Cable connection

Tom Cable is coming home. The Seahawks hired the Snohomish High School grad and former head coach of the Raiders on Tuesday to be assistant head coach and offensive line coach.

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Tom Cable is not only coming home, he is returning to what he thinks should be recognized as the birthplace of football.

The Seahawks hired the former head coach of the Oakland Raiders on Tuesday to be assistant head coach/offensive line coach on Pete Carroll’s staff. Cable is a 1982 graduate of Snohomish High School, and remembers his time there beyond fondly.

“It’s the greatest high school in America, the greatest place on earth,” Cable said during a conference-call interview prior to the Week 8 game between the Raiders and Seahawks in Oakland. “That’s where football should have been started.

“I love that place. It’s awesome, awesome. Flat out awesome.”

Cable, 46, steps into a role with the Seahawks that Alex Gibbs held until abruptly retiring the weekend before the regular-season opener in September. Art Valero coached the offensive line during the season, when a rash of injuries forced the Seahawks to use 10 different starting combinations.

Cable was the Raiders’ O-line coach in 2007-08 and became interim head coach in ’08 when Lance Kiffin was fired after four games. Cable was hired as head coach after the 2008 season, but his contract was not renewed this month despite leading the Raiders to an 8-8 record – including a 33-3 victory over the Seahawks in that Halloween game.

After playing at Snohomish High, Cable played offensive line for former Seahawks coaches Dennis Erickson and Keith Gilbertson at the University of Idaho. Cable then began a 19-year career as a college coach that took him from Idaho (1987-88), to San Diego State (1989), to Cal State-Fullerton (1990), to UNLV (1991), to California (1993-97), to Colorado (1998-99), back to Idaho as head coach (2000-03) and, finally, to UCLA (2004-05).

He began his NFL career in 2006 as offensive line coach for the Atlanta Falcons, before moving to the Raiders the next season.

With the Seahawks, Cable inherits a line that features left tackle Russell Okung, the sixth pick in last year’s NFL draft. But only center Chris Spencer started all 16 games during the regular season and both playoff games. Okung missed time after getting high sprains of both ankles. Guards Max Unger, Ben Hamilton and Chester Pitts finished the season on injured reserve. Tackle Ray Willis began the season on IR.

The rash of injuries created a situation where the Seahawks started four players at left guard (Hamilton, Mike Gibson, Pitts and Tyler Polumbus); three at right guard (Unger, Stacy Andrews and Gibson); and three at left tackle (Okung, Polumbus and Pitts).

The constant shuffling on the line was a big factor in the Seahawk averaging 89 rushing yards, the fourth-lowest figure in franchise history and better than only one other team in the league this season.