Imagine sitting around the Christmas dinner table three weeks ago, and your somewhat goofy uncle Harry asking you who do you think would come back to the Oakland Raiders first, Jon Gruden or Tom Cable?
After choking on your gingerbread cookie, you would go hide the eggnog and tell ol’ Harry to take a nap. Gruden? Cable? Come on, unc.
Yes, Uncle Harry deserves an apology.
They’re both back, baby.
Piling on to this drunk offseason, there are reports Saturday that Gruden has hired Tom Cable as his offensive line coach. That’s two former Raiders’ head coaches on one staff.
I am anxiously waiting for Lane Kiffin to join the staff as a quality control dude.
Inside all the craziness of Cable returning, there are real football questions. Let’s tackle some of the issues:
Why did Gruden hire Cable? Cable is known as a premier offensive line coach. The Raiders had a top O-line coach in Mike Tice, who was part of Jack Del Rio’s staff. The hiring of Cable keeps the coaching quality high.
Is Cable a good fit? We will see. The people I talked about this hiring today do think it’s a bit odd. The Raiders’ offensive line is full of big, strong guys. They excel in power blocking in the run game. Former offensive coordinator Todd Downing used some zone-blocking philosophies to help running back Marshawn Lynch, who excelled in Seattle with Cable as the O-line coach. Cable is a classic zone-blocking coach. However, the people I talked to said Gruden is aware of all of this and he will make it work. I trust Gruden on all things offense.
Are there hard feelings? When Cable was fired after the 2010 season, the late Al Davis roasted him hard. But Davis did that often with former coaches. The team is now run by his son, Mark Davis. He had no beef with Cable. It may be weird for Cable to don the Silver and black again. But it’s a new day in Oakland. Gruden is a game changer.
What about the domestic violence issues? There were reported stories about Cable having a history of domestic violence. Whether it’s right or wrong, he has coached several years without further reported instances. So, it’s probably not a current issue in the league. Again, whether that’s right or wrong.
The bottom line: Cable is a quality coach. He should make the Raiders’ offensive line better. He is a good replacement for the talented Tice. Like Tice, Cable has a strong presence around the players. While it will be strange seeing Cable back in Oakland, it seems to be a quality football move.