Thursday, December 31, 2009

Is Cable The Right Guy for 2010?

The Raiders sit at 5-10 going into the finale vs. the Ravens. One of the important decisions going into next year is the status of Head Coach Tom Cable. If I was to base my opinion solely on the game vs. the Browns, I would vote for Cable to be demoted to OLine coach. What concerns me is some of Cable quotes after the game more than the actual failures to perform his job.

(1) Playcalling - Facing 1st and goal from the 2 yard line, Cable called 4 consecutive pass plays.

Quote: The decision not to run the ball or have Frye execute a run-pass option to the outside, Cable said the plays were "check with me" or dictated by the look of Cleveland's D.

Reality: You are 2 yards away from cutting the deficit to a TD. You have a RB (Bush) who averages 5.0 yards per carry and weighs 245 lbs and you don't run the ball at least 1 time? Cable as the Head Coach can "dictate" the playcall regardless of what the Cleveland D shows. I don't care if there are 11 defenders stacked in the box. It is totally inexcusable to not allow your RB 1 crack at picking up 2 tough yards.

(2) Personnel Management - RB Michael Bush had 9 carries for 50 yards in the 1st half. In the 2nd half he had 1 carry in the 3rd quarter. Why on earth does Cable have Charlie Frye, who has had only a handful of starts the past 3 years, chucking the ball 45 times?

Quote: Cable thought game circumstances stripped his team of "who we are" in terms of running in the 2nd half.

Reality: The Browns are one of the worst teams in the entire NFL at stopping the run. The score is 17-9 going into the 2nd half. There is ample time to use the run to sustain drives and cut the lead. Why on earth does Cable ice Bush when Bush just came off of a 100+ yard performance vs. the Broncos? 1 carry in the entire 2nd half? This goes against all football common sense.

(3) Leadership - As the 2nd quarter spun out of control with multiple penalty flags, personal fouls, and ejections (Routt, Stewart), where was Cable to reset the team's focus? Cable had numerous options as it unfolded. He could call a time-out and talk to the entire unit. He could yank one of the offending players off the field to cool off. He could get in the face of the officiating crew, bend their ear, and stand up for his team. Instead Cable sat idly on the sideline passively.

(4) Accountability - Either Cable has been watching a different season or has an inflated self worth but his assessment of his of own game management skills need to be checked.

Quote: On what he does exceptionally ... "I think I managed it as well as you can under the circumstances and what goes into the decision making, the opportunities to score points and do things throughout games." Cable said. "Certainly in game management I hear a lot of compliments from others that way, feel like that's a strength and I do that well."

Reality: Cable's playcalling skills has been erratic. His management and useage of personnel (Russell, DHB, Bush) has been questionable. Some will say that his hands were tied by Davis which is partly true. If Cable strongly believed that Russell and DHB needed the hook after the first 5 games or so this season, the burden falls on his shoulders to lobby, advocate, and persuade Davis. The way that he has utilized his best all around RB throughout the season has been nothing short of negligent.

Besides another double digit loss season, another factor in the demotion/termination of Cable is 7 losses of 14 or more points (Den, Hou, NYG, NYJ, Dal, Wash, Clev). 5 of these less than competitive games were by a margin of 20 points or more points.

The proponents for Cable returning as Head Coach in 2010 have a few good points to ponder. In no particular order, these are the considerations;

(1) The players genuinely like and play hard for Cable.
(2) The Raiders had good wins against playoff caliber teams (Philly, Cin, Pitt, Den).
(3) Bad QB play by Russell (and shoved down his throat for 9 games by Davis) killed Cable's chances for success in 2009.
(4) Cable seems to have a good working relationship with owner Al Davis.
(5) The importance of stability at Head Coach.
(6) Limited viable replacements for Cable.
(7) Cable has been thrown into the fire and is steadily learning/growing on the job.

One possible alternative is to keep Cable at Head Coach but find an offensive coordinator such as Marc Trestman to support him in his playcaling duties and be on deck for HC in 2011. In any other organization, this decision would be a no brainer ... Cable would receive his pink slip immediately following the Ravens game. 9-18, .333 winning percentage would normally warrant a dismissal. In an ironic and cruel twist of fate, Russell's poor performance might buy Cable an additional year.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's an idea.Hire a real GM and let him pick the coaching staff. Like real NFL teams do.Instead of Al picking and miss-matching every thing.

5:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cable's record is crap he has not been able to win two games in a row this year, he beats women, gets in fights with assistants, the guy is a jerk, a moron, not of the claiber of an nfl hc. Please AL fire the bum asap

Happy New Year Florida Raider

5:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Jim Fassel or Jim Harbaugh will be the head coach in 2010. I like Harbaugh for head coach, he coached here before, and his brother is the head coach for baltimore. IDK, we just need some type of leadership!

9:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i remember u stating Jafatass was going to be a great qb. Calico leave your opinions to yourself

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

keep cable - we would have been a playoff team if he wasn't forced to start Russel. Watching russel on the side lines by himself not looking at the plays was killing me. When he had that game winning drive, it took Grad with him to even get into it. He is so unmotivated. The next coach will be forced to play him too.

