Fair or not, Tom Cable must be fired as the Coach of the Oakland Raiders. Give Tom Cable credit, last year he helped lead the Raiders to more victories than they've had since 2002, and this year he has matched that win total and could surpass it with a win in the season finale. So why fire a coach that has led our team two seasons in a row to the most victories since 2002? Its only 5 wins, and though 4 of those wins have come against impressive opponents, they also have 11 losses that were very ugly. A good coach doesn't make his team look like its turning the corner 5 out of the 17 weeks in the NFL. A good coach doesn't say we're close, when we're in the same boat and position that we were in last year. Close is barely missing the playoffs. Close is putting a winning streak together. Close is not 5-10. Here is my case as to why Tom Cable should be fired.
I catch a lot of heat for believing Russell is only 50% to blame for this season, 50% at most. Russell played well to end last season, he had a better QB rating than young stars Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan in the final 4 games of the season. He needed help at wide receiver and needed a better line. The Raiders do not have a receiver on their roster that has been in the league for more than three years, unless you count Javon Walker. In Cable's first draft he helped choose Darrius Heyward- Bey over Michael Crabtree and didn't draft an O lineman. Chad Ochocinco was quoted as saying that a QB can only be as good as the supporting cast. Well that is exactly what happened. Needless to say, when it comes to developing a young QB, Cable showed what not to do.
Tom Cable has horribly mismanaged the Raiders strength on offense. The league is moving towards a two back system, but Cable tried to use all three backs. An example of a three back system that is working would be the Dallas Cowboys. This season Marion Barber has 200 Carries, Felix Jones has 101 and Tashard Choice has 64. The Raiders need a featured back and a change of pace. Currently the Raiders have three backs, and most of us, including Cable, are still not sure who our "featured" back is. I've been a pro Bush/Mcfadden for a while. Bush can be a work horse, but it appears that he is punished everytime he goes for over 100 yards. The week following a 100 yard performance Bush is rewarded with 10 carries or less. Though Mcfadden has been injured, he is also being misused. The tone from Cable before the season was that Mcfadden would get 15 to 20 touches a game. This season he has 99 Carries and 21 receptions, in 11 games playes. That is about 45 touches short of the 15 touches per game mark Cable talked about. A strong running game would have made life easier for Russell.
The Raiders offense has been horrible, and it really hasn't mattered who the QB is. Jamarcus Russell was ineffective, Charlie Frye wasn't much better. Bruce Gradkowski had success, but most of that was from Gradkowski and his receivers making plays, not Cable's play calling. When the head coach is the one calling the plays, and they are ineffective as they are, then that puts the team in an awkward situation. Cable is not an offensive genius and it showed this week against the Browns. Al Davis should have stripped Cable of his play calling duties, like Dan Snyder did to Zorn in Washington.
Sometimes its best to stick at what your best at. Tom Cable was an offensive line master mind. Maybe one of the most puzzling moves this offseason for the Raiders was the fact that they felt they didn't need to draft an offensive lineman. Instead they signed Khalif Barnes and Samson Satele, though Satele has been ok, Barnes hasn't delivered. Currently the offensive line is patched up, and is our offenses most glaring problem. There is hardly ever a pocket, and most of our QB's have to boot leg or roll out of the pocket if they want a successful passing play to work out.
A team reflects its coach, and 5-10 is a great example of Tom Cable. The Raiders need a winning attitude in the locker room,and they've done well in bringing guys in like Richard Seymour and Greg Ellis, but that winning attitude needs to come from a head coach. There is too many things going on off the field for Tom Cable. Though it may not be an issue to him, and he is focused on football, that doesn't make it a good thing. Raiders players are quoted as saying they are used to the circus, and have learned how to ignore it. That right there should be a sign that something needs to change, no player should ever be used to this kind of circus. A coach should be tryinig to end the circus, not add to it.
There are a lot of good coaches out there, and not many want to come to Oakland. Jim Fassel and Dennis Green are some that come to mind. With so many good coaches out there, its time to catch one of the big fish.