Raiders fire Hue Jackson
January, 10, 2012
By Bill Williamson | ESPN.com
The Oakland Raiders' decision to fire Hue Jackson after one season smacks of the team's history of dysfunction.
New general manager Reggie McKenzie, in his first act as GM, took a page straight from the man he replaced as the lead decision-maker, the late Al Davis, by firing a coach after a short stay on the job. However, this act of dysfunction may have been necessary in the Raiders' attempt to become a normally functioning franchise.
Green Bay assistants such as Winston Moss -- a former Raiders linebacker, as is McKenzie -- could become a candidate. Another Packers assistant, offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, would be a logical candidate as well. However, his availability is in question following the recent death of his son.
As for Jackson, he did do a good job in Oakland, especially with the offense. There have been whispers since the days following Davis' death in October that he had become too occupied with gaining power over the team, rather than simply coaching it.
Jackson's decision to send two high picks to Cincinnati for aging, declining quarterback Carson Palmer two days after starter Jason Campbell's injury was questioned around the league. It smacked of desperation and did not work out, as the Raiders missed the playoffs. They have not appeared in postseason since 2002, tied for the second-longest drought in the NFL.
Jackson did himself no favors when he went on a tirade about his team following a season-ending home loss to San Diego in a game Oakland had to win for any chance at the playoffs.
Because of these issues, there's a sense the Raiders could be better off starting fresh with a new GM and new coach. McKenzie obviously agreed. Now, McKenzie can take the Raiders in his direction and model a winning franchise after Green Bay. Some may see this as a step backward, and perhaps it is temporarily, but the Raiders needed to go in a new direction. They certainly are with this decision.
Note: I'm boarding a flight and will check in with more reaction following McKenzie's news conference later Tuesday.