Report: Players not pleased with Cable firing

January, 5, 2011
1/05/11
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Fired Oakland coach Tom Cable had the support of the Raiders’ locker room. Several players stood up for Cable in the past couple of weeks.

When he was fired Tuesday, predictably, some players were upset. Two players, punter Shane Lechler and guard Robert Gallery, told the Oakland Tribune that they were not pleased with the move.

Lechler suggested that several key free agents could leave because of the instability. Here’s what Lechler told the newspaper:
“It’s going to influence a lot of guys’ decisions on free agency,” Lechler said. “You’re going to for darned sure lose Robert Gallery now. You’re going to lose Michael Bush now, for sure. You’re going to lose a bunch of guys that are great football players and just because of this move ... I already know what those guys are going to do. I’ve talked to them, I’m friends with them, and I know what’s going on.

“It’s going to be a huge setback because you heard the locker room just like I did. It’s hard to understand how or why the decision was made when it seemed it was in the best interest of players and we finally felt like we were headed in the right way, and owner goes and pulls the [plug].”

This is what Gallery told the paper:
“I really haven’t processed [the possibility of leaving] yet,” Gallery said. “It’s definitely something to think about. Coach Cable and everyone else knows how I feel about him and the things he did as far as getting my career back on track. He’s a guy I wanted to play for. We’ll have to see what happens when free agency does come.”

It's reactions like this that show this could be a bad move. Oakland’s players are tired of the instability. They liked Cable. They saw improvement. It is clearly disheartening for many Oakland players.

Perhaps Oakland owner Al Davis underestimated the power of Cable’s influence on the locker room. I’m sure Oakland’s players will get over this and move on, but it’s another sign to them that this is still an unpredictable franchise.

Meanwhile, Cable’s agent said his client is already getting interest around the NFL. I bet his best chances for a new job will be as an offensive line coach or as an offensive coordinator.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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