January 19, 2011
Hue Jackson is the Raiders' new head coach, and Tom Cable has moved on to coach the offensive line in Seattle. The puppetmaster behind all of this, as always, was Raiders owner Al Davis.
Davis finally explained Tuesday why he fired Cable, who got the Raiders to .500 for the first time in eight years. Some of it even has to do with football, but what Davis addressed most were off-field issues, according to examiner.com.
First, there was Cable's alleged assault of former assistant coach Randy Hanson. No one knows for sure how it happened -- not even Al Davis -- but Hanson emerged from a meeting with Cable with a broken jaw and busted teeth, and then sued Cable and the organization. No criminal charges were ever filed. This took place before the 2009 season.
"Now, one of the things revealed by Ms. Lutz was too much for me. And that was whether, I don't know if it's true, we're going to find out but Tom was asked about it and refused to answer it.
"He brought her on trips on the road when the team's playing on the road, he's the head coach and this is the guy who's talking about focus, we've got a job to do, we've got a game to play, we've got to win, and they're flying in friends so they can be with him the night before the game.
"All of this stuff goes a long way against my wishes, against my way of living, against my life and against the Raider way and I just wasn't going to take it anymore."
Davis withheld $120,000 from Cable's paychecks as Raiders head coach, due to the "strain on the organization" caused by lawsuits. Cable is suing Davis for the money.
Davis also talked about how he wasn't happy with Oakland's offensive output under Cable, and philosophical differences he had with Cable on run-blocking schemes.
Maybe Cable was a good head coach; maybe he wasn't. Maybe he was an upstanding, non-violent, law-abiding person; and maybe he wasn't. No matter where you stand on those questions, I don't see how Davis escapes culpability here.
He's the one who hired Cable. It's his job to look into the man's background (and if ESPN can do it, you'd think the Raiders would be able to do it), and decide if his football philosophies fit with those of the Oakland Raiders. Davis failed on both. I don't see any way around that.
Here are the two things I take away from Davis' press conference Tuesday: 1) Getting along with Al Davis continues to be the most crucial (and perhaps most difficult) part of being the Raiders head coach; and 2) Al Davis is getting really good at organizing and listing reasons why he fired a head coach.
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