Al Davis and Tom Cable: The Smartest Guys in the Room


The Oakland Raiders are to blame for the burgeoning swine flu pandemic. Those horrific business practices of Al Davis have ultimately led to the disbanding of the major U.S. automakers. That’s right! All of the world’s problems can be traced directly to the door step of Al Davis and his cohort Tom Cable.

Exhibit A: The Raiders selecting Darrius Heyward-Bey over Michael Crabtree

ESPN’s draft coverage missed the moment when Al Davis and Tom Cable each took turns using Mel Kiper’s mock draft as toilet paper. Never one to do what is best for his franchise, Mr. Davis decided that it just didn’t make too much sense to listen to a TV analyst and instead decided to lean on paid professionals to properly evaluate talent. How could he?

Shame on Mr. Davis for thinking he knows more than Mel Kiper! At this point in time, I’m not even sure why we still hold a draft. Wouldn’t the NFL be a better league if we just got rid of the draft and allowed Kiper to pick for every team? I’m sure his decisions have led to more Lombari trophies than those made by Al Davis.

After all, every fan out there can’t spend much time evaluating talent, right? The average fan is just too busy with, well, life. Therefore, Mel Kiper becomes the mouth piece for the layman. What he says goes and anyone who opposes is a draft neophyte void of rational decision making.

Al Davis should be ashamed for not considering Michael Crabtree’s stats and his two Biletnikoff trophies before making his decision to pass on the Texas Teach star receiver for Heyward-Bey.  As we all know, putting up huge stats in division one college football is a sure fire way to tell if a player will be productive in the NFL. That is why the best quarterbacks in the modern game are being cranked out of Texas Tech.

Why, the list of Biletnikoff winners alone is enough to make one believe that every recipient is a lock to be in Canton. After all, Bobby Engram, Marcus Harris, Troy Edwards, Troy Walters, Josh Reed, Charles Rogers and Mike Haas have all gone onto great NFL careers.

Head coach Tom Cable clearly has no idea what it takes to be successful in the NFL. While defending the selections of Heyward-Bey and second round choice Michael Mitchell, Cable made it clear that his players must have talent (of course) but they must also be hard workers and dedicated teammates. Who thinks this way?

You can’t build a winner with quality character guys! What fools Davis and Cable have revealed themselves to be!

What angered most on draft day was that Davis and Cable announced themselves as the smartest guys in the room by ignoring what the consensus proclaimed. They should have been more like the Philadelphia Eagles in round one. When it was Andy Reid’s turn to pick, he simply turned to Mel Kiper and looked at his big board. Hello Jeremy Maclin. Never mind that DeSean Jackson is the same player, Mel says to draft Maclin.

The popular theory is that all Mr. Davis did was look at 40 times. He never considered that Heyward-Bey might become the next version of Terrell Owens, minus the prima donna, Michael Crabtree-like attitude. No, Mr. Davis dhbsimply decided that speed means more than anything else.

Team speed is, after all, the Raider philosophy. Every team has a philosophy. Jerry Jones likes knuckle heads. Ralph Wilson likes mediocrity. Bill Belichick likes cheaters. Al Davis likes speed. 

The whole world knows that Al Davis can’t possibly have a clue when it comes to evaluating receivers. That’s why he waited more than 20 years to pick another receiver in round one of the NFL draft. The last stiff Davis picked in the first round was, of course, a speed demon from Notre Dame named Tim Brown. What a scrub that Tim Brown was.

If ridicule is truly the burden of genius, then Al Davis must be Albert Einstein. Time will tell if Darrius Heyward-Bey can find a vaccine for the swine flu. As of now, Al Davis will just have to keep those three Lombardi trophies hidden from plain sight. Should Mel Kiper find out that Mr. Davis has actually had success in the NFL, it could ruin the good name of the Oakland Raiders.

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Tags: Al Davis, Oakland Raiders, Raider Nation, Fans, Popular, Featured Albert Einstein Andy Reid Bill Belichick Bobby Engram Charles Rogers Darrius Heyward-Bey DeSean Jackson Jeremy Maclin Jerry Jones Josh Reed Marcus Harris Mel Kiper Michael Crabtree Michael Mitchell Mike Haas Ralph Wilson Terrell Owens Tim Brown Tom Cable Troy Edwards Troy Walters

  • Mr T

    What a great article. I loved it. How does Al Davis still do it in his 80′s? This guy is amazing. How is it that he managed to find a sleeper in the draft that the so called experts din’t even invite to the combine? Maybe Al knows a little more about football and football players than the media wants us to think. We really won’t know for a couple of years how good these draft picks really are, but something tells me big Al has big smile on his face about now. This isn’t the first time Al has been right.

