NFL Rumors: 10 Reasons Tom Cable Coaching Change Was a Bad Idea
On Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2011, the Oakland Raiders announced that they would not be renewing the contract of now-former head coach Tom Cable.
Does it surprise anyone that Al Davis actually made yet another bad decision?
This announcement came on the heels of a decisive win over the Kansas City Chiefs, marking the most successful season in recent Raiders history.
It seemed as though Cable was finally turning the program around, but now that's over.
Read on for the 10 reasons why this was a dumb move.
The Players Didn't Support It
"I just looked at my wife and said, 'I can't go through another head coach.' This will be six now in 12 years, and it's not fun. I think this is going to be a huge setback for us, to tell you the truth.
"Tom was good at how he handled the whole 'dealing with Al' and all that situation. He was one of the better coaches I had at handling that part of it, and not letting that part of it bother the football team.
"I seriously have a hard time believing that we're not going to now lose some very key free agent guys. I think now you'll probably see people like Robert Gallery go on to another team. Probably Michael Bush. Probably a handful of guys that we really, really need back here.
"I'm not so sure—and I don't mind saying it, I've been here long enough—I'm not so sure this wasn't a terrible decision."
Those words came from Shane Lechler, the Raiders long-time punter. He was just voicing the opinion that many players on the team have.
If the players still supported Cable, why is he gone?
Al Davis Decided It
As Lechler said multiple times in his quote on the previous slide, the new coach will have to deal with Al Davis.
Davis is old and decrepit now. His decision-making is flawed at best and he is running the Oakland Raiders franchise into the ground.
His draft picks, whether JaMarcus Russell or Darius Hewyard-Bey, have been terrible and that's being nice.
If Davis decided that it was best to not renew Cable's contract, then I automatically tend to think that extending Cable would have been the best thing to do.
In Tom Cable's first season in Oakland, he led the Raiders to a 4-8 record after replacing Lane Kiffin as the head coach.
Then, in 2009, his team went 5-11 over the course of the entire season. Sure, he had four more games to do it, but he still won one more game.
This year, in his most recent season, the Raiders showed huge improvements and finished the season with an 8-8 record.
I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that coaches are supposed to improve their team's record. Cable was doing that.
Best Season Yet
Just to further underscore the point, this was the Raiders best season in quite some time.
Finishing 8-8 shows a great amount of progress, as the last time the Raiders finished .500 or better came back in 2002 when they went to the Super Bowl.
Obviously, when your head coach leads your team to the first non-losing season in eight years, the only logical decision is to not bring him back.
That last sentence is dripping with sarcasm by the way. If your keyboard got wet, I apologize.
6-0 In the Division
The Oakland Raiders became the first team in NFL history to go 6-0 in their division but not make the playoffs.
But let's focus on the first part of that sentence. The Raiders went 6-0 in a tough AFC West this year.
The Kansas City Chiefs have been one of the best teams in the NFL, the Denver Broncos are improving under Tim Tebow and the San Diego Chargers are always dangerous.
The Raiders had to play each of them twice and beat them all.
He Knows How To Be Physical
Football is a physical game and we all know that Tom Cable can be physical.
Remember last year when Cable allegedly punched his assistant coach Randy Hanson in the face and fractured his jaw during training camp? Well just imagine how much fear he could inspire in his players after that move.
I'm sorry, I just couldn't resist bringing that one up one more time.
He Was Bringing Hope To Oakland Fans
One of the most inexplicable parts of this whole situation is that Cable's contract wasn't renewed despite the protests of the fans.
Usually fans want coaches to be fired when they haven't led their team to the playoffs, but the exact opposite was happening in Oakland.
Cable was inspiring hope and confidence in the minds of his fans, but now that may be gone, just like him.
I recently read an article on Bleacher Report by Justin Gonsalves called "Oakland Raiders: Dearest Mr. Allen Davis, Don't Destroy the (Almost There) Team." The article was a plea to retain Cable and the comment section was filled with Raiders fans agreeing.
Well done, Al Davis. Well done.
The Quarterback Problem Was Hue Jackson's Fault
One of the main knocks on Cable was his inability to decide between Jason Campbell and Bruce Gradkowski at the quarterback position.
First of all, no coach should be forced to decide between two mediocre options like that. It's not like he was dealt a pair of aces or anything. Cable was handed a two and a seven off-suit.
Then there's the fact that Hue Jackson, the Raiders offensive coordinator, was the man responsible for the Raiders quarterback carousel. He was the man who pulled Campbell for Gradkowski and vice versa.
So really, this knock on Cable should be a knock on Jackson. Yet it's Cable who was forced to fold.
Cable Can't Make Sebastian Janikowski Better
When Sebastian Janikowski missed a short field goal early in the season to beat the Arizona Cardinals, the Raiders fell too far behind in the division to have a realistic shot at catching up.
Had he made that field goal, the Raiders would have put more pressure on the Chiefs. With only a one-game cushion, maybe the young team would have faltered.
Is it really his fault that Janikowski missed a short field goal? I'm pretty sure that the coach isn't responsible for his kicker missing a field goal that almost any other kicker in the NFL would have made.
Lack Of Good Replacements
This would be different if a respected and established coach was going to be replacing Tom Cable, but the name I've heard thrown around the most is Oakland's current offensive coordinator, Hue Jackson.
Since he was to blame for the quarterback problems this year, this doesn't seem like a very good choice to me.
If Cable is gone, why replace him with someone else who was keeping this team mired in mediocrity?
Al Davis, I suggest that you hand over control of the franchise.