Ever since the Oakland Raiders swept the AFC West and ended its season with an 8-8 record, there have been rumors popping up everywhere saying that Oakland Raiders head coach Tom Cable has lost his job or been fired from the Oakland Raiders organization.
This was discarded by many when Al Davis allowed Hue Jackson to have talks with the 49ers for a head coaching position. Hopefully, Hue Jackson will remain with the Oakland Raiders organization since he has done a lot for the team and the team is looking promising.
Fact of the matter is, where Tom Cable is involved, it is all just rumors. If you look at what the Oakland Raiders have gone though in times past and the failed seasons, it's apparent that Cable is going nowhere but remaining in Oakland.
Cable has become the glimmer of hope for the team and for those of you who have forgotten what this once legendary team has gone through in the past decade, here is a recap.
The Oakland Raiders have been working their way out of a slumber since the team lost coach Jon Gruden. In fact, during the 2002 season, Jon Gruden's replacement Bill Callahan helped get the team to Super Bowl XXXVII.
The game was a huge disappointment as the team faltered 48-21.
Callahan and the Oakland Raiders played against its old coach Jon Gruden. Tampa Bay Buccaneer Warren Sapp explained that the Bucs and Gruden knew every play the Raiders were contemplating and it showed on the field.
Since that game, it has been nothing but failure for the team.
Callahan started the 2003 season with a 2-5 start and the team felt that he was purposely hurting the Raiders. Star CB Charles Woodson and legendary WR Tim Brown both complained about Callahan's loyalty to the team.
Callahan was fired that season and deservedly so, after Callahan said that Oakland Raiders were "the dumbest team in America in terms of playing the game."
Callahan may have had a winning season in 2002, but it was obvious that his play-calling was a blueprint left behind by Jon Gruden.
Enter the Raiders' next failure at head coach, Norv Turner. Turner's first season with the Raiders was a complete disaster. The Raiders only won five games that season. They were able to defeat one team in the AFC West division, and that was the Denver Broncos.
It was also during this season that famed QB Rich Gannon's career ended with a neck injury from Derrick Brooks.
Rich Gannon was the last good QB for the Oakland Raiders. The loss of Gannon's experience and great passing ability would put the nail in the coffin for the Oakland Raiders.
For the years to come, the Raiders would fall even deeper in the abyss.
Poor coaching was not the only factor for the Raider slumber. Rich Gannon's replacement for the 2005 season was veteran QB Kerry "Tin Man" Collins.
Collins was a huge disappointment for Oakland. Owner Al Davis tried to strengthen the team by acquiring Randy Moss from the Minnesota Vikings and second string RB Lamont Jordan from the NY Jets.
Turner could not succeed in winning and his coaching style was simply poor, as he remained silent on the sidelines and basically showed no emotion as the team continued to fail. Davis had no choice but to fire Turner.
The next coach was former Oakland Raider great, Hall of Famer Art Shell. Shell had coached for the Raiders in 1995 with success and a playoff spot.
Of all the coaches that failed in the years after Gannon, I would have to say that Shell definitely had the spirit and desire to win. But overall, it seemed as if his style of coaching was incompatible with the present day playbook of today's coaches.
It should also be noted that Shell's tenure was doomed from the start when he announced that Tom Walsh, the bed and breakfast owner from Idaho, was to become the offensive coach for the Raiders.
It was offensive, all right. Walsh had been out of the NFL for 11 years and it showed on the field as the Oakland Raiders went 2-14.
So on January 4, 2007, Art Shell resigned his post although he had built up the best defense in the league.
At this time and with so many fired coaches, it was difficult for Davis to find a coach for the Raiders. Davis had tried to recruit Ken Whisenhunt, but he was refused promptly.
Finally, Davis found a young willing coach from USC. Lane Kiffin became the youngest coach in NFL history and was teamed with a superstar QB from LSU, the great JaMarcus Russell.
For Raiders fans, it appeared that this duo would change things in Oakland and the organization would spawn wins.
The opposite occurred.
The Raiders posted a 4-12 season and it became pretty obvious that Russell was a failure. We could go on with Russell's disappointing stint as a football player in general, but why? We all remember those embarrassing years and are still trying to forget.
The Raiders' 2008 season was no different, as the team started off with a 1-3 record and led to the firing of Kiffin. Cable was named "interim coach" and from that point forward was handed to reins of the legendary Oakland Raiders.
Since his debut, Cable has improved the competitiveness of the Raiders.
It was a tough start for Cable as he tried to bench Russell. It was like removing a cancer, except that Davis was certain that JaMarcus just needed more time. That time proved to be poisonous for the Raiders and in the end Russell was finally cut, alongside another cancerous tumor named Javon Walker.
Cable ended the 2008 season with the first glimmer of light for the Raiders as they defeated Jon Gruden and Tampa Bay Buccaneers and removed them from playoff contention.
The circle had been completed and ended the Raiders' gloom, somewhat.
So finally in this 2010 season, the Raiders are on top of the AFC West when it comes to division wins. The Raiders posted a perfect 6-0. The team has a good and improving QB in Jason Campbell. The running game is magnificent with the emergence of Darren McFadden and Michael Bush. The silver and black defense has returned with Tommy Kelly, Richard Seymour and Matt Shaughnessy, with all three posting seven sacks.
The Raiders did not make the playoffs this season, but they were pretty damn close. So expect rumors to fly when the team is heading in the right direction.
There are a lot of rivals out there hoping this team will fall apart. In particular, the media—i.e. Adam Schefter—that for years have been claiming Al Davis to be irrational and unpredictable.
You can not expect this team to become Super Bowl winners in one season. As we have seen in the past two seasons, the team is coming together and becoming stronger as a unit.
Richard Seymour has expressed his desire to remain an Oakland Raider and this is huge for the organization. Davis shocked billions when he allowed Cable to help choose the players to be drafted in recent years.
These addition have been key to Oakland's success; Jacoby Ford, Matt Shaughnessy, Rolando McClain—all are rookies who have played at Pro Bowl levels.
So although the rumors may fly around the media, they're simply rumors.
This is the same media that predicted the Raiders to go 4-12 this season; this is the same media that predicted the Raiders to end up at the bottom of the division; the same media that predicted losses to the Chargers and Chiefs.
Cable and the present roster of Oakland Raiders will be back next season, and much improved as Cable grows with the team and the bonds strengthen. The players are all counting on Cable's return and many have expressed that desire in the newspapers and in their interviews.
Davis surely wants to continue the movement upward and that's where the Oakland Raiders are now—returning to glory. Returning to the Super Bowl greatness.
Tom Cable is the man and will coach the Raiders to the playoffs next season.