If Tom Cable were drowning, he wouldn’t accept a life preserver if it was thrown by JaMarcus Russell.
At least that is the message Cable sent to the football world when he chose to bench the $60-million mistake in favor of an NFL journeyman named Charlie Frye.
Cable’s job hangs in the balance and he’s betting his employment status on a man who hasn’t taken a snap in an NFL game in nearly two years. The Frye Guy becomes the third different quarterback to start for the Oakland Raiders in 2009 and if he’s not the last then J.P. Losman had better be sleeping with his playbook every night.
A year ago, Cable brought his interim title into Denver and gave Mike Shanahan and Jay Cutler a farewell gift. After a 31-10 Mile High massacre, the Broncos’ playoff hopes went the way of JaMarcus Russell’s job. That win helped to propel the Silver and Black to three wins in their final six games and allowed Cable to keep his office for another year, this time with the interim tag removed.
One year later, Cable finds himself in the same boat.
Oakland has nothing to play for except pride and bragging rights. When last the Broncos and Raiders met, it would be Josh McDaniels who enjoyed the last laugh in his first taste of this bitter rivalry.
Denver danced all over the Coliseum with an all-too-easy 23-3 victory back in September.
Now it’s time for Cable to return the favor.
As usual the Raiders are a two touchdown underdog which is the norm for Vegas odds makers. They were also two touchdown dogs against Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. How’d those turn out?
Coach Cable has shown the ability to get his team up for the big games but also has a knack for losing to lesser opposition. The Raiders were favorites at home against the Chiefs and were only a one point underdog against Washington last week. How’d those turn out?
This Sunday is a must win if Cable has any desire to be mic’d up on the Oakland sideline in 2010.
With three games remaining it would be ideal for the Raiders to run the table. This might be the only way to force the hand of Al Davis.
If Cable’s maverick moves result in the Raiders finishing with less than 10 losses for the first time in six years, then Davis will have no choice. He’ll be obligated to keep the Cable Guy around. If this team wins one of three or none at all, then Cable will need to get that resume updated.
A loss in Denver would give the Raiders 10-losses for the 7th straight year and would mean that at best Cable would only be able to improve this team by one win from a year ago.
Beyond the quest for a respectable record, there is a commandment to which Cable must adhere to.
Thou shalt beat thy rivals.
This is the only way to keep those paychecks coming. Cable beat the Chiefs in Arrowhead but has lost at home to Kansas City twice. Naturally, he hasn’t beaten the Chargers, but no Raider coach has accomplished that feat in six years.
When Cable crushed the Donkeys last year, he did so with JaMarcus Russell as his starter. Russell helped Cable get the job, now it appears he’s not the man to insure Cable keeps it.
At least that is the message Cable sent to his young QB this week.
If Cable can keep this franchise out of 11-loss hell, his bold moves will be praised. If he sinks into 10-loss purgatory, his job will be the bounty paid for his gambling losses.
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