Tom Cable

West Notes: 49ers, Raiders, Richardson

Richard Sherman‘s 49ers tour began with a dinner with Kyle Shanahan on Friday night, and the sides took more formal steps on Saturday. Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reports Sherman took a physical with the 49ers today and met with more team officials. After undergoing Achilles surgery in November, Sherman underwent a procedure to remove a bone spur in his other heel last month. Barrows notes the soon-to-be 30-year-old cornerback plans to be running at full speed again at some point in April. Sherman plans to be ready to participate in training camp. Sherman may or may not have a Lions visit scheduled.

Here’s the latest from the West divisions as the legal tampering period looms in less than 48 hours.

  • Despite the 49ers pursuing Sherman, Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com does not expect the team to go after Trumaine Johnson. He doesn’t expect the 28-year-old defender, and one who will command big money next week, to fit into the 49ers’ model of aiming for sustained success. San Francisco, though, has more than $70MM in cap space and has a need at corner. Maiocco, though, notes the 49ers are “extremely excited” about 2017 third-rounder Ahkello Witherspoon‘s development. Witherspoon graded as a top-50 Pro Football Focus corner last season in 660 snaps. It looks like he could be one of San Francisco’s starters next season opposite a UFA acquisition.
  • One player Witherspoon may not be guarding twice next year is Paul Richardson. The UFA wide receiver sent out a tweet that certainly makes it look like he won’t be playing for the Seahawks next season. A 2014 second-round pick who didn’t impress much until his contract year, Richardson caught 44 passes for 703 yards and six touchdowns last season and is expected to have a competitive market. And the Seahawks still have Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett under contract. However, this wouldn’t be the first time a Seahawks wideout indicated he was likely headed out the door only to return to Seattle. Jermaine Kearse was more declarative about departing the Pacific Northwest in 2016 before re-signing to stay in his home state shortly after.
  • Tom Cable would prefer the Raiders retain Marshawn Lynch for a second season, Scott Bair of CSN Bay Area reports. Oakland’s new offensive line coach, of course, worked with the running back during his peak years. Nothing has been decided on Lynch yet. The soon-to-be 32-year-old back is due a $4MM base salary in 2018 if he remains on the Raiders’ roster. He’s due a $1MM roster bonus on March 18.

Jon Gruden On Crabtree, Lynch, Cable

With a non-guaranteed $7.7MM salary, Michael Crabtree is among this year’s potential high-profile salary cap casualties. However, in a recent interview, Raiders coach Jon Gruden indicated that Crabtree is a part of the team’s plans. Michael Crabtree (vertical)

I got to bump into Crabtree. Hopefully we can get the best out of Crabtree and his career,” Gruden told Jerry McDonald of the Bay Area News Group.

Crabtree, 31 in September, turned in the weakest numbers he’s had in a healthy season since 2010. His 58 catches for 618 yards and eight touchdowns is nothing to sneeze at, but it was a drop-off from his 89 grabs for 1,003 yards and eight scores in 2016. Still, Gruden believes that he can get Crabtree back on track, which would make him worth his current contract. Alternatively, the Raiders could ask Crabtree to take a minor pay cut.

Here’s more from Gruden’s sit down with McDonald:

Do you think Marshawn Lynch will be on the roster this year?

I don’t know. I bumped into him. Some of these players that live locally do come to the facility to get a workout, see the trainer. I’ve been downstairs and met several guys. I have talked to Marshawn briefly. We’ll see. We’ll keep everybody posted. Right now, he’s our leading ballcarrier. He’s our back, and we’re counting on him. Hopefully we get an opportunity to work together. that’s a man that has a lot of respect in this league as a player and I certainly have respect for him also.

What excites you about this roster?

I think we’ve got a great young quarterback. I think that’s enough to be excited about. I think a lot of our center. I think the quarteback-center (Rodney Hudson) battery is as good as I’ve ever had in football. I’m really excited about the two guards (Kelechi Osemele, Gabe Jackson), obviously. That’s the strength of this team. And Khalil Mack, I think he’s a proven superstar football player. I think the excitement around working with Amari Cooper is just certainly pretty cool. 

Does Tom Cable’s hiring mean the Raiders will be a zone-scheme team when it comes to running the ball?

