Cable shrugs off Fassel rumors

Though he has yet to be offered any sort of an extension by the front office, Raiders interim head coach Tom Cable would like to remain with the team beyond this year even as rumors circulate that long-time Al Davis associate Jim Fassel is angling for the job.

"If I can get this team turned around, absolutely," Cable said Monday when asked if he wanted to keep the Raiders job permanently. "Absolutely."

Oakland is just 1-5 in the six games since Cable took over the team after Davis fired Lane Kiffin four games into the season. The Raiders are last in the league in scoring and the offense hasn't had a touchdown in more than three games.

Sunday's 17-15 loss to Miami dropped Oakland to 2-8 and marked the third time the Raiders have led a game in the fourth quarter only to lose.

Because the Raiders didn't give Cable a new contract or even a raise when he was promoted, there has been speculation that Davis is looking to hire yet another head coach in the offseason. Stanford coach and former Oakland assistant Jim Harbaugh has been among the names mentioned but sources say Harbaugh instead is getting ready to sign a lucrative extension to keep him with the Cardinal.

Fassel, whose son John is a quality control assistant on special teams, currently works as a color commentator for Westwood One Radio during Sunday night games but is apparently ready to return to coaching following a two-year hiatus.

ESPN reported that Fassel sent a handwritten letter to Davis emphasizing his respect and admiration for the Raiders owner, along with his desire to return to coaching in the NFL.

Cable was asked about the letter Monday.

"This is how you would say this best: This is my opportunity to manage this team and try and turn it around for whatever happens," Cable said. "It says interim before my name, so I don't worry about that."

Cable may say he's not concerned but it's almost a certainty that Davis will look elsewhere, if he hasn't begun a preliminary search already. Davis made it a point to emphasize the team's scoring problems during his press conference announcing the firing of Kiffin but the Raiders have seemingly gone backward under Cable.

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