Oakland Raiders Coach Tom Cable: Why Al Davis Must Pull the Plug and Fire Him
Tom Cable needs to load the wagon and exit Raider Nation.
There are many reasons.
I had previously thought he would make a great head coach for the Raiders because he could work with Al Davis. However, I see things a little differently now because he deserves the blame for many things.
Sure, Davis has his say, but the old man can't run every single thing.
There have been many times that Davis has given a head coach the rope to hang himself with. Everything can't be blamed on Cable, but the main things that hurt the Raiders the most come from Cable.
Turn the page to see what they are.
Favorite One: Samson Satele
Tom Cable has played favorites so far this year.
The favorite of all his favorites is Samson Satele.
Satele is an undersized lineman that has no power, strength, or nastiness. Satele has led NFL centers in sacks given up and tackles given up behind the line of scrimmage since getting to the NFL.
Cable once said that Satele was the best lineman in the 2007 NFL draft. He then went to the Miami Dolphins and was trampled by the nose tackles in the AFC East.
Somehow, that impressed Cable and led him to let Jake Grove leave town, trading for Satele as a replacement. That does not sound like the Al Davis that drafted drafted Grove back in 2005.
The he doesn't bring Grove back after Satele was released.
Cable hasn't brought anyone in to even compete with Satele as he continues to get pushed back. Davis likes big men, so there's now way that it was his idea to keep Satele after last year's horrible play.
The only center he's better than in the league is Jared Veldheer, and that's because he's not a center.
Favorite Two: Jared Veldheer
Jared Veldheer is another favorite of Cable's.
At least he was.
I didn't buy, but Cable sold most of Raider Nation the idea that Veldheer was a diamond in the Division II rough for a left tackle. He was not, though, as Veldheer's short arms were exposed in the preseason against Julius Peppers.
Jonathan Ogden is the exception while Veldheer is the rule.
After that, Cable was determined to give Veldheer an important position, so he moved him to center. Then we found out that Veldheer was worse than Satele at center, so he moved him back to left tackle.
Cable then did then did the unthinkable.
He alternated them.
He would then become the only left tackle in the league that's worse than Mario Henderson.
Why wasn't he made into a guard?
Favorite Three: Mario Henderson
Mario Henderson gave Raider Nation five good games in 2008 and became a superstar left tackle. At least Cable saw him as a superstar based on those five games.
Then he went on to lead the league in sacks given up and quarterbacks hurt under his watch in 2009. So far this season, he's following it up with an encore season.
The Raiders were at one time in talks the Ravens for Jared Gaither but balked at the opportunity. Gaither is another one of those guys Davis loves, so there's no way that was his idea.
Cable thinks the little zone-blocking scheme is everything, but you need players. Plus the Atlanta Falcons weren't that good at pass blocking when Cable was the offensive line coach there.
They just had the best running quarterback in NFL history.
Favorite Four: Tommy Kelly
What did this man ever do to be held in such high regard?
He may be a decent three-technique, but he can't play the nose.
Tommy Kelly gets pushed back on every running play, with only one man assigned to block him. That is no way to protect rookie middle linebacker Rolando McClain so he can run around and make plays.
The fullback is blocking the strong safety while a lineman takes McClain.
Disaster is usually the result.
Favorite Five: Bruce Gradkowski
Bruce Gradkowski is another case of players that wouldn't even be in the league if not for the Raiders. The man has done nothing in his first four years to indicate that he's a starting quarterback in the NFL.
You can tell Cable clearly favors Gradkowski, as Jason Campbell was given six quarters to get used to his new surroundings. Campbell didn't play that badly this year, as he was sacked 10 times in those six quarters.
Gradkowski missed on passes for no reason at all, and yet he was given a pass.
The Raiders constantly threw deep, including twice in three plays when Campbell was in the Rams game. Then when Gradkowski came in, the Raiders threw short passes and drove down the field.
The change was a great spark.
But sparks don't last long.
Gradkowski was 2-for-his-last-11 in that Rams game that he won.
Favorite Six: Cooper Carlisle
And why is Cooper Carlisle still starting at right guard?
I know he helped Cable get hired as head coach, but he isn't the same guy anymore. I thought that part of being a good head coach was knowing when to let go when a player no longer has it.
When will Cable let go?
I'm afraid Carlisle will start another year if Cable stays.
Favorite Seven: Michael Huff
Michael Huff should be moved to corner or cut.
He can't tackle!
The word on him out of high school was that he shied away from contact. As Bill Parcells once said, "If they don't bite as puppies, they probably never will."
So why is he a safety?
Player He Can Use: Jake Grove
Jake Grove can come in and play better than Satele right now.
And he still has no job.
He is much stronger, a better pass protector, and a nastier man than Satele. Yet the Raiders did the equivalent of of giving Grove and a draft pick to the Dolphins for Satele.
The only reason Grove was cut was because the Dolphins found a guy that wasn't a big dropoff while Grove had a big contract. The Raiders had no such luxury and should have kept Grove in Raider Nation.
That way the Raiders can run inside and keep pressure on the quarterback's face.
Should Have Been the Starter: John Henderson
John Henderson is stout against the run.
Isn't that why the Raiders picked him up this offseason?
Oh yeah, Cable loves Kelly for reasons of which I am completely unaware. The Raiders' best stretches against the run have come when Henderson has been in the game.
They held Steven Jackson to five yards on eight carries in the second half of the Rams game. Richard Seymour was the one hurt at the time, but he showed in the Texans game that he is good against the run as a three-technique.
Henderson should have been taking the double-team on the nose.
Now Henderson has an injury to his foot and Kelly has to do something while he is out.
Hasn't Gotten an Opportunity: Bruce Campbell
Bruce Campbell is the most physically gifted offensive lineman in the league. If Cable is such an offensive line guru, he should be able to turn Campbell's talents to a great left tackle.
Is Cable not who I thought he was?
Or is he too busy trying to make Veldheer into something?
Veldheer and Henderson taking turns giving up sacks means one thing.
You can't get whisky out of a bottle of wine.
Why not give a guy with more talent a try?
It can't get any worse.
Hasn't Gotten an Opportunity: Mike Mitchell
Mike Mitchell is a heat-seeking missle.
He hits hard, and I haven't seen him look bad on the field all year long so far. If you have a guy at safety that can't tackle, you have to give a guy like Mitchell a chance.
Yet Cable wanted to cut Mitchell.
That's the wrong guy.
Hiram Eugene should go, with Huff moving to corner.
The Raiders need to give the former second-round pick a shot.
Hasn't Gotten a Fair Shot: Jason Campbell
Jason Campbell got six quarters to adapt to his new surroundings. On top of that, they tried to throw a bunch of deep balls without the offensive line to protect him.
As discussed, they didn't start playing small ball until Gradkowski came into the game.
How about addressing the offensive line and then seeing what Campbell can do?
Gradkowski isn't it, and they did trade for Campbell.
For two years in a row, Cable's camp has been a joke.
Walkthroughs and fundamental sessions were the theme of camp.
What are the two things the Raiders do the worst?
They block and tackle worse than anyone in the NFL!
How do you get better at it when you don't practice it?
How do you evaluate players when they're in shirts and shorts for most of camp?
Cable is going to get fired soon because of his favorites.
The penalty situation got better last week, so I won't start on that.
Very little contact in camp means very little contact in games.
You need lots of contact in games!
I hope you enjoyed the slideshow. With any luck, some of these problems will be addressed in the near future.