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Why Cable should stay

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Friday, January 8th, 2010 at 12:14 pm in Oakland Raiders.

There are myriad reasons for Al Davis to take his near-annual shot at the coaching lottery and round up the usual suspects.

Mr. Gilbride, can you please hold for Al Davis?

Another 5-11 season.

Seventeen touchdowns in 16 games.

Poor play on the offensive line, which happens to be Cable’s specialty.

Erratic play-calling.

Inability to utilize a trio of runners with diverse skills, Darren McFadden, Michael Bush and Justin Fargas.

The Randy Hanson and domestic violence (as raised by ESPN) issues.

Even taking all that into account, it’s an easy call from here.

Cable stays, and here’s why:

– Starting the season with JaMarcus Russell at quarterback would have sunk the season of any coach Raiders coach.

Opening with someone else was not an option, even though from the first minicamp and right through training camp, Russell was awful at least 90 percent of the time.

Once Cable got the OK to make the switch _ Davis had seen enough, as well _ it was a different team. Oakland was 2-7 with Russell as a starter, 3-4 with Bruce Gradkowski and Charlie Frye. Instead of being outscored by 14 points per game, they were outscored by seven. If the Raiders had opened with someone else, the playoffs might be a reach, but you don’t fire Cable at 8-8 or even 7-9.

Scoring went from pathetic (9.1 points per game) to below average (16.4).

Russell even led a come-from-behind win over Denver when Frye was injured, something it would have been difficult to imagine while in the downward spiral as a starter. The benching was beneficial for him, too.

– The play of the offensive line took a hit when Robert Gallery went down twice during the season, but it’s hard to give Cable a pass here. They need to correctly identify some good, young and potentially dominant players up front, particularly at tackle. It’s a concern, but not a fireable offense.

– By now you know (and are sick of) my thoughts on play-calling. It’s not nearly as important as being able to execute plays that are called, regardless of sequence. That said, Cable was pretty shaky at times, with the lowlight coming when the Raiders threw four times from the 2-yard line against Cleveland, never put Frye on the perimeter, and didn’t score.

On the other hand, the decision to spread out the Ravens in the first half and the way Frye operated before going down with a back injury was as smooth and in rhythm as the offense has been all year.

Cable sounded receptive to giving up play-calling as well as other duties, conceding he had spread himself too thin.

– Use of the running backs dovetails with two of the other issues, offensive line play and play-calling. Improvement in both areas would improve the production of McFarBush. The Raiders need more runs from Bush, hopefully in top condition and ready to go, and more McFadden on the perimeter and as a receiver. Fargas is in the last year of his contract and given attrition, would get his chances and be ready when called upon.

– The Hanson and ESPN stories were unexpected storms which Cable weathered with remarkable focus and perspective. His own issues were kept away from the players, and his own performance in the daily media questioning was impressive. Watching and listening to Cable on a daily basis makes you wonder where the truth lies in both stories, because if this guy has a serious anger management issue, he never once showed even a hint of it in some pressure-packed and embarrassing situations.

Part of being a coach is being the front for an organization. Assuming both storms have passed and will not return, rest assured Cable knows how to deal with the media.

Davis, when talking about Gruden, said he needed to learn how to be a head coach. He used to talk of Lane Kiffin needing to learn how to be a coach. Same thing goes for Cable.

Cable has been far from perfect, but the situation has been even less perfect. He inherited a team which was minimized by Kiffin and Davis, who put their own personal battle above everything else, and had them playing well at the end of the year. Then he got a Russell who regressed significantly in the offseason after a decent end to 2009.

Again, the Raiders were playing their best football in December. This has not been a good December team in its second go-round in Oakland. Even some of the playoff teams were tripped up in December. The Raiders played for Cable in the last month of a shot season in a way they didn’t for Mike White, Joe Bugel, Bill Callahan (in the second year), Norv Turner or Art Shell.

Any call for those coaches to return was simply post-season filler which was drowned out by what they said off the record, particularly with regard to Callahan (by virtually the entire team) and Shell (by the offense).

You get a lot of queries from players as the season winds down to a close, asking in private conversation what they think Davis is going to do. Haven’t had one yet who expressed hope for a new coach. They want another shot at it and to get off the hamster wheel.

As stated before, the common denominator for the fact that the Raiders have had three good teams in the last 15 years since returning to Oakland is Davis.

