Lechler: 'Huge setback' if Cable doesn't return

Lechler: 'Huge setback' if Cable doesn't return

Dec. 27, 2010



ALAMEDA Shane Lechler has been through Jon Gruden.The five-time All-Pro punted for Bill Callahan and Norv Turner. He endured Art Shell and Lane Kiffin.Theres just something different about Tom Cable, says Lechler, who maynot only be auditioning for a sixth trip to the Pro Bowl, but alsocampaigning to lead the Cable fan club in the Raiders locker room.
Lechler did not mince words when asked Monday if it would be a mistaketo let Cable, whose contract is up a few weeks after the Super Bowl,float away into the ether.It would be a huge setback, Lechler said. Weve invested so much ofour time and theres been so much commitment, starting from the day hetook over. Not only this year. He had a plan. The plan is working. Itwould be a terrible disappointment if there was a change because hesthe guy for this job. This job is for a blue-collar, hard-nosed coach.Thats what we need. You cant have a flashy guy come in. Ive heard it too many times.Every coach comes in, Oh, Im going to fix this. Im going to turnthis thing around. Bull.. You cant say that every time becausepeople start calling your bluffCables the hard-nosed, blue-collar guythat we need for this job. Tough words coming from a punter, you say? Fine, but the feeling was mutual from players on both offense anddefense. Especially with speculation over Cables job security pickingup steam in the wake of the Raiders being eliminated from their firstplayoff chase since 2002 before losing to Indianapolis, 31-26, onSunday.
RECAP: Raiders come up just short in 31-26 loss to Colts
Every coach, from the moment they are hired by Al Davis, is on a hotseat to produce positive resultsimmediately. Cables production hascome in both chemistry he has changed the culture in the locker roomfor the better and in wins and losses the Raiders ended theirwoeful streak of seven consecutive seasons with at least 11 losses andhave a chance to finish 8-8 overall, 6-0 in the AFC West, by beatingKansas City in the season finale this coming weekend.RELATED: Spotlight on Kansas City
But there is a negative to going perfect in the division; Oakland would still not qualify for the playoffs.So what carries more weight in Davis mind marked improvement, orblowing just enough games to keep the Raiders out of the playoffs? Anddont forget Cables bungling of the quarterback carousel mid-season,when his toying with the most important position in the game turnedJason Campbell into a sympathetic figure and Bruce Gradkowski into ateachers pet. Stereotypes neither man deserved.I mean, Al D., he knows who he wants and hes going to bring back whohe wants, sniffed defensive tackle Tommy Kelly. Nobody knows that buthim. I dont got no problem with Cabes; Cabes a good coach. I mean, hekeeps it one hundred (percent honest) with you. Hes a straightshooter. Every year hes been the coach, wegot a little better, so youcan see progress. It just, everything depends on the Old Man. How hesees it through his own eyes. Nobody knows that. Kelly laughed. It was an uneasy laugh but a truthful one. The performance of Cable, who was 4-8 as an interim coach in 2008, 5-11as a first-time, full-time head coach in 2009 and 7-8 thus far thisseason, is not all to be considered here. Hue Jackson has dramaticallyimproved the offense, though there are still a lot of head-scratchingplaycalling moments (trying to run on the edge against the Coltsspeedy ends instead of pounding the ball up the middle against theNFLs No. 28-ranked run defense and passing the ball 42 times?) Yet heis sure to be hot commodity this offseason. Jackson, though, is stillunder contract.
WATCH: Tom Cable reacts after being eliminated from playoffsAnd with the looming possibility of a lockout next season, the easiestpath would seemingly be to let Cable go and promote Jackson fromwithin. Just dont mention that to certain long-tenured Raiders. Obviously, I dont make that decision, said left guard RobertGallery. I know this locker room want (Cable to return). I think weneed that. We didnt accomplish what we wanted to this year, going tothe playoffs. But we definitely took a step forward from where wevebeen. Hes a big reason for that step. Gallery is an impending free agent who made the switch from tackle toguard at the behest of Cable. Linebacker Quentin Groves is a first-yearRaider who never knew Cable before being acquired in a trade. We love him man, and hes a great guy to play for, Groves said. Hesa players coach, and I never knew what that was until I came here. Heis really a players coach. He doesnt beat your body down. He takescare of your body during the season. He is actually a players coachand I would hate to see him go. Cable said the only discussions hes had with Davis have been aboutgames, not his future, adding it was not hard to compartmentalizecoaching as a pseudo-lame duck. I mean, Im good at what I do, Cable said in his weekly Monday mediaconference. So Im going to coach football. I mean, thats what I do,you know? In terms of being here and all that, I know that I want tocoach this football team. But thats for after the season, in terms of how its discussed and when its discussed. Theres a certain serendipity at work here. A true Lincoln-Kennedy (theformer U.S. Presidents, not the former Raiders offensive lineman)coincidence-penny moment. Heading into the final game of the 1999 season, the Raiders were 7-8and word was an increasingly impatient Davis harbored thoughts ofcanning Gruden, who was in his second full season. Especially ifOakland lost the season finale at Kansas City. Sleepwalking through much of the first quarter and trailing 17-0, theRaiders rallied and beat the Chiefs in overtime, 41-38, finishing 8-8and effectively saving Grudens job. A year later, Lechler and placekicker Sebastian Janikowski were drafted, the Raiders went 12-4 and played in the AFC title game. Were close, said Lechler, who has been asked for his advive by Davison such team matters as coaches before. If we win this weekend comingup, sweep the division, that would be a huge step for us. Were right there, right on the edge. But are they about to fall off, or fly? And with, or without Cable?

