Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Al Davis Chooses to cut the Cable
The Raiders chose to decline now former head coach Tom Cable’s option. Is it a good move or a bad move?
The Oakland Raiders went out, competed and played hard for Tom Cable. The players wanted to continue to play for Tom Cable, although a .500 record wasn’t enough for Al Davis.
The Raiders had a nice resurgence in 2010. That resurgence followed some solid pick ups in free agency and one of the best draft classes in years. Tom Cable was at the helm when the Raiders ended a seven-year streak of losing 11 games per season. Tom Cable was at the helm when the Raiders went out and won all six of the games in their division, beating everyone in the AFC West twice.
The Raiders had 354.6 yards per game, 198.8 passing yards, 25.6 points per game and 410 total points. All numbers were better than Kansas City's statistics.
Hue Jackson was hired as the offensive coordinator and tasked with turning the offense around. Mission accomplished the Raiders improved from 31st in the league in total offense in 2009 to 10th in 2010. The offense and defense improved, but the offense improved the most.
This isn’t a popular decision or one that all Raider fans like, but it is Al’s decision. This isn’t to say that Tom Cable was a great coach, because he wasn’t. In my opinion the decision is unpopular because the Raiders are building something solid in Oakland, and to do that you need continuity at the head coaching position, something that just doesn’t happen in Oakland.
Tom Cable was a solid offensive line coach, but I never felt he was ready to be a head coach. He was the third or fourth choice when he was hired; the fallback plan so to speak.
It is a move that really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. It is a known fact that Al Davis changes coaches frequently.
The Raiders are a good football team with a good mix of youth and veterans on both sides of the ball, with enough talent to be a playoff team. Tom Cable was essentially let go because of his 17-27 overall record, the team’s 2-8 record outside of the division, the team’s undisciplined play in leading the league 1,276 penalty yards and benching Jason Campbell for the Dolphins game to start Bruce Gradkowski.
The rumors are that Hue Jackson will be the next Raiders head coach. In terms of continuity, it would make sense. This team is only going to get better.
The Raiders have had 15 head coaches; eight since the team returned to Oakland. At least four of them can be categorized as mistakes. The longest-tenured coach was John Madden, who coached 142 games with a 103-32-7 regular season record, 9-7 in the post season with a Super Bowl win.
Art Shell coached 92 games in two stints as the head coach. The most successful coach in franchise history is Tom Flores, who has a 105-90 overall record, 8-3 in the postseason and three Super Bowl wins: two as a head coach and one as John Madden’s assistant.
Tom Flores is one of a few Raiders along with Ray Guy who should be in the NFL Hall of Fame but aren't. However, in regards to the top job, it’s not a surprise that Al Davis doesn’t hold head coaches in high regard. You have to go back more than a few years to find a coach that Al Davis saw eye to eye with. Al Davis has felt for years that he can coach the coach, and in turn coach the team.