Raiders managing general partner Al Davis has a coach-in-waiting if he opts to fire Tom Cable. Former Raiders defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said he is a phone call away.
"Hell, yeah, I'd have interest," Ryan said in an interview with USA Today. "I haven't talked to Mr. Davis because he has a coach. Let's see what happens."
What's happening is anyone's guess. Second-hand reports from the team's year-round facility in Alameda are sketchy about the nature of the meetings between Cable and Davis about Cable's status as Raiders coach.
Raiders senior executive John Herrera said Cable and Davis intended to meet Friday, but no meeting transpired, according to several people familiar with the situation. Herrera confirmed that Cable and Davis met Thursday evening.
Cable arrived in Alameda on Friday morning and spent the better part of the day meeting with members of his staff. Davis hadn't shown up by 6 p.m., and several people said they didn't expect a meeting to take place even if Davis arrived at some point.
Ryan was the Raiders defensive coordinator from 2004-08. He interviewed for the coaching vacancy in 2006, but Davis hired Art Shell.
Ryan left after the 2008 season when his contract expired, and he was hired by the Cleveland Browns as their defensive coordinator.
He said he is a "great coach" and that, "I will be a head coach in this league, and I will be damn successful, too."
Davis, however, has a long history of hiring offensive-minded coaches as his head coach. Ryan always could point to the success of his twin brother, Rex, as a reason for Davis to change his thinking.
Rex Ryan is in his first year as an NFL head coach, with the New York Jets. He guided the Jets to a 9-7 regular-season record and a first-round victory over the AFC North-champion Cincinnati Bengals. The Jets play the San Diego Chargers in an AFC divisional playoff game Sunday.
"Nothing comes easy," Rob Ryan said of his wait for an opportunity to follow in the footsteps of his brother and father, Buddy Ryan. "There are a lot of good coaches out there, but there are only so many Ryans."