NFL review shows Raiders complied with Rooney Rule


NFL review shows Raiders complied with Rooney Rule

ALAMEDA — The NFL said Friday that the Oakland Raiders complied with the "Rooney Rule" when they hired Jon Gruden as head coach.

The league said a review found the Raiders conducted "bona fide" interviews with minority candidates during their search for a replacement for the fired Jack Del Rio. The "Rooney Rule" requires NFL teams to consider at least one minority candidate before making an offer to a head coaching candidate. The team officially hired Gruden on Jan. 6.

The Fritz Pollard Alliance had called for an investigation last week out of concern that Raiders owner Mark Davis came to an agreement with Gruden before the team interviewed any minority candidates.

The Fritz Pollard Alliance is dedicated to promoting diversity and equality of job opportunity on the coaching, front office and scouting staffs of NFL teams.

Raiders announce Cable's return, hire 13 assistant coaches


Raiders announce Cable's return, hire 13 assistant coaches

Jon Gruden put some respected assistants on “red alert,” for a time when he would return to coaching. Count Paul Guenther, Greg Olson and Rich Bisaccia among those he wanted as top lieutenants.

They became defensive, offensive and special teams coordinator, respectively, formally announced last week during Gruden’s introductory press conference.

Those guys went to work hiring a full staff. They interview several during a busy week, and formally announced 13 hires on Thursday morning.

Most names had been reported previously, with former Raiders head coach Tom Cable as the marquee name returning to lead the offensive line.

Defensive line coach Mike Trgovac was a new name and a good get. He spent the last nine years coaching the position in Green Bay, and was Carolina defensive coordinator from 2003-08. He has worked with Gruden before, with Philadelphia from 1995-97.

Trgovac has been particularly effective in Green Bay. Since he started running that defensive line, the Packers fourth in sacks and fifth in rushing touchdowns allowed.

Trgovac, senior defensive assisstance Jim O'Neill and receivers coach Edgar Bennett have experience as a coordinator. O'Neill was 49ers and Cleveland Brown defensive coordinator. Bennett was Packers offensive coordinator the pass three seasons, though he did not call plays.

The Raiders snagged Derrick Ansley from the University of Alabama to coach defensive backs, and Guenther brought David Lippincott from Cincinnati to coach linebackers.

The Raiders hired former NFL scout Dave Razzano has director of football research, and he’ll compile statistical analysis from game film on the Raiders and their opponenets.

The Raiders retained Travis Smith (quality control – defense) and Nick Holz (quality control – offense), who have survived two regime changes.

Here’s a complete list of 13 assistant coach hires announced by the team. A quarterback coach is not among them. Olson said Wednesday the Raiders are still contemplating whether to hire one. That position isn’t vital, considering how involved Olson and Gruden will be with signal callers and Derek Carr in particular.

