Raiders' turmoil shines light on risks of mismatched coaching staff
When he was named interim coach last October, after
At that point Cable basically waved off Hanson and told him to stop talking, adding that he didn't want to hear anymore from him. Then, according to one assistant in the room, Cable said to Hanson: "If I could fire you today, I would."
Cable denies the exchange, but a second assistant later confirmed the story to SI.com.
This isn't brought up in an attempt to draw a link to allegations that Cable struck Hanson earlier this month and broke his jaw -- although you'd have to be a member of the original O.J. jury to believe "nothing happened," as Cable claims. Rather it's brought up to address the larger point of how management plays with fire when it doesn't allow head coaches to select their staffs.
Cable, who was made the fulltime coach in February, claims he and managing general partner
The belief among many people in the building is that Hanson is on the payroll largely because he is loyal to Davis, who always has been a sucker for anyone professing their love for the Silver and Black. Last year Hanson told the
That has created the perception that he is a snitch for Davis, which fosters an air of distrust among some staff members. Sadly, Davis should have known how this was going to end. He required Kiffin to keep former defensive coordinator
There are examples of situations where things turned out positively when a coach included holdovers on his staff:
But more times than not, things wind up deteriorating when management gets involved.
More recent examples:
-- In 2007, San Diego,
-- In 2007, Arizona,
"The change was about productivity more than anything else," Whisenhunt says. "Looking at it over a period of years, not just a few games or a season, I felt that if we hold our players accountable for their performance, then we have to be true to that with our staff."
Whisenhunt praised Pendergast as a coach, but clearly the fit wasn't right. The same could be said in Oakland, where Hanson has been a lightning rod of controversy since Kiffin suspended him last season for conduct he considered to be detrimental to the team. The discipline was done without the approval of Davis, who immediately reinstated Hanson. That further created the perception that Hanson was a Davis guy.
Said Hanson to the
Asked Wednesday about the importance of a coach selecting his own staff, Cable said: "It's real important. These are guys you're going to work with every day, for long hours. I wanted a good mix of experience and youth, and we got that. The good thing here is that we were all on the same page [about the hires]."
If he says it enough times, maybe he can get others to believe it. Or even himself.