For optimum organizational health, a general manager with some clout and a hand-picked new head coach with a clear mission and philosophy would be ideal.

There’s no indication the Davis is willing to do that. Bill Parcells or Bill Cowher aren’t coming to Oakland. Neither is Jon Gruden or Boise State’s Chris Petersen.

That leaves the Gilbride-Fassel-Trestman-Leach speculation, always with a dash of Jim Harbaugh to spice things up. I don’t think Harbaugh’s coming here, and I’d take Cable over any other alternative.

Cable gets this place. He likes it here. He understands it and can work within a unique, archaic structure.

He should get another year.

What about Mora?

Jim Mora is the newest available name, having been fired by the Seattle Seahawks. Mora had an interview arranged with the Raiders before taking the job in Atlanta and has always admired Davis.

He’s a defensive coach and not the usual prototype, but as Davis says, “It’s better to be right than consistent.”

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  • Mistabrown

    Not only is Barback not going to get reelected he is taking down other Dems with him. They are already retiring or jumping ship.

    lol

  • http://www.us.army.mil/ texguy

    Did Rathman get fired too?

    If so Al should make a run and get him back.

  • http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/63/60563-004-52A399D4.jpg Dakota

    texguy Says:
    January 8th, 2010 at 1:13 pm
    Did Rathman get fired too?

    If so Al should make a run and get him back.
    _________________

    Rathman is in Frisco…not Seattle.

  • Mistabrown

    Bill Romanowski for HC.

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    John who?

    Dakota, name a serious candidate. But hey, at least Dakota stepped up and named someone. Mistabrown is too embarrassed to say that his hopes rest on Sarah Palin. And I dont’ blame him, frankly. But he’s the one who keeps talking, so he’s got to get taken to task.

  • raiderzmaverick

    How ’bout them Raiders….

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    Remember, Dakota, the town where Sarah Palin held a rally and said that she was glad to be around “real Americans”? Obama won that county. It’s just a sign of how demographics are shifting in many parts of the south.

  • 4evaRaider

    Dems have to lie and conceal their true beliefs to get elected. Obama election is more proof of this
    ************************************************

    yellow cake anyone?

  • http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/63/60563-004-52A399D4.jpg Dakota

    DRAFT THUNE IN 2012!!!!!!

  • The Big Banana

    # The Real MaddenRaider Says:
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    Jerry, you don’t consider all options. Lane Kiffin wasn’t mentioned after the ‘06 season until a few days before Al hired him. Nobody had heard of him. So, it’s disingenuous to say that our options are either Cable, or one of the Trestman/Fassell puppet carousel. Al can hire another young no name, and I’d rather have that than anything. I’m one of the few fans who liked Kiffin. I liked the way he shook things up around here. I’d much rather have someone like that than a proven puppet like Cable.
    ===============================================
    I agree. I also liked Kiffin as coach. I think this team would be pretty competitive by now if he had been allowed to hire Kiffin senior for DC and run the D his way. Also, Kiffin was bringing Russell along slowly, which he needed. A lot of fans p1ssed and moaned about it but, fact is, Russell wasn’t ready to be thrown to the wolves and he knew it. And if he didn’t want Russell in the first place, well guess what Davis, he was right. Get over it!

  • Florida Pete

    losing kenny easley made tham ordinary…

    amazing what one guy can do…

  • Florida Pete

    the seahawks… i meant to cut and paste a comment…

    and blew it…

  • CaptainBlack

    Vegas, he knows Billy well!

  • DKnight007

    What I wrote below is to Hererra1, (and to other LOSER Al Davis worshippers who need to exorcised of your demons like Al Davis does) LOL

    ^^^^^^^^^^
    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.

  • 32seasonfaninSeattle

    Damn it! The Raiders and Seahawks faceoff in the first regular season game in quite awhile and it’s in Oakland,……oh well, tickets shouldn’t be hard to get. LOL!

  • 4evaRaider

    Mistabrown….

    I’m the kind of guy that would put the bullet in their head =)

  • The Big Banana

    Focus people. Football!

