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Friday, January 7, 2011
You pick it responses

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

We had a runaway winner in our AFC West “you pick it” feature.

It’s appropriate because any time a head coach is fired, it is big news. Thus, Oakland’s firing of coach Tom Cable is the clear story of the week. The other candidates were Kansas City offensive coordinator Charlie Weis leaving for the same job at the University of Florida and new Denver leader John Elway pursuing Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh. These are two big stories, but Cable getting fired after an 8-8 season trumps those stories.

Below are some of your responses. Thanks to everyone who participated:

Dave from Elk Grove, Calif.: Hey Bill,Tom Cable being fired is the biggest story of the week. The Raiders need to hire Hue Jackson to maintain continuity. As a Raider fan I don't disagree with this move. I feel that Hue Jackson was the reason for the team's offensive improvement. Hue Jackson also seems to be a fiery coach who demands better discipline. Tom Cable never got the penalty situation under control. This shows a lack of accountability and disicpline by the head coach.

Jason from Parker, Colo.: This week’s storylines is probably one of the hardest to choose from. But I think Weis leaving is the biggest story. He's leaving a winning team, to take a job at the college level at the same position. Not too often you hear a man make that kind of change. Cable we knew would happen just so Al Davis could keep Jackson there. Elway liking Harbaugh, DUH Stanford Alum likes the Coach that took his alma mater to the Orange Bowl, no surprise.

Pat from Lancaster, Pa.: It has to be Cable getting fired. He helped get rid of Russell, helped with the O-line, and was straight forward with media and the team. He got results with most of the players. Just because Davis is All-Powerful, he can't stand that these things worked. Hey Davis, my taxes don't go towards the team like Oakland fans do, but I buy a lot which goes to the team and lines your pockets. The fans own the team and your a bad steward. Ironic how though, last season most people wanted Cable canned, this season they love him.

Greg from Sacramento: Bill: The storyline of the week has to be the Raiders' firing of Tom Cable. On the surface this looks like a bad move of Raideresque proportions. Cable had the support of the locker room and there was progress on the field after years of futility. But further analysis shows that this was, in fact, a good move. Let's look at the areas of improvement in 2010 - good draft, offensive play calling, quarterback play, and effort. Cable had nothing to do with the first three (credit Al Davis, Hue Jackson and the absence of Jamarcus Russell, respectively) but legitimately gets credit for the third. On the negative, the Raiders continued to amass self-destructive penalties in record numbers especially on the offensive line, showed indecision at QB, and couldn't get up for weak non-division opponents. That was all Cable. Let credit go to where it was deserved - let the Jackson era begin.

Matt Schroeder from Palmer Lake, Colo.: A die-hard Bronco fan, I'm tempted to say that the story is that Elway likes Harbaugh ... but unless that story is amended to 'Elway LANDS Harbaugh' I have to say the story is the Raiders dismissing Cable.I'm not saying that Cable was the best coach in the world, but he's the only one in nearly a decade to get any measure of performance out of an underperforming team. Under his leadership the Raiders improved every year, including repeatedly thumping the Broncos the last two years. Seems an odd time to go in a new direction, especially when the new direction the Raiders were headed was UP. Now my guess is the 'new' direction is right back to familiar territory ... 'DOWN. Right where they should be.So I guess, that as a Bronco fan for the last 33 years, I really should be happy about Crazy Al Davis making this change and destroying the momentum. Thank you Al!

Seth from Sacramento: I think the Cable firing is the biggest story. Why do you fire the coah that gave the team the biggest improvement and best season in 8 years? Hue Jackson or whomever else the Raiders hire will have a huge problem getting that locker room back now. If the players dont trust the owner/ front office then how will they ever be able to trust the head coach hired by that owner/ front office?

Jeremy B. from Columbia, Mo.: The AFC West storyline of the week has to be Weis leaving Kansas City. While this issue isn't surprising, it is interesting that it happened while the season/playoffs were still going on. Was this a possible distraction for him and the offense as they entered week 17 (and that horrible game)? How will this affect how the Chiefs will prepare for Baltimore. Weis's checklist: how to stop Ed Reed, find house in Gainesville, new plays, new UF recruits, work with Cassel to know when to run and when to pass. Something may have to give. Let's hope it's the attention he gives Florida.

Mike P. from Oakland: Bill the storyline has to be letting Cable go. Wow, I believe this was a horribly short sighted move. Especially when taking into account statements by Lechler regarding current free agents not wanting to return. Can't blame them. My beloved Raiders have just had way too much instability. Cable may not have been the sexy choice to stay, but I believe it could be a disasterous mistake should Hue Jackson not be elevated. Even with Hue, this could be a bad move. I enjoyed the year of stability and had entertained getting Season Tickets again for next year (Let them go after 3 miserable years of Jamarcus Russell) but now I believe I'll stand pat another year. Hope it's not a terrible mistake by Al. Much respect for what Davis has accomplished but he seems to be in 'reactionary' mode instead of proactive thinking. Perhaps in trying to see another SB win before he's done.