Raider Nation, I hear you screaming in the streets. I see your Facebook statuses proclaiming your outrage. My Twitter timeline is dripping with your despair. I'm currently turning off my phone so the texts won't interrupt this article. Wipe away your tears, and take a moment to read just why Hue Jackson ultimately HAD to go.
1) His team lost four of five games down the stretch, lost the division lead, and consequentially allowed the Raiders to fall out of the playoffs.
All while allowing division rival Denver to continue a miraculous global attention grabbing streak in the process. The Raiders had an opportunity to slam this division shut multiple times throughout this season. They should have closed the game out against Buffalo. They should never have permitted Tebow to... Tebow them. Did you see what happened at home against the Lions? With the season on the line, you absolutely cannot lose to a division rival (a division which you swept the prior year) in the FINAL game of the season... and at home, no less.
2) In one of the most ridiculous moments of "How DARE you question my obviously stupid decision" ever, he brazenly boasted that his acquisition of Carson Palmer for two high draft picks (universally accepted as at least 'questionable') was "possibly the greatest trade ever..."
This is the same Carson Palmer who was horrendous in his last year with the Bengals (see what rookie Andy Dalton did with a majority of the same players and coaches?) and threw for three more interceptions (16) than he did touchdowns (13) this year.
Before "Enraged Raiders Fan" pops a blood vessel while frantically typing about how Carson was "on the couch" when he was signed, and how he didn't get the chance to get acclimated to the offense... Yes, all of that is true. But that proves my point on just how ridiculous of a trade it was in the first place.
Not only that, if you take a look at his statistics over the last three years, this abbreviated 4-6 stretch (4-5 as a starter) with the Raiders was actually on par statistically. What that means is the Carson Palmer you saw this year is the same Carson you're going to see next year: Can get hot at times, but generally makes key errors over the course of the game/season to give you a shot at 8-8. If you were expecting the same Carson that came out of USC, Heisman trophy in tow, slinging the ball around and having MVP-like numbers from '05-'07, then you were sorely mistaken... as was Hue.
3) After falling out of the playoffs, losing several games by blowing double-digit fourth quarter leads with foolish penalties and questionable strategies along the way, losing a big-time (yet, admittedly, somewhat necessary) gamble on the trade for Carson, all while watching your team obliterate the NFL's All-Time Penalty records, you can't come out guns-a-blazin' talking about how you need more control and influence over the team, throwing your players under the bus with your rhetoric about being "pissed off" at the defense.
You definitely can't publicly throw your coordinators (Chuck Bresnahan) to the wolves without accepting some of that blame yourself. Were the players the ones out there missing tackles, throwing interceptions, and racking up penalties at a record-setting pace? Of course. Was Jackson the one directly responsible for running one of the league's worst defenses? Of course not. That was in fact Chuck Bresnahan. The key is, Jackson was ultimately responsible for the final results on the field. Regardless of how the Raiders ended up earning their 8-8 record, his name ultimately goes on the finished product.
Do I think the Raiders could have given him another year to prove himself, considering the death of legendary owner, Al Davis, and all the injuries and turmoil the team had to overcome? Sure. New GM Reggie McKenzie, while well within his rights to go in a new direction, definitely could have granted Coach Jackson the opportunity to have another go at it. Trouble is, this is a results world, let alone league, and the Raiders have not had any truly positive results in 10 years. While the past two seasons have shown promise, all that gets you is a slightly worse drafting position in April.
This is a once-proud organization that is looking to completely change its culture and image. The way the team fluttered down the stretch (with plenty of embarrassing moments along the way), losing several games that were definitely winnable if only a culture of a higher level of accountability and professionalism had been generated, didn't bode well for Coach Jackson.
Jackson will get another opportunity in this league, and I, for one, hope he gets that chance sometime soon. He possesses a great deal of promise as an innovative offensive mind and an inner confidence that can be magnetic and infectious (in a positive way). I hope this experience with the Raiders' organization teaches him a bit more about the savvy and maturity it takes to be a head coach in the National Football League. Jackson definitely has the potential. He just needs a bit more polishing to ultimately be most effective as a leader and coach.
In the sports world, we love hubris and bravado, but only if you win. The only reason Rex Ryan is still coaching the Jets is because they were in the AFC Championship game a couple of consecutive years. Watch what happens if they have another catastrophic meltdown next year. The two of you may be competing for positions. Best of luck to you, Coach Jackson.
-- Jabari A. Davis is a Guest Contributor special to Thoughts From the Dark Side. You can follow him on Twitter @NBARealTalkFB or befriend him on facebook @NBARealTalk.
I actually, most of all, disagree with most of this piece.... I think HJ had every right to blast his team after the loss against the Chargers, we were down right awful and one of the only players to play with any passion was in fact Carson Palmer, who you have claimed we shouldnt have traded for. If we had been left with Boller and Pryor the only thing we would have got is a losing season and as we were in no way finish off with a worse record than the Colts we weren't going to get Luck... So what in fact we have actually done is give a 1st round pick for CP and a conditional 2nd, as we would have had to of got to the AFC Championship game to make it 2 first rounds...
