Cable laughs at report of tension with Jackson


Cable laughs at report of tension with Jackson


ALAMEDA -- How fine is that residual line between winning and losing?Well, if the Raiders had somehow held on and pulled out a victory atJacksonville on Sunday, wed be dropping Darren McFaddens name intothe league MVP discussion alongside the likes of Tom Brady, MichaelVick and Philip Rivers. But they didnt, the defense falling flat in surrendering big playsgalore. And while still mathematically alive for their first playoffberth since the 2002 season, the Raiders need help. A lot of it.Dysfunction and chaos reign in Silver and Blackdom when the season islost, and with the third-place Raiders (6-7) staring into the abyss, aYahoo! Sports report, in the wake of Oaklands 38-31 loss to the Jaguars, wastimely. Never mind a home game on the horizon against Denver.It spoke of a tension-filled backdrop to the Raiders modestlybreakthrough season. Of coach Tom Cable being angered by owner AlDavis bringing in Hue Jackson as his offensive coordinator. Of Jacksonassociates accusing Cable of trying to undercut the playcaller. OfJackson being so unhappy with the situation that associates have beenpushing him for a number of openings in the pro and college ranks thisseason.When asked if there was any truth to the report in his weekly Monday media conference, Cable grinned.The only truth is that we were just laughing about it upstairs, Cablesaid. Theres absolutely no issue here between Hue and I. We have aprior relationship. Hes doing a marvelous job. Thats stupidity onwhoever wrote it. We had a lot of fun with it upstairs.But of course. What did you expect Cable to do, make like Kevin Baconin Animal House and yell, All is well; remain calm, while beingtrampled by an onrushing mob?Thing is, the report is no mere much-ado-about-nothing. Yet, its notquite where-theres-smoke-theres-fire, either. Its somewhere inbetween.You think Cable was thrilled to have his play-calling duties strippedat the conclusion of last season? You believe he was absolutely excitedto have a new offensive coordinator dropped in his lap? You honestlysuppose Cable was totally comfortable having a member of his staffknown as CIW, Coach in Waiting for short?Yet that was the word at the time of Cablewatch 10, when so many,including yours truly, were sure the coach was headed to the gallows that Cable survived because he acceded to Davis conditions of stayingon but giving up some power to the new guy.CIW, anyone?Jackson, meanwhile, did not arrive as some innocent. Rightly orwrongly, he came aboard with the reputation of being a smiling schemerworking the back channels for a big break. Harsh? Yes. His image insome coaching corners? No doubt.That Jackson and Cable had worked together previously on staffs at CalState Fullerton in 1990 and at Cal in 1996 made for a nice, smiley,feel-good backdrop. But it was Davis who hired Jackson, not Cable.So more than a few eyebrows were raised in recent weeks when Cableseemed to question the pass-happy playcalling in embarrassing losses tothe 49ers, Pittsburgh and Miami.The Raiders are a running team that has to stick to who we are, Cable said more than once.After the defeat in Jacksonville, Cable appeared to throw Jacksoncompletely under the bus. Asked why, with McFadden at his disposal andKyle Boller in at quarterback for an injured Jason Campbell, theRaiders would pass on third-and-three and again on fourth-and-three(neither play call worked), Cable said, I dont know. That is not forme to decide right now.Of course not. If that was not a shot across the bow of the SS Hue, I dont know what is.Which is why Cable praising Jacksons calls a day later seemed a tadforced, because it came as Cable was asked if he had the authority asthe head coach to change Jacksons calls.I dont need to, Cable said. Hes good at what he does. He did ahell of a job yesterday. I got asked about the third-and-three andfourth-and-three calls. They were two great calls. We just didntexecute them.Note that Cable never really answered the question.Cable was then asked if he talks with Jackson during timeouts about the upcoming play.About what our options are, Cable said. I think the role of the headcoach is to make sure youve looked at an A and a B as your choice.(Hue) did a great job, so theres no issue.So when Jackson makes the call from the sidelines, thats the call, no ifs and or butts about it?Absolutely, Cable said.Then surely, if you guys were laughing off this report, Jackson must beconcerned because the griping appears to be coming from his camp, right?He might be, but again, theres nothing to it whatsoever, Cable said.Its a shame that people would say or do something like that.Got it? Good. Then go head, take it all at face value. Just rememberCables flip-flopping on the QB Carousel that threatened whatever teamchemistry and harmony had been built. Even Jackson had a take on itafter the blowout loss to the Steelers.We dont like to play musical chairs at quarterback, Jackson said,but sometimes you do whatever you think you have to do to win.Cable has dramatically changed the culture, with players swearing by him.Jackson has drastically improved the offense, with the team alreadyscoring more points (314) through 13 games than it has in six of itsprevious seven full seasons.The movie on the team charter flight back home Sunday night wasMachete, a slice em up, dice em up tale of an antihero with aproclivity for knives.Could it have been a metaphor for coaches carving each other up behindthe scenes? Depends upon your point of view, and if the team wins orloses.
What's your take? Email Paul and let him know. He may use it in his Mailbag.

