Report: Raiders haven’t talked to any coaching candidates

Profootballtalk.com is reporting that the Raiders haven’t spoken with any candidates to replace Tom Cable as their next head coach.

In response to a San Francisco Chronicle report that the Oakland Raiders have interviewed Jim Fassel and Marc Trestman to potentially replace Tom Cable as head coach and another report (from the original false rumor monger) that the team spoke to Jim Harbaugh about the job, a team official tells Steve Corkran of the Oakland Tribune that no candidates have been interviewed.

“The reports that we’ve interviewed prospective head coaches are totally untrue, totally false,” Raiders senior executive John Herrera said.

Fassel has denied that he has heard from the team, and the agent for Marc Trestman has said that Trestman has not been contacted, either.

A league source has confirmed this information (since, frankly, it’s not always prudent to accept at face value the self-serving stuff disseminated by any team), and we’re also told that there has been no effort to interview Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride or Packers assistant head coach/inside linebackers coach Winston Moss. To interview either of these men, the Raiders would be required to submit a written request for permission to conduct the interview, and the request for permission contains a space requiring the team seeking permission to specify the job for which the candidate would be interviewed.

The San Francisco Chronicle wasn’t the only media outlet to report that the Raiders had been talking to candidates, as ESPN.com reported on Wednesday that the team had spoken with Stanford’s Jim Harbaugh about possibly replacing Cable.

Profootballtalk.com has been stretchy at best with its reporting. Sometimes they’re dead on, sometimes they’re so far off that it makes you wonder if they make rumors up for traffic hits, so take this information with a grain of salt.


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Report: Raiders pursuing coaching candidates

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Raiders owner Al Davis has been actively pursuing head coaching candidates for weeks.

Two people on his interview list have been identified as former Giants coach Jim Fassel, who now coaches UFL champion Las Vegas, and former Raiders offensive coordinator Marc Trestman, the head coach of CFL champion Montreal.

Several sources, including one within the organization, believe Davis may re-interview 2009 candidates Kevin Gilbride, the Giants’ offensive coordinator, and Winston Moss, a Packers assistant head coach, if he hasn’t already.

If Davis has indeed made a decision on Cable, no one with the organization either knows or is talking about it. His inner circle is as small as it is airtight. If anyone knows Davis’ plans, they’re not saying.

This is typical Al Davis, making rash decisions without thinking anything through. Did he not know that word would eventually get out that he was looking for a replacement for Cable? Why not fire Cable and get that part over with, so future candidates don’t have to worry about interviewing for a job that isn’t open yet?

Whoever takes over that job will be either desperate or clinically insane. Those are the only two options, because no one in their right mind would want to coach a team with JaMarcus Russell on the roster and Al Davis in the owner’s box.

Update: Stanford’s Jim Harbaugh rejected an offer to become the Raiders’ next head coach according to ESPN.com.


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JaMarcus Russell will never succeed in the NFL

Growing up, many of us were told: “Never say never.”

But F-that – JaMarcus Russell will never succeed in the NFL, period.

During the Raiders’ putrid effort in a 16-10 loss to the Chiefs on Sunday, Oakland head coach Tom Cable benched Russell after the quarterback completed just nine of his 24 pass attempts for 67 yards. It was a typical Sunday outing for Russell, filled with accuracy issues, a complete disregard for pocket awareness and zero signs of being prepared.

After the game, Cable refused to commit to Russell as his starting quarterback moving forward and who could blame him? The former first overall pick’s 47.1 completion percentage and 5.5 YPA both rank him 30th in the NFL and he also has a 2:9 touchdown to interception ratio this season. He’s horrible, horrendous – awful.

But numbers aside, Russell will never succeed in this league because he doesn’t care. He misses open receivers and then he stands on the sidelines acting like he’s rotating in and out of a touch football game at a family barbecue. He has zero passion, zero emotion and I wonder if the guy truly even wants to play football or if he just has the occupation because he can throw a ball 70-plus yards.

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Are the Raiders getting ready to fire Cable?

Yahoo’s Jason Cole reports that Raiders owner Al Davis wants to fire head coach Tom Cable by the end of the season, but is working with the NFL to make sure that Cable can be fired for cause.

If Davis had any wherewithal, he’d fire himself as GM and allow real football-minded people to run the team. But Davis won’t do that and now it appears that the Raiders will be making a head coaching change for the second time in two years.

Davis is going to have one hell of a time filling the position, because no respectable coach wants that job. He won’t be able to hire a Mike Shanahan or Bill Cowher because there’s no way either men would want to assume that mess. Davis can cross Mike Holmgren’s name off the list too.

What the Raiders need most is a head coach that can somehow get through to quarterback JaMarcus Russell because if he can’t develop, then the franchise will continue to sputter. Or maybe it’s time for Davis to cut his losses and move forward without Cable and Russell, because it appears that the latter is destined to be a massive bust.

No matter how he handles the situation, it’s almost a guarantee that Davis will muck things up. He has a knack for making horrible decisions and he thinks it’s more important to have a head coach under his thumb than one that will run his football team the right way. After all, Cable was hired after Kiffin was let go because he served as a “yes man” to Davis.

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