Tuesday, September 30, 2008

" In Tom Cable we Trust"

The inevitable has happened and the axe has fallen on former Head Coach Lane Kiffin. I thought it was very strange that Al decided to break him off with a telephone call as oppose to speaking with him in person.

Al Davis named second year offensive line coach Tom Cable as the interim Head Coach. He becomes the fifth Raiders head coach since 2002. This is Cable’s second year with the Raiders. He was the offensive line coach for the Atlanta Falcons in 2006 where he helped the Falcons lead the league in rushing.

He has 21 years of coaching experience with four as the Head Coach at the University of Idaho. He has been tutored by several great coaches and is a disciple of Alex Gibbs, a well known Offensive line coach.

He is well respected by the team and around the league, he has to bring the team together starting October first and get them to focus on playing better in the final 12 contests this season and finishing games.

After watching the unprecedented Al Davis Press Conference and noticing him go into great detail and speak at length that he had cause to fire Kiffin was odd.

Al had a Power Point presentation and displayed the letter that he sent to Kiffin outlining mistakes made on and off the field as well as his warnings to him.

Al came off as someone who was storing up information for this moment from when Kiffin was hired until now. He stated that it wasn’t simply one thing as the reason for Lane’s dismissal but an accumulation of the things.

Al did state the obvious, that he didn’t want to admit that he made a mistake in hiring Lane Kiffin, as the reason Kiffin wasn’t fired in the off-season.

He essentially said that Lane ‘disgraced’ the team and organization citing outright lies to the media and conflicts over personnel.

Al Davis denied a report that he gave Kiffin a letter of resignation to sign and that he didn’t sign it.

He stated that Kiffin was responsible for getting that false claim out to the media. He used it as an example for describing Kiffin with the double barrel verbal blast as a ‘flat-out liar’ and a ‘professional liar’ in the middle of a bit of rambling.

The stranger thing was that the relationship between Kiffin and Davis deteriorated that much in such a short time.

Lane had a 5-15 record in his one year four game career which isn’t great but the team was competitive, had a lead before losing and was competitive in those 15 loses.

Al went on to say that even if the Raiders had a three win –one loss record he still would’ve fired Kiffin which was odd.

Several have stated that Lane was trying to get fired to collect the remainder of the money on his contract but I’ve always disagreed with that comment.

The Raiders have been close to wins on several occasions but unlike horseshoes and hand grenades the reality is this isn’t the close business. The bottom line is winning and the team has to find ways to win.

I’m interested in what changes we’ll see in the team for the remainder of the season. Tom Cable is in his second season with the team and has a good idea of what needs to happen.

I feel that he will attempt to rally the veteran players and call on their leadership to help right the ship. The team has had some success this year; they’ve also shown that they’re close to breaking out.

Tom Cable knows that in the NFL points come out of the passing game and that you run the ball to win the game. The defense has to get after and stop the opponent as well as get off the field on third down.

He is aware that this team has had leads in 2007 and 2008 but needs to figure out how to finish games. That has to happen and hopefully this team will be more aggressive on both sides of the ball without having to deal with the distraction of having to field the "is this week that the Head Coach will be fired question."

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