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Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Cable seems to be the right fit for Oakland

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

DANA POINT, Calif. -- I'm not saying Tom Cable is the definite answer for the Oakland Raiders. However, after being around him at the NFL owners' meeting for a bit and after hearing from folks around the league, I believe it was in the best interest of the team to promote him from interim to permanent coach this offseason.

Cable was given the full-time gig after going 4-8 as Lane Kiffin's in-season replacement. Oakland finished 5-11 and it became the first team in NFL history to lose at least 11 games for six straight seasons. Still, progress was made under Cable at the end of the season. Oakland won its final two games.

Cable is a very enthusiastic coach who appears both professional and aware of the task ahead. He knows his team needs stability and he wants to be the coach who provides it. He is embracing being a Raider.

"It's a process you go through and I think we've really made some strides in that process," Cable said. "Love the attitude, love where they're at. Love the core of this team. They go after it every day at work. That's the thing you want. That's why I feel the way I do; that's why I say the things I do, because I do know what the core is. I do know what we've added and what we need to do in the draft. So I'm pretty confident and have great belief in those men that we're pretty close."

That's exactly what this team needs. Last year, Kiffin was highly critical of players and the franchise. It continued to breed the losing attitude. Cable is all sunshine.

He is also all business.

The word I heard around the league is that he has been extremely involved in all of the Raiders' offseason dealings. He has been said to be heavily involved in player visits and even contract talks. Many folks have said he has been a plus to the Oakland program already with his winning attitude and his professional demeanor.

If Cable is as involved as people say he is it means one important thing: Al Davis trusts him. That's half the battle in Oakland. The feeling appears mutual.

"He's a guy who loves his football team, is passionate about it. He's a guy who has an unbelievable amount of knowledge," Cable said of his boss. "He's a guy who if you allow ....can teach you more than you ever thought possible."

We don't know if all this happiness will result in a winning season in Oakland. But Cable seems to be happy to be a Raider and it seems Oakland should be happy to have Cable. In Oakland, that qualifies as a good start.