BY SPNW Staff 02:38PM 01/10/2018

Seahawks oust offensive line coach Tom Cable

A day after firing offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, Pete Carroll ousted offensive line coach Tom Cable, who had worked under Carroll since 2011.

Tom Cable had a first-round draft pick in Germain Ifedi (76), who ended up leading the NFL in penalties. / Art Thiel, Sportspress Northwest

Pete Carroll continued the purge of his offensive staff Wednesday afternoon, firing offensive line coach and assistant head coach Tom Cable shortly after word came that he ousted Darrell Bevell as his offensive coordinator. As with Bevell, Cable had been with the franchise since 2011, Carroll’s second season with the Seahawks.

Carroll released a statement Wednesday afternoon on Twitter:

“We are challenged by change, but excited to attack the future with great purpose. I want to thank both Tom and Darrell for their role in helping take this program to a championship level. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to coach and compete alongside these great men.”

Cable presided over one of the least effective offensive lines in the NFL the past two years, a principal reason why  Seattle finished 9-7 and missed the playoffs for the first time in six years. That line blocked for only four rushing TDs in 2017, three by quarterback Russell Wilson and only one by a running back, fewest by a running back on any team since the adoption of the 16-game schedule in 1978.

Seattle enjoyed considerable offensive success from 2011-15 with Cable as the offensive line coach, but struggled after the departure of RB Marshawn Lynch, who helped the Seahawks establish a franchise record with 2,762 rushing yards in 2014 when Seattle made its second consecutive trip to the Super Bowl.

The 12s largely blamed the 53-year-old Cable for Seattle’s offensive line deficiencies, which rendered Wilson one of the most pressured quarterbacks in the NFL over the past two seasons.

A Northwest native, Cable played prep football at Snohomish High, then college ball at the University of Idaho under Keith Gilbertson, a former UW head coach, and Dennis Erickson, a former Seahawks head coach.

Cable broke in as an assistant coach at San Diego State and then worked at Cal State Fullerton, UNLV, California and Colorado before becoming head coach at Idaho in 2000. He later had assistant gigs at UCLA and with the Atlanta Falcons before becoming head coach of the Oakland Raiders in 2008. Cable joined Seattle in 2011 after offensive line coach Alex Gibbs retired.

Cable might not be the last coach out the door. Carroll has reportedly encouraged defensive coordinator Kris Richard to explore other job options.



  • ReebHerb

    Despite all the rah rah, history, and sunshine, my gut feeling is Carroll was told to make drastic changes.

    • Effzee

      Totally disagree. Paul Allen stays out of these things, and he’s the only one higher on the pyramid than Carroll. This is Carroll nearing the end of his career and trying to prove he can rebuild it one more time. He’s not willing to go out looking like this year after year.

      • art thiel

        I don’t think Carroll is concerned with the optics about his “going out” nearly as much as he wants to win with Wilson in his prime in 2018, in order to sign him to an extension before he enters his contract year in 2019.

    • art thiel

      I don’t think Allen makes any claim to know football better than Carroll. But I can see Allen endorsing the moves as long as Carroll lays out a clear plan to get where he wants to go. Allen usually plays the role of overseer/counselor, not decider.

  • busterbluth

    Nice to see some house cleaning and changes being made. But they asked WAY too much of Cable of the years. Expecting him to whip up a quality line with a bunch of low draft picks and converted college D-linemen was never very realistic. Management used too few picks for quality offensive linemen and it showed.

    • art thiel

      That’s generally true. Only Britt merited a second contract among all their draftees. But that’s also a function of using money under the salary cap to fund an elite defense, forcing Cable to eat at the kids table.

    • Ron

      Yep. Imagine what Cable could have done with Max Unger and a #1 draft pick spent on an offensive lineman, instead trading both away for a tight end that can’t block.

  • Kirkland

    Cable has a track record of success with coaching offensive lines, here and elsewhere. I think adding the title of assistant head coach and associated personnel responsibilities was a bit too much. If in his next stop he just coaches the line without other duties, and has success with it, that will tell.

    • art thiel

      I believe the extra duties/pay was designed to keep him happy here, because he and Carroll got on well. What I don’t know was whether shared responsibilities between Cable and Bevell became a problem.

  • Michael Ward Johnson

    Like the moves, but couldn’t you get a more recent picture of a slimmer, more fit Cable than his overweight days in Oakland? Fat guy gets canned, nice…
    A little journalistic integrity please
    A physician’s perspective

    • art thiel

      OK, doc. Since you asked, how about an action shot from training camp?

