He gave Russell the hook for the second consecutive time in front of the dwindling home fan base, only this time it wasn't while the Raiders were hopelessly behind in what would wind up a 38-0 loss to the New York Jets.
Instead, with the Raiders locked in an unsightly 10-10 tie with the Kansas City Chiefs, Russell misfired on third-and-9, throwing high to tight end Brandon Myers with 2:29 left in the third quarter, and was immediately informed he'd be getting the rest of the day off.
The Raiders fell behind 16-10 but backup Bruce
Where this latest loss leaves the Raiders, other than tied with the Chiefs for last place in the AFC West at 2-7, is anybody's guess.
When it was over, Cable wouldn't commit to a starter for next Sunday's game against Cincinnati, Russell conceded his disappointment over being yanked, and Heyward-Bey was probably on the freeway and possibly still in uniform.
That's how fast Heyward-Bey made it out of the locker room,
Meanwhile, Cable's support of Russell was lukewarm at best.
``Some guys take longer than others,'' Cable said. ``He'll get there at some point. He's a talented guy. There's no question about that.''
Russell's inability to produce is a crisis far greater to the head coach's job security than anything he's faced from the Napa County District Attorney's office. And more daunting than the ESPN story probing his past domestic troubles.
As head coach of the Raiders, bringing the best out of Russell was not only Job 1, but 2 and 3 as well. Al Davis has been characteristically mum on the subject, but did tell the USA Today at the owner's meetings that it took patience to develop a young quarterback, citing historical examples such as Terry Bradshaw, John Elway and Troy Aikman.
That's the company Davis believes Russell belongs in. Yet his head coach is saying in public following a seventh straight home loss to one of his most bitter historical rivals he's not sure if the man paid some $32 million in guaranteed bonus money is better than your garden variety Bruce Gradkowski.
It seems likely Russell starts against Cincinnati, unless Davis allows a one-game switch much like he did to Norv Turner, who started Marques Tuiasosopo for a week in 2005, only to have to return to Kerry Collins to finish out his final season as head coach.
Cable said Russell ``misread'' consecutive plays when receivers were open and determined it was time to turn Bruce loose. One went incomplete to Luke Lawton, the other to Myers, and the inference was receivers were open elsewhere.
When the NFL straightens out the game book, Russell will be 8-for-23 for 64 yards. Gradkowski was 5-for-9 for 49 yards and two interceptions.
Speaking in generalities, Cable said there were issues with Russell's game management and accuracy.
After Russell was removed, he walked to quarterbacks coach Paul Hackett, his arms outstretched, as if looking for answers. Teammates Darren McFadden, Gerard Warren and Javon Walker came by for support, as did trainer Rod Martin.
``I really can't explain it,'' Russell said. ``I really don't know what to say about it, but that was his decision, and just move on from it.''
The irony is Russell probably threw his two best passes of the season on back-to-back plays one series after Jamal Charles ran 44 yards for a touchdown on a fourth-and-1 play in the second quarter, tying the score 10-10.
On second-and-6 from the Raiders 43, Russell threw a perfect post to Heyward-Bey inside the 5-yard line against Brandon Flowers. The ball slipped through Heyward-Bey's hands, off his stomach and tumbled to the ground incomplete.
On third-and-6, Russell found Louis Murphy in stride down the right sideline all the way to the 5-yard-line.
Guard Robert Gallery was called for tripping in pass protection, nullifying the play.
Russell was sacked on the next play by Tamba Hali and Wallace Gilberry, forcing a Shane Lechler punt.
Had either play been executed, Russell said, ``It would have been totally different. You could see it. But those are things we have to get better at, the plays we have to make.''
Brown, the veteran Chiefs safety who grabbed the Heyward-Bey carom to end the game and also had another interception, wasn't shy about detailing Russell's shortcomings.
``Obviously, he's been struggling a little bit. He's turned the ball over more than any quarterback in the league,'' Brown said. ``That's something that we talked about. And usually he only looks at one side of the field. He doesn't read the whole field.''
Cable has seen the light. Now he's got to sell the boss.