By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Monday, January 3rd, 2011 at 12:00 pm in Oakland Raiders.
There’s a raucous meeting of some sort going on behind the thin walls between the media room and the club facility, but the open locker room period was largely devoid of activity.
Only a few players trickled in between 10 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. Monday in advance of an 11 o’clock team meeting, all voicing support for coach Tom Cable as well as addressing concerns about a potential work stoppage.
Punter Shane Lechler, asked about the difference between the Raiders of past years and the 2010 version, continued his campaign for Cable.
“I think it was, to tell you the truth I think it was Cabes,’’ Lechler said. “Cable came in and was like, ‘Hey guys, this is what we’re going to do. We’re going to win the AFC West and we’re going to go do this and we’re going to compete and we’re going to win.
“He really helped this team out because he’s a blue-collar coach, and that’s what this organization I think needs. He’s not going to – excuse my French – he’s not going to (B.S.) you.
“He’s a straight shooter, and that’s how he is. That’s what I enjoy about him. I enjoy playing for him. Hopefully he’s here for a while. But I really do really, seriously think he’s the main reason we’ve got this thing headed back in the right direction.’’
Lechler has read the reports _ both ESPN’s Adam Schefter and the NFL Network’s Mike Lombardi have said Cable is “unlikely’’ to return _ and hopes they’re not true.
“That would be a shame. I seriously believe that it would set us back again,’’ Lechler said. “I can’t go through another head coach, man. I just can’t. I’ve been through too many of them. And they all come in here and say the same thing, ‘I’m going to do this, I’m going to turn this …’
“No, you’re not. I’d rather be with the guy that’s here right now, and we’ll roll with him.”
Lechler has played for six head coaches in 11 seasons _ Jon Gruden (2000-2001), Bill Callahan (2002-03), Norv Turner (2004-05), Art Shell (2006), Lane Kiffin (2006-07) and Cable (2007-present).
Tight end Zach Miller said if Cable weren’t retained “That would be a disappointment for everyone on the team. We’ve rallied behind him and he’s always been an honest coach with us, a great guy we follow. I don’t think anybody on the team wants that.’’
Said linebacker Ricky Brown: “You know what, I think he’s done a great job here. It seems like that other rumor started yesterday and we were kind of taken aback by it. None of that stuff, the players have no control over that, and the only thing we can do is play.’’
Brown, however, was realistic enough to understand there’s always a possibility of change and donned his silver and black colored glasses to look at the bright side.
“There’s a lot of respect for coach Cable just as there was a lot of respect for Art Shell when he was here.’’
Cable meets with the media for his weekly press briefing at 2 p.m.