The Oakland Raiders have fired head coach Tom Cable after he led the team to their first .500 season since 2002.
The move is being widely criticized, not just by the media, Raiders fans, and heck, even Chiefs fans but by the Oakland Raiders players as well.
I said late last night that this move could have serious consequences and it looks like I may have been right. Say what you will about Cable as a coach but he had his players playing hard and he had their loyalty.
I also pointed out that new coaches often like to implement their own systems and bring in their own kind of players. Oakland’s roster is loaded with talent. Darren McFadden, Shane Lechler, Richard Seymour, Robert Gallery, Michael Bush, Zach Miller, Jacoby Ford and Nnamdi Asomugha just off the top of my head are players that represent the core of an improving Raiders squad.
I am not saying that a new coach will come in and get rid of all of those guys but as Josh McDaniels taught us by getting rid of Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall, all bets are off when a new coach comes in.
More Oakland ridiculousness after the jump.
Besides the changes a new coach might bring, it looks like the Raiders may lose a number of players due to the instability that multiple coaching moves have brought over the years. A couple of Oakland players talked to the Oakland Tribune last night in opposition to Cable’s firing and there is some indication that key Oakland players will leave this offseason in free agency out of disgust with Al Davis.
“It’s going to influence a lot of guys’ decisions on free agency,” Oakland Pro Bowl punter Shane Lechler said. “You’re going to for darned sure lose Robert Gallery now. You’re going to lose Michael Bush now, for sure. You’re going to lose a bunch of guys that are great football players and just because of this move … I already know what those guys are going to do. I’ve talked to them, I’m friends with them, and I know what’s going on.
“It’s going to be a huge setback because you heard the locker room just like I did. It’s hard to understand how or why the decision was made when it seemed it was in the best interest of players and we finally felt like we were headed in the right way, and owner goes and pulls the [plug].”
Things could always calm down and emotions are obviously high right now but this might be the final straw for some of these Oakland players. Eventually you have to think some of these Raiders players are going to reach their wits end.
It appears Lechler may already be there. The Raiders punter has been with the team since 200 and has played for 6 different head coaches.
Will the new guy be lucky number seven? Lechler doesn’t seem to think so.
“I’m not so sure this isn’t a terrible decision,” said Lechler.
And he didn’t stop there.
“I just want to know what the hell’s going on,” Lechler said. “I just want to know . . . how do you justify firing somebody when you just went 6-0 in the division and 8-8 in the season after we put in so much as a group, as a unit, as a team with our leader being Tom Cable, how do you just go ahead and whack this guy with, I mean, no reason?”
The rumor right now is that the Raiders are going to have offensive coordinator Hue Jackson replace Cable. The Raiders recently gave Jackson permission to talk to the San Francisco 49ers about their vacant head coaching position but many believe that Davis does not want to lose Jackson so he canned Cable in an effort to convince him to staying on as the Raiders head coach.
A transition from Cable to Jackson would at least make a little sense and after they calm down, it may even convince Oakland’s disgruntled players to stick around.
Then again, after witnessing the circus that is the Raiders’ front office, perhaps Jackson may find it more prudent just to move on.
What do you think Addicts? Does this bode well for the Chiefs? Is Al Davis screwing up the Raiders at the right time or will the Silver and Black weather this storm and continue to improve?