Oakland, Lott Group pen letter to NFL in last-ditch effort to keep Raiders

Oakland, Lott Group pen letter to NFL in last-ditch effort to keep Raiders

Through the office of mayor Libby Schaaf, the City of Oakland issued the following statement on Friday, revealing a letter they sent to the NFL a day earlier highlighting the viability and appeal of keeping the Raiders in Oakland.


OAKLAND, CA — Today, the City of Oakland, Alameda County, the Lott Group and Fortress, who have been working in concert to develop a fully-financed local stadium proposal for the Oakland Raiders, shared publicly documents detailing the strength of the Oakland plan.

Specifically, they made public for the first time, their most recent correspondence to the NFL. The letters and accompanying documents were sent in follow-up to a March 6, 2017 presentation Mayor Libby Schaaf and former NFL player and real estate investor Ronnie Lott made to the NFL’s Joint Stadium and Finance Committee that outlined the economic advantages to the league and the team of staying in Oakland.

[RELATED: Letter to NFL from Libby Schaaf, Lott Group]

“We’re not giving up in the fourth quarter,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. “Since I took office two years ago, I have been focused on taking a team-centered approach that is responsible to the Raiders, the NFL, the fans and the taxpayers of Oakland. We’ve been successful in doing the environmental clearance, aligning the City and the County which jointly own the land, engaging the league and bringing partners to the table in the Lott Group and Fortress who have the financial backing, compassion for this community and intimate knowledge of the game -- on and off the field -- to get a deal done. All that’s missing is the Raiders.”

“I know how passionate the Bay Area is about the Raiders,” said NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott. “To rip this team away from Oakland for a second time would be heartbreaking and entirely unnecessary given that we have a viable option on the table that keeps them here and helps this community and the team grow. We have a sophisticated financial partner in Fortress. We have done the due diligence, and it is clear that the only fully-financed, ready-to-roll option for the Raiders is in Oakland.”

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, City Council President Larry Reid, whose district is home to the existing Coliseum and the proposed new stadium site, Lott Group partner and former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete and Fortress Managing Director Drew McKnight plan to gather with fans, local business leaders, nearby residents and other community members to demonstrate support for the Oakland stadium plan at events planned for Saturday, March 25. This is the day before NFL owners begin a series of meetings during which they are expected to discuss, and possibly vote on Raiders’ owner Mark Davis’ request to move the team to Las Vegas.

City of Oakland media services

Why the Raiders 2013 draft class was disbanded

Why the Raiders 2013 draft class was disbanded

Reggie McKenzie has owned three top 5 picks since becoming Raiders general manager. He used one on Khalil Mack in 2014, another on Amari Cooper a year later. McKenzie got a defensive player of the year and a two-time Pro Bowl receiver.

Pretty nice haul.

His first big draft pick came in 2013, when a 4-12 record the previous year earned the No. 3 overall selection. He turned that into the No. 12 and No. 42 overall selections – the Raiders didn’t have a second-round pick, and also gave up a fifth-rounder in the deal – that garnered cornerback DJ Hayden and Menelik Watson.

Both guys were beset by injury early on, setbacks that kept them from realizing potential identified during the pre-draft process. The Raiders got some quality players from the 2013 draft class – Latavius Murray was a two-year starter and Pro Bowl rusher -- but none of them remain Raiders after their rookie contracts.

Sixth-round tight end Mychal Rivera was the last leave, signing with Jacksonville on Wednesday. The Raiders wanted a few back – Watson and Stacy McGee, in particular – but all of them ended up elsewhere.

