Across the Pond by Dave Wilson
Thursday, January 20 2011 @ 07:06 AM CST
Contributed by: Ore
Contributed by: Ore
The Raiders Move On With Hue Jackson...Sort Of...
On Tuesday the Oakland Raiders formally announced the hiring of Hue Jackson as Head Coach for the 2011 Season. After all the negative press and disagreement amongst the fan base, it was a day where the franchise had something positive to sell to the media and move forward. Only it didnít quite work out that way.
After introducing Jackson, Al Davis launched into to a public attack on now ex Coach Tom Cable. He mentioned the Randy Hanson incident, the allegations of domestic abuse, and accused Cable of a lack of focus by flying friends in the night before road games.
It was the same tactic that Davis used against Lane Kiffin, an attempt to publicly discredit him and justify the decision to fire him. In Kiffinís case, I have no doubt it was justified. Second time around with Cable, it doesnít look anywhere near as convincing. Mr. Davis had every chance to fire Tom Cable before this season, and didnít, and now he tells the world how awful he was, Tom Cable on the other hand has made no public statement, and maintained a dignified silence, and then got named assistant Head Coach in Seattle.
But whatever you, me, or the Raiders think on the topic of Tom Cableís release (and there has been some real vitriol here), we need to move forward as a team and a fan base with Hue Jackson as the next Head Coach.
Looking outside the press conference, there are some reasons for optimism. For sheer continuity, and the lack of any other credible candidates, Hue Jackson was the best choice Al Davis could have made. In an encouraging development, a number of players expressed their support for the move, including Zach Miller and Nnamdi Asomugha who both spoke in favourably of Jackson and the future.
There had been a worry that many of the players who were free agents (and there are a lot) were so strong in their support of Tom Cable that there would be an exodus from Oaklandís roster in 2011. The fact that players like Miller and Asomugha are expressing some positivity about the future is a sign that this should not be the case.
Another good sign is that Hue Jackson has already shown that he is more politically aware than Cable when it comes to dealing with Mr. Davis. His publicly stated dissatisfaction with the 8-8 season was in stark contrast to Cableís Ďwe arenít losers anymoreí attitude, and far more in keeping with Al Davisís own personal code.
Jackson has also chosen his offensive coordinator with care. He hasnít made the same mistake as Cable, by accepting someone who is young and ambitious as his deputy. Once Jackson improved the offense last year, Cable was always going to be looking over his shoulder in regard to his job. Jackson has hired Al Saunders. Saunders has previously coordinated a lot of successful offenses throughout the league, but he is towards the end of his career at 64 and wonít be a head coaching candidate again. He was previously Head Coach of the San Diego Chargers in the eighties (86-88), and had a 17-22 record. He wonít be threat to Jackson.
The defensive coordinator has yet to be hired, and other coaching staff evaluations will no doubt continue.
So whatever the rights and wrongs of what happened last year, there is reason for us all to have some hope for the future, to unite behind Hue Jackson and move on.
Keep those e mails coming.
More Stories From Dave
Once Again in Oakland, Grass is Greener
Two Steps Forward, Three Steps Back
Raiders Are Back