If Shane Lechler's reaction is any indication, Oakland Raiders players were surprised and upset by the team's decision not to bring back coachTom Cable.
Speaking to Comcast SportsNet Bay Area on Tuesday night, Lechler said the positive vibe from the just-concluded 8-8 season, in which the Raiders swept their AFC West opponents, has been washed away. It was Oakland's first non-losing regular season since 2002.
"This will be six (coaches) now in 12 years, and that's not fun," said Lechler, a six-time Pro Bowl punter. "I think this will be a huge setback for us.
"Tom was good with how he handled the whole dealing with (managing general partner) Al (Davis) and all that situation ... not let that part bother the football team, and that's what I enjoyed."
If offensive coordinator Hue Jackson were to be promoted, as rumored, Lechler wondered out loud if he could balance the on-field and off-field demands that the Raiders job entails.
"I do respect him. I like the energy he brings to the offensive side of the ball," Lechler said of Jackson. "Whether he can call plays and pull off the whole head-coaching deal and deal with Al Davis on the side, I don't know. That's a lot on somebody's plate."
"Let's go out, line up and play Raider football, bloody their nose," Lechler said. "A very, very straight shooter, which is what our team needs."
Lechler also hinted that Cable's departure could affect the team's ability to retain free agents, including guard Robert Gallery and running back Michael Bush.