I would also hazard a guess that would also like to see Gruden back as head coach, why because he has some success in his last 2 years at Oakland. I would like to remind you that in his first 2 seasons Gruden finished... 8 and 8.... yep, exactly that same as HJ, who managed to get his 8 - 8 with no footballing help whatsoever. Because Al controlled the whole footballing side when he passed our 1st time HC was left with no help from above so when the sh!t hit the fan with McClain, Johnson sister being murdered, Campbell going down, Dmac & Ford practically going out for the season who was left to deal with this and stop coaching... Hue Jackson! Oh yes, he also had Chuck which was of course Al choice as DC and with McKenzie giving the new HC the choice of his HC I think HJ should have been given the chance.
We have lost one of the most exciting offensive coaches/coordinators in the game and this is going to come and bite is in the ass... I sincerely hate this decision.
@ukraider78 I can live with it as he made a ton of other mistakes that he shouldn't have made and he didn't seem like he knew how to handle injuries.
No offence, but I've used these sites long enough to know that fans rarely know as much as NFL exceutives!
You know, Carson came at a heavy price, but you know, it's damn hard to get pro bowl level QBs
In this years draft, and free agency, you'll probably have 8-9 teams trying to get the same 3 players - Luck, Flynn and III
Truth is, Palmer would have probably passed for 4'000 yards this season, if he played every game.
When's the last time Oakland had a guy who could rack up yards like that?
I called it!!!
I was stating yesterday that what if Packers DC Dom Capers was the guy that McKenzie was really wanting as HC, not Winston Moss. I should get a prize or something for calling Dom Capers a full day before a report came out about them having Capers on the short list.
I hope not. Not a fan of Capers as a HC. He is a good DC but I don't think he is much of a HC. I would rather see Winston Moss as HC actually with a solid DC like Mike Nolan maybe? His contract is up with the Dolphins.
In saying that I have faith in McKenzie (till I have been proven wrong anyway lol) and if he picks Capers I will be fine with that.
@JarrodRollins No thanks! Not for HC! He does not have a good track record.
@Raidah Dude, you know that he started as the first ever head coach for two expansion teams, right? He led Carolina to a 12-4 record and to the NFC title game in their second year in existence. No one can reasonably be expected to do great things right out the gate with a brand new expansion team. At least I don't, so I do not hold those against him as I had no reasonable expectation of him being able to make them super bowl contenders or anything. Not to mention that when the Texans started out, they had that picked Tony Boselli in the expansion draft to be their franchise LT and they drafted David Carr cuz they got Boselli. Only problem was that Boselli, who was recovering from a shoulder injury at the time, ended up never even playing a down for Houston as he ended up retiring cuz of the shoulder injury. The Texans were pretty much doomed from the start with the whole Boselli thing. That had nothing to do with Capers, in my opinion.
The reason why I would really like capers as HC is that he was responsible for the Packers successful switch from 4-3 to 3-4. They were 21st in '08 as a 4-3 defense and they jumped to 2nd in '09 with Capers leading the way to being a 3-4 defense. If capers is indeed hired as HC, then I expect us to seek permission to interview Moss for DC. If we get blocked, then I wouldn't be surprised if we go with either Darren Perry or maybe even Todd Bowles as he is being interviewed on Friday. Tom Clements I think has a good shot at becoming the OC. I would like to keep Saunders around for some continuity for the offense and also Saunders could help Clements as he would be a first time coordinator.
@Raidah@JarrodRollins Aside from the Panthers making the NFC title game in '96 and going to the super bowl with Fox '04, they have not been a very good team at all, regardless of who their coach is. The Panthers have only had 3 winning seasons since they came into the league in '95.
The Texans are a combined 65-95 since they entered the league in 2002. They have only recently started to get better. I believe a lot of what was the Texans early struggles was the poor drafting by Charlie Casserly, their GM at the time, Tony Boselli retiring cuz of injuries before ever playing a down with the Texans, and an offense that couldn't move the ball at all. In 2002 the defense was was ranked 16th. The following year the defense was injury-bitten with 9 players on the IR, Jamie Sharper still racked up 195 tackles on the year. 2005 the defense was hit with injury again. I think that it has mostly been and injury and personnel point for the defense he had in Houston. Also the Offense wasn't very good at all for much of his time there. In his 4 years as HC, the offense scored 28+ points only four times. They scored 21+ points 16 times in four years. That means, four games a season they scored 21+ points in a game. Hard to win games when the O can't put any points on the bored.
@JarrodRollins Yep, he did well in the beginning. But he still didn't take the team anywhere, not sure if it was the lack of players or what but his D with Houston was not impressive and his D in carolina was hit and miss. He had good success as coordinator in Jax and Pitts. I just don't think I'd take him as HC.
