By Travis Duncan
Tom Cable, to the public at large, is mostly known for allegedly striking Raiders assistant coach Randy Hanson during a team meeting in 2009 while Cable was the head coach in Oakland and for then being fired unmercifully about a year ago by Al Davis.
After muscling the Silver and Black to an overachieving 8-8 record, Cable was let go by Davis-a move many people within the NFL felt was unfair. Cable, it seemed, was just another man who was used like a chess piece in the late-great Raiders owners confusing and self-defeating game of chess.
It took Cable two weeks to land on his feet again in the NFL. He was brought back to the Northwest where he graduated from high school (Snohomish, Washington). Cable was hired as the Seahawks offensive line coach on Jan. 18th, 2011.
It just seems that the large framed Cable was born to teach other big guys who to get stuff done in the trenches. His success though late this season with the Seahawks running game though might lead him back to a head coaching or offensive coordinator's job soon.
One thing is consistent with Cable-he's been coaching offensive lines for a long time and he's never stayed in one place too long.
He was the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at UCLA from 2004-2005, guiding the Bruins to solid production offensively. He was the offensive line coach at Cal for six seasons from 1992-1997. He was the offensive line coach at Colorado in 1998 and then the school's offensive coordinator in 1999. In 2000, he became the head coach at the University of Idaho and lasted until 2003 when he was fired. That's when he went to UCLA before departing for the Atlanta Falcons in 2006 to serve as an offensive line coach yet again. After a season with the Falcons, he moved to the Raiders.
Cable's task with the Seahawks this season was not insurmountable but the challenges were obvious: a young offensive line without much experience at all which then also had three starters go to the IR.
Rookie tackle and first-round draft pick James Carpenter was put on the injured reserve list on Nov. 24th with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee. Carpenter started nine games for the Seahawks, and struggled with some of the league's best pass rushers.
Russell Okung by all accounts was making great progress at left tackle but again was hampered by injuries and placed on injured reserve on Dec. 6th with a pectoral injury as a result of a questionable tactic by Eagles defensive end Trent Cole
John Moffitt the team's second-round pick in 2011 was placed on injured reserve on Nov. 15th as he underwent season-ending knee surgery.
Paul McQuistan, Lamuel Jeanpierre, and Breno Giacomini each filled in as starters this season.
As the seasons progressed pass protection improved, though it left something to be desired. Creating space for Marshawn Lynch though became paramount and the assembled unit did very well.
Cable said that Lynch came to him and asked him how they could increase production.
“He came to me a few weeks back and said, ‘Help me do what the other backs have done in this thing." Cable explained.
"And we made a deal. ‘You have to do it the way I ask you to do it,’ and he’s done it. A lot of credit goes to him because he was able to maybe push his ego or push his own beliefs, to some extent, aside and embrace something new."
And it worked.
After the first six games of the season Lynch was averaging 43.8 yards per game and 12.3 carries per game with six touchdowns. Then something clicked and for the final 10 games of the season Lynch averaged 21.1 carries per game and 94.1 yards per game with nine touchdowns.
Cable's name was tossed around as a candidate at UCLA for the school's head coaching position a few weeks ago. Former Seahawks coach Jim Mora Jr. was ultimately hired at that school, but Cable could be offered an offensive coordinator position or even be a candidate for one of the existing NFL head coaching jobs that are open.
His name was mentioned as a possibility with the Kansas City Chiefs, but there have not been any reports of contact, and Pete Carroll was not aware of any overtures in that direction either, at least for now.
"I don't want to expect that because I want him to stay here forever," Carroll said at his season-ending press conference, via the Seattle Times.
"He's a really good football coach, and he has a tremendous impact on a football team. We felt it. It was a tremendous get for us to have Tom come here. It's just a matter of time before somebody recognizes that and wants to come after him. I don't know when that's going to happen. I'm cutting the wires on his telephone here, get his calls. I better get his cell phone instead, huh? As far as I know, nothing has happened at this point."
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