So here’s the Raiders’ postseason scorecard:
– Dismissed coach Tom Cable despite a lot of support in the locker room.
– Embarked on a coaching “search” which is expected to name offensive coordinator Hue Jackson as the new coach within the next few days.
– Saw Pro Bowl cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha eligible to join the ranks of unrestricted free agency by failing to reach a number of likely to be reached incentives.
– Had a story become public courtesy of ESPN that owner Al Davis fined Cable $120,000 over a 12-week period (most coaches are paid every other week) while the coach was leading the Raiders to their first season in seven years that didn’t result in 11 or more losses.
There was no specific reason given for the fines, although the ESPN story said Davis was upset over losing two days of organized team activities last June because their practices were judged to be too intense for offseason workouts.
(Beat writer Steve Corkran supplies some background in this Bay Area News Group story on the Cable-Davis dynamic)
Just when it seemed the franchise associated with disfunction was stabilizing and becoming functional, the Raiders are again looked upon as a franchise adrift.
Davis has apparently cut off communications with his last two coaches, men who took polar opposite approaches.
Lane Kiffin wanted no part of Raiders tradition, put his issues with Davis in the media, did everything he could to get fired and eventually accomplished his goal. He was fired “with cause” with Davis using an overhead projector as a prop.
Cable embraced everything about the Raiders, from on-field philosophy, to traditional rivalries, and even managed to do what Norv Turner, Art Shell and Kiffin could not _ put a competitive product on the field _ one that was downright dominant within the AFC West.
The Raiders declined to pick up the option on his contract, something Cable certainly knew would be the case considering his paychecks had been $20,000 light every other week.
Cable has kept a low profile and has not been available for comment.
His agent, Don Yee, said in an e-mail, “The league will process the matter accordingly.”
Within the next few days, Jackson is expected to be named head coach, probably at a press conference similar to eight others that have taken place over the last 16 seasons since the Raiders returned to Oakland.
Jackson will be full of enthusiasm and optimism, citing the team colors and tradition. Davis, hopefully, will be on hand to promise better days ahead and give his own unique spin.
All that will be left will be for Jackson to hold on to his job and his money as Davis attempts to navigate the Raiders back into prominence at age 81 through an uncharted maze of labor unrest, mass free agency and declining revenues.
And to think things were looking up after that 31-10 win over the Chiefs.