  • dave

    chris, great article. i don’t agree with everything AD does, but then who agrees with everything anyone does. the fact of the matter is that the players that acually speak with AD have nothing but accolades regarding the interaction, just go back and read de angelo hall’s comments regarding AD, and this was after he was cut. no one talks of the loyalty and assistance AD gives to his ex players and coaches, he doesn’t publisize it, but the list is impressive. i guess it just comes with being part of the nation, a privelege and a curse. maybe the talking heads are jealous they don’t own anything worth a billion dollars. keep up the good work, we all need to smile in these tough times.

  • PtownRaider

    Nice write up Chris! Definitely brought a smile to my face today! Things are definitely looking up for the Nation! You are spot on regarding the high character, hard working theme that has swept the organization since Cable took over. Some of the changes we will see immediately…and some will take longer to appear..but one day we will be Super Bowl Champs again.

    (side note: I have noticed many of our players/picks have been giving praise and thanks to God,….openly in their interviews…This is another theme along with hard working, good character themes I have noticed)

  • Chris Shellcroft

    P-Town, Dave and Mr. T,

    Thanks for the comments!

    I’m not saying that DHB is going to be great, but until he plays a game you can’t tell me that he’s a bust. The proof is in the pudding and if Cable and Davis are right about these guys then it will make for a great story. Otherwise, it’s just more nonsense for Raider haters out there to go to town with.

    I wasn’t all that excited about the picks, but if they’re they type of guys Cable wants on his roster then I’ll have to trust his judgement. Cable won me over with how he got the team behind him by getting rid of the locker room drama and by getting back to the basics. Who knows, maybe he will inspire DHB and Michael Mitchell to become great. Time will tell…

    Thanks again!

  • James Scott

    Wonderful stuff and dead on target.

  • John

    One of the best post draft articles I’ve read. Excellent!

  • raidergator

    Chris your article was very insightful and very well written. This has helped me come to understand some things that I did not understand last Saturday,which was WHY Al PICKED DARRIAS HEYWARD BEY AND MIKE MITCHELL. I will freely admit that I wasn’t very happy with the way the Draft worked for us, because the Raiders didn’t address any of their Offensive Line or Defensive Line issues, however I have had a week to sit and logically think about it, and I do agree that DHB is much better fit for the Raiders than Michael Crabtree or Jeremy Maclin. This was a huge gamble taken by AL, so naturally Blow Hards like Mel Kiper Jr.Todd McShay,and all of the ESPN cronies are going to try and rip it apart. As the week progressed I researched everything I could about Darrias Heyward Bey and Mike Mitchell, and they both seem to be mature, well spoken and hard nosed players. Both appear to be “Character Guys” that Oakland desperatley needs to get on their sideline. In the past week I watched Bey and Mitchell handle themselves with the utmost class and dignity with the Media, whereas the media(ESPN) looked like a bunch of smartasses and clowns with axes to grind with Al Davis. I became enraged as I had to watch both Bey and Mitchell defend themselves from the scrutiny on National TV. Darrias Heyward Bey had to endure the worse of it, surrounded by his family and having to listen to the ESPN crew label him a bust on National TV. Chris Carter saying he is a ” One Trick Pony”, then loudly proclaiming that “Darrias Heyward Bey simply can’t cant catch a ball!” slamming both fists onto the desk! Tom Jackson giggling like a school girl at prom nodding in much approval! These antics and attempts at stand up for Bey and his whole family to see ! Bey then got to listen to ESPN rip the Oakland Raiders apart on National TV about the pick, and listend to their so called expertise as to why Michael Crabtree was so much more of a sure receiver than Bey. Susy Kolber then wants to smirk and try to be chummy with Bey and get an interview. This pissed me off ! I would have pulled the plug on ESPN right there! walked off, and let them fumble for words like they always do! When I saw how Bey and Mitchell both handled themselves, I have come to accept them as new members of the Raiders. These are they type of players I want on my Oakland team ! Iam sure Bey and Mitchell will have chips on thier shoulders and will bust thier asses to prove Mel Kiper and ESPN wrong once again! I understand that no draft pick is a sure thing and my pissed off stance with Al over the Draft has softened, and my anger towards Al about how he makes his decisions and manages the Raiders has changed. Maybe Al did get it right, and I’m just impatient. Bey and Mitchell may be rough around the edges and need alot of work, but now I can understand why Al Davis and Tom Cable were agressive in picking these 2 players. I opened up my mind, watched the highlights of Bey and Mitchell and came to my own conclusions without the propoganda from the media. I finally saw what Al and Coach Cable did and listened too what Bey and Mitchell actually had to say about themselves. Chris your article helped reaffirm this as well. I just want Oakland to win once again, and by winning.. shutting the critics/Raider Haters, and Medias mouths up! The best revenge is success and it being served coldly. Thx once again for your insight..Jeff

