Oakland Raiders punter Shane Lechler is not happy with the team’s decision to not pick up head coach Tom Cable’s option.
“Actually we just finished up dinner, and I flipped on the NFL channel and there it was on the ticker at the bottom,” Lechler told Comcast SportsNet when asked how he found out about the decision to let Cable go. “I just looked at my wife and said ‘Man, I just can’t go through another head coach’…
“I think this is going to be a huge setback for us, to tell you the truth,” said Lechler. “Tom was good at how he handled the whole dealing with Al and all that situation. He was one of the better coaches I’ve had that could handle that part of it and not let that part bother the football team. And that’s what I enjoyed about him.”
A six-time Pro Bowler, Lechler is signed through 2012, but predicts that last night’s decision could affect the team in free agency.
“I seriously have a hard time believing that we’re not going to now lose some very key free agent guys. I think now you’ll probably see people like (left guard) Robert Gallery going to another team. Probably (running back) Michael Bush. Probably a handful of guys that we really need back here.”
Lechler had voiced his support for head coach Tom Cable late in the season, and during the interview, mentioned that the team went 8-8, swept it’s division, and things were looking up for the team heading into 2011.
“The last time I was probably this disappointed was whenever he traded Jon (Gruden) to Tampa,” said Lechler. “You know, that one hurt me, too…I think trading Jon to Tampa, the rest is history after that. Yes, we do go back to the Super Bowl the next year, but I’m not so sure that wasn’t with Jon’s team.”
Lechler went looking for some answers from Raiders management, but didn’t seem surprised to not get any on Tuesday night.
“I’ve tried to call Al (Davis) like five times already, and can’t get an answer, which I didn’t expect to right now anyway. But I’ve tried to call him, I tried to call (Senior Executive) John Herrera, of course he won’t answer the phone. I expected that. Then, called Eddie Anderson a couple times, he doesn’t answer his phone. I just want some answers. I’ve got plenty of questions for ‘em. I just want to know what the hell is going on.
“I just want to know how do you justify firing somebody when you just went 6-0 in the division, and 8-8 on the season after we put in so much as a group, as a unit, as a team, with our leader being Tom Cable. How do you just go ahead and whack this guy with no reason?”