  • ad1929r

    Let’s all stop this nonsense and encourage Mr. Davis to do something he should have done years ago. I think he should simply hire himself as head coach. Then he can effectively prove to all of us how well man coverage should be played, how well the vertical passing game is executed in today’s NFL, and he can hire his own coaching staff, control the roster and serve as the team’s GM. Come to think of it, he should give himself that title. It would be one more of his crowning achievements.

    Head Coach/General Manager/Owner.

    The greatness of Al Davis is once again on display as he becomes the first person since George Halas to serve in all three capacites.

  • 4evaRaider

    I just dont know how we are ever going to get through this Jim Mora thing tho

  • The Big Banana

    Holmgren…..

    “I could do it all if I wanted to,” he said. “I don’t want to. I am going to hire a general manager. Very few teams, none that I’ve been associated with, with high-powered personnel people or presidents or whatever you want to call them, does the guy come in, pound the desk and say, ‘We are taking this guy and I don’t care what anybody thinks.’

    “There’s one team I can think of that does that, but no one else.”

  • M Lonetree

    One of Football’s Fabulous Females for HC! Do it!

    (The OC and DC can handle the Xs and Os. Dressing The Cable Guy up in drag as a head coach ain’t gonna bring the heat.)

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    Last night who looked better: Mt. Cody, Mclain or Javier Arenas?

    You know where my vote is.

    Cody = not impressive, imo

  • Mistabrown

    LOL what Jim Mora thing ?

    # 4evaRaider Says:
    January 8th, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    I just dont know how we are ever going to get through this Jim Mora thing tho

  • Mistabrown

    Pete I remember in the last Denver game we were down by 6 with 2 mins to go and you wanted Cable to run out the lock.

    try not to be stupid Pete…

  • Mistabrown

    Jim Mora will never get a HC job in his life.

  • http://i380.photobucket.com/albums/oo249/the408RAIDER/749px-I-420svg.png 408RAIDER

    Ray Guy snubbed again…not among 15 finalists for Pro Football Hall of Fame
    Cris Carter, Andre Reed, Tim Brown and Jerry Rice are finalists for pro football Hall fo Fame…

  • http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/63/60563-004-52A399D4.jpg Dakota

    408RAIDER Says:
    January 8th, 2010 at 2:00 pm
    Ray Guy snubbed again…not among 15 finalists for Pro Football Hall of Fame
    Cris Carter, Andre Reed, Tim Brown and Jerry Rice are finalists for pro football Hall fo Fame…

    ____________
    Ouch, maybe next year Ray…same for you Timmy.

  • El Tato

    Did Terrence Cody and Rolando McClain had a good game yesterday?

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  • CaptainBlack

    MR, is an American hating sausage sucker. no use in debating him

  • Mistabrown

    pretty much..

  • LT_Raider

    Cable should stay but NOT as O.C.

  • Stabler76

    Mistabrown Says:
    January 8th, 2010 at 1:00 pm
    I miss the Seahawks in our div, they were a good rival, great games
    ———————————————–
    CaptainBlack Says:
    January 8th, 2010 at 1:01 pm
    Mistabrown, you are right! I hated them, always played us tough
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Kenny Easley rang a few bells. He could hit. Always wish he had become a Raider, like Ronnie Lott

  • 32seasonfaninSeattle

    Haha, Carroll had to come to town to show Sarkisian he was still the “big Dawg” (all puns intended) in town,since he knew he couldn’t beat him on the field.

  • Zymurge

    With the Cable as a puppet talk, one interesting thing about keeping him on is that he now has some accrued clout with Al. As people say, coaches that start winning are able to convince Al that their way is the way to go.

    Now 5-11 is hardly winning, but the fact (as Jerry pointed out) is that they had a better winning percentage after Cable benched JR as well as better overall offensive production. Al had to see this as well as anyone else.

    Building on this, Cable could now have more leverage to say “I told ya so” to Al when it comes to some key personnel decisions. Does this mean that he’ll influence Al to make the smart draft move in the first round (like trading down for multiple 1sts or 2nds) or to focus on line help? Not likely. But it means that he just may be able to convince him that guys like JR and DHB have to win jobs in camp so that he can start the season off with his best lineup.

    Or am I just fumiendo mota?

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    Jerry, that was a very good article on why Cable should stay for another year-especially considering the four alternatives you listed.

    Cable’s play calling though is pretty erratic and we need to appoint an OC who calls the plays while Cable stays as head coach and also works on the OL.
    It hasn’t been that long since practically everyone posting here was praising Cable as a miracle worker as an OL coach and urging Al to sign him to a mult-year deal.

