Part of the Bay Area News Group

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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  • DMAC

    Tienes mota?

  • Florida Pete

    Florida Pete Says:
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:20 pm
    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…

  • 4evaRaider

    yep

  • DMAC

    Burn that schit then!

  • http://www.cuntnation.com jupe

    Gilbride-Fassel-Trestman = no, no, no

  • DMAC

    I’ll take Trestman as an OC though.

  • Bobby Bushay

    Jerry, you are entirely correct here, and worth a second time to mention – CABLE NEEDS TO GIVE UP PLAY CALLING AND BE THE HEAD COACH/O-LINE COACH. No reason that McFadden should have had more catches even including his time away with injury – even with Ja-what-his-name at QB.

    This week more than most illustrates why Raiders need a GM and an overall in the PR department. How can you possibly blast Gannon publicly when all Al had to do was pick up the phone and resolve whatever issues there are or more simply say nothing. The Raiders look foolish by answering in the public.

  • aig

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

    He should get another year.
    —————————

    Jerry,

    This is one of your best article. Your logic and arguments are very good. Kudos Jerry. Davis forced Russell to start and there is not one coach in the nfl that could have won anything with Russell starting. So long as Crazy Al is alive, I prefer to ahve a coach who can work with him rather than against him. That’s the reality.

  • CaptainBlack

    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.

    That is what we need after 20 years of losing. No more second city HC. Al, hire the best, and get the best return. If Cable returns, 2009, 08, 07, 06, 05, will repeat!

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    # Dakota Says:
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    MR,

    Al Davis said that when he hired Gruden Trask had wanted to hire Belichick.

    ………………………….

    Well, that settles it. Al said so. He’d never lie.

  • CaptainBlack

    4eva, Cable is not the answer.

  • El Tato

    DMAC, maybe mota means weed in Cali, not in Spain.

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

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

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    Trade DMAC for….. who have I missed?

  • CaptainBlack

    The organization can not stand more losing. Losing has never been the Raiders way.

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

    The Real MaddenRaider Says:
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:31 pm
    # Dakota Says:
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    MR,

    Al Davis said that when he hired Gruden Trask had wanted to hire Belichick.

    ………………………….

    Well, that settles it. Al said so. He’d never lie.

    ____________

    Why would he lie about something like that?

  • CaptainBlack

    Bo, trade for Freddy Krueger…That’s the ticket

  • El Tato

    I would keep Cable if the other choice is Mora

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

    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.
    ______________________

    Well Jerry, at least you started off on the right foot.

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    Uh, I don’t know, Dakota, to make it seem like it wasn’t him who wanted to get rid of Gruden, considering the franchise has been on a landslide since he left? Rule of thumb: Al Davis is always lying. Always. The only time he’s telling the truth is when his mouth’s shut.

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

    Lol, I guess that could be true MR.

  • CaptainBlack

    The Real MaddenRaider Says:
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:35 pm
    Uh, I don’t know, Dakota, to make it seem like it wasn’t him who wanted to get rid of Gruden, considering the franchise has been on a landslide since he left? Rule of thumb: Al Davis is always lying. Always. The only time he’s telling the truth is when his mouth’s shut.

    classic!

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

    …if you are a raging paranoid….

    lol

  • http://www.actionext.com/playlist_57486.html La Milicia Negra

    # Bo Schembechler Jackson Says:
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Trade DMAC for….. who have I missed?
    ________________________________________________________

    trade him for Schembechler!!

  • raiderzmaverick

    There you go Kool Kell. You can stop asking your questions to Jerry about why he doesn’t write about Al being the problem.

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    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.

  • stubblebuzz

    Draft seven interior linemen and give Cable another year. Then see what you’ve got.

  • raiderzmaverick

    Actually, I think Jerry’s right on this. There’s no way Cable keeps his job and does the same thing with Russell again next year. And with someone else calling the plays my biggest thing with Cable is gone (i.e. the misuse of BUSH). So….players to play hard for him. I think he’s not an idiot in general. With a good offensive coordinator who will draw up good game plans etc. it’s better to keep him than try to start over with another has-been.

  • 4evaRaider

    I am Dmac!

  • CaptainBlack

    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. If Tom Cable’s strength was the O-line, there is no excuse for having C. Green, CC, SS as starters. Look at his coaching selections too? His O-line coach didn’t get it done, neither did the Strength and Conditioning coach and his LB coach. I will give young Fassel a pass.

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    I honestly believe that had we kept Kiffin, we’d be in the playoffs this year. He was doing everything he could to create a winning environment. Everyone hated him? GOOD. Everyone hated Gannon, too. A lot of players and staff, and certainly management, hated Gruden. We didn’t get much out of Kiffin but that 2-2 spark we had to start ’07 at least made our season interesting. We’re usually already out of it by October. Here we were going into SD at 2-2 after a bye, our biggest game since the ’02 Super Bowl. It’s not much, but it’s the most promising start we had during this 7 year drought. There’s no doubt in my mind we’d be a playoff team by now if Kiffin stayed. Monte would be here using a Cover 2 scheme, bringing in his players. He’s as good as anyone in the game at getting players in the right position to make plays, one of the biggest flaws on our defense.