I get wanting Chucky B gone too. The fact is, he should've never been hired back. But the more Hue talks, the more I feel Reggie made the right decision. Hue said that Al ran the Defense, everyone knows that. Ok, who was running the defense after Al died? You were the freaking Head Coach, step in, slap Chuck B in the head, and let him know what he needs to run! Hue didn't do that, why? Because he was trying to wear too many hats as Head Coach, which is in my opinion, the reason why Cable was let go (amongst other things).
The bottom line, whether he is offensive minded or defensive minded; the job of the Head Coach is to manage both sides of the ball. Hue Jackson did not do that, and that alone is why he should've been fired!
@Raider Nate 75 Seems like it all evolved too fast! Jackson was not ready to be a HC yet and he was blinded by the power!
Personally i think Jackson is a great fit as a OC going forward as he is easy going, experimental and still developing! If a team signs him to be their OC many years going forward, it could be a great signing i think! ... But if he strives too much for power, he can become a "problemchild" that will have issues with getting a job and the backing of the HC!
If he accepts that he needs to focus on getting experience through an OC job, then he can focus on a HC vacancy several years from now when he is ready for it!
@nilbymouth You might be right! He has some talents at least!
Still, at this point i see him more qualified as a OC and would think that that is where his strengths really lie right now! Because of this i also believe that it is as a OC that he should try to get a job, get experience and work his way up! .. But if he really does learn from the stint here and cool it down with the swagger and bigmouthing, he might be ready before i would have thought it!
Definately a career i will look in on every once in a while to see what happens!
BTW, i see where you're talking about how we "throw Chucky B to the wolves" .. but how could you not? Rivers didn't punt all game long LD, you know this... i'm pretty sure Palmer had his best game as a Raider in this game... it was the defense that didn't do it's job and was out of position all day long... that's the work of the man calling the plays. Hue had nothing to do with that!
Yes that was the Defense. BUT if the defense and DC are not performing it is up to the HC to do something about it. That is on the HC. And Jackson didn't. It's not like this was the only game of the year when the defense didn't perform up to par. This had been going on for weeks and weeks, and Jackson never made a change.
@DARKKUSH Isn't Levi's article - is written by a guest writer called Jabari A. Davis!
... Still, albeit Chucky was horrible and should have been canned earlier, Hue shouldn't have spoken in public the way he did! Although it was true, he acted classless imo as he could have kept it clean instead of going on a rant - everybody would still know what he referred to!
I was really tired of Chucky, so it didn't really bother me, but it didn't show the class and restrain that Reggie will try to emphasize in the staff and the players going forward!
umm, the blown games you're refering to was the work of not Hue, but Chucky B... a man he didn't even hire or, i'm sure of, didn't even want on the team. but Al died mid season and the man was stuck with him. had Al let Chucky B go and brought in ANYONE worth a damn, we would have been in the playoffs
having said that, i'm glad this team has a "clean slate" ... but i'm of the belief that Hue deserved another chance to work with Palmer and A HEALTHY OFFENSE for a change in AN ACTUAL OFF SEASON. instead, now we'll get rookie coaches all across the board and an eventual trade of the best QB we've had since Gannon for Matt Flynn. all speculation of course, but i believe McKenzie intends on changing everything. this team doesn't need rebuilt, especially on offense... so i hope everything isn't gutted.
@DARKKUSH I think Flynn is a free agent- I could be wrong about that. I liked Hue and he took an offense from 31st to a top 10 in his first year so you know he has talent. I would have loved to have him back with a real DC, but if Reggie wants to clean house and bring in his own guys I'm fine with that. We are going to have to trust that Reggie knows what he's doing. I hope Green Bay loses so we can get our staff together. I know I'll feel better when I know who our coaches are and what schemes we will run. I was a big fan of the vertical passing game and hope we switch to the 3-4.
Kush, I don't think we are going to have a rookie head coach. When I heard that we were lining up an interview with Todd Bowles, the first thought I had was that Dom Capers was the guy that McKenzie probably wants as HC. Interviewing Bowles now satisfies the Rooney Rule and it would've been awkward if he had interviewed Moss for the Rooney Rule and then interviewed/hired Capers for HC. I give Capers a pass on his 48-80 HC record has all 8 of his seasons as a HC were with brand new expansions in the Panthers and the Texans.
@Raider Nate 75@DylanAlexander@DARKKUSH Capers likely won't be very involved in the offense as he a defense guy. I agree that he should have an aggressive OC. Saunders is a down-field kinda guy, either we keep him as OC and give him play-calling duties or we bring in a guy like Tom Clements and have him work with Saunders with the offense and game-planning.
@JarrodRollins@DylanAlexander@DARKKUSH I agree that the potential HC may be Dom Capers. He didn't do too good in Houston though, and he is going to need an aggressive OC if he is going to succeed. Not sure if he is capable of bringing the Raiders to the next step, nor am I sure he will be a better HC than Hue. Same with Del Rio.
Now, the difference is Capers didn't have a whole lot to work with in Houston. I think he has a better record if he has the players Kubiak has now. I think with Carson and a healthy McFadden, he would be able to put together a better offensive strategy. I'd be willing to give him a try, but like I said, he better have an aggressive OC.
Don't forget the possible return of Chucky Gruden!