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Raiders should stick with Cable

No one wants the job, so leave him in charge and don’t saddle him with Russell. Matt Bowen

Print This January 21, 2010, 12:55 PM EST

If you could be any head coach in the NFL, would you even bother to choose the Raiders’ Tom Cable?

Cable rubbed off on me this past season in a good way. I liked the way his team played competitive football — once JaMarcus Russell was put on the bench where he belonged — and I liked that they could win games by running the football and playing good defense.

I even wrote about it a couple of weeks back, saying that Cable is the guy who should be the head coach in Oakland for the 2010 season. But once again, with some leeway — as in, he doesn’t have to play Russell.

But as we wait for the ax to fall from Al Davis’ desk on Cable, we are now hearing reports that the owner is out there shopping the current coach’s job on the open market. Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh was reportedly offered Cable’s job, and we here at the NFP have heard that CFL coach Marc Trestman is in the mix as well.

So if you’re Cable right now, you’re fully aware that your job is being auctioned off. Imagine that, you’re just waiting for the phone call from the owner to pack your belongings at clean out your office.

But there’s a catch out in Oakland — and that is, no one wants the job. The scenario is not much different than what we saw played out in Buffalo since the end of the season that eventually landed Chan Gailey. The Raiders are searching, asking and contacting coaches — and no one is biting,

Does that mean Cable will be back in Oakland next season, forced to play Russell at quarterback? As the NFP’s Michael Lombardi wrote Wednesday, whoever is the head coach in 2010 will have a top priority of squeezing something out of Russell.

Good luck with that.

I like the Raiders up front on both sides of the ball. They’re physical, and they can win games with Cable running the show — in a style that’s not much different than what we’re seeing now with the Jets and what we’ve grown accustomed to with the Ravens over the years.

Speaking of the Ravens, QBs coach Hue Jackson interviewed yesterday in Oakland for the offensive coordinator job, according to the NFP’s Aaron Wilson. I was with Hue under Steve Spurrier on the 2003 Redskins, and he’s a name that could also show up on the radar for the vacant OC job in Chicago.

But why interview Jackson for the OC job when you don’t even have an idea who the head coach will be?

Do you see where I’m going here? To call it dysfunctional would be an understatement. Cable needs to be the head coach in Oakland next season, with some control over the game plan, if this origination wants to win. Let Cable make some decisions and sit back and watch the Raiders win football games — his way.

I understand that I’m suggesting something to Davis that won’t be granted, nor will it even be entertained, but let’s be honest here: Cable can coach.

However, as long as Davis insists that Russell act as the catalyst for the offense, his job search is going to come up dry. Would you take that gig? I wouldn’t, and I know that if Cable stays, he’s going to be stuck with a bust at QB and an owner who has too much control.

I have to think that this is what Raider Nation wants, but the rest of the AFC West has to be smiling, knowing what’s probably going to transpire in Oakland.

The Raiders have a coach, and that’s why I am voting Cable for 2010 — without the baggage of a first-round QB who needs to go.

Follow me on Twitter: MattBowen41

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