ESPN: Davis Stiffs Kiffin, Won’t Honor His Contract

Al Davis didn’t even wait for the blood to dry on Lane Kiffin’s chair before finding someone to replace him. NFL.COM’s Adam Schefter is reporting that the Raiders will name offensive line coach Tom Cable as their new head coach at a press conference later this afternoon. As for Kiffin? Chris Mortensen is reporting on ESPN.COM that he was fired over the phone - and without pay.  In fact, Mortensen said that the Raiders don’t intend to honor Kiffin’s contract, which he said “happens occasionally. It happens mostly with Al Davis.”

New Raiders coach Tom Cable

(New Raiders Coach Tom Cable also familiar with stiffing players - @ UCLA)

Cable was one of several candidates THE SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS reports interviewed for the job last night, including offensive coordinator Greg Knapp and Raiders special consultant Paul Hackett. The fact that Davis interviewed Hackett, who singlehandedly almost destroyed USC, tells you all you need to know about the direction the Raiders are heading.

Schefter reports that the hiring of Cable is ironic for a number of reasons. First involves former Raiders offensive line coach Alex Gibbs:

Cable is a disciple of former Raiders offensive line coach Alex Gibbs, whom Oakland owner Al Davis once fired and refused to pay as well. Gibbs took Davis to court, the case went to arbitration and Gibbs won, though it’s not believed that Gibbs collected his money.

The second irony involves the man he protected at Idaho while playing as an offensive lineman: Scott Linehan, who was axed by the Rams earlier in the week.

Unlike the person he’s replacing, Cable does have head coaching experience, although only in college. If you want to call it that: he went 11-35 in four seasons at Idaho. The man who replaced him there? Nick Holt, who was defensive coordinator while Lane Kiffin was co-running the offense at USC.

Cable has an reputation as an innovative offensive mind, having actually made the UCLA offense good under Karl Dorrell (also known as “The Miracle of Westwood”). But when he left for a pro job with the Falcons, he rubbed some recruits the wrong way by leaving the day after National Letter of Intent Day, with the LOS ANGELES TIMES noting he did this without mentioning to the players he was recruiting that he was not going to be there for them.

Lack of NFL head coaching experience, questionable ethics, a willingness to work for people who screwed over his mentor…looks like he’ll fit in great as Raiders’ head coach. What do you guys think: Can Tom Cable rescue the Raiders? But congratulations to Coach Cable, who I’m sure will enjoy his first head coaching job up until he is fired in six to eight weeks.

*UPDATE*: During a typically bizarre, rambling and cantankerous press conference where he called Lane Kiffin “a flat-out liar“, Al Davis said that Tom Cable would be head coach on an interim basis. So there’s still hope for you, Paul Hackett!