By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Wednesday, January 27th, 2010 at 2:08 pm in Oakland Raiders.
There are worse things than working for the Raiders.
Like the Bears, for instance.
Check out this column by Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times, who can’t believe the Chicago Bears have sunk so low that Hue Jackson turned down a chance to interview to be the offensive coordinator of a team quarterbacked by Jay Cutler and instead went to work coaching JaMarcus Russell.
For all that’s gone wrong with the franchise in recent years, it’s good to know Al Davis still has the ability to close a deal.
Jackson has a monumental task in front of him. Getting Russell on the right path is only part of it. He has two other premium draft picks in Darren McFadden and Darrius Heyward-Bey who have fallen below expectations, Heyward-Bey admittedly only for a single rookie season.
There is plenty to sort out, and not just in terms of personnel. Considering Jackson said he spent most of his time talking to Davis, it’s clear he’s been handed the keys to the offense. Assuming Tom Cable remains on board, something the Raiders simply can’t bring themselves to say in the same way they did with Rob Ryan a year ago, the lines of responsibility must be clear.
Who decides to go for it on fourth-and-1? Is Cable in charge of clock management, or is Jackson?
Who breaks down practice reps for the offense and selects the starters?
Ordnarily, that’s the job of the head coach, with input from the offensive coordinator.
But these are the Raiders, and job descriptions and titles can be extremely vague. You’d think all this was sorted out during the interview process, but the Raiders don’t always operate that way. Davis gets the players and coaches he likes, puts them together, and figures they’ll work it out. Occasional conflict is a natural part of the process.
Considering the problems the Raiders had on offense last year, entrusting it to a new face, presumably one who can bring in some energy and enthusiasm, is a good thing.
However it works out, training camp just got a lot more interesting.
Heading over to San Francisco in awhile for a guest spot on “Chronicle Live,” unless they wise up find someone else . . .