      • Michael Ward Johnson

        I love your columns but don’t get the reply…
        Plenty of shots of his slimmer Seattle self are available.

        • Michael Ward Johnson

          Got it, didn’t see the updated photo

          • Michael Ward Johnson


  • jafabian

    I’m betting that Cable wishes he had Duane Brown a few years ago and that the club never let Max Unger go. Fact of the matter is he never had the caliber of players that the defense had and they chose to invest in the defense more so than the offense other than Wilson and Baldwin. Yes, they’ve drafted offensive linemen but in the lower rounds and the Hawks haven’t enjoyed the success they did in the beginning of the Carroll/Schneider era. That lack of NFL draft success since 2013 is a big reason why the club has begun to slowly decline.

    • Ron

      Regarding draft success:

      1) Percy Harvin
      2) Jimmy Graham

      We sold many draft picks, Max Unger, and our future for those two.

      • jafabian

        The 2013 draft had only two players of note: TE Luke Willson and RB Spencer Ware. Ware was cut in 2014, signed by the Chiefs then ran for 921 yards and caught 33 passes for 447 yards. The club drafted 11 players, half of whom did not play in the league last season, same with the 2014 draft. The players of note for tha draft are Paul Richardson and Justin Britt. The rest are no longer on the team. As the core group has gotten older the club has not drafted with the success they had from 2010-2012. Marcus Trufant retires, Richard Sherman steps in. Sidney Rice retires, here comes Doug Baldwin. No such luxuries today. And too many loyalties to the wrong players and letting players like Ware and Alex Collins go.

        • art thiel

          Your explainers are correct. They haven’t hit on nor developed players from 2014-16 drafts as they had earlier (2017 is too early too judge, but McDowell’s choice was a failure because they ignored the red flags of immaturity/irresponsibility seen by other teams).

      • art thiel

        No doubt they over-reached on Harvin/Graham. It’s a damn pisser when players don’t turn out great and coaches aren’t perfect.

    • art thiel

      They bet big on Cable’s ability to make lesser O-line talents NFL-average. Didn’t work.

  • Theyfinallyfiredcable

    I’m so incredibly happy they fired Cable , I joined disqus just so I could use this handle .

    The man was abysmal at coaching the O-line , I could never figure out how year after year after heartbreaking year , we field one of the WORST O-lines in the league , yet Cable is some kind of guru ! And don’t hand me that crap about how players coming out of college don’t put their hands in the dirt and aren’t ready for the NFL ; the Hawks have the same raw material to work with as every other team in the league and consistently come up short, despite investing high round draft capital at the position .

    Him and his Frankenstein ideas ; let’s take a college defensive end and make him a guard … let’s take a basketball player out of a Div II school in Kentucky who’s never played football basically and make him a starting left tackle in the NFL for cripes sakes ! Gilliam was a tight end in college – let’s start him at right tackle . Whatever weed Cable was smoking , puff puff pass ..

    Can we FINALLY , PLEASE fielM a decent offensive line in front of the best QB this team has ever had ?! Imagine if Russ didn’t have to run for his life every snap of the game ? Imagine a run game where Lynch wouldn’t have had to run 10 yards to gain 2 ? Wanna know why Alex Collins did so well in Baltimore after being cut here ? I’ll give you one guess ..

    Bail on the zone blocking scheme , relegate Ifedi to the bench , drag and let’s go win some games . Go Hawks .

    • art thiel

      Hope you feel better. Not to harsh your buzz, but the game is mostly about player talent, not coaching. Nearly every player he’s coached admires and respects him. He’s the same dummy that coached two Super Bowl teams.

      Yes, the unique talents of Lynch and Wilson covered a multitude of shortcomings.
      To the extent that he made O-line calls in the draft, he’s guilty of over-reaching on several guys. But his unit was left to dine on scraps after other positions ate up the salaries under the cap. That was the call of Pete and John, and they all whiffed on Ifedi.

      • Theyfinallyfiredcable

        Thanks for responding Art ; true I probably needed to blow off a little steam. Still , the point remains – someone should be held responsible for the quality or lack there-of of the product on the field . Year after year we fielded sub-par offensive lines under Cable .

        Everyone says he was left table scraps. Interesting . Okung , Carpenter , Unger , Moffitt , Ifedi , Pocic.. He’s had plenty of high draft capital to work with . Now then , perhaps I place too much blame on Cable if Schneider is truly drafting linemen without Cable’s input ., but I doubt that .

  • Bayview Herb

    I don’t think the lack of O line talent can be blamed on Coach. That was and is a front office sin.

  • Ron

    Cable is now employed by Jon Gruden and the Raiders.