The clock ticks slowly towards a decision on the future of Tom Cable's head coaching tenure with the Oakland Raiders. The general consensus is that within a matter of days that clock is going to strike midnight and Cable will be granted his release from the Silver and Black asylum. Each day that passes without Al Davis emerging to announce the new coach who will lead the Raiders to greatness it becomes more likely that Cable will be on the sidelines for the 2010 season.
The best move for the Raiders at this point would be to retain Cable for the 2010 season. He has the team playing with a fire and a purpose late in the season that has not been seen since Jon Gruden stalked the sidelines at the dawn of this millennium. Had he not been saddled with the beyond pathetic play of JaMarcus Russell for the season, he could easily have had 3-4 more wins over the course of the season.
Keeping Cable does not mean keeping the status quo. Cable has admitted to stretching himself too thin, so he will need to delegate more next season. Bringing in an offensive coordinator to call the plays. Of course, if this offensive coordinator is going to diversify the offense, they will need a quarterback who has the work ethic to digest a complex offense, which means that Russell would be on his way out.
Another assistant coach who will get a long hard look over the offseason will be Sanjay Lal. Darrius Heyward-Bey was simply awful. Fellow rookie Louis Murphy improved as the season wore on, despite leading the league in catches reviewed by the officials. Johnnie Lee Higgins did a complete regression. Chaz Schilens was by far the most reliable receiver once he returned from injury halfway through the season. Davis cannot be happy with the lack of development from that position group.
Cable's strength has beenas a motivator, which is an important aspect for a head coach to have. He has kept the team, despite going through a horrendous stretch midseason. He made the move to bench Russell, and it paid off.
This isn't time to reinvent the wheel, as the Raiders will have to do if they bring in a new coach and start over. Besides, if Cable stays, that makes it more likely that Russell will be marginalized, and on his way out of Oakland.