Tom Cable: Oakland Raider Owner Al Davis Had a Choice To Make

Carl CockerhamSenior Analyst IJanuary 5, 2011

Tom Cable: Oakland Raider Owner Al Davis Had a Choice To Make

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    The Oakland Raiders have finished with a .500 record for the first time since 2002. They are a much more exciting team to watch as the culture has truly changed in Raider Nation.

    So why is Cable not being brought back for next year?

    Should he be?

    It depends on how you look at it.

    There's always a case either way when a team doesn't make the playoffs.

    I believe that Jackson was a part of a two man race for the head coaching job in Oakland. He may have been the head coach in waiting since Davis hired him this past off season.

    Was the alleged rift between the two real?

    Does that rift have to do with the choice Davis made?

    Turn the page to sort it all out.

The Rift

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    There ended up being fire under the smoke of a rift between Hue Jackson and Tom Cable. Cable would deny that there was any rift between he and his offensive coordinator (Jackson) all season long.

    Cable has tried to refer to their past relationship but it is that past relationship that probably angered Cable upon Jackson's hiring. Word on the Raider Nation streets is that he didn't think that his boy (Jackson) should have taken the job as he could eventually replace Cable with a job well done.

    Then word spread around Raider Nation that Jackson was unhappy because he felt he was being under-minded by Cable. He was then going to entertain collegiate and pro prospects of head coaching jobs.

    Many believe Cable was retained through this year to provide stability for this young team. But I think it's because he couldn't find a candidate that he really likes.

    Jackson became that candidate that he likes by doing a great job with the offense this season.

    Davis then had to choose between having a new offense or a new head coach.



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    Tom Cable is given credit for being the motivator of the Oakland Raiders.

    He has instilled a positive attitude in Raider Nation and made them believe in themselves. The black cloud was lifted of off Raider Nation when the Raiders beat the Chiefs and finished .500 this season.

    Jon Gruden was the last coach to do that.

    Cable said it best in a post game interview when he said, We're not losers anymore.


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    Was Cable really the main motivator and culture changer in Raider Nation?

    He is the same coach that went 5-11 the year before.

    How big of a culture change was Jackson?

    He was the one that went to camp last summer and talked trash to the defense. He even told the defense the play the offense was going to run and dared them to stop it.

    The local media often talked about the tempo the offense had in training camp.

    This on is hard to call because they have both been good motivators. Veterans like Richard Seymour with Super Bowl rings deserve most of the credit for the culture change anyway.

    One edge for Jackson is he came from a winning culture in Baltimore.

Cable Not The Davis Type Of Guy

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    Tom Cable has the rugged look of a Raider coach but so did Art Shell. Shell made the mistake of hiring a bed and breakfast owner to coordinate his offense and Cable wasn't allowed to make that mistake.

    Cable tried his hand at calling plays last year but that was an experiment that failed miserably. Davis then relieved Cable of those duties and in comes Jackson.

    Cable told the media that it was a good idea because he was wearing "too many hats." The truth of the matter is Cable is and offensive line coach and doesn't have the knack for calling plays.

    Cable just isn't and Xs and Os type of guy.

Jackson Is Davis' Type Of Guy

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    When you have a philosophy, it is important that you surround yourself with people that share that philosophy.

    Hue Jackson is that guy.

    He didn't even have to change to appease Davis as he ran a vertical offense in Baltimore to take advantage of the big arm Joe Flacco has. He was also a part of a vertical offense as Carson Palmer's quarterback coach in Cincinnati.

    You can add to that the fact that Jackson is brilliant at what he does. Sure he's called some bad games with the Raiders but legender 49er head coach Bill Walsh called some bad games too.

    The Raider offense was ranked No. 31 in both yardage and scoring last year.

    Jackson went to Raider Nation and moved the Raiders into the top 10 in both categories this year. The Raider offense is now one that can strike from anywhere on the field.

    That's what Davis likes.

Getting The Most Out Of Players

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    The definition of a coach is getting the most out of a person or group of people. It is obvious that Davis thought that Cable didn't get the most out of this talented group.

    Many in Raider Nation believe that going from 5-11 to 8-8 is reason enough to keep his job. But 8-8 is not good when you squander a chance to go at least 11-5 in the process.

    Losing five games to teams that were under .500 can hardly be called getting the best out of your talent.

