There is no need to explain what this post is about. You knew it was coming. Here it is.
Why I hate the firing of Hue Jackson:
Hue Jackson’s a good coach. Sure, his personality came off a little brash and egotistical, at times, and him calling the Palmer trade “the best trade in all of football” was a little too outrageous (even for my liking) but seriously, who cares. Bill Bellicheck is the epitome of an asshole, but he gets shit done. And Rex Ryan says a lot of stupid shit, but people love him.
The Raiders were a different team under Hue. The players liked him, and they wanted to play for him. He was creative on offense, and utilized the strengths of the players as best as he could. As any Raider fan (or any NFL fan, for that matter) knew, the offense was NOT the problem. For the first time in a long time, they actually looked like a competent football team. They were putting points on the board. They also lost Darren McFadden for more than half of the year, and McFadden WAS the best running back in the league until he got hurt. Losing a key piece like that will be a detriment to any team. On top of that fact that they had an already crippled offense, they lost Jason Campbell, Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore in the following weeks…all players who were absolutely VITAL.
Hue recognized that the scoring for this team was going to be the equivalent of an Alex Smith-led offense if he didn’t do something soon, so he went after Carson Palmer. While I still believe the price paid was a bit steep, it was absolutely necessary. And Palmer did his darndest to convince me that giving up all those picks was worth it. Yeah he threw a bunch of interceptions but he also threw a ton of touchdowns, too. And he was without McFadden the entire time. Yes, let that sink in — Carson did not have McFadden for even ONE game at all this season.
It wasn’t Hue Jackson’s fault that Rolando McClain was covering Megatron 40-yds down the field during a two-minute drive. Hue didn’t call the no-pressure defense for the Raiders to lose versus Buffalo or Denver.
He was NOT the problem, and if you’ve been reading for the past couple of weeks, you know who I place a whole lot of the blame on. I’m sad to see Hue leave, and I hope he gets another head coaching gig somewhere else because I definitely think he will succeed, if given the chance.
Why I don’t mind the firing of Hue Jackson:
I know I’ll probably go to hell by speaking ill of the dead, but let’s be real here: Al Davis screwed up this team and new GM Reggie McKenzie has more cleaning up than do Charlie Sheen’s maids. There are a lot of dumb players on the Raiders, and a lot of Al Davis remnants in personnel.
With that being said, I get it. I get why McKenzie canned Hue. He wants to start from scratch. He wants the Raiders to have a completely new identity and that starts with a clean slate. During the press conference, McKenzie mentioned how he wants to hire his own guy — and clearly, Hue wasn’t his guy. He was Al’s. That was enough rationale to terminate him.
This is an overhaul. This is a make-over. This is the beginning of a new and hopefully much more successful era for the team.
I also don’t mind the move because the decision came from someone other than Al Davis for the first time, uhm…ever. And the decision also came from someone who spent years and years with one of the most successful NFL franchises ever so there is a whole lot of credibility and a good track-record here. Knowing this, it becomes easier to cope with the news.
Another thing McKenzie mentioned during the press conference was that he wants the head coach to be able to hire his own staff. Under Al, head coaches had to deal with the staff that Al hand-picked for him which made things incredibly difficult for everyone. Winston Moss, Linebacker Coach for the Packers, is apparently a front-runner for the vacancy. One has to think, if he does come on board, he’s going to want to bring some of his Packer cohorts along, right? Can’t you see what’s happening here? McKenzie is trying to build a Packer-lite. And that, sounds like a mighty fine plan to me.
The news was certainly shocking. If anyone of the personnel deserved to stay, it was Hue. And yesterday, I was constantly bouncing back and forth trying to determine if I hated the move (I did initially) or if I’m able to put up with it (I’m getting there). I think what it comes down to is that I’m not a fan of the move, but I can understand it. It’s not something completely irrational and bizarre, two words which have become commonplace in the Raider lexicon over the past 8 years.
I mentioned in the last post how I’m abnormally excited for the Raider offseason because it’s the first season without Al making decisions. I knew it would be interesting. I didn’t expect it to start off with a bang.
This is more than a bang — this is a supernova explosion. The future can only be brighter from here…one can only hope.