By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Tuesday, January 18th, 2011 at 10:39 pm in Oakland Raiders.
You wonder if everything Al Davis laid out for the media Tuesday is worth $120,000 to Tom Cable.
If Cable had never filed a grievance for six paychecks at $20,000 each, Davis wouldn’t have eviscerated his former coach at an event that was supposed to be a coronation for Hue Jackson.
The press conference appeared to be at an end, with the media confused as to whether Davis’ earlier mention of getting back to the reason Cable was fired would take place in the usual gaggle around the stage.
Then Davis wanted everyone seated, and opened up a folder, a moment which brought an overhead projector kind of feel to proceedings that had been relatively normal up to that point.
Davis re-opened the ESPN domestic abuse and Randy Hanson incidents, saying they had brought lawsuits upon the team which had tied up lawyers and served as a distraction. He said Cable flew former girlfriend Marie Lutz in on road trips.
“He’s the head coach and this is the guy who’s talking bout focus, we’ve got a job to do, we’ve got a game to play, we’ve got to win, and they’re flying friends so they can be with him the nigh before the game,” Davis said. “All of this stuff goes a long way against my wishes, my way of living, against my life and against the Raider way and I just wasn’t going to take it any more.”
He said Cable violated the NFL constitution by not keeping him informed on a “timely basis relative to past transgressions.”
Davis said Cable never said a word about the fines, then accused him of leaking the information (ESPN’s Adam Schefter was the first to report it).
“He found something that would stimulate all all you people, as if I wounded him,” Davis said. “He knew I could have thrown him out without any money for what he did to the Raiders with the initial stuff with Hanson . . . there are some things I can’t say because of the legalese about this but there’s no way that he can’t come clean on this.”
Cable discovered the same thing Lane Kiffin did. Make it about money, and Davis won’t hesitate.
He’s long been much more forgiving of the transgressions of his players than his coaches. The things Cable is accused of would be a blip on the silver and black screen of what Raiders players did in their glory years on a weekly basis.
But the players who truly draw Davis’ ire are the ones who go public over issues with money. The root of the Marcus Allen feud in Davis’ mind is that he offered him the most money ever paid to a running back and Allen not only turned him down, but ripped him during a halftime interview on Monday Night Football.
Steve Beuerlein wound up carrying a clipboard for a year for going public in the papers about his contract.
Chester McGlockton complained about his contract to the media and as a result spend his last few years bitter and of course never got the contract.
On the other hand, Tim Brown would routinely have pointed criticisms about the organization but it was never a problem. Why? Because Brown never complained when the Raiders matched an offer sheet to keep him from going to the Broncos, and then routinely renegotiated his contract to help with the salary cap, accepting bonuses instead of salary and doing what he could to help the bottom line.
The money issue so angered Davis that he simply crushed Cable in public, just as he did Kiffin. Those of us who speculated Davis would be livid about his “We’re not losers any more” quote issued after the Chiefs game and during his final press conference were on point. He made one sarcastic reference to it, then later expanded upon his feelings when asked directly if it bothered him.
“I went back and checked it thoroughly. Cable has been in football 20 years, had been with a winning team three years out of 20,” Davis said. “I didn’t like his statement, and some of you took it and used it, but I didn’t like it. If that’s not being a loser in our world, I don’t know what it is, come in 500. That’s never been my goal.”
Hopefully, Hue Jackson was taking notes.