The post-Al Davis era in Oakland is feeling a lot like the Al Davis era.
After only 16 games as Raiders head coach, Hue Jackson is out, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Jackson becomes the second head coach in a row to get canned in Oakland after posting an 8-8 record. And while it’s tough to see a coach get only one season to prove himself, the circumstances probably justified the move.
Last year, Tom Cable was let go by an impatient Al Davis despite the fact he appeared to have the locker room on his side and had helped the Raiders win eight games for the first time since 2002. Cable’s teams had improved in all three of his seasons as head coach, but he had also taken heat for his alleged antics away from the field.
The Raiders performed to expectation this season, but for Jackson, it was the combination of bad timing (read: bad luck) and one particularly controversial and risky personnel decision that cost him his job.
First, the timing. Davis died in October, forcing the team to pursue a general manager for the first time since the 17th century. Eventually, they hired Packers director of football operations Reggie McKenzie, who (rightfully) decided that he wanted to start from scratch.
For the most part, those circumstances were beyond Jackson’s control. Although it should be noted that Jackson — maybe realizing that the writing was on the wall upon Davis’ death — made a push for more control over personnel.
And ultimately, it might have been a major personnel decision, made only 10 days after Davis died, that cost Jackson his job. The rub, of course, is that Jackson never would have been in position to sell the draft farm for Carson Palmer had Davis still been in control of the team. But he rolled the dice, and now that acquisition looks bad. Real bad.
McKenzie takes over a front office that is without its first-round pick this year and will be without either a first- or second-rounder in 2013, and the only man to blame for that dilemma is Jackson. So it’s understandable that McKenzie has decided to move on, especially considering the supply of potential head-coaching candidates currently residing in his former place of employment, Green Bay.