After weeks of speculation that included many NFL analysts assuming Tom Cable‘s firing was a foregone conclusion (Adam Shefter), the word now is that Al Davis has decided to retain Cable as the head coach of the Raiders for the 2010 season.
So far there has been no confirmation from the Raiders on the retention of Cable. In fact, Raiders’ senior executive John Herrera would say only that, despite meetings into the night the past two days, no decision has been reached. While at the same time, Herrera has been pretending that the controversy over who will coach the Raiders next season has been purely a media fabrication. Herrera released the following statement:
“We’ve never made any statements that the head coach would not be back. That has been media speculation from the beginning. We’ve consistently stated that we’re going through an evaluation process to determine the direction that the organization needs to go. The process is ongoing, and it has not reached a conclusion.”
So if were to take Herrera at his word (and we don’t), even Al Davis doesn’t yet know what he is going to do. The only way that is even fathomable is if Davis really hasn’t gotten the kind of answer he is looking for quite yet. That answer being something close to “Yes, Mr Davis, I will start JaMarcus Russell no matter what.”
But even without “inside sources”, the moves that have been going on with the Raiders lately suggests that Cable will not only be the coach next season but that he has been the coach all along. Unlike last offseason, when many of the assistants were hired by Al Davis prior to Cable being named the official head coach; these new hires and interviews have Cable’s influence all over them.
Sure, the Raiders new/old defensive line coach, Mike Waufle, coached for the Raiders before. But he also coached along side Cable at Cal for his entire career there from 92-97. The only other interview that the Raiders have held was Hue Jackson for the offensive coordinator position. Hue was the offensive coordinator at Cal in ’96 while Cable (OL) and Waufle (DL) were the line coaches. That season the Golden Bears earned a birth in the Aloha Bowl. Cable may not want to give up the OC duties but that is the call of the GM or in this case: Al Davis. If he thinks Cable needs some help, all Cable can do is ask to be part of the process. And if Hue came on board, it would be quite the Cal Bears reunion. Only this time, the pecking order would be a little different.
Davis and Cable have met in person at least twice since the season ended and discussed Cable’s status numerous times by phone. In the end, a major deciding factor in Davis’ decision to keep Cable on as the head coach was the overwhelming support for Cable by the players; who have made it well known that they want to play for Cable.
Others’ speculate that the move to keep Cable is purely from a business standpoint. The thinking is that with the possibility of a lockout next season, Al Davis is opting for stability. It is supposedly the same reasoning that had the Browns, Jags and Cowboys all retain their head coaches. I am not of the mind that instability played any part in the decision. Seriously, when has Al Davis ever cared about stability?
But for now, the Raiders look to be quite stable. Not only at head coach but on his staff. Whether Cable spends the remaining year of his contract as a lame duck will depend on how well this team performs next season.
ALSO SEE: Waufle, Jackson in? Board, Tollner out?