Oakland Raiders: Answers To the Coaching Question?

David WilsonCorrespondent IJanuary 20, 2010

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 03:  Head coach Tom Cable of the Oakland Raiders watches the action during the game against the Seattle Seahawks on September 3, 2009 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Rumours continue to surround the Oakland Raiders in regard to the status of current head coach Tom Cable and his possible replacements should he be fired. 

Al Davis and John Herrera have of course done nothing to enlighten anyone outside the organisation.  The Raiders penchant for secrecy and misinformation will keep everything under wraps as long as possible.

But there have been some clues I think to the way this whole thing will unfold.

At the conclusion of the season, most of the press has Tom Cable down as a "dead man walking," and no one believed that he had a chance to survive the week. 

Yet he is still here, and the consensus of opinion now is that it is a 50/50 decision either way.

A definite shift in thinking. For Cable, no news has really been good news thus far.

We thought we might have a result on his status at the end of last week, and then by the end of Tuesday, but we didn’t. You may wonder if Cable and Al Davis have even met, and if they did was it a few words only?

John Herrera can clarify that for you

"Most of the characterizations of Al Davis' meetings with the head coach being short or brief are not true either," Herrera said. "Mr. Davis has had meetings of some depth with the head coach. There have been meetings and meetings of substance."

And Tom Cable is still there.

There have been rumours that Al Davis has talked to a number of head coaching candidates for Cable’s job over the last few weeks, and one name that has been put forward as being interviewed is Jim Fassell. A rumour that Fassell flatly denied, stating he would not make a bid for Cable’s job whilst he was in post.

There are rumours of Marc Trestman, Jim Harbaugh being talked to, but nothing has been confirmed.  There is talk that Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, and Packers assistant head coach Winston Moss will be interviewed, but so far nothing concrete at all.

What we do know once we have sifted the wheat from the chaff is this. 

The Raiders interviewed Baltimore Ravens quarterbacks coach Hue Jackson about becoming the team's offensive coordinator.  They also interviewed Giants ex defensive line coach Mike Waufle for the defensive line position in Oakland.

Both of these coaches have links to Tom Cable.

Waufle and Jackson worked on the staff at California with Cable in the 1990s, and Jackson was offensive coordinator at USC under Oakland quarterbacks coach Paul Hackett.

What does that tell you?

Nothing for sure, but it strongly hints at the fact that Cable had a hand in these hirings as they were people he knew and rated highly.

If Tom Cable has had a hand in hiring an offensive coordinator and a defensive line coach, then it means it is very likely he is staying in post.

Most think that Cable needed a good offensive coordinator this year, and Jackson would fit that bill nicely. It might also pacify Al Davis in regard to the production of the offense and some prospective improvement next year.

Al also listens to his players, and to a man they are pulling for Tom Cable to stay.

So my answer is this. Al Davis and Tom cable have had their differences, but Cable will be coaching the Raiders next year with some alterations to the staff.

Of course with Al Davis and the Raiders you never know, and really I’m just trying to read the tea leaves in the bottom of the cup.

Just like everybody else.