Sunday, January 2, 2011
Sources: Tom Cable likely out as coach
ESPN.com news services
Tom Cable is unlikely to return as the Oakland Raiders' head coach in 2011, league sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Oakland has to decide whether to exercise the option on Cable's contract by Jan. 18.
The Raiders finished 8-8 this season despite being undefeated in the AFC West. It was their first unblemished mark in the division since 1976, but Oakland has lost four of six since a three-game winning streak put it on the cusp of the playoff picture in Week 10.
The Raiders are the first team since the 1970 merger to go unbeaten in the division and not make the playoffs.
"We are disappointed because we are not going to the playoffs, but at the same time we stuck to the goal and stuck to the plan as we have done very week, and we got our eighth win," Cable said after the Raiders beat the Chiefs 31-10 to close out their season. "I'm very happy about that."
Asked if he thinks he's coming back, Cable did answer directly.
"We're not losers anymore. We're 8 and 8," he said. "That's not what we wanted. We wanted to be a playoff team. We came here to get the sixth win, which means we went 6-0 in the division and most importantly, we are done with that losing. We are not losers anymore."
The Raiders are 17-27 since Cable became head coach, but posted their best record since 2002 in 2010-11, and this season was the first time since '02, when Oakland went to the Super Bowl, that it didn't lose at least 11 games.
Perhaps part of the problem has been Cable's wavering on the Raiders' starting quarterback. After starting the season with Jason Campbell at the helm, Cable switched to Bruce Gradkowski when Campbell struggled. After Gradkowski separated his shoulder, Cable turned back to Campbell but insisted Gradkowski was still the starter. While Campbell was under center during the Raiders' three-game midseason win streak, Cable fluctuated between both quarterbacks throughout the second half of the year until Gradkowski reinjured his shoulder and was placed on injured reserve.
Yahoo! Sports reported on Dec. 12 that Cable was upset when Hue Jackson was hired as the Raiders' offensive coordinator and that Jackson's associates are pushing him to find another job.
Jackson denied there was a rift when asked about the story days later.
"I don't know where all that stuff comes from," Jackson said. "We all here have a pretty good working relationship. I have known Tom here longer than probably anybody that's on this staff, other than Mike Waufle because I worked with those guys before. I was a little surprised by it. There's no truth to it."
Cable took over as the interim coach for Lane Kiffin four games into the 2008 season and was given the permanent job in Feb. 2009.
Oakland has had five coaches since 2003.
Information from ESPN.com's Bill Williamson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.