Raiders deny interest in Terrell Owens

Despite an ESPN report stating that they had internal discussions about signing the free agent receiver, Raiders head coach Tom Cable is denying that the team is interested in Terrell Owens.

“We really haven’t had any discussion about that,” Cable said. “We’ve got a good, young receiving corps, it’s never been a point of conversation.”

“I think we did what was best for our football team, that’s the only thing that really matters here,” he said. “Why, why not, this or that, it doesn’t matter any more. What matters is we move forward as a football team and we did what we think gives us the best chance to succeed.”

Al Davis has always acquired talent with reckless abandon, but Cable’s second quote indicates that the Raiders are going to be smarter when it comes to bringing in new players.

For the first time in a long time, the Raiders have had direction this offseason. They dumped JaMarcus Russell, acquired Jason Campbell, had a productive draft (where the player selection actually made sense) and now appear to be staying away from players that don’t fit. Are we seeing a change in philosophy in Oakland?

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Report: Raiders haven’t talked to any coaching candidates 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 reported on Wednesday that the team had spoken with Stanford’s Jim Harbaugh about possibly replacing Cable. 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

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Will Davis try to get out of paying Cable?

Michael Lombardi of The National Football Post reports that Al Davis is likely to fire head coach Tom Cable, but also speculates that the owner could fire Cable for “cause” to get out of paying him.

4. Raiders coach Tom Cable also might be heading into his final meeting this week, but besides being terminated, I wonder if we might get another overhead projector press conference from the Raiders announcing they’ve fired Cable for cause? If he does get fired, which I hear is likely, expect him to file a grievance to continue getting the rest of his money.

As he often does, Davis is walking down a dangerous path here. He fired Lane Kiffin for “cause” two years ago and if turns around and does the same thing with Cable, then what coach in their right mind would want to come to Oakland? You mean, I get to deal with the mess that is Al Davis and not get paid for it? Sign me up!

Cable may have some character flaws, but Davis can’t try to get out of paying a guy because of something that happened years before his employment. That would be a classless, stupid move by Davis and I’m sure a judge would rule in Cable’s favor anyway. So why go through with the move if you’re Davis? (Uh, besides the fact that he’s nuts and he does things without thinking of the consequences.)

If Davis keeps JaMarcus Russellbust but fires Cable, then that would be a mistake. If Daivs keeps Russellbust, fires Cable and then tries to get out of paying him, then that would just be boneheaded.

But then again, what else could we expect from Al Davis?

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Raiders choose Charlie Frye over JaMarcus Russell

Question: You know your career is in shambles when…

Answer: …Charlie Frye is named the starting quarterback over you.

From the Denver Post:

That means JaMarcus Russell, the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2007, has again been demoted. Russell was benched last month for Bruce Gradkowski, who is now out with MCL sprains in both knees.

Russell replaced Gradkowski in the second half of last week’s loss to Washington. He threw an interception and was sacked six times.
That performance was enough to make Cable turn to Frye, who has been inactive or did not play in every game this season.

This has to be the nail in the coffin for Russell in Oakland. If Cable retains his job in the offseason, I don’t see how he’ll keep Russell when he’s already chose Bruce Gradkowski and Charlie Frye over him. Even crazy ol’ Al Davis has to see that Russell is a bust.

If he is released, some team will take a shot on Russell because of his size and arm strength. But I doubt he’ll be one of those players that resurrects his career after seeing the light of day. The guy just doesn’t have what it takes to be a professional quarterback because he won’t put in the time to succeed. He’s a mess.

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