Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports



Tom Cable has been a head coach before. He spent 2008 through 2010 as the head coach of the Oakland Raiders. He has been the Seattle Seahawks assistant head coach and offensive line coach since 2011 and pretty much served as head coach Pete Carroll's right-hand man. "He has all of the makings of being a terrific head coach, and I think that's in his future," Carroll has said of the assistant.

On Sunday, Cable became the last known candidate to interview for the San Francisco 49ers' head coach vacancy. "If that seems like an odd choice, it's actually not," Ian Rapoport of NFL Media said of the decision to interview Cable. "Marshawn Lynch, this is the guy that Beast Mode swears by. This is the one that many Seahawks players consider to be the real leader on the team. He is the one that stands up and talks to the offense. The Niners will consider him pretty strongly."

Rapoport: 49ers happy to be patient in coaching search

Cable is well respected among his players. As Rapoport touched on, he is a guy that players praise as a true leader on the team. However, there is another reputation that hovers over Cable and one that should give the 49ers pause. In 2009, there was the incident of Cable punching assistant coach Randy Hanson in the face and fracturing his jaw while he was with the Raiders. Even more troubling were the allegations that surfaced regarding domestic abuse against his former wife and past girlfriend. Civil suits by Hanson and the former girlfriend were eventually settled.

Cable's second wife said in divorce documents that he had been physically and verbally abusive to her during their 17-year marriage. However, she would later contradict the statement when asked by ESPN.


Neither the Raiders nor the NFL would discipline Cable following the incident with Hanson, even after his former team ran their own investigation following a lengthy one by Napa police. Cable would eventually be fired from the Raiders when the allegations became too much for the late Al Davis.

For the 49ers, a hire like Cable might turn off a number of fans. It would be a tough sell for a team trying to rebuild both its roster and reputation. Some are already questioning why the 49ers are even entertaining such a hire, especially when there are other more viable candidates available – at least once their teams are finished with postseason play.


"It's kind of the label that I've had to live with and once the media got it and ran with it, you really can't protect yourself then," Cable said in 2010.

Cable has attempted to deny the severity of the allegations. "On only one occasion in my life have I ever touched a woman inappropriately," Cable once told ESPN. "I became very angry and slapped [my first wife Sandy] with an open hand. What I did was wrong and I have regretted and felt sorrow about that moment ever since."

Cable insists that he is a changed man, drawing inspiration from his current wife and one of his sons. His wife Carol runs a hospice center and sees tragedy on a daily basis. His son Alex, who dealt with drug and alcohol addiction, now assists others in need.

Cable has tried to reinvent himself and that's something the 49ers are attempting to do following the firings of their general manager and head coach. No one doubts Cable's reputation on the football field among his players. With options like offensive coordinators Josh McDaniels and Kyle Shanahan, one has to wonder if Cable and his reputation off the field might be too much for the 49ers to take on.