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Despite rumors that he would meet with Tom Cable and fire him on Jan. 11, Raiders managing partner Al Davis has yet to make any such move and reports indicate the two men will have their highly anticipated discussion on Thursday. Arguably the team's most valuable player, P Shane Lechler, told PFW he strongly believes Davis should reconsider if he's leaning toward firing Cable, who led Oakland to a 5-11 record in his first full season on the job.
"I definitely am (watching closely)," Lechler, a five-time All-Pro, told PFW on Wednesday. "It may only be my opinion, but I think Tom Cable is a good guy for the job. He's got us headed in the right direction. There are a few players here and there that if we could switch out, we could do this. I really, really truly believe that he's the guy for the job and I would hate to see Al fire him."
Lechler, who, in 2009, came within three-tenths of a yard of breaking Sammy Baugh's record for gross punting average in a season, voiced concerns that other Raiders players seem to share concerning the lack of continuity at head coach.
"Hell, that would be seven or eight coaches for me heading into 11 seasons (if Cable is fired)," he said. "When you have instability at that position in your coaching staff and organization I just think that you can't put together anything. We've tried it. We've done it every which way you can. We fired a guy after one season, we fired a guy after a year and a half, and now if you fire another one, it's hard to gain that trust from the players' standpoint as far as what's right and what needs to be done."
Lechler wouldn't be pleased if Cable is dismissed, but he also said he has no doubt that Davis' intentions stem from a burning desire to right a sinking ship. Oakland has won five games or fewer in seven consecutive seasons.
"I know this — Al wants to win and wants to win bad, but as everybody across the league knows, you can't fix a team in one season," Lechler said. "The Bengals made a good run at it this year, but you can't do that in one season with a new head coach. It's just impossible.
PFW has launched its brand-new NFL Draft Newsletter series, with the second issue now ready for mailing. Produced by PFW's player personnel department under the direction of Nolan Nawrocki, the series consists of four information-packed issues. For more info or to subscribe — click here for PDF e-pub or here for print format.