When Jon Gruden was introduced for the second time as the Head Coach of the Oakland Raiders, he said that it felt like he had unfinished business to handle in the Bay Area.
After leaving the Raiders in the early 2000s, Gruden eventually returned home, and brought a crew of handpicked coaches with him, one of them being Tom Cable.
Like Gruden, Cable was once head coach of the Silver and Black, and now, like Gruden, he's back to finish what he started. Cable spent the last seven seasons as a member of the Seattle Seahawks, and helped the team win a Super Bowl. Following the 2017 season, Cable had job offers from a few suitors, but when he visited the Raiders' facility in Alameda, Calif., he knew as soon as he was on the premises that he couldn't coach anywhere else.
"I think the strangest moment was probably getting off the airplane," Cable said. "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. The Oakland Raiders have a wealth of talent on the offensive line, but the decision to bring in Tom Cable is going to elevate the group to the next level."
He continued, "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."
Jon Gruden has reiterated time after time his vision to bring an old school, physical brand of football back to the Raiders, and he believes Cable will instill that mentality in his unit.
"He brings us, not only experience – the championship experience, head coaching experience," Gruden said. "A lot of versatility. He's coached in a lot of different schemes, different runners, different quarterbacks, different head coaches. He's versatile. He can adapt. He's a tough guy. Usually the tough coaches, they help develop tough lines. The thing I love about Cable is he's a great teacher. You can go down and sit in an offensive line meeting for 30 minutes and he can coach about three days' worth of information. He's always ready. He's sharp, but he's a really good teacher. He's into it every day. He's a tough guy. We like him."
The Raiders offensive line is already an aggressive and physical group, especially guard Kelechi Osemele, but Cable wants more. His hope is to get every player to not only see their own potential, but to achieve it. The Raiders made a point of selecting a pair of tackles in the 2018 NFL Draft, and developing that young talent is among the things on Cable's to-do list.
"You can't play in this league without two offensive tackles," he said. "That's really become the deal. You can sometimes hide some guys inside, and when you're really good in there like we are, it's a big bonus. You can't hide tackles. So it was imperative that we did that for this program."
Back in a setting he feels comfortable in, Cable is excited to get to work with the pieces he has in front of him. The offensive line looks primed for another year of dominance.