Tom Cable Debate: Why Oakland Raiders' Season Was Not As Great As You Think

Elias Trejo@@Elias_TrejoSenior Analyst IIDecember 28, 2010

SAN DIEGO - DECEMBER 05:  Oakland Raiders head coach Tom Cable looks on from the sideline against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on December 5, 2010 in San Diego, California. The Raiders defeated the Chargers 28-13.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Should Tom Cable get a contract extension after this season?

The raging battle between the Cable supporters and the non-supporters has begun.

Many are hoping Cable stays for another year, and others are hoping the Raiders hire Hue Jackson or someone else.

Regardless of what side you are on, the main objective is the same: Bring the Raiders back to the playoffs and their winning ways.

Most Cable supporters are quick to point out the improvement of the team's record this year, but are Raiders fans so used to losing that they are getting too excited about not losing 11 games this year?

The Raiders had a very favorable schedule in 2010. They played the NFC West and the AFC South.

The NFC West is the weakest conference in the NFL this year, and the AFC South is having a down year.

The Raiders have played five teams so far that have a winning record: the Chiefs, Colts, Steelers, Chargers twice and the Jaguars.

They are 3-3 so far against those teams, which isn't bad. What isn't impressive is the Raiders' record vs. teams that are at or below .500.

The Raiders have played nine games this year against teams that have a losing record: Broncos twice, Texans, Titans, Cardinals, Rams, Seahawks, 49ers and Dolphins.

They've only been able to win four of those games. 

Tom Cable is a "players' coach," and the players will always have his back.

That is expected when players have a "players' coach," but just because a player backs his coach doesn't mean keeping the coach is the right thing to do.

Wade Phillips was a players' coach, and the best thing to happen to the Cowboys was letting him go.

The Raiders still struggle with the little things that end up costing them big: penalties, stopping the run and mental mistakes.

The Raiders are loaded with talent, and there should be no reason why they aren't in the playoffs this year.

The Raiders could be the first team in NFL history to go 6-0 in division play and miss the playoffs. That isn't something to be proud of.

The bottom line is that the head coach is held accountable for his team's results, and the Raiders underachieved this year.

2-8 outside of their division is a terrible record considering only three of the teams they played outside of their division had a .500 record or better.

It's a coach's job to have their team ready to play every week. The Raiders failed to win games they should have won.

This is a team that is loaded with youth and talent, and they need someone who has the abilities to get this team ready for next season.

The Raiders play the NFC North and the AFC East next year.

The Bears, Packers, Vikings, Lions, Jets, Patriots, Dolphins and Bills won't exactly be their 2010 schedule that included the Rams, 49ers, Cardinals, Seahawks, Titans, Texans, Jaguars and Colts.

It is OK to be proud of the Raiders' best record since 2002, but it is also OK to look back at this year's schedule and feel totally let down.

Nine of Oakland's 16 games came against bad teams, and they were only able to win four of them.

The Chiefs are not much better than the Raiders talent-wise, but they are coached better. They take care of business against teams they should beat.

Better coaching takes you to the playoffs. 

Cable really doesn't have a lot of duties this season. He doesn't call the plays on defense or offense. Phillips at least called the defense in Dallas, but once the defense played terribly, they fired him.

Cable's job is to make sure his team plays motivated, disciplined and smart football for 16 games.

Cable's job is to make sure his team is consistent and takes care of business. His job is also to improve the play of the offensive line.

The Raiders' biggest issues this season have been the same ones that have been around since Cable started: stopping the run, penalties, pass protection and losing to teams they should be beating.

There is no question about it—if the Raiders had a better head coach this year, they would have made the playoffs.

Is Hue Jackson a better head coach than Cable? That is yet to be seen, but I'm sure 31 other teams think so. 

Cable went from coaching the offensive line to being a head coach. He called plays for a year only to have that job taken away.

Cable won't be a candidate for many NFL teams that are looking for a head coach this offseason, while Jackson will be on many teams' hot lists.

I don't want to take anything away from Cable because coaching for the Raiders is anything but easy, but right now the talent level in the locker room exceeds the talent level of the head coach.

If Al Davis wants to get the most out of his players, he needs to find a better head coach. I understand Cable is popular with the fans and in the locker room, but being a great leader isn't a popularity contest.

Cable hasn't done anything to improve the Raiders' weaknesses since he took over the job. Let's be honest: Cable wasn't hired as the answer for the Raiders. He was hired until Al Davis and the Raiders found someone better.

While seven wins is an improvement over the last eight years, it is a disappointment considering the schedule they played.

It's time for the Raiders to move in a different direction. While it may hurt some players and fans, it is the best thing for the Raiders' future.

We want to hear your opinion on the matter. We want to know what you would do if you were Al Davis. Leave a comment with your opinion, and we'll pick the best 10 to post in Thursday's slideshow.

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