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Tom Cable happy to be back ‘home’ in Oakland, had ‘unfinished business’ with Raiders

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Baltimore Ravens v Oakland Raiders Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Tom Cable has quite a history with the Raiders prior to re-joining the team as offensive line coach this offseason. Back in 2010, he was the head coach that ended the losing season streak for the Raiders — his final season as head coach. He was first named interim head coach when he took over for for Lane Kiffin 4 games into the 2008 season and finished with a 17-27 overall record in nearly three years on the job.

The long time offensive line coach was surrounded with controversy for much of his final season after throwing a punch that broke an assistant coach’s jaw, being caught bringing women into hotel rooms on team trips, and being accused of domestic violence.

The final nail in the coffin for Cable was when he proclaimed “We’re not Losers anymore!” after finishing the year 8-8 and ending the losing season streak. Al Davis did not take kindly to those words about his beloved Raiders, and never accepted .500 as a successful season.

“When I left here, I left here and I didn’t want to,” Cable said. “That’s just the truth. I put that team back and got it up off the mat. Dusted itself off, got to .500 and then we’re going to change. It was like unfinished business. It was really kind of natural and a comfortable decision to be back and wear these colors again.”

With that rough of a year it’s surprising to ever see Tom Cable back in Oakland as a coach, but here he is again starting off the Gruden 2.0 era as his offensive line coach. It was odd for Cable too. So you can’t blame him for being uncertain on the airplane trip back into town.

“I think the strangest moment was probably getting off the airplane.” Tom Cable said when asked about what it is like to be back, “It was interesting because there was a couple of opportunities and I wasn’t sure about this one. Once I got off the plane, it was like being at home. I really think from the car ride over from the airport to here, it was great peace. Then when I went through the gate, it was like this is where I belong. So, it’s been great.”

Aside from his comfort upon his return to Oakland, working with such a talented offensive line helped a great deal in his decision making process. The trio of Rodney Hudson, Kelechi Osemele and Gabe Jackson is as solid of an interior offensive line as there is in the league.

Cable and Jon Gruden have similar reasons for returning to coach the Raiders. Gruden has even used the words “unfinished business” as a major factor in his return to Oakland. Both coaches were fans of the team before coaching them and both of them were jettisoned by Al Davis.

“I think there’s a lot similarity there (with Gruden),” said Cable. “You look at what he was able to do right there at the late 90’s, early 2000’s. Really get this thing going again. Then he’s not here anymore. I think, yeah, we both felt like that. For some people, this can be just a business all the time. I think for guys like he and I, at least as I get to know him, it’s more personal. You know? This has been my team since I was a little boy, so it’s not like it changed because I got run out of town. It probably just made it a little bit deeper for me, which is cool. That’s why I’m here.”

With the way things ended in Oakland for Cable it wouldn’t be surprising to think he would be bitter, especially against Al Davis who fired him when he felt he was just getting started. But he claims among his personal feelings, bitterness is not one of them.

“My respect for him is unblemished,” Cable said of Al Davis. “I think that’s where people would say, ‘Why aren’t you bitter?’ Well, because you see for me it’s different. He’s a teacher to me. He’s a mentor to me. Whether I get along with him or not, wasn’t the issue. I took so much from him.

“To have the opportunity to come back and help make this right, like the vision I had earlier was and to help Jon see this though the right way, that’s pretty powerful to me. I don’t really think there’s any place for bitterness. I think this is a chance to really go back and say, ‘This is where I belong, this is where I’m supposed to be.’ And look forward to it.”