  • Chris Shellcroft

    Thanks for all the comments!


    I couldn’t agree more with how you feel about ESPN’s coverage of the draft. I don’t have a problem with the objections to the Raider draft, but they went way too far. There is a line that ESPN has crossed way too many times. That network is no longer about journalism it is all about opinions and axes to grind. If Mel Kiper wants to object, fine. But since when was it just a free-for-all to jump in and sound off? And since when did anybody know 100% for sure what a draft pick will do in the NFL? If that’s the case then why did Tom Brady end up being a 6th round pick?

    All in all, I’ve come to understand the logic behind the Raider draft of ’09 even though I felt getting help on the D-line should have been the priority. But, I’m just a writer and Al Davis and Co. will forget more than I’ll ever know about pro football. I hope for the best and can’t wait to see J-Russ to DHB on Sundays!

  • joe

    I gotta tell you that was a smart and very insighful story and impressed me entirely.
    I have Never BACKED off my raider train, Never second guessed the brilliant mind of A.D., Never
    thought of ending my season tickets because of a bad season and it’s not because 2 PSL’S put me back $8000.00 either. It is however because I bleed silver and black. I will defend Al Davis and the Raiders until the day I die.
    We’ve had talent and speed for years what we’ve not had is continuity, team players, discipline.
    That seems to be what we went for as well as the speed (some things in raider land never change)and I truly beleive we will compete and come together as a team with that attitude much faster.
    Thanks for the Great article and Just Win Baby!!!!

  • Raiders757

    The sarcasm in this article, is pure genius. I hope ESPN and the rest of the Raider hating idiots eat their words.

  • Drew

    Great article. Keep them coming

  • Rick Wascher

    Since those Pat’s ass lickers at Bristol seem to think there is no one like Tom Brady how do they explain that a guy who never started at QB in college or hgh school could guide that club to an 11-5 record last year. Maybe they are over-paying Brady since anyone can run that show.

  • raiderphil

    f#ck espn

  • Noobstur

    Nice write up. This has to be the best article I have read that defends our draft choices. I hope we make those experts feel stupid for criticizing Al Davis and our team.

  • TheRaiderLife

    Anyone in the whole sports media can critize what this team has done but everyone said that cable wouldnt cut it when he whas named the head coach but what he has done with this franchise it is bring it back to being a franchise with caracter, before cable they didnt show any passion with him we managed to get two playoff contenders out of the playoffs when the games didint supoossed to matter to us so in raiders in al davis an in cable and most importanly in the players i believe

  • Raidermike

    I really enjoyed your article. I’ve been a raider fan since about 72 and appreciate everything Al has done to give us the greatest sports team in history. Mel Kiper should try getting a real job and hairdo. I don’t watch espn because they are a bunch of fakes. Kiper has had so many bust that he thought were the second coming. I would love to have someone interview these guys and point out all the bust that they thought were going to be so good. I just can’t wait to see how the team does this year. We need to shut some people up with our play on the field. I hope Mitchell knocks Crabtree out in the August game. We need a little Jack tatum back in the Raiders. Lets get it on.

