There are some disappointed players on the Raiders who actually thought they were on to something, only to realize that in Al Davis' world, jumping for joy at a .500 record is as reprehensible as seven straight seasons of 11 or more losses.

Chances are Davis knew Tom Cable wasn't coming back weeks ago.

It may have been as far back as the day he hired Hue Jackson as offensive coordinator and gave him a year to get the ball in the end zone before taking over as the head coach when Cable's contract expired and a two-year option came up.

But make no mistake, the ``We're not losers any more'' slogan adopted by Cable in the excitement of a 31-10 win over the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, and a wildly jubilant locker room which celebrated an 8-8 record weren't well received by the man in charge.

Davis presented Cable with Nnamdi Asomugha, Richard Seymour, Jason Campbell, Darren McFadden, a spectacular draft class and other potential standouts from previous draft classes and all he got was a .500 record in return. No playoffs, no division title.

Cable may as well have commissioned a worthless trophy like the one Atlanta Falcons coach Jerry Glanville paraded around Candlestick Park in 1992 as a reward to his team for going 6-0 the previous year against teams from California.

Take a guess which stat carried more weight with Davis — the 6-0 record in the AFC West or the 2-8 disaster outside of it?

``This is a huge letdown,'' punter Shane Lechler said.

``I think this is going to hit 99 percent of the locker room really hard because people how he dealt with us and where we were headed,'' left guard Robert Gallery said. ``It's definitely a step back from what we've done going forward the last year or two.''

Maybe Lechler and Gallery will get over it, maybe they won't. Only Gallery is in a position to do anything about it, giving his upcoming free agency.

It's a fresh wound, so their frustration is understandable.

The thing is, Davis doesn't care about the locker room. Never has, never will.

He pays his players well, is ambivalent about their chemistry and expects the coaches to get them to play. You put the most talented group of athletes available in the same room and dominate.

Davis has also been around long enough to know they'll get over it. He knows if he writes a big enough check, all the locker room talk goes away.

At the close of the 2009 season, Lechler fully expected to get out of Oakland. He'd had three division titles in his first three years and was tired of the constant losing.

Asomugha's frustration bubbled over in San Diego when teammates were jovial in the aftermath of a one-sided loss to the Chargers.

On Monday, the day of the final team meeting in 2009, neither player was around. Their lockers had been cleaned out, and both were dreading the possibility of being hit with a franchise tag.

Both came back, of course, when Davis made Asomugha the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL and Lechler the highest-paid punter.

They got over it.

As popular as Cable was in the Oakland locker room, players in the coming weeks will be consumed by the possibility of a lockout and lost income. Anything going on with the Raiders will take a back seat to their own bank accounts.

This isn't being selfish, it's being human.

When play starts again, and the free agency rules are determined, they'll either be stuck with the Raiders because of CBA restrictions or come back willingly because it provides the biggest paycheck.

And they'll go to training camp and extol the virtues of Jackson, unless Davis has a huge surprise in store and pulls a Jim Harbaugh or Jon Gruden out of his hat.

As for Cable, he'll be fine. Being head coach of the Raiders is good for the resume.

Mike White became assistant head coach of the St. Louis Rams and won a Super Bowl ring.

Joe Bugel went on for several more productive years as a line coach in San Diego and Washington.

Gruden doesn't count, because he was traded, but his successor, Bill Callahan, landed the head coaching gig at Nebraska and now is Rex Ryan's right-hand man with the New York Jets, one of the most respected assistant coaches in the league.

Norv Turner went from offensive coordinator of the 49ers to three straight division titles in San Diego, where he is still employed.

Lane Kiffin, fired with cause with an overhead projector, landed two of the plum jobs in college football at Tennessee and Southern California.

The only exception was Art Shell, hired out of mothballs mostly because Davis couldn't find anyone else he liked to take the job.

Cable can sign on as a line coach somewhere, and in the volatile world of the NFL, be in line to take the next step as a head coach, pointing with pride at the time he got the Raiders to .500.

It may not mean anything to Davis, but from the outside looking in it's a hell of an accomplishment.