Does he really think that there’s enough money in the bank to entice some young, foolhardy coach into the grasps of the Raiders’ clutch?
He may fool them, but he won’t fool me. And if I were an agent for some coach, I’d use any offer the Raiders put up as leverage for the next opportunity. You know, the job my client really wants.
There are tough days ahead for the silver and black. They have one coach, Tom Cable, who has been there in the aftermath of Lane Kiffin’s ugly, very public exit. Cable should be heralded for his ability to steward the Raiders to a 4-8 record, especially the two straight wins to end the season on a high note.
Those were goodies.
But old Al is either getting greedy again, or putting up one helluva show for the coaching community. The interim portion of Cable’s title just doesn’t appear sexy enough for old Al. He wants better. He wants a winner.
Too bad he doesn’t see that nobody wants him, or his degenerate franchise for that matter — except Cable.
The fact that old Al can entertain New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride for 90 minutes is shocking. I’m sure Gilbride is really thinking about the money. What’s it gonna take? Two? Three million? No problem. The money will be wired to your account, Mr. Gilbride. Just sign this contract here with your blood and realize that you’re giving away your manhood to be run by some skull and bones owner with his hands in your cookie dough.
No, for old Al to get what he wants — that being a winner — he’s going to have to make concessions. Particularly, he’s going to have to loosen his death grip on decision making and allow for the hierarchy of the organization to do its job. Sadly (OK, not really), he’ll have to vacate his duties as general manager. I’m sure Raiders fans will welcome it. I’m not so sure I will. What will I write about?
But it’s been obvious to anyone with a working pulse since 2004 that this franchise is incapable of operating in its current structure. There has to be some serious change or old Al will continue to hire and fire while collective Raiders fans step closer and closer to the edge of insanity. I’m afraid to say, old Al needs help. Let’s try and help him.
There is one example, or blueprint of sorts, of a team that became wayward with its organizational structure that is now getting back on track: The Denver Broncos.
Yes, those hated rivals and curmudgeon bastards of the AFC West are a good example of what old Al needs to do. Because Mike Shanahan, bless his soul, won two Super Bowls while being the face, decider and the coach of the franchise. He was fired because he had full control of the franchise as it went 10 years — a whole decade — without winning a playoff game.
Broncos owner Pat Bowlen actually cried when he was dumping Shanahan. But he knew what was best for his franchise. He had laid the entire trust of his football operations into Shanahan’s hands, and while racing away for two scores, still managed to fumble in his post.
Old Al has fumbled in his post. Old Al needs to fire himself. Old Al will never learn.
Any coach looking presumptively for employment at the Raiders already knows this. You know this. To move forward, old Al will have to budge. Cable will have to be respectfully employed and he will have to demand greater control.
I remain optimistically hopeful that these things will happen, but I reserve the right to be cynical knowing this old dog doesn’t want to learn new tricks.
Cliché? Yes. Realistic? Most definitely.
This column originally appeared in The Union.