Tom Cable Calls the Shots; Al Davis Pulls the Strings


On Sunday, Tom Cable benched Jim Plunkett at halftime. At least that’s the way Al Davis sees it.

Davis recently stated that he saw some Plunkett in Jason Campbell when comparing the 2010 version of the Silver and Black to the Super Bowl champions of 1980. One could imagine that Davis was happy to see a win but not as pleased with seeing his prized possession plastered to the sideline with a headset on instead of a helmet.

Now the controversy begins.

No, there is no traditional quarterback controversy in Oakland. Bruce Gradkowski has looked the better QB since his return from that weight room injury that occurred during the offseason.

Gradkowski, in fact, has been the best option at quarterback in the East Bay for the past two years now. Last season he unseated the highly ineffective JaMarcus Russell and transformed the Oakland offense from disgusting to dynamic.

Now, it would appear lighting has struck again.

With his job on the line, Cable turned to Bruce Almighty in hopes he might work his magic and again salvage the fledgling Raiders who were looking dead in the water against the pathetic St. Louis Rams.

The change worked and now the question is will the change be permanent.

Answering that question requires insight most of us just aren’t privileged to. For the most part, almost nobody has that privilege. Not even Cable himself.

Before the sweat was dry on Gradkowski’s forehead, the speculation surrounding just who would make the decision regarding the QB position was already flying. From reports of the Raiders ‘doctoring’ Cable’s post game quotes to the rumor that Gradkowski was openly campaigning for the job before he got the chance to play Sunday, the temperature on this issues is heating up.

Last season Cable continuously stated that it was his decision alone to bench JaMarcus. If this is true then it stands to reason that this Sunday’s benching of Campbell was again made by Cable and Cable alone. It doesn’t seem likely that Davis would use his ring down to tell the coach to bench Campbell just six quarters into his Raider career.

On Sunday, Cable calls the shots. But Monday through Saturday is dominated by Davis.

Davis can’t be too happy seeing Gradkowski as Dan Pastorini playing ahead of Plunkett Campbell. Of course, the irony is that Pasorini’s injury cleared the way for Plunkett to become the man. Now it would appear Gradkowski is more Plunkett-like while Campbell plays the role of Pasotini. But that is another topic for another day.

In a results driven business, Gradkowski gives the Raiders the best chance at victory. This is a proven fact. Campbell has yet to fully grasp the offense and develop any type of a rhythm. This was present in the preseason and has continued two games into the regular season.

While it is indeed far too early to give up on Campbell, who was given a contract extension just hours after becoming a Raider, it would make little sense to start the QB carousel this early in the season.

Cable is keeping his lips sealed on who will be starting Sunday in Arizona. Perhaps it’s because he has yet to sit down with Davis. Or, Davis could simply be washing his hands of the mess, happy to let Cable create his own chaos so he can have ‘cause’ to dismiss Cable and promote Hue Jackson.

Whatever the case, this situation is quickly going from simmer to boil with Cable’s job hanging in the balance. Only wins can save Cable but ignoring the desires of Davis could trump everything. Tom Cable might be calling the shots on the sideline but it’s Al Davis who pulls all the strings from his view high above the action.

So, what happens next? Nobody knows. Well, nobody except Al Davis that is. And that’s just the way he likes it.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Al Davis, Oakland Raiders, Raider Nation, Fans, Popular, Featured Bruce Gradkowski Dan Pastorini Hue Jackson JaMarcus Russell Jason Campbell Jim Plunkett Tom Cable

  • raiders76

    Cris, you sound like Msnbc and Democrats it is all about Mrs Palin.It is sick the way Mr. Davis is pictured in every blog, yet not a word about JJ down in Dallas, when was the last time, right. how about the guy up in the nation capital, again not a single sentence, oh yeah who called for the qb change in San Diego, the coach? right.(Rivers for Drew ).The great Bill up in New Eng. asking permission to trade umm, some DE. to the Raiders.And you know the sad thing is that you put all those “brains” together and they don’t equal Mr. Davis football knowlage.

  • Chris Shellcroft

    Raiders76,

    Ummmm….Why no mention of Jerry Jones or Dan Snyder? This is a Raiders blog and while I do discuss other teams I usually only do so when the Raiders are playing against said teams. Plus, Jones and Snyder are a joke when compared to Mr. Davis. Jones has had success but he knows next to nothing about the game while Snyder is just another billionaire who wants to play football god. It is a waste of my time to talk about owners who don’t have half the football acumen of Al Davis.

    I never once said Al Davis didn’t know football. If you read JBB often enough then you’ll see that I give Mr. Davis praise for all he’s done for the game of football. But that doesn’t make him immune from getting taken to task on occasion.

    As for the MSNBC/Sarah Palin thing…yeah…no clue where you’re going there. Not exactly sure how Al Davis meddling with the starting QB job has anything to do with American politics but hey, whatever helps to get your “point” arcoss I suppose.

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