  • mocoleto

    I have to pour my thoughts to you; from my heart. In the NFL life cycle, it’s the time of the year when my hope is renewed and I put aside all my discontent and griping, and the good old feeling of years past takes over my soul. I forget that I am upset with Al and his persona, and turn a blind eye to the myriad of Al’s business and personal blunders that eat me deep within. However, I can’t escape the fact that “My heart is a Raider”, as corny as it may sound.
    And Al made it possible. A long time ago, Al offered me his idea and view of the world, and I bought it. Since then, I have enjoyed a host of colorful characters roaming our sidelines, making our seasons great. I rode most of the ride with Kenny Stabler and John Madden. I witnessed the symbiosis between Jim Plunkett, Marcus Allen and Tom Flores. I fed upon the beauty of Bo Jackson. I burned together with the fire of Rich Gannon and Jon Gruden, and was awed by the magical season of Bill Callahan; our last great run for the ultimate prize.
    Now, it appears Al embraces Cable, and Cable embraces Al; a fresh feeling after the Kiffin saga. Can I judge the quality of our latest draft? No. I’m just a chump who loves the Raiders and pretends to know the intricacies of the game. I admit the overwhelming number of failing grades given by the “experts” troubles me, but I know the nature of man is unpredictable, particularly pride is hurt.
    My renewed optimism sees our 2009 Raiders proving the world wrong. I see JaMarcus’ demeanor infect the team. After all, His Coolness is hard to resist. I see Cable accepting JaMarcus’ skin, adapting, gluing together a team and bringing out the best in his players. And I see Al Davis in the owner’s booth, looking upon the piece of earth we call a football field, thinking of a way to shock the world; again.

  • super dog

    Did frantz joseph get signed he not on the website ???

  • Turkle

    Oh god, there is so much wrong with this it’s stupid to begin. The Raiders, as much as I hate to admit it, are the losingest team in the NFL since 2002 because they cannot draft good players. THIS year is even worse than usual. Smartest guys in the room, ha! Last group that got that tag was Enron, and they were idiots.

    I wish would stop including this kind of fluff in their news listings.

  • JSpicoli

    That was a classic roasting of the mediots, and the whole absurd way they treat us. Great job.

  • Mr. Oakland Fan

    Smell Diper Jr. who looks to be the surrogate son of Brian Billick and Count Dracula has got to be the dumbest analyst in Amercia in terms of how he analyzes college talent. To partially use an old Bill Callahan quote. Who the #$!% said this guy was an expert???? Then when the camerea cuts to him he runs his loud mouth in defense of his rediculous mock draft and bashes teams for their picks so he doesn’t look like an idiot which he does anyway. Has diper Jr. ever been a pro scout? Screw him and ESPN and all the other so called experts that did nothing but lambast the Raider’s draft picks.

  • chris jenner

    Great article. You have paraphrased everything I have been saying and writing over the last week. Good to see someone else can think for themselves and not be sucked in to the mainstream’s view of what Oakland should have done.

  • Dylan

    I agree with Raidergator whole heartedly. Espn has an east coast, Raider hating bias. Thats who they are and how they will always be. They bring in morons like Chris ‘I never won a ring’ Carter, who have no background in journalism. They let them spout off any moronic crap and defend it by saying “I played in the NFL so I know what I’m talking about”. I have gotten used to the way they treat Al and the organization. However, bringing in a kid who has worked his butt off, and ridiculing him for where we drafted him disgusts me. Didn’t Krapper have him ranked as a mid-first rounder? If he can’t catch, run, feed himself,or tie his own shoes like they suggest- why did they rank him that high? They really crossed a line when they went after Bey and Mitchell. Al is a big boy who can and has taken care of himself but LEAVE THE KIDS ALONE.

  • http://raidernews oregonraiderfan

    Everyone is intitled to an opinion but when u start believeing your opinion is the only one that matters then u should just go buy your own NFL team and make all the decision yourself. Maybe thats what ESPN should do. They have bought everything else. Until then they should just shut the hell up and broadcast sports not opinionize. I cant even stomache watching those clowns anymore! They make me want to puke!

  • realityfan

    Well you have a nice opinion of the greatness of our management but you are simply ignoring the simple and clear facts. Yes , many many years ago Al Davis built a great franchise and helped many of us become Raider fans. To imply that Al Davis currently has any clue of what he is doing is ridiculous. The Raider franchise lost more games than other NFL franchise between 2003 and 2008. Even the Matt Millan fiasco was better producing better than we were. The fact they had an ’0′fer this year has leaped us up to second least successful franchise. Al has a brutal current record in talent, management/coaching and salary cap evaluations. If anyone suggests he is a genius under the current system then there are not educated fans but simply ignorant. Time will tell if this draft class turns out but proven history really does not back it.The proof,
    the CURRENT record of 11 or more losses year after year ater year after year…. That is FACT.

  • bseismic


    Reading this, given everything that has happened, made me laugh my ass off.

    The title should read, “The Grand Delusion”