In preparation for Pittsburgh this week, Tom Cable decided to meet up with Art Shell. Since Shell was the last head coach of the Raiders to beat the Steelers, Cable sought his counsel.
Through anonymous sources, JBB was able to attain a transcript of their conversation.
Tom Cable: Coach Shell, thanks for taking the time to meet with me.
Art Shell: Anything to help the Raiders beat those Steelers!
TC: That’s the spirit!
AS: So, what can I do for you?
TC: Well, back in ’06 you were in the same boat I’m currently in while preparing for the Steelers
TC: The Steelers were defending Super Bowl champs then just like they are now.
TC: You were a lame duck coach then just as I am now.
TC: Your offense then was as bad as mine is now.
AS: Time out, Cable. We were scoring in double digits at least.
TC: My apologies. My point is that you were able to beat the Steelers without any help from the offense. How did you do it?
AS: Well, as I recall it…Ben Roethlisberger pretty much gifted us that win by throwing two pick sixes; one to Nnamdi and the other to Chris Carr.
TC: So much for that. Nobody throws at Nnamdi anymore and Chris Carr is gone.
AS: Well, not all is lost. You’ve got more talent on offense than we did. Surely you can get at least one TD out of your unit, right?
TC: Ugghhh…maybe…I mean…
AS: Come on Cable! You’ve got Janikowski. If you can’t get across midfield just start lining up 70-yard field goals. It will save you the time cause if he misses it gives Pittsburgh a shorter field to work with. Which means you’ll get the ball back quicker.
TC: Wow! That’s genius.
AS: If nothing else, at the very least you can just blame your offensive coordinator. I had Tom Walsh ten years removed from the NFL and one month removed from running a bed and breakfast in Idaho. Who is the numskull calling your plays?
TC: Actually…I’m the play caller…
AS: Oh…I hear Roethlisbereger didn’t play last week. Maybe he’ll be out this week too.
TC: They’re saying he’s going to play.
TC: Some help you are, Shell.
AS: Hey, at least we won back-to-back games in 2006.
TC: Too bad those were the only games you won all year! I’ve already got three wins this year. Suck it!
AS: If it wasn’t for me you’d never have landed JaMarcus Russell with the number one pick.
TC: Is that sarcasm? Very funny, Shell. This is the most emotion you’ve ever shown.
AS: Ask your mom how much emotion I show.
TC: Sure you wanna go there?
AS: Oh, I’m there already. You wanna join me, sweetheart.
TC: Easy, Shell. Judging by that 1993 Raiders’ Starter jacket you’re sporting, I’m guessing you don’t keep up on current affairs. Let’s just say that the last guy who talked to me like that couldn’t yawn without crying after I got done with him.
AS: Let me tell you something, son. This ain’t no Napa Marriott and I’m not going out like Randy Hanson on some phantom sucker punch.
TC: Make your move then…
(Cable lunges at Shell. The two men begin to roll around on the floor.)
TC: I’ll kill you! I’ll kill you!
(Al Davis enters the room.)
Al Davis: What the hell? Not again, Cable!
(Cable jumps up helping Shell up as he stands)
TC: Coach Shell was just showing me some new…uh… blocking techniques.
AD: Save it for the police department, Cable.
AS: Ha! Ha! Ha!
AD: Ha! Ha! Ha!
TC: What’s so funny?
AS: He still doesn’t know, does he?
AD: No, this kid is slow to catch on. Look how long it took him to bench JaMarcus.
AS: Ha! Good point.
TC: Somebody like to tell me what’s going on here?
AS: Looks like you’ve got a winner here, Mr. Davis. My work is done.
(Art Shell leaves the room)
TC: Mr. Davis, what was that about?
AD: You poor boy. You just attacked an employee and told him you’d “kill him” and I got it all on hidden camera. I’m firing you for cause now! Gotcha!
TC: What? Coach Shell isn’t an employee any longer.
AD: Wrong! I hired him to be an offensive consultant. Congrats Cable, you just kissed away your contract.
(Al Davis walks out of the room laughing)
(Art Shell sneaks back into the room moments later)
AS: Sorry about that, Cable. Nothing personal, I just needed some money since Walsh laid me off from his bed and breakfast.
TC: Why you…I should just slap you around like some cheap whore.
AS: So, you’ve slapped a woman before?
TC: Wait…I’m not falling for that…
AS: Sorry, Davis said he’d pay me double if I got you to admit to that ESPN report being true.
TC: You’ve done enough! Why don’t you just get out of here now?
AS: Sorry again, man. Look, you want to know how to beat the Steelers?
TC: You serious?
AS: It’s the least I can do.
TC: I’m all ears.
AS: Bench Darrius Heyward-Bey, start Javon Walker, tell John Marshall to blitz Big Ben like he did McNabb, lineup McFadden all over the field, use him in the Wild Hog offense as often as possible, get Zach Miller one-on-one with their slowest linebacker, tell Gradkowski to make two quick reads then take off if he doesn’t see anything, tell Morrison to stay at home and not over commit, and lastly, whatever you do don’t under any circumstances call a fake field goal.
TC: Thanks, Shell! I’m never going to live down that fake field goal.
(Al Davis re-enters the room)
AD: What the hell, Shell? You just compromised the entire operation. Now I’m going to have to fire you for cause too.
AS: What ‘cause’ do you have?
AD: ‘Cause’ you’re nuts. What kind of a stupid gameplan is that? Blitz? Are you serious? Honestly Cable, if you do any of that stuff Shell said I’ll fire you for cause…again! Do you hear me?
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