  • Mistabrown

    Jim Mora?

    Give me a FK’n break Jerry!

  • CaptainBlack

    Cable must be replaced with a quality HC

  • CaptainBlack

    Who cares if the players hate the HC! Chemistry is not important.

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

    Hey Dude, if Bates is such a bad coordinator why would Carroll be recruiting him to join him in Seattle?

    “”We’ve made a tough decision today,” Leiweke said in a statement. “It became apparent after conducting an extensive internal audit that a new direction was needed to provide an opportunity for the organization to be successful. Today’s decision, while difficult, is part of the process in building a franchise with a new vision in 2010.”

    Via text message, Carroll said: “You know I haven’t responded to a NFL question in two years.”

    But a league source said Carroll is interested in the job and is trying to persuade USC offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates to join him in Seattle — as opposed to Bates pursuing the same position with the Chicago Bears.

    Said another source close to Carroll: “You’re about to see a big headline that shakes up the major college football world,” in reference to the Seahawks’ development. The Seahawks did not confirm Carroll as a leading candidate but also did not deny it.”

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    Maverick, Cable has already proven himself to be a puppet. Either that or he’s the one who wanted Russell starting into December. Which is it? How can we win with a head coach doing what Al Davis tells him to do?

  • CaptainBlack

    Mora? HC? Who is talking about HC?

  • mistic1

    Is this a joke? I think this article is just an attempt to spark todays debate. Cable has been a mess, so has this team. Cable has been a hypocrite. He says you need to be accountable on one hand, then trashes his qb and says he has don an exceptional job Coaching???? Cable lacks discipline, so does his team. You allow your team to meltdown in cleveland including the so called team leaders. You also sat by without as much as a peep, as the team quit on russel vs. washington! No decent coach would ever allow this. Why didnt cable jump on russell from day one?? Why not make a scheme that makes the game easier for your struggling young talent?? The o-line was atrocious. Cable has got to go, flat out.

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

    Mora is owed $12 million over the last three years of his contract…why would he come work for the Raiders for $2 million a year when he could sit on his ass for $4 million a year?

  • http://www.actionext.com/playlist_57486.html La Milicia Negra

    # CaptainBlack Says:
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Who cares if the players hate the HC! Chemistry is not important.
    ________________________________________________________

    you sound just as smart as your hero Al Davis… well we need a Coach that the players will play off their ass for…

  • CaptainBlack

    I was not impressed with Carroll at NY or NE. He is a very good college coach, like Seban at Alabama, just not NFL caliber.

  • CaptainBlack

    La Milicia Negra Says:
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:52 pm
    # CaptainBlack Says:
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Who cares if the players hate the HC! Chemistry is not important.
    ________________________________________________________

    you sound just as smart as your hero Al Davis… well we need a Coach that the players will play off their ass for…
    _____________________________

    Play off their asses for? Just wash my car, OK!

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

    My sources tell me that Pete Carroll will be the coach and GM in Seattle and that he has already contacted the Cardinals about the availibility of Matt Leinart, the Saints about Bush, the Titans about White and that he has already signed WR Mike Williams to a five-year $25 million dollar deal.

  • Mistabrown

    I miss the Seahawks in our div, they were a good rival, great games!

  • CaptainBlack

    Dakota, who coaches in Oakland next year?

  • CaptainBlack

    Mistabrown, you are right! I hated them, always played us tough.

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    # CaptainBlack Says:
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    I was not impressed with Carroll at NY or NE. He is a very good college coach, like Seban at Alabama, just not NFL caliber.

    ………..

    What gives the Raiders the high ground to deem anyone not ready for the NFL? The Raiders shouldn’t even be in the league.

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

    CaptainBlack Says:
    January 8th, 2010 at 1:00 pm
    Dakota, who coaches in Oakland next year?
    +++++++++

    Willie Brown will be a coach in Oakland fo sho

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

    CaptainBlack Says:
    January 8th, 2010 at 1:03 pm
    Ok, Dakota, fair enough. HC?
    +++++++++++

    If I had to bet my life on it I would say Gilbride if Al decides to make a change. Al likes to go back and hire the guy he turned down the last time (see Joe Bugel/Jon Gruden).

  • CaptainBlack

    MB, you will not see another Dem considered for the office of president for 20 years. Obama is a joke!

  • mistic1

    The players like cable becuase the have a coach that they dont have to worry about getting in their face when they screw something up! They can be wild and undicsplined without reprimand. Cable has to go.