Getting The Most Out Of Players

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    Remember, Jackson was brought in to see what he could get out of first round bust Jamarcus Russell. It was after Jackson informed Davis the Russell was unreachable that Russell was let go.

    Jackson was given a horrible offensive line that supposed offensive line guru Cable assembled. Jackson was still able to make the aforementioned jump from the bottom two to the top ten in yards and points.

    Look at what Jackson was able to do with 2008 first round pick Darren McFadden. The first thing he did was have McFadden inform him of what types of plays he likes to run.

    That was Maddenesque!

    It makes me think of when Madden allowed quarterback Ken Stabler to change the plays called in 1976. Madden said,"I never wanted my guys to run plays they didn't want to. They want us to run this or that. I wanted them to feel like it was their team and they were involved in what we were doing.

    Allowing you to run what you like has to endear you to a coach.

Didn't Get The Best Out Of His Offensive Line

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    Cable is supposed to be the man with the master plan when it comes to the offensive line. After watching the Raiders lead the league in sacks allowed, I see that is far from the truth.

    It was he that influenced Davis to let center Jake Grove leave town and trade for Samson Satele. Cable once said that Satele was the best offensive lineman in the 2007 draft.

    The acquisition of Satele led to a drop out of the top 10 in rushing in 2009. Satele had little to nothing to do with the resurgence of the running game in 2010 because the Raiders couldn't run inside too much.

    They especially couldn't between he and right guard Cooper Carlisle, who's another Cable favorite. Then the Raiders weren't able to go deep too much because the left tackle position is weak.

    Cable sold rookie Jared Veldheer to Raider Nation as a future elite left tackle like a used car salesman. For those of you that are still sold on him, please take a closer look with me.

    Veldheer was used at center in week one and it didn't go over too well because he hadn't played center in a long time. After that, Cable was determined to get his baby on the field and rotated him at left tackle.

    Then midway through the season, he gave Veldheer the starting position. Veldheer started just 11 games on the season and gave up 10 sacks.

    That's actually worse than Henderson's league leading 9.5 sacks given up last year. What really makes it worse is Veldheer took only 11 games for such a total to Henderson's 16.

    Please don't say, "he's just a rookie because Joe Thomas, Jake Long, and Ryan Clady shined right away." The Raiders need an elite left tackle more than the other teams because of that vertical game.

    Jared Gaither was there for the taking this offseason and the Raiders showed interest but Cable had better ideas. We will see what happens now because at 6'9, 340 pounds, Gaither is Davis' type of guy.

    There were better guys on the streets this year than  what the Raiders had at center and right guard too.

Got The Best Out Of The Raider's Best Quarterback

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    Here's an area that Cable might have been under-minding Jackson. He told the media along with Jackson that it was Jackson that called for the switch at quarterback early in the season.

    Who did they think bought that one.

    Jackson came to Raider Nation to work with a big armed quarterback. That is what he has done over the years and Bruce Gradkowski surely isn't what Jackson brought his vertical offense to Raider Nation for.

    Cable fumbled the quarterback situation by benching Campbell any time he threw two straight incompletions. He was looking for any excuse to get his man Gradkowski into the game.

    But when Gradkowski was injured, it was Jackson that called Campbell into his office for a chat. He told Campbell, "Don't go out there and try to play too perfect. Just go out there and give your guys a chance to make a play."

    Campbell went on to win three straight and post multiple 100+ quarterback ratings. Then after a bad loss to the Steelers, Campbell was put back on the bench and the Raiders were blown out at home by the Dolphins. 

    Gradkowski's injury is the only reason why he didn't finish the season.

    Don't wonder why Cable is not back.


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    Cable has no one to blame but himself for losing is job.

    You better at least go to the playoffs if you go against the wishes of Davis. In this case, the Raiders would likely have gone to the playoffs if he went with Davis' wishes and started Campbell.

    Starting other favorites Cooper Carlisle and Samson Satele helped the Raiders underachieve this season too. Meanwhile, Jackson has brought an offense from the bottom to the top of the league.

    He's done so with the players Davis brought to the team and with his philosophy.

    From a stability standpoint, it's better to let the head coach go than to have the team learn another offense. With Cable's contract being up now, the decision wasn't a difficult one to make.

    The Cable is now out.

    Time for Direct TV's Sunday Ticket.