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harbaugh would be a great coach he has the strength to stand up to Al and the credibility to motivate the players. Cable is a looser best example is playing DHB all year. Either he is doing that because he is a fool or becuase he is Al's puppet hard to decide what is worse

10:21 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Anon 9:31 am - "Calico leave your opinions to yourself"

That is too funny! This is my blog. I am a fan with my own opinions. If I shut down my opinions, this blog does not exist.

The options for 2010 seem to be Cable, Fassell, Gilbride, and possible Trestman.

10:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good read.

I'm in the fire Cable camp. If he thinks this team would be a playoff team if it weren't for JR he's dillusional. A turnstile OL and a sieve DL. Sounds like a playoff team to me. At most they'd be in the Wildcard hunt.

How many times have we seen him abandon the run with the slightest deficit in the 2nd half? Four straight passes against the Browns because that's what the defense dictated...? Apparently Cable thought he was up against the '85 Bears and not the

Trestman and Harbaugh would be ideal. I hear Harbaugh has an excellent father/son type relationship with AD. That'll make a difference.

6:15 PM  
Blogger Toni said...

I'm so in the fire Cable camp... I never believed he was the right guy. But then I'm in the minority of one that actually thought getting rid of Kiffin was the wrong thing to do. I felt he had the Raiders on the right track, and it didn't really bother me what he said. I thought he was just being truthful.

However if a GM isn't hired it won't made a shred of difference who the HC is anyway. So I'd go with keeping Cable, I mean at least there are some pro's (7 to be exact) for why he should be the Raiders' head coach next year.

But without fundamental changes to how things are done in Alameda, well I can't see anything changing from what has been going on for the last 2 decades. For me if a GM isn't hired I'll have no expectations for the upcoming season, well otherthan we'll suck. But I will still watch the draft with interest. (Suh please)

I cannot think of a more depressing set of first round draft picks:


I wonder if more money has ever been spent in the history of the NFL for less production.

12:35 AM  
Blogger Toni said...

One more thought, as abhorrent as I thought his handling of the Adam James situation was (or whatever the kid's name is)... Mike Leach would be an interesting candidate for HC.

I mean just think, he's a lawyer who decided to coach football... Davis vs. Leach would be an interesting termination if it came to pass.

12:44 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Toni -

I'm totally with you about the priority being a new GM. Otherwise, we are chasing our own tail.

If I'm not mistaken, didn't Leach's name come up as a peripheral name floated as a Raider HC candidate a few years ago?

12:24 PM  
Anonymous Tooz 72 said...

I'm in the it doesn't matter who the coach is as long as Al is in charge and there are no professional football people running this organization camp. Keep him or fire him, it will not affect the team's chances for success.

Anyone who thinks that any coach with any decent prospects would coach for the Raiders in the current Al-only structure is smoking dope. Really good, really potent, see the crystals on the bud dope.

Absent real change within the organization, the only coaching candidates will be chumps, and lower quality chumps at that. What a recipe for success.

4:25 PM  
Blogger Toni said...

I honestly don't remember if Leach's name ever came up. I think that he has more years under his belt at the college level is a good thing however.

Supposedly Jack Del Rio's name is in the mix if Cable gets fired.

Of course it's all just rumors since the Raider's are so closed mouthed about everything, except making sure Gannon isn't welcome in the building and demanding pictures of Gruden in a Raider's jersey be yanked from a website.

You know, really, really important stuff.

I don't know if I should laugh, cry or just not care. I mean seriously, could an organization have it's priorities less in order?

4:29 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Leach and Davis would be a heck of a tandem from an entertainment standpoint, a true prickly "pair."

Not sure it would work, though. Leach is a lone wolf, and has proven that he doesn't like taking much advice from "above."

Also, the record of these college guys like Spurrier, Saban, Petrino, Kiffin isn't great in the NFL lately. There seems to be a gulf between what works in the NFL and what works in college.

8:42 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

The choice is either a lower tier prospect without a GM


A potentially wider net cast and higher qualified candidates if and only if a GM is in place and the sturcture of authority on football matters is shifted to the HC/GM.

9:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cable had his work cut out for him this year, but last week's performance against the Browns was the icing on the cake. How many times were the Raiders within the red zone only to throw for an interception? What happened to the running game? Did he have THAT much confidence in Frye?

Ridiculous. If he can't emerge victorious tomorrow--or at least show that he can call for good/smart plays--I think he'll be tanked.

9:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Tooz 72 said...

CJ, I was on and learned a new handle for Japorka: The Deuce. Perfect! And let's talk about The Deuce for a moment. What are our options? Clearly he is a "stueck Scheisse," as we might say in German. So we cannot move forward with the guy. Do we have trading options, waiving options, other? I know we have benching options, but that is not enough. The guy has to go, and I'm wondering if we can get a couple of $ in the process. Grad and Frye are terrific prospects to replace The Deuce, so no pressure on finding other talent. Interested in your thoughts.

4:25 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...


Unfortunately, the options are grim and grimmer in regards to Deuce.

He should be cut but it will be costly.

If we keep him, he is a VERY expensive backup.

Trading possibilities are remote at best.

Chances to get Deuce to restructure are slim unlike his waistline.

Read this article and you will see why the drafting of Deuce was and will be a MAJOR anchor around our neck.

9:06 PM  

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