    -Cable has done something that no Raider head coach has been able to do since Gruden and that’s change the attitude in the locker room-excluding JR.
    -Both last year and this year he also kept the team playing in the last few games despite the year clearly being over for the Raiders.
    -The players like and respect him.
    -He can work with Al who isn’t going anywhere.

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  • MTraidernation

    cable SHOULD stay. anyone who is a coach for al davis will be designated to a puppet role, so it might as well be cable. a new coach won’t/can’t accomplish anything cable will, ESPECIALLY with the likelyhood of big al giving “leaf2.0″ another shot. as long as davis is alive, this team is destined to win 4-5 games a season with any coach. at least we’ll have a high draft pick every year that al can trade or waste on fast DB.

  • Pingback: The RaiderCast | Evening AFC West news and notes

  • broncossuck

    Hire Mora as Head Coach/Def. Coordinator. Hire Leach as Off. Coordinator. Draft Tebow to run the spread with McFadden. If we are going to lose anyway, we might as well score and be fun to watch. Let Russell rot on the bench until his guaranteed money runs out.

  • Silver-n-Smac

    Jerry –

    Yes, as numerous folks have already mentioned – good article.

    With that being said, I find it amusing that a few of us around here have been voicing the same opinions about the need for Cable to stay, only to have the majority of you boys and hyenas (Richocrap) ripping us for it.

    But when a journalist writes it, it’s gospel for y’all.

    Funny stuff.

  • RaiderResurrection

    I say we keep Cable unless we find someone worth it. I don’t want Jim (Norv Turner/Joe Bugel) Fassell.

    Jim Harbaugh will never come here.

    Jon Gruden might come but Al is too proud to admit mistakes.

    Rich Gannon would make a good offensive coordinaotr ala Jason Garrett in Dallas, but Al is too proud.

    Bill Cowher would never come here, first he plays the 3-4 and you saw what Davis did to Rob Ryan when he tried.

  • ohioraider

    Captain Black, eternal optimist:
    “Al will be 81 years old at the start of the 2010 season. He has plenty of football left in him, but if he screws up selecting the next HC, he will not see another Raiders Superbowl in his lifetime.”

    Uh, let’s hope not.

  • ohioraider

    I don’t see how you can evaluate any coach in this situation with Al breathing down his back. Look at Norv Turner–thriving in SD.

  • gorilla

    I think Davis will keep Cable because no self respecting coach will work under Davis. Davis was desperate when he hired inexperience Kiffin. Every other decent coach wanted nothing to do with Davis hierarchy rule. For all the ridicule he got, Kiffin was right about Russell. He is also the one who convinced them to draft Miller in the second round. He wanted Calvin Johnson in the first round. As long as the head coach is just another employee to yank around with Davis power plays then business as usual will continue.

  • http://www.blabberbug.com graphicguy820

    One thing not mentioned for the keeping Cable argument is business 101.

    You have to have consistent leadership that the team respects. This team respects Cable which is more than I can say for the others. For the first time in years the Raiders actually looked like a football team instead a bunch of sporadic derelicts running around a field hoping for a score.

    Cable has his weaknesses, but they can be supplemented with other positions. He needs to be the head coach, and leader, for one more season before real judgments can be made. However, with Davis constantly in the way, it’s no easy task.

    Cable must delegate responsibilities to those who are better at his weaker skills, focus on being coach and pushing his strong points on the facets that need it.

    The only person who can pull a team together is one who has some tenure and Cable has that. Another big name rolling into town will only be met with resistance and another losing season. Period.

    JaScrewUs can go work at McDonald’s for all I care. His lack of discipline, knowledge, intelligence and dedication to this team is not only an embarrassment to Oakland, but the entire NFL too. What a huge mistake.

  • Raider J

    Keep Cable and Hackett and get a young OC to groom.

    McClain is the only standout worth drafting ahead of OL or DL. #1 ranked DE Morgan from GT was manhandled and too slow against Iowa. Dunlop and Cody are the most dominant DL but may have issues.

    Raiders missed a good chance to get DT Raji or a good OTs in last year’s draft. MUST get deeper on both sides of the line this year.

    Get the best available veteran QBs (plural).