Coach                              Title

Ansley, Derrick                       Defensive Backs

Bennett, Edgar                        Wide Receivers

Berbenich, Tim                        Quality Control – Offense

Cable, Tom                              Offensive Line

Holz, Nick                               Quality Control – Offense

Lippincott, David                    Linebackers

O’Neil, Jim                              Senior Defensive Assistant

Razzano, Dave                        Director of Football Research

Singleton, Jemal                      Running Backs

Smith, Frank                           Tight Ends

Smith, Travis                           Quality Control – Defense

Storer, Byron                          Assistant Special Teams

Trgovac, Mike                        Defensive Line

Here’s some background on each coach, provided by Raiders media services: 

Ansley: Joins the Raiders for his first NFL season after spending the past two years coaching defensive backs at the University of Alabama, helping the Crimson Tide win the 2018 BCS National Championship…Served as the cornerbacks coach at the University of Kentucky from 2013-14 before being promoted to the secondary coach in 2015…Spent the 2012 season as the defensive backs coach at the University of Tennessee…Served as a graduate assistant at Alabama from 2010-11 and helped the team win the 2011 BCS National Championship…Began his collegiate coaching career at Huntingdon College working with defensive backs from 2005-09.

Bennett: Enters his first season with the Raiders after spending the past 13 on the Green Bay Packers’ coaching staff…Served three seasons as the team’s offensive coordinator from 2015-17…Spent three seasons (2011-14) as Green Bay’s wide receivers coach…Entered the coaching ranks in 2005 as the Packers’ running backs coach, where he served six seasons from 2005-10…Before becoming a coach, worked four years in the Packers’ front office, serving as the teams’ director of player development form 2001-04…Played eight seasons in the NFL as a running back for the Packers and Chicago Bears from 1992-1999, totaling 3,992 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns on 1,115 carries. 

Berbenich: Enters his 15th season as an NFL coach, his first with the Raiders…Spent the past five seasons with the Indianapolis Colts…Served the last two years as the team’s offensive assistant/assistant quarterbacks coach…Spent the 2015 season as the team’s defensive assistant…Joined the Colts in 2013 as an offensive assistant, a role he served for two years…Was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for six years (2006-11), working the first three under Head Coach Jon Gruden…Joined the staff as an offensive quality control coach in 2006, before being promoted to assistant running backs coach in 2008 and assistant wide receivers coach in 2009…Entered the NFL with the New York Jets in 2000 as an intern in the team’s operations department and was hired on full-time in 2002…Joined the coaching ranks in 2003 as an offensive assistant and spent the 2005 season as New York’s offensive assistant/quality control coach.

Cable: Begins his second stint with the Raiders, bringing over 30 years of coaching experience to the post…Spent the last seven seasons (2011-17) as the Seattle Seahawks’ assistant head coach/offensive line coach, helping the team win Super Bowl XLVIII…Originally joined the Raiders in 2007 as the team’s offensive line coach, before serving as the interim head coach for the final 12 games of 2008 and head coach from 2009-10…Entered the NFL coaching ranks in 2006 as the offensive line coach for the Atlanta Falcons…From 2004-05, was the offensive coordinator/offensive line coach at UCLA…Served as the University of Idaho’s head coach from 2000-03…Served as the University of Colorado’s offensive coordinator/offensive line coach from 1998-99…Spent six seasons (1992-97) as the University of California’s offensive line coach…Spent one season in 1991 as UNLV’s offensive line coach after coaching the defensive line at Cal State Fullerton for one year in 1990…Began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Idaho (1987-88) and San Diego State (1989).

Holz: Enters seventh season with the Raiders…Spent 2017 as the team’s assistant wide receivers coach, after two seasons as the Silver and Black’s quality control – offense coach from 2015-16 and three seasons as the team’s offensive assistant from 2012-14, working closely with the team’s wide receivers…Prior to joining Raiders, spent four years (2008-11) at Stanford University as assistant quarterbacks coach…Began his coaching career at the University of Nebraska as an offensive quality control coach in 2007.

