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Cable makes a decisive move

As a longtime proponent of the zone blocking system, Raiders coach Tom Cable has advocated runners who “put a foot in the ground” and cut upfield.

Cable’s strict adherence to zone blocking may be over, but it’s hard to come to any other conclusion other than he put a foot in the ground Wednesday and did just that, damn the consequences.

It’s not so much that he switched from Jason Campbell to Bruce Gradkowski as his quarterback, it’s how he did it.

Since becoming interim and eventually head coach after Lane Kiffin, Cable has made sure to pay homage to owner Al Davis. Went out of his way to portray him as a mentor, a sage advisor whose advice was beyond reproach.

If you’ve been to a lot of these Raiders press briefings and press conferences, it’s hard not to notice the shift in tone when Cable was asked about Davis’ role in the quarterback switch.

I asked Cable about Davis’ role in the decision and whether he’d given his approval and this was the response:

“This was handled by us as coaches. It ultimately rested at my feet and when we made the decision, it comes from me,” Cable said.

I suppose it’s possible Davis said, “Tom, go ahead and go with the other guy, but make sure you say it’s your decision,” but that’s not the way to bet.

Davis likes people to know he’s in charge and to be paid respect. It’s an old-school thing. He wants to recede into the background only to the point where he’s not asked any questions. Otherwise, he wants to be identified with anything important that goes on in the organization he built.

The interesting thing is that offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, while paying the proper respect to Davis _ “I call him coach Davis” _ came out first and said it was his recommendation to switch to Gradkowski at halftime of the Rams game.

Didn’t like the tempo, didn’t like the energy. Just like Cable.

Raiders coaches at some point in time either stand their ground or get rolled over. Mike White got crushed, as did Joe Bugel. Jon Gruden, had an independent streak, to be sure, but often went out of his way to let Davis know what he was thinking and why he was thinking it to the point of having film cut-ups made to defend his position. Davis liked the fact that Gruden did this. And Gruden only lasted four years.

Bill Callahan has proven to be one of the NFL’s best assistant coaches, but couldn’t deal with Davis. Nor could Norv Turner, Art Shell, and most famously, “Lance” Kiffin. Every one of those coaches made errors in dealing with Davis. Kiffin deliberately set fire to a job he had no business getting. It’s not like there’s a manual about how to deal with a stubborn icon who dominates every area of the organization.

Cable has gone out of his way to give Davis his due, just as many of his predecessors have. He has in the past taken the, “Of course I talk to Al Davis, I’d be crazy not to talk to him,” tact.

There’s been nothing approaching that in recent days.

It’s said by some former Raiders coaches and assistants that at some point when Davis sours on a coach, he “goes silent,” like a submarine hiding in enemy waters. The post-game charter criticisms heard by everyone not wearing headphones on the flight are replaced by quiet. Eventually, the coach is gone. It may take weeks, but it happens.

Has Davis gone silent on Cable?

Seems like a major shift that Cable isn’t giving the owner his due on an important decision, or offering up a glowing endorsement of their conversations. What makes this more interesting is that Jackson, Davis’ hand-picked offensive coordinator, said he was the one who suggested the quarterback switch in the first place.

When I asked Cable if Gradkowski is now on notice that he could be benched for having six lackluster quarters, he avoided the question by saying it was moot if the Raiders went out and won games. He’s right, of course. But we haven’t seen consistent winning around here in seven years, leaving one to wonder how long it will take for Cable, Jackson or both to take the fall if it doesn’t happen this time.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • RaiderRockstar

    *fart*

  • Bauce 4 Real

    # GaterRaider Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 11:45 am

    its gonna be another ugly scrap game, but we win by a touch down.
    ***********************************

    YUNG SAC TOWN……whadeeeeeeeeeeeeeezit?

  • MistaBr0wn

    Bauce whats good my botha from anotha mutha

  • PurpleDrank81

    Yea the O-line is terrible…I like Bruce but with that line in front of him he’s in for some trouble…

  • http://www.alaska.com SammyTheBull

    ~Sam, I’m 27. is that “young” ???~
    just surprised you never heard of those guys or seen those shows. pretty much blow them up on cable and a&e

  • Bauce 4 Real

    # morilla Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 11:49 am

    The Italian Mafia is dead. They are the low man on the totem pole now a days.
    ****************************

    Always been low LOL……Joo-ish bastards are the real gangstas. Italians are just their lackeys

  • MistaBr0wn

    They call it offense now.

    ____

    RNOraiderFan Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 11:49 am
    Raiders 38 Cards 24. Finally some offence!

