Tom Cable and the Seahawks: The inevitable breakup

Jan 3, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 3, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Seahawks need to recognize their weaknesses and let Tom Cable go. The question is whether or not they’ll be willing to do so.

The Seattle Seahawks, and head coach Pete Carroll, have a major dilemma brewing. What do they do with offensive line coach Tom Cable and all the players he’s brought in to run his failed system?

It is plainly obvious to anyone paying attention that Cable is the largest of many problems with Seattle’s offense. The question is whether or not the Seahawks are willing to do anything about it.

Interestingly, there appears to be a rift forming between Carroll and Cable this season. After the game last week, Pete correctly said that problem on offense started up front. Yesterday, Cable shot back and tried to deflect the criticism of his players.

ESPN’s Sheil Kapedia captured Cable’s attempt to push the blame away from the offensive line.

"“I think the thing that’s missing here is that it’s an across-the-board thing,” Cable said. “I think we have to become a little more complete in our maturity across the board on offense — not just talking about the offensive line, but everybody. Because in the first half, nobody was any good. In the second half, everybody was really good. So I think you have to own the truth there. And that’s what we’re trying to do.”Later, when asked whether the offensive line’s issues were more at tackle or on the interior, Cable said, “There’s a lot going on. There’s 11 dudes in the huddle, so I think that’s more the issue than anything else.”"

This was clearly a direct response to Carroll’s criticism. While there is some truth to what Cable is saying here, it comes off like spoiled child desperately trying to avoid punishment when he was caught in a lie.

As much as Cable wants to imply otherwise, Doug Baldwin wasn’t whiffing on blocks and giving up sacks. Thomas Rawls wasn’t being driven into the backfield to blow up running plays.

Also, saying that any of the lineman were “really good” in the second half isn’t close to being true. The group wasn’t as terrible as normal, but the number of mistake they make were still far from any acceptable level.

One of the things I repeatedly hear is that Pete Carroll is loyal to a fault, so there’s no chance that he’d move on from Cable. Perhaps someone should tell Jeremy Bates and Jedd Fisch that. I’m sure that’ll be news to them.

Bates was with Pete Carroll at USC in 2009, and came to Seattle as Pete’s offensive coordinator in 2010. After one season with the Seahawks, Bates was fired and replaced with Darrell Bevell.

Fisch was also hired by Seattle in 2010. After one season as the team’s QB coach, he was fired and replaced with Carl Smith. So showing Cable the door is a definite possibility.

This isn’t the first time that Cable has been under fire in his career either. Most of us remember him being fired in Oakland after he broke the jaw of an assistant coach. That also came after his history of domestic violence was brought to light as well.

There’s also nothing from his tenure in Seattle that indicates he’s learned or evolved on the field since his time in Oakland either. His blocking scheme is predictable and easily readable by the defenders. Don’t believe me, just ask Hall of Famer Warren Sapp, who played for Cable in Oakland.

"He’s not qualified to be an offensive line coach in my book, because he doesn’t know I know which way his center’s going 90% of the time. He blew my mind with that one. I said, ‘Son, you think I got all these sacks ’cause I’m guessing which way the center’s going?"

The Seahawks, and many fans, seem to have been willing to overlook Cable’s failings. It is easy to point to success on a stat sheet, but harder to recognize a truth that only shows up when watching the tape.

The Seahawks offensive success the last few seasons has been in spite of Cable, not because of him. The amazing talents of Marshawn Lynch and Russell Willson have overcome Cable’s failures.

This year the line has been even worse. There’s been no Lynch, and Wilson has been hurt for much of the season. The stat sheet is finally beginning to show what has been evident on the tape for years.

Next: 4 Seahawks stories for Week 17

It doesn’t take much reading between the lines to know what I think needs to happen. The only question left is whether Pete Carroll has the foresight to take action now rather than losing another year of this championship window to Cable’s failures.