It’s pretty clear that Raider fans won’t be granted their wish for the 2010 season, a new General Manager. Therefore, retaining Tom Cable as head coach is a good move. He’s controversial, he gives Al Davis enough resistance to appear strong willed, and the team likes him.
Since Tom Flores moved into Administration in 1987, there have been 11 head coaching tenures for the Raiders. The current shelf life for the job is just under two and half years.
Perhaps the tumultuous relationship with Mike Shanahan on the heels of Flores’ departure set the tone for mistrust and knee jerk personnel decisions that have defined the last two decades. With the re-hiring of Mike Waufle as defensive line coach, while talks between Davis and Cable were ongoing, the limitations of the head coach position in Oakland are clear.
Until a Raider head coach is allowed the autonomy to hire his own staff, expectations for a resurgence to greatness should be put on hold.
Within the status quo, there are some areas that can be worked upon. Let’s start with consistency. The process of relearning personalities and schematics has been ongoing. There’s no way to excel when the focus is always getting everyone up to speed, or at least on the same page. Indeed, 2009 was not a fall off from the previous season. While the records were the same, at 5-11, overall play was improved.
Raider players have been rallying for Cable, wanting him to remain with the team for next season. They are hungry for consistency and seem to respond to Cable’s confidence. Official word from John Herrera does not confirm reports that Cable is off the chopping block, but it appears the team's collective voice has been heard and that Cable will remain the head coach for 2010 (although perhaps without his play calling privileges.)
If the Raiders bring in a qualified offensive coordinator, stop the bleeding at quarterback, and cut back on penalties by 25 percent, they can expect incremental improvements next season. The trick is to build on what has been going right, not pull the rug out from under it.