The more I learn of all the issues Tom Cable had to deal with off the field, the more I realize just how good a coach he truly is. To be clear, Cable’s mistakes were many. He clung to his Gradkowski security blanket far too long. His insistency on calling plays in ’09 was ill-advised. Giving Mario Henderson too many chances to prove himself was admirable but proved costly.
Nobody is calling Cable the next Madden but he’s the closest thing we’ve seen in Silver and Black since Jon Gruden.
All things being considered, Cable’s ability to get this team to 8-8 when Al Davis was taking money right out of his pocket during the season is remarkable. How many coaches would have been able to keep their team focused while dealing with as many distractions as Cable did during his 2+ years in Oakland?
Some of those distractions Cable brought on himself. Randy Hanson’s jaw didn’t break itself and even if Cable didn’t directly cause the situation he certainly didn’t do much to stop it. Still, the Raiders stuck it out with Cable and this year he repaid them with a return to respectability.
Teams couldn’t afford to relax when the Raiders came to town. You knew you were in for an afternoon of abuse as Cable resurrected the Raider Way of physical play. Yes, he failed to have his team ready for games they should have been more competitive in. Losses to San Francisco, Miami and Arizona all but cost the Raiders any chance at the postseason. But the fact that there were playoff possibilities says a lot.
Maybe Al Davis will be vindicated in his decision to replace Cable with Hue Jackson. Perhaps Cable was the raft the Raiders needed to cross the ocean and Jackson will be the SUV needed to cross the desert.
Only time will tell on that one.
All I know is that the more I learn of what Cable went through within his own organization, the more I realize what a great job he did. Davis and his ego have once again taken their place in the spotlight. Unwilling to share success with his coaches, Al’s need to get all the glory is both sad and tragic. Once the greatest mind in all of football, Davis has been reduced to picking fights over petty differences while his fan base and players suffer.
Tom Cable might not be the best coach in Raider history but I can’t think of too many in recent memory that would have had any success amid all the turmoil he’s endured. One thing is for sure, Cable can’t take any of this personally. Davis has had issues with most all of his coaches and that trend will continue so long as Al’s ego controls the decisions made year in and year out.
All things being considered, 2010 will be remembered as the year the Raiders regained their mojo. How will 2011 go? That is unclear. One thing I do know, I’d be a lot more willing to buy season tickets if Cable were coming back. I’m sure that means nothing to Davis but it should.