No. I think Cable’s background is one of the outside zone, the inside zone, but he’s also a very versatile coach. He’s proven that. He can run gap schemes. He’s going to run what we’re good at running. If we have a good back, and some good linemen and a tight end and a fullback, we’ll have a good running game with Tom Cable. But we’ve got to get the components in place so he can be all he can be. That’s something we’re working on right now. He’s a versatile coach, certainly he’s an expert in the zone scheme and I’m excited about that, but there’s a lot of ways he’s run the ball in his background. 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Notes: Cowboys, Cable, ASJ, Redskins

Having fired Frank Pollack last week, the Cowboys are casting a wide net as they search for a coach to lead an offensive line that was considered the NFL’s best as recently as 2016. Dallas has already interviewed former Bengal OL coach Paul Alexander last week, while incumbent Cowboys assistant offensive line coach Marc Colombo is reportedly “in the mix” for the vacancy, according to Todd Archer of ESPN.com. Meanwhile, Dallas had interest in meeting with former Seahawks OL coach Tom Cable before he was hired by the Raiders, but no formal interview was ever arranged, per Archer, who adds the Cowboys also plan to meet with Giants offensive line coach Mike Solari.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two East divisions:

  • In addition to finding a new offensive line coach, the Cowboys are also looking for a new coach to head up the club’s wide receivers. Former Colts wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal is interviewing to replace Derek Dooley, who was fired last week, as Archer reports. Lal, 48, originally joined the NFL ranks with the Raiders in 2007, and has since coached wideouts for Oakland, New York, and Buffalo. At present, the only other candidate to interview for the Cowboys’ WRs coach job is former Dallas pass-catcher Miles Austin, who is currently a scout for Dallas but has never coached in the NFL.
  • While the Jets have interest in re-signing pending free agent tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, general manager Mike Maccagnan & Co. have no intent of “going crazy” to retain the 25-year-old, as Rich Cimini of ESPN.com writes. Seferian-Jenkins, a former second-round pick who has overcome substance abuse issues, posted the best season of his career in 2017 by posting 50 receptions for 357 yards and three scores. While ASJ did tail off near the end of the year (he managed only 11 catches for 69 yards in New York’s final five games), his age and pedigree should allow him to garner a multi-year pact.
  • Stanford has hired former Redskins assistant offensive line coach Kevin Carberry as its new run game coordinator and offensive line coach, tweets Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports. To replace Carberry, Washington has inked ex-Broncos assistant Phil Rauscher as its next assistant OL coach, per Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post (Twitter link).

Raiders Notes: Gruden, Bennett, Cable

On Friday, the Raiders announced the hiring of Rams quarterbacks coach Greg Olson as the team’s offensive coordinator. The 31-year NFL veteran coach, and Raiders offensive coordinator from 2013-14, won’t have to worry about calling plays. That duty instead will go to new head coach Jon GrudenBen Volin of the Boston Globe notes.

Gruden, who hasn’t coached in the NFL in nine seasons, has been preparing for the moment he would return to the sidelines for some time. He reportedly spends countless hours studying NFL and college plays and is expected to work closely with Derek Carr and the other Raiders quarterbacks.

Though he spurned advances for a role with Gruden, former quarterback Rich Gannon has full confidence that the former Super Bowl-winning coach won’t skip a beat.

“Jon has a system where he’s really going to count on the quarterback to be a big decision maker. He’s going to have a lot more flexibility and freedom at the line of scrimmage to change protections, to change plays. It’s going to be a fun offense to watch. He’s got a quarterback that can do it. That’s a big reason why he decided to come back.”

From the sounds of it, Carr will have more responsibility than ever before as he hopes to rebound from a disappointing 2017.

Here is more news from Oakland:

  • Gruden interviewed one person for the vacant offensive line coach position and had another meeting set up for Monday but dropped everything once the Seahawks fired Tom Cable, The Athletic’s Vic Tafur reports (Twitter link). After being fired as head coach in Oakland in 2010, Cable moved to Seattle and served as offensive line coach for seven seasons. Under his direction, Seattle established itself as one of the best running teams in NFL. His return could reunite him with Marshawn Lynch, should the Raiders retain the veteran back.
  • The Raiders continued to clean house on former head coach Jack Del Rio‘s staff, reports ESPN’s Adam Caplan (Twitter link). Among the expected departures are cornerbacks coach Rod Woodson, running backs coach Bernie Parmalee, assistant special teams coach Tracy Smith, wide receivers coach Rob Moore and safeties coach Brett Vieselmeyer.
  • Former Packers offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett didn’t have to wait long to find a new gig. He will be joining the Raiders as the team’s new receivers coach, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports (Twitter link). A former Packers running back, Bennett has spent 23 of his 25 seasons in the league as a player and coach in Green Bay.

