Tom Cable is on the hot seat, and ESPN rumor-hound Adam Schefter is reporting that the Oakland Raiders will not pickup his option on January 18th. Although Cable finished 8-8 this season, his tenure has been defined by disputes and indecision.
Oakland Raiders coaching hunts are always interesting because, well, Al Davis is crazy. I'm not suggesting Davis doesn't know how to find coaches, he's just unique in everything he does—including hires.
The Al Davis coaching philosophy is fairly simple; he likes to find coaches without NFL head coaching experience because that means nobody has figured them out yet. This results in Davis hiring a lot of young coaches. He gave John Madden, Tom Flores, Mike Shanahan, Art Shell and Jon Gruden their first cracks, to give you an idea of Davis' eye for talent.
Here are the potential replacements for Tom Cable in Oakland:
Hue Jackson, OC, Oakland Raiders
Odds: 11 to 10
Jackson is responsible for the offensive explosion Oakland has had this season. Although the passing attack is still a work in progress, the Raiders averaged 155.9 rushing yards per game, second best in the NFL.
Jackson and Cable have had altercations this season, and if Davis has to keep one of them, it will be the man who's putting points on the board.
Jim Harbaugh, HC, Stanford Cardinal
Odds: 4 to 1
Their locations are close, but there couldn't be any greater contrast than Stanford and the Raiders. Don't let the Cardinal coach fool you, however; Harbaugh is blue-collar and would be a great fit in Oakland.
Right now, the football world is in Harbaugh's hands. He can take a high-profile job in the Big 10 or take his quarterback, Andrew Luck, to Carolina with him. There is a good chance Harbaugh will stay in California; the only question is if it will be at the NCAA or NFL level.
Steve Sarkisian, HC, Washington Huskies
Odds: 6 to 1
In 2004, Sark served as the Raiders QB coach, and Davis has been preferential in hiring former Raider position coaches and coordinators in the past. The UW coach has momentum coming off a bowl win against Nebraska, and he has beat USC in both seasons.
A coach who can develop QBs would be a nice addition. Al Davis hired Lane Kiffin in 2007 when Sark might have been the USC guy worthy of the position.
Josh McDaniels, Former HC, Denver Broncos
Odds: 8 to 1
Yes, McDaniels does carry head coaching experience, but Davis has made exceptions to his rule, like when he hired offensive mastermind Norv Turner. At 34 years of age, he still has plenty of good coaching ahead of him, and there is no questioning his ability to coach offense.
Davis hired Shanahan after he was OC in Denver, but McDaniels didn't do much to impress against Oakland this year.
Marty Mornhinweg, OC, Philadelphia Eagles
Odds: 13 to 1
We've seen Davis dip into the Bill Walsh coaching tree before, and it could pay off again. Mornhinweg is older than the typical Raiders hire, but Al Davis has to love the speed-attack he has up in Philly.
Bill Romanowski, Former LB, Oakland Raiders
Odds: 25 to 1
With no real coaching experience, Romo is a super-long-shot, but he has been actively looking for a coaching job, like when he applied for the Denver job a few years ago. If Al Davis wants a coach with fire, this is his guy.
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