With diminished activity in lawsuits, one of Al Davis's greatest sources of amusement and Viagra substitutes is watching the media do the Macarena while speculating on his team's moves. Few things are for certain when it comes to the Raiders, but there are a couple of constants: Al Davis doesn't care what you think and he isn't going to tell you what he is thinking.
This strategy makes the Raiders subject to various rumors. Like, for instance, the Donovan McNabb rumors. A team or agent can float out reports of the Raiders interest in a player, in hopes of driving up the asking price. Whether it is true or not, they know the Raiders aren't going to refute the statement. Until something happens, you can never be sure anything is happening. Such is the way of the pirate.
Speculation percolates that if Tom Cable gets off to a slow start this season the Raiders will be switching their Cable service to another provider. The popular theory is that he would be replaced by new Offensive Coordinator Hue Jackson. There could be a tremendous amount of validity to this speculation. Then again that vary validity itself may be the biggest reason it is not true.
This is an impressively tight lipped and unpredictable team. This is the way Al Davis likes it and that is the way it is going to be.
With that being said, I have heard from my sources that the Raiders are indeed contemplating a coaching change, but Al is thinking more outside the box than Hue Jackson.
When it comes to evaluating new coaching talent, Al has a tremendous eye for outside-box-talent. It is when he goes with the retreads and old guard that he has whiffed mightily. Look at some of his finds: Madden, Gruden, Shannahan, Sarkisian, Sean Peyton, Lane Kiffin. These are all first time coaches that Al spotted before anyone else. They all went onto have success with the Raiders and/or other teams (Kiffin is debatable, but hey for whatever reason he is getting sweet gigs).
Make the jump to see the top-ten candidates my sources have confirmed as possible in-season replacements.
10. Hector Elizondo
A candid picture of Hector watching field goal practice at TSU
Sports movie history: Ed 'Straight Arrow' Genero--Necessary Roughness
Pros: Created a culture of winning with a bunch of misfits. Had success with Featherstone, a receiver a lot like DHB while at TSU.
Cons: His straight arrow ways and motivational techniques may not transfer well to the pro game. He will want to replace Janikowski with Kathy Ireland. Janikowski will want to give Ireland GHB and neither will recover.
9. James Caan
"If I can tackle someone on roller skates and in leather pants, you can do it in cleats and Body Armor."
Sports Movie History: Brian Piccolo--Brian's Song; Johnathan E.--Rollerball; Sam Winters--The Program
Pros: A hard nosed, over achieving, competitor. As a running back for the Bears, Caan made the team more on heart than on talent. Then despite dying from cancer, he went onto to compete in the ultra-violent game of Rollerball and dominated, while single-handedly changing society. After his playing days were over Caan went onto successfully coach one of the great college football programs, the ESU Timberwolves.
Cons: Didn't approve of his players taking steroids. The strong independent streak shown in his Rollerball days will not settle well with Al.
8. James Gammon
"When you guys go home, I take off all of the pieces. I don't even need glue to stick them on now!"
Sports Movie History: Lou Brown--Major League
Pros: He knows how to fuse a team of different personalities and raw talents together to accomplish a common goal. He could get JaMarcus glasses to fix his accuracy.
Cons: He has not coached football. He has serious health concerns with his heart. Motivating players to win with the promise of seeing their owner naked will not work for the Raiders.
7. Denzel Washington
"If god wanted you to do a push up JaPyle he would've miracled you up and down by now!"
Sports Movie History: Jakes Shuttlesworth--He Got Game; Rubin Carter--The Hurricane; Herman Boone--Remember the Titans
Pros: Jesus's father. A better left jab then Cable. Would instill instant toughness and a no nonsense attitude.
Cons: May not relate to today's spoiled and rich players. Al Davis will be pissed off when Bob Dylan writes a song trying to free him from his coaching duties.
6. Co-Caoches: Walter Mathau and Tom Hanks
"Did JaWhat'sHisName just throw it the wrong direction?"
"No, Russell you can't have your Skittles back! Are you crying? There's no crying in football!"
Sports Movie Histories: Morris Buttermaker--Bad News Bears; Jimmy Dugan--A League of Their Own
Pros: One coach for those who act like bitches and one for those who act like little kids.
Cons: Severe alcoholism. No football experience.
5. Dennis Quaid
"Bush, I don't care if you are tired! I played until I was 55! You get your ass back out there!"
Sports Movie History: Paul Morelli--Our Winning Season; Mike--Breaking Away; Gavin Grey--Everybody's All-American; Cap Rooney--Any Given Sunday; Jimmy Morris--The Rookie; Ben Schwartzwalder--The Express
Pros: Experience. This guy has done it all. He was a track and cycling star in high school. He then went on to a storried college football career as a running back only to be a flop as a pro and then resurface as a qb. Then after breaking his body playing football he decides to pitch in the majors. After his lengthy playing career he started a successful college coaching career, where he demonstrated he knows how to get the most out of his running backs.
Cons: He has the Larry Brown type of personality and he can't seem to stick to one thing or place for very long. Didn't relate to JaMarcus's cousin, 'Steamin' Willie Beamon.
4. Goldie Hawn
"JaFatAss, we have only run 15 yards!"
Sports Movie History: Moly McGrath--Wildcats
Pros: Grew up in a football family. A master technician and has the ability to reach even the craziest players. Had success with one of Russell's other cousins Levander 'Bird' Williams
Cons: Young Goldie's sexiness will cause in-fighting. She may be distracted by her family life.
3. Al Pacino
"We're in hell right now, gentlemen. Believe me. And, we can stay here, get the shit kicked out of us, or we can fight our way back into the light. We can climb outta hell...well, except for you Al. The devil says you are overdue on your payment."
Sports Movie History: Tony D'Amoto--Any Given Sunday
Pros: He's Al Fucking Pacino. Greatest pep talk artist on the planet. Got through to Russell's cousin, 'Steamin' Willie Beamon.
Cons: Has a hard time working with owners who like to interfere. A penchant for hookers.
2. Gene Hackman
Hackman: "Why'd you choke out there, Bomber?"
Reeves: "I am an F...B...I agent!"
Hackman: "Holy shit, you are actually dumber than you look."
Sports Movie History: Eugene Claire--Downhill Racer; Norman Dale--Hoosiers; Jimmy McGinty--The Replacements
Pros: The most accomplished coach in movie history. Coached a gold medal winning downhill skier, a tiny school to the high school state basketball championship and took a team of replacement players to the NFL playoffs. There is no coach that can make a team gel and come together like Hackman.
Cons: He gets a little "hitty" with his players. He is not quite as good as fit as the next guy.
1. Paul Newman
"Take your home-field advantage and shove it. I am about to go Ron Artest on your ass!"
Sports Movie History: Frank Capua--Winning; Reggie Dunlop--Slap Shot; Fast Eddie Felson--The Color of Money
Pros: After a successful open wheeled racing career, he became a player coach and led his hockey team into the championship game by having them kick the shit out of other teams. He then proved his versatility and adaptability by winning the championship with fundamentals. Later went on to become a successful pool shark. All of these seem to be skills that will make Paul Newman the greatest Raiders coach ever.
Cons: He's dead, but so is Al Davis