Raiders To Bring Back Tom Cable

Jon Gruden won’t be the only former Raiders head coach on the 2018 Silver and Black staff. The Raiders reached an agreement to bring back Tom Cable, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter).

The Raiders’ head coach for a two-plus-season stint from 2008-10, Cable will be in charge of Oakland’s offensive linemen next season. The Seahawks fired Cable after seven seasons earlier this week, but it didn’t take long for the veteran coach to land on his feet.

The 2018 season will mark the 12th straight campaign in which Cable will coach with the Raiders or Seahawks, with his most recent job outside those two western-based franchises coming with the 2006 Falcons. Cable will have a chance to coach a Raiders offensive line that’s seen historic finances poured into it. Donald Penn, Kelechi Osemele, Rodney Hudson and Gabe Jackson are all under contract for next season.

This would also reunite Cable with Marshawn Lynch. Although, it shouldn’t be considered a lock Lynch — whose cap number jumps from $2.7MM to $6MM — will be part of the 2018 Raiders. But he thrived during most of his previous stint with Cable.

The Raiders underwhelmed last season despite the resources put into their offensive front, finishing 25th in rushing offense. While the Seahawks have struggled on the ground in recent years, they did not spent nearly the kind of money the Raiders did up front.

Cable went 17-27 as Raiders HC and was replaced by Hue Jackson despite an 8-8 season in 2010. The 53-year-old Cable interviewed for the 49ers’ HC job last year but stayed on as Seattle’s O-line coach.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks Fire Tom Cable

The house cleaning continues in Seattle. The Seahawks have canned offensive line coach Tom Cable, according to Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times (on Twitter). Tom Cable (vertical)

Cable follows offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell out the door. The Seahawks struggled mightily in terms of offensive protection and the running game this year – the two areas that Cable was in charge of – so his dismissal does not come as a huge surprise.

The Seahawks’ O-Line has been a glaring weakness for years now, and costly moves such as this year’s acquisition of Duane Brown have done little to help matters. The Seahawks are moving in a totally different direction in an effort to better shield Russell Wilson and give their running game a jump start.

The Seahawks may also be parting ways with defensive coordinator Kris Richard.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Kyle Shanahan Likely To Become 49ers’ HC

As of Tuesday evening, Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan wasn’t a lock to accept the 49ers’ forthcoming offer to become their head coach. However, Shanahan’s now “almost certain” to take the job, reports Mike Silver of NFL.com.

Kyle Shanahan

With Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable having withdrawn from the race this week, Shanahan is the last man standing among the eight candidates the 49ers have interviewed. The rest have accepted head coaching positions elsewhere. Thus, in the unlikely event Shanahan turns San Francisco down, it would send CEO Jed York and executive vice president of football operations Paraag Marathe scrambling to hit the reset button on their search to replace Chip Kelly.

The 49ers are also on the hunt for a new general manager, of course, and lost one candidate when Cable’s Seattle colleague, co-director of player personnel Trent Kirchner, took himself out of consideration Tuesday. Of the GM possibilities the Niners have considered, Kirchner, fellow Seahawks executive Scott Fitterer and Chiefs director of player personnel Chris Ballard would have preferred to work with Cable, according to Silver. The Chiefs prevented Ballard from talking to the 49ers, though, and awarded him a pay raise as compensation, Silver writes.

Cable has another fan in defensive coordinator-to-be Gus Bradley, who would have gone to San Francisco had it hired Cable. Instead, after Cable dropped out of contention Tuesday, Bradley spurned the 49ers when they asked if he’d be interested in teaming with Shanahan. It appears, then, that Bradley will become the Chargers’ D-coordinator.

Shanahan is currently preparing for Sunday’s NFC championship game between the Falcons and Packers. If Atlanta advances to Super Bowl LI, the 49ers wouldn’t be able to hire him until after Feb. 5. Regardless, he’ll have a second interview with the Niners next week and will discuss GM choices with team brass. Packers director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst remains the favorite, relays Silver, who adds that Green Bay director of football operations Eliot Wolf and Vikings assistant GM George Paton are also strong contenders.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Tom Cable Withdraws From 49ers’ HC Search

Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable has withdrawn his name from the 49ers’ head coaching search, his agent Doug Hendrickson tweets. Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is now the overwhelming favorite to land the top job in San Francisco.Tom Cable (vertical)

[RELATED: 2017 Head Coaching Search Tracker]

The 49ers appeared to have narrowed their hunt to three men — Shanahan, Cable, and Patriots OC Josh McDaniels — over the weekend, but the list of interested parties has quickly narrowed in recent days, as Cable’s withdraw was preceded by a similar move from McDaniels. With Shanahan now clearly San Francisco management’s choice, Shanahan will meet with the club following Atlanta’s appearance in the NFC Championship Game to discuss general manager candidates. Of course, if the Falcons lose that contest, the 49ers could immediately offer Shanahan their head coaching job.

