Ñ so I had to use N all the time and everything looked strange

    mota means weed? not here man

  • new englandraider

    da me una cinquenta por favor

  • new englandraider

    el tato
    ur in spain????? cool man.

  • DMAC

    I’m in Cali w/ these great Cali buds!

  • DMAC

    Later fellas.

  • El Tato

    I m from Spain, I am a Raiders fan since the first time I went to US

  • El Tato

    maybe mota means weed in Cali, not in Spain.

    South America and Cuba spanish its similar to Spain spanish but not exactly the same, like US english and british english I guess

  • DKnight007

    Herrera1 Says:
    January 7th, 2010 at 11:37 pm
    DKnight, so you’re done as a fan? Meaning you won’t be watching or attending a game any longer?

    Why do I have to keep on going over and over this on these boards??!!

    Since Gruden was pushed out the door for WINNING!

    My father and I didn’t renew our season tickets and we are glad we didn’t due to STUPID decisions like that.

    That was the beginning of the moronic decisions within the dysfunctional organization and of course the stupidity and Commitment to Losing has remained for the past 7 years since then. I have gone to maybe 2 or 2 games a season since then and will try to watch on TV when it is not blacked out.

    We our never buying season tickets again until TRUE change occurs within the “organization” the TRUE Commitment to Winning can begin again. That steps that to need to be made is hiring a TRUE GM/Personnel Man to take care of free agent signings and work the draft. NOT Al Davis. The next step would be to hire a REAL Head Coach to work as a team with the new GM to turn the ship around!

    Al Davis needs to then be an owner and just watch for 3 years and not meddle and let them do their jobs. After 3 years then he can evaluate them.

    It’s simple really….but to the old looney stubborn old man Al Davis, it’s not so easy, cause to him it’s rocket science.

    An example of what needs to be done is what just occured with the Redskins. Daniel Snyder finally woke the hell up and hired to people who are proven WINNERS to run the team and turn it around.

  • LMN

    I dont hate the 9ers just their fans.