  • Bauce 4 Real

    # MistaBr0wn Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Bauce whats good my botha from anotha mutha
    ********************************

    Its great man….sunday was pretty damn cool but AZ game tremendously worries me

  • RaiderRockstar

    pretty much blow them up on cable and a&e

    ***

    I cancelled Dish Network 6 months ago.

    bummer!

  • DMAC

    Mex Mafia is ugly right now.

  • bcz24

    Agreed mista… definitely good flicks.

    Morilla… Italian Mafia is absolutely dead. The younger generations couldnt understand La Cosa Nostra.

  • PurpleDrank81

    24-14 Raiders….

  • Bauce 4 Real

    RNO……38 points? We must are gonna have a big return day from Ford and JLH…….no way can this team score 5 Offensive TDs…..what we aint seen that since 04 I think

  • MistaBr0wn

    I like the Brit Mobsters with their yellow teeth and filthy language, some of the best cussing ever.

    See:
    Snatch & Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrells, Sexy beast!

  • RNOraiderFan

    I take offense with you telling me how to spell offense. LOL. Better now?

  • GaterRaider

    whats guud bauce! aint seen u in a minute

  • http://www.nataliegulbis.com Richochet

    # Bauce 4 Real Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 11:49 am

    # Richochet Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Yo Bree..last we yakked you were stating how foolish I was for stating JC should ride the pine..

    “Care to revise your statement, sir?”
    **************************

    Sir if you saw the comments after the game sunday and a few days after you shall see those……its quite easy to go back and check it out….not that hard….I was at game and admitted the life Grad brought to team and that he deserved to start…Still JC will start again before this season is done. Oline is awful and Grad gets hurt
    ===========================
    Just yanking your chain, buddy.
    :)

    Would you want it any other way?

    And yeah, JC will get his shot, as will Boller, unless the Oline gets a lobotomy.

  • Bauce 4 Real

    I see this game as 20-17 with a nice bundle of turnovers for each squad…………someone wins by Field Goal…..but who?

  • MistaBr0wn

    Bauce,
    Every game should worry us until we get over this hump. Arizona is very winnable even for a road game. If the O-line halfway shows up we are ok.

  • PurpleDrank81

    Snatch was a great movie….Brit Mobsters are hilarious…..

  • RaiderRockstar

    JC will get his shot, as will Boller, unless the Oline gets a lobotomy.

    ***

    LOL!

    Agreed

  • Bauce 4 Real

    # GaterRaider Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 11:53 am

    whats guud bauce! aint seen u in a minute
    **************************

    Yeah cutty….I been shoutin out for ya but you in here when I aint! But its good mayne…..you rolling up to next game?

  • RNOraiderFan

    Bauce, I think the WR’s are going to really get going in this one. I also like DA to throw a pick 6 and then there is Bush Dmac to score twice. What about Miller? I think Grads just knows how to get the ball to the WRs better then any QB we have had since 04.

  • Bauce 4 Real

    # Richochet Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 11:54 am

    # Bauce 4 Real Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 11:49 am

    # Richochet Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Yo Bree..last we yakked you were stating how foolish I was for stating JC should ride the pine..

    “Care to revise your statement, sir?”
    **************************

    Sir if you saw the comments after the game sunday and a few days after you shall see those……its quite easy to go back and check it out….not that hard….I was at game and admitted the life Grad brought to team and that he deserved to start…Still JC will start again before this season is done. Oline is awful and Grad gets hurt
    ===========================
    Just yanking your chain, buddy.
    :)

    Would you want it any other way?

    And yeah, JC will get his shot, as will Boller, unless the Oline gets a lobotomy.
    *********************************

    PEDO….that not happening at all unless those rookies can start and look good like Iupati and Davis over in SF…..got issues man. Grads can only run for so long

  • GaterRaider

    i drop in from time to time. i went to the last game, i was up in the nose bleeds settin the crowd on fire, i can still barely talk. ima try to get out to the next game. im at least gonna be out there in the parking lot pimpin yumsayin. u gon b there?

  • RNOraiderFan

    The only game Grads failed to get the ball the the WRs was the Bengals game. Its understandable with those CBs. Who are the Cards CBs again???

  • PurpleDrank81

    Shottaz is a great movie too

  • Bauce 4 Real

    # MistaBr0wn Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Bauce,
    Every game should worry us until we get over this hump. Arizona is very winnable even for a road game. If the O-line halfway shows up we are ok.
    *********************************

    I think Offense will do decent maybe put up 325 yards but its a 3-4 defense and I believe we will still miss assignments and again on defense we are idiots for not starting Big John. Seymour has done what in Oakland to justify starting? Coming off the bus with guys who still cant rent a car? If he wants to help us volunteer to be the LDE otherwise you arent doing a damn thing

  • DMAC

    These aren’t the same Cards from last year + Not so much of a home field advantage (lots of Raider fans in the desert). Definitely a winnable game.

