Originally, the Oakland Raiders decision to not take the option on Head Coach Tom Cable’s contract through the 2011 and 2012 season left me, like many of the players and the Raider Nation, scratching my head in wonder at what Mr. Davis had up his sleeve. But as I’ve sat and dwelled on it for a couple of days now, it makes perfect sense to me. This is Al Davis, the guy who does the exact opposite of what he should do, for eight years in a row now. For a recent example, he should have fired Tom Cable after last season, but he didn’t. He shouldn’t have fired Tom Cable after this season and he did. I have a suggestion, Raider Nation. I’m not sure if there is a word that describes somebody who should do something and doesn’t AND shouldn’t do something and does, but if there is not already a word for that, we can start calling those people Davises.
Maybe Mr. Davis thinks that Jim Harbaugh is the answer and regardless of anything else he is going to have this guy as his head coach. Well, if Mr. Davis is such an observer of talent that he (and others) claim he is, then he is clearly losing his grip based on his recent first round draft choices alone, outside of Darren McFadden—who I might add has only had one good year, in which he still missed three games with injury. But if Davis is this other worldly talent scout then why didn’t he promote Harbaugh when he was in Oakland as the quarterbacks coach, back in the day? He couldn’t possibly have been worse than the idiocracy that Raider Nation has put up with since the departure of Jon Gruden. Why wasn’t Harbaugh the successor to Gruden…or even Bill Callahan? Al, the worldly great talent observer, had to wait for Harbaugh to prove himself elsewhere? Perhaps he just doesn’t have the same sense for coaches as he does for players.
Let me tell you that if Harbaugh can bring the Stanford Cardinal back from the depths then he could be leading a successful Raiders team into the playoffs as we speak, with years of NFL experience under his belt while making considerably less money than $6-7 million per year. And if Harbaugh is hired that would make 10 different offenses for Jason Campbell in 10 years, right? That’s crazy. Who’s to say that Harbaugh would even want Campbell to be the guy running his system? Set the next Davis-proclaimed “great Raiders quarterback” up for more failure why don’t you, Mr. Davis?
Mr. Davis likes to keep the inner workings of the Raiders top secret. He likes to make it seem as if nobody knows what is going on behind closed doors except for people like Amy Trask, John Herrera, and himself. Except for little tidbits that get leaked out every now and then, he has become detatched from Raider fans and his team. And he gets particularly offended when people make assumptions based on what they think might happen. As much as he tries to be secretive, to the Raider Nation, Davis’ ways are as clear as the difference between night and day.
But based on the tidbits that get leaked, wasn’t Al upset with Cable for pulling the plug on Campbell following the Pittsburgh Steelers game? And wasn’t it Al Davis who is reportedly upset with Cable for letting McFadden rest in a game that meant almost nothing? And isn’t it Davis who is upset with the playing time of Bruce Campbell, who if it had not been for Tom Cable being on the staff, would’ve been the Raiders first round pick this year?
My point is: Al is getting a little emotional in his old age, no?
I’ve grown up football, loved it for years before I loved the Raiders. Fell in love with the game when I was eight years old, twenty some odd years ago. Played it for several coaches and watched thousands of NFL and college players come and go. I’m not as experienced as Davis. I’m not credited for creating the vertical passing game. I didn’t turn an organization around in the sixties and I didn’t hire John Madden. But one thing I absolutely know with 100 percent certainty is that once emotions come into play, levelheadedness and logical decision making go out the door.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I have no idea how much influence Al Davis actually has in the everyday activities of the team because I’m not educated on the inner workings of the Raiders organization. I’m not going to go out on a limb and say that everything that happened was because Al said it was to be that way. I’m not going to do that. I’ll let you all make your own assumptions.
But clearly, now that Cable is assumed to be gone forever, Hue Jackson is the only respectable choice for the opening. And if the Raiders do not want to be set back for the next three years while Jackson deals with all of Al’s levelheadedness and logic, then they should probably bring in somebody else to call the plays this year as they did following the 2009 season when Cable had “too much on his plate.”
But don’t expect to hear exactly who the new coach is any time soon, because that could take longer than Davis’ trip from the press box to his car these days.
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