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Oakland Raiders: Is This Tom Cable's Team?

Jimmy HalCorrespondent IIIJuly 7, 2010

DENVER - DECEMBER 20:  Oakland Raiders head coach Tom Cable celebrates a victory over the Denver Broncos at Invesco Field at Mile High on December 20, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Raiders defeated the Broncos 20-19.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Tom Cable knew that as the Head Coach of the Oakland Raiders, he would have to change the overall attitude of a under achieving football team. Cable did wonders in his first two years as an offensive line coach, but now it was time to make that motivating, infectious attitude spread out to the overall football team.

This would not be an easy task.

Luckily, Cable has gotten the teams veterans to rally behind him. For a coach to fully grab hold of his football team, he must also make his mark through the NFL Draft.

When Cable took over in the middle of 2008, none of those players were his own picked players. He still found away to get that team to rally behind him.

In 2009, Cable was a significant part of the NFL Draft process. With the surprising pick of Darrius Heyward-Bey and the questionable pick of safety Mike Mitchell, it was clear that owner Al Davis took control of the drafting process.

However, the difference was the type of character these players had. Each of them with strong work ethics, and no history of poor judgement.

Unlike draft picks of the past.

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Those qualities combined with the late round steal of WR Louis Murphy, and quality depth with DE Matt Shaughnessy, the 2009 Oakland Raider draft class was actually pretty good.

Now in 2010, it is clear that the Raiders have had their best overall draft class in quite some time.

MLB Rolando Mclain should be a focal point in the defense, along with second round pick DE Lamarr Houston. We also added needed depth on our O-line, Cable's forte, and depth to our defensive secondary.

In two years, the draft picks linked to Cable will be:

On offense, two wide receivers. A late round steal in Louis Murphy, who has proved to be a good player. Darrius Heyward-Bey, who struggled mightily his rookie season, but should do much better in the future. Both, for all intents and purposes, should be the main pieces to our offense.

On defense, a stud middle linebacker, a power-full defensive end, and hopefully another talented corner on the opposite side of Nnamdi Asomugha in Walter McFadden, and a quality Nickel corner in Jeremy Ware.

So, if all these thing pan out, things should look up for Tom Cable, right?

Well, maybe.

A head coach can only go as far as his quarterback can take him, this much has been proved.

When Tom Cable became the Head Coach, it was clear that the number one pick was not in his favor. The fact was, however, the owner wanted his toy on the playground.

Cable did what his boss asked of him.

Let JaMarcus Russell's play speak for it self.

Finally, Cable said enough is enough. He benched the lackluster quarterback.

The result?

The team actually was a whole lot better.

Now in 2010, Cable convinced Mr. Davis to let go of the draft bust. More importantly, to trade for a quarterback with similar talents, but also a stronger will to succeed.

Cable made it known that he felt with average quarterback play, the Oakland Raiders would have made a run for the playoffs.

Now, Cable has a better than average quarterback who is building a relationship with his "hand picked" receivers. He also has a defense that looks to improve even further.

That year and a half of making over this franchise has led to this moment: The 2010 NFL season that Cable must make sure is his best.

The question remains: Is this really Tom Cable's team?

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