  • morilla

    Cable said yesterday on Serius that Grads is the starter for the rest of the season. Take that for what it’s worth. They aren’t doing any flip-flopping BS.

    The writing is on the wall for JC.

  • DMAC

    # PurpleDrank81 Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Shottaz is a great movie too
    ===========
    Yeah thats gangsta.

    What about CITY OF GOD?

  • Bauce 4 Real

    # RNOraiderFan Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 11:55 am

    Bauce, I think the WR’s are going to really get going in this one. I also like DA to throw a pick 6 and then there is Bush Dmac to score twice. What about Miller? I think Grads just knows how to get the ball to the WRs better then any QB we have had since 04.
    **************************************

    But 38 points for us will have to come half way by ST returns and INTS or Fumbles returned to the hut…….we just dont got it on offense to be explosive. Grad aint a good QB but he has guts……let’s see how long this last

  • http://www.nataliegulbis.com Richochet

    # RNOraiderFan Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Once upon a time in America!
    =================
    Great movie. Looooong movie, but shows how much the Jewish mobsters were involved.

    Meyer Lansky was one of the more powerful mobsters, and never spent a day in jail.

  • RNOraiderFan

    Coming off the bus with guys who still cant rent a car?
    ****************************************
    LMFAO!

  • PurpleDrank81

    Honestly I dont remember seeing City of Gods but I have heard alot about it

  • Bauce 4 Real

    # GaterRaider Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 11:57 am

    i drop in from time to time. i went to the last game, i was up in the nose bleeds settin the crowd on fire, i can still barely talk. ima try to get out to the next game. im at least gonna be out there in the parking lot pimpin yumsayin. u gon b there?
    *************************************

    I possibly may….yeah i more than likely will…..r8eray come up from Vegas to check us out man so ya know

  • DMAC

    You got to check it out.

  • MistaBr0wn

    Will check this out!
    _____

    Richochet Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 12:00 pm
    # RNOraiderFan Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Once upon a time in America!
    =================
    Great movie. Looooong movie, but shows how much the Jewish mobsters were involved.

    Meyer Lansky was one of the more powerful mobsters, and never spent a day in jail.

  • http://www.nataliegulbis.com Richochet

    MistaBr0wn Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Rich, yo ulove morning comedy. I LOVE tj comedy!
    All JaMarcus needs is a wife & kid to get his career rolling!
    ==========================
    lol..nothing like TJ rambles.
    All he needs now is a “snapshot” of the family so everyone can truly feel the “dynamics”

  • GaterRaider

    where u guys park?

  • RaiderRockstar

    new post!

  • RNOraiderFan

    I was one of the least powerful mobsters and I spent plenty of time in jail, ain’t that a Biotch. LOL!

  • http://www.wix.com/GGEden/ggeden GG

    Raiders 23-16

  • DKnight007

    Raiders need to control the clock on offense and pound the crap out of the ball with DMC and Bush.

    The Cards run defense is weak….Jason Snelling ran all over them last week for cryin out loud.

    They need to watch Hightower catching the ball out of the backfield and make sure Breaston doesn’t beat Routt.

    Nnamdi should blanket Fitz!

  • Kklutch

    Bruce will put pts up… The way I see it. If the D gets to Anderson early we have a great chance to win. If we can get to him and at least put a couple hits a quater and we will dominate…

  • MxRaider

    I’m glad Gradkowski is the man now. But I would like to see Boller be # 2 and Campbell as #3. I think Boller can move better than Campbell if the pocket collapses around him. I also think he could move the team more effectively… Time will tell. I’d also like to know if anyone can explain to me how the O-line (or whoever it was) finally made McFadden look good twice in a row. Sure they don’t defend our QB’s well but how well can this unit help us run the ball?… just asking… and though many of you enjoyed it, somebody tell Rolando this isn’t a wrestling match!… that penalty could’ve cost us the last game. If he wants to do it with a big lead and expose himself to being ejected from a game after a stupid stunt like that fine by me, just DON’T do it with the game on the line!!!… I’d also like to see the defense attack the Cards like they did against the Eagles last year. Well, if we got our wish offensively why not defensively?…

  • Kklutch

    I hear you but that body slam is the stuff of legend. Bottom line, it was bad timing but it didnt lose the game. Guys were thinkin twice about runnin round there after that hit. Id rather see that than someone get dragged down field for 15 yards… But like you said once is enough unless someone gets too mouthy then do it in the first half or something lol

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