There’s a lingering sense that Raiders owner Al Davis truly hasn’t decided whether to keep coach Tom Cable — and that Davis is talking to other coaches in the hopes of determining whether he might be able to finagle an upgrade.
But there’s now a growing sense in some media circles that Davis is simply trying to mess with the media.
And the media seems to be figuring it out. The wave of stories regarding the presumption that Cable will be fired has yielded to a wave of stories regarding the presumption that Cable will return.
It appears that Davis has indeed spoken with Marc Trestman and Jim Harbaugh, but not about replacing Cable. Though it’s possible that, through these conversations, Davis was trying to get a feel for whether guys like Trestman or Harbaugh might be a good fit for the job, there has yet to be any hard evidence to suggest that Cable is in trouble.
Then again, if Davis is indeed trying to determine whether a better option at head coach is available, it’s important to keep that effort tightly under wraps (via “vociferous” denials), in the event that Davis ultimately decides to stick with the devil that he knows.
But the addition of defensive line coach Mike Waufle, who worked with Cable at Cal in 1996, and the possible arrival of Hue Jackson, who was on that same staff, suggests that Cable is likely to stay.
Then there’s the fact that the hiring of assistant coaches will make the job even less attractive to head-coaching candidates with other options, since head coaches typically like to hire their own guys.
Though nothing can be ruled out (after all, we’re talking about the Raiders), it not only looks like Cable is safe — it also looks like he never was in trouble.