CBS analyst and former Oakland Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon was on WFTL sports radio tonight and gave his thoughts on the current state of the Silver & Black, JaMarcus Russell, the coaching situation and whether or not Jon Gruden would ever go back to the Bay Area and coach.
Here are his thoughts on the what’s happening with Tom Cable and the coaching saga:
I can’t tell you that anything surprises me out in Oakland. I know that some of the decisions they have made have been probably, leaving you scratching your head, There’s a reason why they’ve gone seven straight season where they’ve lost 11 or more games. You got a guy on the coaching staff right now – Tom Cable – and your bringing in other coaches. They don’t allow him to pick his own coaching staff. Al [Davis] is probably going to go out and hire an offensive coordinator, someone to coach the quarterback – JaMarcus Russell – Al thinks this guy has a bright future in the league. And you know, its tough. It’s a tough situation to work in and when you look at the results, you have to question whether or not they are making the right decisions.
On JaMarcus Russell and how Cable could lose credibility by sticking with the young passer if he doesn’t feel he is the answer:
You have to tell him how you feel. I think what’s at stake here it’s the fact that you may start to lose your football team. These guys, they work hard every day, they put a lot of time in and they want to win and when you put a guy out there who is not ready to play, is not prepared, doesn’t work necessarily to put himself in a position to have a chance to be successful then you start, then the players start looking at the coaches and saying ‘hey, put the other guy in.’ The guy that gives us a chance. When you go back to the same guy, because the owner wants him to play, then you lose your credibility in the locker room, you lose your credibility with your players and that becomes a problem for a coach.
On him helping the Raiders in any way:
I absolutely have no problems with Al. I think there is obviously a philosophical difference of opinion on what needs to get done an obviously, he’s the owner and I’m not. But he and I have agreed to disagree on a number of occasions even when I was playing there we didn’t agree on a lot of things, but I think he respected the fact that I took a stand and that I was a guy committed to do the work necessary to help turn the thing around. I believe I left the place in better shape than what I found it. My purpose of calling Al was just to reach out and he used to call me in the past and I was willing to go out and help JaMarcus, or anybody, in any way that I could. Look, its important to me to see that team play well. I think I have a vested interest. I spent six years of my career out there. I helped turn it around. You know, I still have teammates out there, people that work in the building, some coaches I know and the trainers, the equipment guys that…I want to see them win. I’m not looking to coach. I’m not looking to be in management – I’ve been offered positions by other organizations, it’s just a gesture on my part to reach out to a young quarterback that has really struggled and that has not been able to find his way in the NFL.
On Jon Gruden ever coming back to the Silver & Black:
I was with Jon and Bruce Allen about six weeks ago and we had that very same conversation, I asked him, ‘Would you ever go back and coach Oakland. You’d be surprised what Jon Gruden said. He said, ‘Absolutely.’ I don’t think he’ll go back under the current situation, but I know he loves northern California. He loves the Bay Area. He loved his time with the Oakland Raiders.
I’m sure he wouldn’t go back under the current set-up and situation.