Punter Shane Lechler has played for the Raiders since 2000. He has seen plenty of coaches come and go. And he disagrees with the decision to send current coach Tom Cable packing.
In an interview with CSN Bay Area, Lechler called the decision a “huge setback” for the team, and he said that free agents like offensive lineman Robert Gallery and running back Michael Bush won’t want to return.
“I can’t go through another head coach,” Lechler said. Since Lechler joined the Raiders, the team has had six head coaches: Jon Gruden, Bill Callahan, Norv Turner, Art Shell, Lane Kiffin, and Cable.
Lechler said that Cable brought a “no-nonsense” approach, which Lechler regarded as “awesome” and “exactly what we need.”
As to Cable’s departure, Lechler said, “I’m not so sure this isn’t a terrible decision.”
Regarding the possibility that Hue Jackson will be the next head coach, Lechler provided a lukewarm assessment. “Yes, I do respect [Jackson]. . . . I totally agree and like the energy he brings to the offensive side of the ball,” Lechler said. “Whether he can call plays and pull off the whole head coaching deal and deal with Al Davis on the side, I don’t know. That’s a lot on somebody’s plate, so we’ll see.”
Lechler said he has tried to call Al Davis and other Raiders executives, but that he has had no luck getting through. “I just want to know what the hell’s going on,” Lechler said. “I just want to know . . . how do you justify firing somebody when you just went 6-0 in the division and 8-8 in the season after we put in so much as a group, as a unit, as a team with our leader being Tom Cable, how do you just go ahead and whack this guy with, I mean, no reason?”
Lechler, who is signed for two more years but now may be a free agent sooner than he expected, isn’t the only one who has that question. We suggest that no one hold their breath, or any other bodily function, while waiting for an answer.