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"Test, test" Is this thing even on, guys?
Coach Cable. A likeable guy. A confident guy. A positive guy. An offensive line genius.
Wait a second here.....likeable, yes. Confident, yes. Positive, yes. O-line genius? Hell no!
Since Jon Gruden left, the Raiders' head coaching position has gone through more changes than Chastity Bono. We've seen Bill Callahan, Norv Turner, Art Shell, Lane Kiffin, and now Tom Cable in just the last seven seasons.
It's a precarious perch, one which Cable seemed to have two feet firmly on during the offseason when he was retained and seemingly allowed to help out with personnel.
But this team's biggest weakness has been the offensive line, a faction of the team which Cable made his NFL bones coaching. Cable has proved to be a mad scientist when it comes to the offensive line, but by cobbling together mismatched parts and bringing the best out in them. And not by performing crazy experiments that succeed greatly like, say, Mike Martz does on offense.
Nope, he's a mad scientist in the sense that he's bat guano crazy with some of the things he does. I've been discussing this with some members of Raider Nation, and we've concluded that Cable's ego is the biggest factor in O-line difficulties.
A few years ago, Robert Gallery was a huge bust at the left tackle position. Coach Cable came in, switched him to guard, and got stellar play from the much-maligned lineman.
Ever since, he's been trying to do the same with other players, with far different results. His ego makes pet projects out of lineman with little talent, like Kwame Harris or Samson Satele.
Because Cable's reputation goes with these guys, he keeps them in the lineup far longer than their play warrants, simply because he does not want to admit he screwed up. Hence, the experiment with Jared Veldheer at center.
After the offensive line couldn't protect Jason Campbell last week, Cable chose instead to focus on the fact that they opened some running lanes. He simply will not cop to the fact that an area that should be a strength, given his background, is the biggest weakness on the team.
Cable also talks a good game about an attitude shift and a shift in player focus, but it never seems to come to fruition. This team doesn't win back-to-back games under Cable and often saves its worst performances for lesser teams they should beat.
That has me nervous for this Sunday.
Cable is under pressure to have this team ready to play, and at some point he has to stop being such a control freak regarding the offensive line, because his way is not working.
He talks a good game, but rarely does it manifest in actual on field performance. Raider Nation has given Cable a long rope due to the desperate need for coaching continuity and his affable nature, but if this team is flat in their home opener against a beatable opponent, many will be calling for Cable's head.
With good reason.