Offensive line coach James Cregg let Cable know on Sunday that he was joining Kiffin at Tennessee, and Mark Jackson, director of football operations, is doing the same. So is Steve Reaves, an administrative aide.
Tom Cable isn't happy about any of this, particularly Cregg, with whom he was close. From Inside the Oakland Raiders:
“You’ve got to understand offensive linemen. This is our world. If I can speak freely here, it’s about pride, it’s about commitment, it’s about trusting everybody next to you. So, to walk your ass out of here is about as bad a deal as you could possibly do to that group of guys.”
"If you taught me everything I know and then I said, 'You know what, I'm out of here.' That's exactly how you would feel," said Cable, who said he will handle offensive line coaching duties the final two weeks. "I'm pissed. That's the best way to put it. Quite frankly, that's the only way I can put it."
Perhaps the most galling aspect of Cregg's abrupt departure, Cable said, is the fact the Raiders season ends in 12 days, and Tennessee enters a so-called dead period at the end of this week.
"Sure I am," Cable said, when asked if he is upset with Kiffin. "That's the wrong way to handle things. Anybody in their right mind would understand the college rules. "... I got a lot of respect for him — had a lot of respect for him — and then to do this is ridiculous. It's wrong."
I get his frustration. People are supposed to be loyal, and there's an unwritten code as to how things are done, etc. But there are two other things I'd point out:
1) I doubt very much that Lane Kiffin feels like he was treated fairly in Oakland, that anyone was loyal to him and that things were handled in the right way; and
2) We're talking about individuals and their careers here. And I know, Tom Cable, that you're Mr. Raider and you believe in the "Commitment to Excellence," Mr. Al Davis and the Star Wars sideshow that takes place in the stands every Sunday. But a lot of other people feel like it's a backwards organization that has no real direction and about as stable a future as General Motors. And with a new regime coming in the offseason that will bring in its own staff, if a guy has a chance to leave now and find a decent job, it's absolutely the right thing to do for himself and his family. Asking anything else is pretty short-sighted and selfish of Tom Cable.
Besides, what are they sticking around for? To help the Raiders get to that mythical 4-12 mark? Yeah, they wouldn't want to miss out on that historical achievement.
- Lane Kiffin
- Tom Cable