Oakland Raiders Head Coaching Possibilities
We all know the recent history—error, debacle—depending on which term you'd prefer to use.
We know that the players in the current locker room are standing behind Cable, and one in particular, Nnamdi Asomugha, has said that he and other team captains will speak on Tom Cable's behalf for Al Davis to keep him in the head coaching spot next season.
We know that the media has already declared Tom Cable a walking fired man for reasons that we all know.
So what don't we know?
To start with, we don't know what Al is thinking. If history is any indication, then it would appear that Cable is, at the very least, one surprising candidate away from looking for work.
There are some interesting candidates out there, as well. I've been saying for the most part that firing the coach would be a huge mistake.
The locker room would be giving Al the evil eye. Chances are that JaMarcus Russell would stay put, so according to many season ticket holders, they would not be renewing the lease on their seats for next season.
The jokes would continue and there would most likely be a new offensive system coming to town. Any continuity that had been gained this season may be lost.
I said from about the halfway point of the season that Tom Cable has to come back next year. Al Davis had his opportunity to make a change about a year ago now, and he chose Tom Cable.
He chose Tom Cable over Jim Fassell, Mark Trestman, Kevin Gilbride, and Dennis Green.
Names like former St. Louis Rams coach Mike Martz and former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach are new to the equation. Also new candidates are Stanford's David Shaw and the Miami Hurricanes' Mark Whipple.
In my opinion, none of these coaches sound right. Although, Mike Martz loves the same type of long passing game that Al Davis wants to bring to his team, and his team did it very well in St. Louis. But the team Martz coached in St. Louis was built by Dick Vermeil, not Martz himself.
Up to this point, I've said that the only way they should fire Tom Cable is if they can manage to get Jon Gruden back. However, countless sources have shunned the idea as a mere delusion of a once proud Raider Nation.
They say that Al Davis will not pay Gruden the salary he would require, and that Davis would not submit the total control that Gruden would want. Alas, they are most likely correct.
The recently shifty mover Lane Kiffin took a job with USC on Tuesday. Kiffin spoke highly of Tom Cable's character in a recent press release, while saying that the Raiders should give Cable another season to prove himself before they pull the plug.
While Mr. Davis most likely brushed aside the incident, one person who heard Kiffin's statement loud and clear was Tom Cable. And this leads me to believe that if Mr. Davis fires Tom Cable, then Cable will without hesitation take his line coaching skills to USC and become their offensive line coach as a way to stay close to home while seeking a bit of redemption on one, Al Davis.
But to get back to the present situation, two names have recently entered the coaching talks that I must admit do intrigue me a little bit.
One name is Brian Billick. Billick is the former Baltimore Ravens coach who led the Ravens to a Super Bowl victory in 2000. In nine years coaching the Ravens, Billick chalked up an 85-67 win loss record which included five postseason wins and three postseason losses.
There is currently no indication that Billick is interested in the Raiders job, nor is there any indication that he would even like to coach again. But Billick is only 57 years old, so odds are that the fire has not yet expired.
Billick is credited for being an offensive coach who rode a dominate defense to a Super Bowl victory. He is a strong personality who has developed himself into a respectable TV analyst. He is known for being authoritative without being a huge disciplinarian, which would put him on the good side of the fearless leader Al Davis.
The other name that has come up and is beginning to carry a little bit of weight with it is former Lions and 49ers head coach Steve Mariucci. Mariucci has been out of coaching since his decline with the Lions, but is rumored to be looking to get back in.
He was thought to be the leading candidate for the USC job that ultimately got scrounged up by "Lance."
Mariucci might be worth looking into Raiders' fans, given that he has history with the current coaching staff he would most likely be working with. His defensive coordinator with the 49ers was none other than John Marshall.
His quarterbacks coach with the 49ers, as well as his offensive coordinator and tight ends coach with the Lions was current Raiders passing game coordinator Ted Tollner. In fact, Tollner has a long history with Steve Mariucci, who was hired on Tollner's USC staff in 1986.
Mariucci is said to have a healthy respect for Al Davis, and has yet to speak ill of the Raiders in his role as an NFL network analyst. Davis is said to have spoken well of the offense-minded Mariucci as well.
Mariucci might draw a crowd as well, being that he once coached across the Bay in San Francisco.
San Jose Mercury News reporter Tim Kawakami is recommending Mariucci and said, "We know he usually alternates between brainy coordinator-types and blue-collar line coaches. So, after Cable, Davis is due for a brainy coordinator this time."
Kawakami calls Mariucci the "best case scenario" for the Oakland Raiders job. Mariucci boasts a 51.8 percent winning percentage in nine seasons with two different NFL clubs. His record with the 49ers is a very impressive 57-39, which is nearly 60 percent of his games with the crimson and gold.
So let me know what is on your mind, Raider Nation. Who is going to coach the Oakland Raiders in the new decade?
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