Lippincott: Joins the Raiders for his 11th NFL season, having spent the previous 10 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals from 2008-17…Was the assistant linebackers/quality control coach for six seasons in Cincinnati from 2012-17…Spent the 2011 season as the team’s defensive quality control coach…Joined the Bengals in 2008 as a coaching assistant, a role he served in for three seasons…Coached at the University of Richmond for three seasons from 2005-07, serving as the assistant defensive line coach from 2005-06 and the safeties coach in 2007…Spent two years as a graduate assistant at the University of Minnesota from 2003-04…Began his coaching career at Bluffton University as the team’s defensive line coach from 2000-02.

O’Neil: Enters his first season with the Raiders and ninth year as an NFL coach…Brings three years of experience as an NFL defensive coordinator to the post…Served as the San Francisco 49ers’ defensive coordinator for the 2016 season…Spent two seasons as the defensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns from 2014-15…Coached linebackers for the Buffalo Bills for one year in 2013…Spent four years with the New York Jets (2009-12), serving as the defensive backs/quality control coach in 2009 before being promoted to assistant defensive backs coach for the 2010-12 seasons…Served as the defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach at Towson University in 2005…Spent two years at Northwestern University from 2003-04, serving as a graduate assistant/defensive backs coach…Coached at the University of Pennsylvania in 2002 as the team’s assistant offensive line coach…Began his coaching career at the University at Albany in 2001 as the assistant offensive line/tight ends coach.

Razzano: Enters his first season with the Raiders after spending the previous six years as an area scout with the Indianapolis Colts, focusing on the western United States and assisting on special assignments for both pro and college scouting…Holds 25 years of scouting experience, which also includes stints with the San Francisco 49ers (1988-92), St. Louis Rams (1992-2006) and Arizona Cardinals (2006-09).

Singleton: Enters his first season with the Raiders and third NFL coaching season…Spent the last two seasons as the Indianapolis Colts’ running backs coach…Served as the special teams coordinator/running backs coach at the University of Arkansas in 2015…Coached running backs at Oklahoma State for four seasons from 2011-14…Spent nine years over two stints at the Air Force Academy…Served as the run game coordinator/running backs coach from 2007-10 after spending the 2006 season as the running backs coach…Was a varsity assistant from 2003-05 after getting his start in 2000 as a prep assistant.

Frank Smith: Joins the Raiders after spending the past three seasons (2015-17) as the tight ends coach of the Chicago Bears…Brings 13 years of coaching experience, including the last eight within the NFL ranks…Began his NFL coaching career with the New Orleans Saints (2010-14) as an offensive assistant/offensive line coach…Prior to joining NFL ranks, Smith served as the offensive coordinator/offensive line coach at Butler University from 2007-09…Started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Miami (Ohio) University from 2004-05.

Travis Smith: Enters his seventh season with the Raiders, after previously serving as outside linebackers in 2017 and quality control - defense from 2015-16…Served as the team’s defensive assistant from 2012-14, working closely with both the linebackers and defensive line…Joined Raiders after spending three years in the college ranks as offensive technical intern at the University of Colorado in 2011 and tight ends/defensive line at Santa Monica Junior College in 2010…Began coaching career as an undergraduate assistant at Cal Poly in 2009. 

Storer: Enters his first season with the Raiders and his fifth year coaching in the NFL…Begins his second stint on assistant head coach/special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia’s staff…Served as the San Diego Chargers’ assistant linebackers coach in 2013 after spending one season as the team’s assistant special teams coach in 2012…Spent the 2010-11 seasons as the assistant special teams coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers…Played three seasons in the NFL for Buccaneers from 2007-09, appearing in 16 games.

Trgovac: Enters his first season with the Raiders after spending the past nine years (2009-17) as the defensive line coach of the Green Bay Packers…Joined the Panthers in 2002 as the defensive line coach before being promoted to defensive coordinator from 2003-08…Served as the defensive line coach for the Redskins from 2000-01…Served his first stint with the Packers in 1999 as the defensive line coach…Began his NFL coaching career with the Eagles from 1995-98, working on the same coaching staff as Head Coach Jon Gruden for the first three seasons…Prior to coaching in the NFL, spent 11 seasons coaching defensive linemen at the college level with Notre Dame (1992-94), Colorado State (1990-91), Navy (1989), Ball State (1986-88), Michigan (1984-85).

Raiders media services contributed to this report