Jon Gruden's bringing Tom Cable back to Raiders raises eyebrows

From ESPN - January 15, 2018

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Jon Gruden's bringing Tom Cable back to the Oakland Raiders as his offensive line coach is the first head-scratching hire of Grudens second tenure in Silver and Blackdom.

Or have you forgotten how Cables first run in Oakland ended?

But first, lets talk scheme.

Cable is, first and foremost, a proponent of the zone-blocking scheme, and the Raiders offensive line -- the most expensive line in NFL history -- is most comfortable running power. Running primarily zone schemes last season under first-year offensive coordinator Todd Downing was a huge detriment to the likes of left tackle Donald Penn, left guard Kelechi Osemele, center Rodney Hudson, right guard Gabe Jackson and right tackle Marshall Newhouse, and it did not take advantage of the units strength.

If the ZBS was a mistake in 2017, why would using it in 2018 make sense?

According to Pro Football Focus, Cable and the Seattle Seahawks ran outside zone concepts on 41.81 percent of their halfback runs while running inside zone/man concepts 52.51 percent of the time. Just 11 total power/counter concepts (3.68 percent) were called.

Of course, there are ways to utilize zone blocking to fit the Raiders skill set in the trenches, such as pull and pin, but as PFF notes, if any offensive-minded coaches can figure it out, Gruden and Cable should be right there.

That seemingly would be good news for Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, who is due a base salary of $4 million in 2018 with a cap number of $6 million.

It was the addition of Lynch to Oakland last season that hastened the switch from power to zone on the line, and Lynch excelled in Seattle after Cable arrived in 2011.

Lynch broke off seasons of 1,204, 1,590, 1,257 and 1,306 yards rushing, with 12, 11, 12 and 13 rushing TDs, in his first four seasons with Cable as Seattles O-line coach.

From this past #Raiders preseason... #BeastMode and the #CableGuy

Paul Gutierrez (@PGutierrezESPN) January 14, 2018

Lynch is more than friendly with Cable. Asked his initial thoughts on the Seahawks O-line coach before Super Bowl XLVIII, Lynch did not hold back.


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