Cable will return to his job as assistant head coach/OL in Seattle, the position he’s held since 2011. The former Raiders head coach has drawn a bit of interest during past hiring cycles, as he interviewed (and was at one point viewed as a leading contender) for the Jets vacancy in 2015.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Kyle Shanahan In Lead For 49ers’ HC Job

After Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels bowed out of the race to become the 49ers’ next head coach Monday, Falcons O-coordinator Kyle Shanahan and Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable became the finalists for the position. But it appears Cable’s chances are fading, as it’s now Shanahan’s “job to take,” according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). San Francisco plans to offer the role to Shanahan when Atlanta’s season ends, tweets Adam Schefter of ESPN.com.

Kyle Shanahan (vertical)

The news that Cable has essentially lost all momentum comes on the heels of Seahawks co-director of player personnel Trent Kirchner withdrawing his candidacy for the Niners’ GM vacancy. While he and Seattle front office cohort Scott Fitterer have each been in the running for the role, it’s likely to go to Packers director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst. It seems that he and Shanahan could end up working together with the Niners, though it’s not a lock Shanahan will accept the club’s offer, reports Mike Silver of NFL.com (Twitter link).

For now, the 37-year-old Shanahan is preparing his top-ranked Atlanta offense for an NFC title game showdown with the Packers on Sunday. If the Falcons knock off Green Bay to advance to Super Bowl LI, their season won’t end until Feb. 5. Given that they’re the only team left without a head coach, the 49ers are content to wait a few more weeks for an answer from Shanahan. An Atlanta win this weekend would lead to the Niners meeting with Shanahan to vet GM candidates next week, per Rapoport (Twitter link). Should the Falcons lose, the 49ers would perhaps be in line to fill both positions immediately.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coaching Notes: Bradley, Kelly, Bears, Titans

The Chargers and new head coach Anthony Lynn want Gus Bradley to be their defensive coordinator, reports Michael Silver of Sports Illustrated (via Twitter). It was reported last week that the new Los Angeles franchise was looking at Bradley for the gig, and that interest made more sense following reports that former defensive coordinator John Pagano wouldn’t be returning.

However, Bradley isn’t in a rush to sign a deal. The former Jaguars coach is waiting to see whether the 49ers will hire Seahawks offensive line/assistant head coach Tom Cable as their head coach. The duo coached together in Seattle from 2011 through 2012, and we can assume that Bradley would be interested in joining Cable’s 49ers staff. Alex Marvez of the Sporting News reports (via Twitter) that Bradley is a “top choice” for Cable’s hypothetical staff.

Let’s take a look at some more coaching notes from around the NFL…

  • Chip Kelly headed into his interview with the Jaguars believing he’d get offered the offensive coordinator position, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). In fact, the former Eagles and 49ers head coach already has some “assistant hires” ready to go. Rapoport notes that there’s a good chance Kelly gets the gig.
  • The Bears have hired Jeremiah Washburn to be their offensive line coach, reports Marvez (via Twitter). Washburn spent last season as the Dolphins assistant offensive line coach, and he also spent time coaching with the Lions and Ravens.
  • The Titans have added a pair of coaches to their staff. Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com reports that the team has added former Temple passing game coordinator Frisman Jackson as their new wide receivers coach. The team has also hired Craig Aukerman to be an assistant special teams coach. Aukerman served as the Chargers special teams coordinator last season.
  • The Browns hired Blake Williams as their linebackers coach and Jerod Kruse as an assistant defensive backs coach, reports Nate Ulrich of Ohio.com (via Twitter). Williams, the son of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, spent last season working under his dad in Los Angeles.
  • The Broncos have added John Benton to their coaching staff as an assistant offensive line coach, reports Cameron Wolfe of The Denver Post. Benton has coached in the NFL for 13 years, and he spent last season working for the Jaguars.