The San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Tribune and ESPN are all reporting stories of Al Davis interviewing potential candidates to either replace Tom Cable or to join his staff should Cable remain head coach of the Oakland Raiders in 2010.
Despite gaining the support of the locker room and seeing the team’s offense vastly improve in the wake of benching JaMarcus Russell, Cable could be shown the exit.
That’s not news at all.
Since Jon Gruden’s departure, Davis has changed coaches more often than Kirstie Alley has changed dress sizes. Continuity is a dirty word around Raider headquarters these days. What makes this latest coaching search so ridiculous is that most of the candidates currently being rumored were the same names that were floating around this time last year when the interim title was removed from Cable’s office door.
If, in fact, Davis is again considering Marc Trestman, Jim Fassel and Kevin Gilbride all over again then the entire 2009 season was nothing more than a waste of time for the entire organization and fan base.
Davis is undoubtedly unhappy with the manner in which JaMarcus Russell regressed in his third NFL season and this is potentially why he is searching for his 7th head coach in the last 8 seasons. Since the season has ended, Russell has been hard at work as he takes his steps towards carrying the Silver and Black back to the NFL summit. While his teammates were meeting for the last time, Russell was busy prepping for the 2010 season in Las Vegas. While his current head coach is twisting in the wind, JaMarcus became the Mardi Gras king of Mobile, Alabama.
With a work ethic like that you can understand why Davis is so disappointed in Cable for not turning Russell into the next Ken Stabler.
Cable’s offense barely out performed the horrendous Tom Walsh experiment of 2006. His offensive line – Cable’s bread and butter – didn’t exactly perform up to the standards necessary for any QB, much less Russell, to thrive behind. Still, this team believes in him and he deserves another chance to right the wrongs.
Let’s be honest.
There is enough talent on this team to be competitive in the lethargic AFC West. However, changing coaches again will only delay the process.
Even if Cable isn’t the best candidate for the job, he’s a familiar face who has a lot of respect from his players. No coach on the planet is capable of taking this team from 11-loss hell to 11-win heaven in one season. Well, at least not in his first season.
No matter who inherits the Raider throne in 2010, they shouldn’t make plans to be in the East Bay for too long.
Davis isn’t the senile old fool most make him out to be but he is an impatient and overbearing owner who has become his own worst enemy. Perhaps his first mistake was to giving Cable the job last year. Then again, the genesis of all this can be traced back to Gruden’s unceremonious exit from Oakland. Since then, the franchise has been in free fall as lame duck coach after lame duck coach has passed through the franchise faster than a milkshake passes through the stomach of a lactose intolerant patron in a resting home.
All of the problems that plague this franchise can be traced directly to Al Davis. His uninspired coaching choices, misguided personnel moves and continuous destruction of the locker room are not the stuff which champions are built on. Maybe they were once upon a time but not in 2010. This is a new era but for Davis it just looks like another error.
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