Despite amassing a perfect division record and making the Raiders not losers for the first time since they went to the Super Bowl in 2002, Tom Cable was let go yesterday as head coach in Oakland. It’s a shame, as the Raiders were definitely one of the less sucky teams this season, and the players were fully in support of him and his coaching methods.
When punter Shane Lechler heard about cutting Cable (see what I did there?), he was not happy at all. Get it in the coffin corner, Fanhouse:
“I’m not so sure this isn’t a terrible decision,” [Lechler] added, saying he thought Cable’s “no-nonsense” approach was “exactly what we need.” According to Lechler, the move will cause the team’s free agents to not want to re-sign with the squad.
Lechler said he tried to call Al Davis and other executives, but has gotten no response.
“I just want to know what the hell’s going on,” he 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?”
I fully support his argument. The main objective for the Raiders was to show they can beat anyone in their up-for-grabs AFC West division, and they did it. Giving Cable another season to take the next step would have been the correct decision, and now all the progress Cable built can be potentially ruined by a very impatient Al Davis who just wants to win, baby, before he croaks. I’m just saying, he’s not a farfetched 2011 celebrity death pool pick.
Lechler has the right to speak, since he’s been with the Raiders for all ten seasons of his NFL career and is damn good at it too, accumulating awards including six Pro Bowl selections. Not sure how much it says about your team when one of the most consistent and talented players is the punter, though.