That’s not ideal. McKenzie prefers to draft, develop and reward. That didn’t happen for his 2013 draft class. While he didn’t have a first or second round pick, the 2012 draft class has been gone some time now.

He compensated well for that veteran talent void in free agency, bringing in Bruce Irvin, Kelechi Osemele and others of that age.

McKenzie’s draft record after 2013 has improved dramatically. A 2014 group that includes Mack, Derek Carr and Gabe Jackson was franchise altering. The 2015 bunch stands strong, and 2016 has talent but can’t be evaluated quite yet.

Let’s take a look at the 2013 draft class and why it didn’t work out:

CB DJ Hayden (No. 12 overall)
Current team:
Detroit (1 year deal, $3.75 million; $2.25 million guaranteed)
Comment: The Raiders didn’t pick up Hayden’s fifth-year option, proof their first-round pick didn’t work out as planned. Hayden was drafted despite a heart condition stemming from a practice injury in college, but a series of soft-tissue injuries slowed him down. He was ineffective at times, though he played better in his final season as a nickel back.

OL Menelik Watson (No. 42 overall)
Current team:
Denver (3 year deal, $18.3 million, $5.5 guaranteed)
Comment: Watson was an athletic, nasty offensive lineman the Raiders hoped to keep, someone who showed real potential when healthy. Those moments didn’t come often for a player who lost 2015 to injury and never made it through a full season.

LB Sio Moore (No. 66 overall)
Current team:
Free agent
Comment: Moore made an instant impact as a rookie working off the edge. He started on the weakside in 2014, but never seemed to recover from a late-season hip injury. He didn’t fit in well with new head coach Jack Del Rio, and he was traded to Indianapolis before the 2015 season began, he has bounced around ever since, playing as a reserve and special teams player. He remains on the open market.

QB Tyler Wilson (No. 112 overall)
Current team:
Out of football
Comment: Tyler Wilson never fit in at the NFL level and didn’t give the Raiders anything for a mid-round selection. Wilson lost his No. 3 job to undrafted rookie Matt McGloin, spent most of 2013 on the practice squad, and was signed by Tennessee late in the year. Wilson was the highest 2013 draft pick to not make the opening day roster.

TE Nick Kasa (No. 172 overall)
Current team:
Out of football
Comment: The converted defensive end struggled with injury, and suffered a season-ending knee injury during the 2014 preseason. He spent the year on injured reserve and didn’t return to the active roster.

RB Latavius Murray (No. 181 overall)
Current team:
Minnesota Vikings (Three year deal, $15 million, $3.4 million fully guaranteed)
Comment: Murray was the most productive player in the draft class. He missed his rookie year with an ankle injury, but assumed the starting spot by the end of his second season. Murray exceeded 1,000 yards and made the Pro Bowl in 2015, and had nearly 800 yards and 12 touchdowns the following year. He wasn’t a perfect scheme fit for the Raiders, who didn’t pursue him once he hit the open market. Murray signed with the Vikings, and should be a major contributor in that offense.

TE Mychal Rivera (No. 184 overall)
Current team:
Jacksonville Jaguars (Two year deal, worth up to $6.75 million)
Comment: Rivera was a vital receiving option on bad Raiders teams, but fell out of favor under Jack Del Rio. That cut his opportunities way down, giving way to 2015 third-round pick Clive Walford. Rivera has receiving skill but isn’t much of a blocker, and his exit was no a surprise after he was a healthy scratch several times in 2016.

DT Stacy McGee (No. 205 overall)
Current team:
Washington (Five year deal, $25 million, $9 million guaranteed
Comment: McGee flashed interior talent when healthy in 2016, and cashed in with Washington on the first day of unrestricted free agency. The Raiders hoped to bring him back, but he got far more than they were willing to pay. McGee developed well during his time in Oakland, which ultimately priced him out of town.

WR Brice Butler (No. 209 overall)
Current team:
Dallas Cowboys (One year deal, $1.1 million, $300,000 guaranteed)
Comment: Butler was an occasional contributor during two seasons with the Raiders, though the athletic pass catcher was a bit too inconsistent. He finished the 2015 as the fifth receiver, and McKenzie got something for him via trade. Butler remains a Cowboy, and signed a new contract with them this offseason.

DE David Bass No. 233 overall)
Current team:
Free agent
Comment: Bass was cut after the 2013 preseason, but he hung on during the next four seasons with Chicago and Tennessee as a reserve and special teams player.