Hue Jackson Fired: What It Means for Future of Oakland Raiders Franchise

Hue Jackson was a lot of things: Fiery. Brash. A gifted offensive coach. A gambler, just like the man he revered, Al Davis.

But was he a bad head coach?

Reggie McKenzie seems to think so.

The newly-appointed Raiders general manager—the first man not named Al Davis to ever have that title—decided to fire his inherited rookie head coach today.

It’s not unusual for a general manager to replace a coach he didn’t hire; after all, McKenzie’s success will largely be measured by the performance of his coach. But this move was ill-timed and foolish. For a team desperately lacking consistency this century, why would you dismiss a man who was present for the first non-losing seasons since 2002?

Was this team perfect? Far from it. A 7-4 start was marred by a 1-4 finish, and the Raiders fell just one win short of the postseason.

But Jackson had done some great things with this team. He transformed a moribund offense (31st in 2009) into one of the league’s most potent (ninth in 2011). He brought back some of the organization’s swagger with his bravado. He engaged the fans constantly, and we responded by selling out every home game for the first time since the Raiders returned to Oakland in 1995. And despite losing his starting quarterback, a Pro-Bowl-caliber running back and dealing with the 29th-ranked defense in the NFL, he still managed an 8-8 record.

Jackson deserved another year to see if he could deliver on his promise to take this team to the playoffs. With a talented general manager in place, Jackson would have been free to leave personnel matters in his hands while concentrating on the team and scheme. Imagine what this team could have accomplished with a full offseason for Carson Palmer and a capable defensive coordinator on the sideline.

But now, we’ll never know if Jackson could have delivered a 10- or 11-win season...

About the Author