Saturday, October 11, 2008

How will Tom Cable’s elevation affect the Raiders?

Tom Cable’s unexpected ascension to the interim head coaching position places him in the unenviable position of being challenged with the task of bringing some order to chaos as well as leading a turnaround.
This is his first NFL head coaching job although he possesses 21 years of coaching experience.

In the locker room he is known as an approachable coach, that players can talk to, who has solidified the offensive line and can do the same with the entire locker room. Al Davis stated in the infamous press conference that he wanted Cable to dominate the players and dominate the locker room.

This is a task that is always tough for first year head coaches but a task that Cable is ready for and should excel in. Usually only time reveals the answer. The players to a man don’t like the constant change of head coaches but will rally around and play hard for Tom Cable.

Despite the strange way he became the Raiders head coach Tom Cable is qualified and well-suited for the position. He is known as a tough competitor, tough on discipline, a tough-minded guy with a take-charge approach that gets it and sees the whole picture.

These are some of the reasons that he was the choice as the next head coach despite other coaches on the roster being more well known commodities in coaching circles.

If you listen to several NFL insiders be it NFL executives, league-wide front office personnel, former players, sports announcers and sports writers; Tom Cable is the newest man not to matter. Seeing as who the owner is and his history with head coaches.

It is something that is impossible to dispute, but this could be that rare occasion where the interim head coach is able to finish what the former coach started despite the obvious obstacles.

Tom Cable has learned what it takes to command the attention of a large group; he is very effective taking the time to reach out to each player getting to know them individually and taking a personal interest in each player, their families, and their well being on and off the field.

Offensive Coordinator Gregg Knapp will now call the plays on offense, it is a position that he has excelled in, and he will take on the chess match of putting together an aggressive game plan attacking opposing defenses.

Tom Cable will have final say, but the feeling is that the offense won’t be as reliant on the running game but I disagree with that thought. This is a running team that will pass and aggressively take their shots down field when available.

Some have speculated that the problem with the offense is that former coach Lane Kiffin kept the wraps on JaMarcus Russell and wouldn’t let him throw deep. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

The biggest change will be getting the wide receivers to become more of a factor. This has to occur for the offense to be more aggressive. Todd Watkins needs to be activated, he has the speed to go deep and can help an unproductive unit.

This unit has a combined 19 receptions that number needs to increase to reach the offensive balance Cable and Knapp desire.

The WR group has to step up their game and make plays to help out the offense and hold onto passes thrown their way, the offense as a whole must convert on third down.

The Raider running game is in need of the return of a healthy Justin Fargas. Having all of their runners healthy makes the running game more diverse.

Rob Ryan will still be in control of the defense with Tom Cable having final say, this unit needs to be aggressive and continue to attack from start to finish. The Outside linebackers need to make more plays in the running game and help the defensive line put pressure on the passer.

The defense needs to stop the opposition and get off the field on third down. The most important thing is the need to finish games. These are a few ways to notice Tom Cable’s affect on the team.

This team is close to putting together a complete game and coming away with more wins.
I’m aware that close is only good in regards to horseshoes and hand grenades.
I know that the NFL isn’t the close business but you have to crawl before you can walk. This team is making progress and moving in the right direction.

Several have asked the question, what is Tom Cable’s style? What is the Tom Cable way? The answer to those questions is simple.

Tom Cable wants the players to not be afraid of making mistakes but make them while playing 100mph. His feeling is that a player can grow from that quicker and that a player will learn quicker. It is unacceptable for players not to play with maximum effort.

Contrary to popular belief, the Raiders still have a chance in the AFC West.

Tom Cable has taken on a daunting task that can only be handled one game at a time. You’ll notice the affect when you see the Raiders play hard, play fast and play smart that is the Cable way.

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