Jackson in no-lose situation


We have no idea if Hue Jackson is capable of reversing the fortunes of the Raiders offense and making an NFL quarterback out of JaMarcus Russell.

Yet there’s a perception out there that Jackson is crazy for leaving Baltimore for Oakland and should have waited for a better opportunity to open up as a coordinator elsewhere. He was a finalist and a favorite last year when Mike Singletary surprisingly hired Jimmy Raye. The Bears had scheduled an interview before Jackson decided to come to Oakland.

As much as the Raiders are derided nationally, and justifiably so considering their seven-year free fall, the organization doesn’t kill coaches as much as it makes them.

Jackson can’t lose. If the offense struggles and Jackson is out after a year or three, he’s still a 40-something head coach, one that had the misfortune of being saddled with Russell and working for an owner and organization seen as bizarre and dysfunctional.

Let’s say the opposite occurs. The Raiders offense suddenly begins to put touchdowns on the board. They run better, they pass better. Whether Russell is at the helm or not, if the Raiders get to .500 and beyond, Jackson becomes a hot commodity. If he actually turns Russell around, he’s a miracle worker.

Jackson would be a young, minority candidate to be included on the short list of every NFL team making a head coaching change. That’s getting a foot into a lot of doors.

In that scenario, Al Davis would be helpless to prevent Jackson from accepting a promotion elsewhere, and you know what comes next. Davis’ stated preference is to have a head coach to call the plays, and assuming Cable lasts through the year, a winning season with a strong offense would likely result in Jackson getting elevated so he doesn’t go somewhere else.

Based on how things have gone in Oakland since 1995 other than the three year oasis from 2000 through 2002, it sounds like pure fantasy, which it very well may be.

So in the event of the continued downward spiral, assuming Jackson has committed career suicide by coming to Oakland would be a mistake.

Mike White joined Dick Vermeil in St. Louis and got a Super Bowl ring as an assistant head coach.

Joe Bugel resumed his career as one of the most successful offensive line coaches in the game with San Diego and Washington.

Jon Gruden got a huge raise and won a Super Bowl after being dealt to Tampa Bay.

Bill Callahan landed one of the plum jobs in college football at Nebraska, and is the right-hand man for Rex Ryan with the New York Jets, one of the most respected assistant coaches in football.

Norv Turner, AFC West doormat in Oakland, dominates it as the Chargers head coach after spending a year in San Francisco as offensive coordinator.

Lane Kiffin went 5-15, was all but hanged in public square and got the Tennessee and USC jobs in consecutive seasons.

The only coach whose career suffered was Shell, who had been out of the game more than a decade.

Jackson isn’t the Raiders head coach, but he’s the most splashy hire of an assistant in recent memory and his career arc won’t be affected no matter how the Raiders fare. If he wins, he wins big. If he loses, he still wins.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Dude

    Good for you Len, good for you. Thanks for sharing.
    RaiderO isnt really a moron, just a lil silly. Priest is a moron, an idiot, a buffoon, a joke, a ignoramous……

  • Shows how slow ya are, “Charged up to wonder yet again what the hell happened”

    I mean, how hard is it?
    You state your friend took the pic, but then you post the link showing it’s from a city of boston website.

    You state you were there, hugging Alyssa..then state you’re in SD.

    But hey, don’t let me diffuse you being massively impressed with what you perceive as remarkable deducing ability…I’m all that, and more.

    No…really 🙂

  • DKnight007

    # Charged Up for Superbowl Victory Says:
    January 28th, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    We have lost in the playoffs. But, it gives us something to look forward to next year. You, on the other hand, have nothing to look forward to but another 11 loss season. Plus, we have hotter women.

    Hotter women that are sluts and coke heads from PB who carry diseases. LOL

  • RaiderLen

    Dude, Thanks for sharing as well.

    We all have opinions.It’s ammusing to witness the aggitation that’s created amongnst people that all seem to want the same thing. A winning Raider Football Team
    Again, Thanks for Sharing.

  • Dude


    Agree with you on most of the guys on here nut Priest is out of bounds rediculous. Many believe he either A) Works for the Raiders or B) Is a full on drunkard.

    My vote….. C) All of the above

  • DKnight007

    If Mike Iupati has the feet to play LT or RT the Raiders should look to pick him at #8.

    He would be a shoe in to start at RG from the beginning without a doubt.

  • RaiderLen

    Dude, Priest is way on the fringe of the consensus, no doubt.

    That’s OK. Remember though that the perspective of Preist makes/enables you to think.

    That in my opinion has value. 🙂

  • RaiderLen

    I think Chris in NY has been advocating Iupati in a trade down.

    From what I’ve read, I’d love to see Him in Raider gear.

    But not at #8

  • RaiderLen

    New post

  • DKnight007

    Vladimir Ducasse is going to be another beat of a OT in the NFL. I would rate him higher than Williams.

  • YoungAmerican

    Our most glaring needs are on the O-line, for sure. We’ve needed another OT since the Gallery experiment went tits-up. I mean, we’ve been starting Cornell freaking Green at RT. It can’t get much worse.

    Cooper Carlisle has been disappointing, too. Maybe having a better RT will help him, but I wouldn’t be opposed to the Raiders bring in another interior offensive lineman (either a C or G), but that might be better left for free agency if we go OT in the draft.

    Still, as much as we need O-line help, I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing our first round pick be Rolando McClain. Big MLB, and a playmaker. Re-sign Howard, keep Trevor Scott playing SLB, and that should help our run defense.

    The draft is also deep at the DT position, but something tells me that Al is happy to franchise Seymour, give Shaughnessy (or Ellis if he’s back) the other DE spot, and let Kelly, Warren, and Dez Bryant (with occasional cameos by Seymour) fight it out on the inside under the new D-line coach.

    While I have my doubts that the Raiders can develop a young QB, with a new offensive coordinator and Paul Hackett (presumably) still being the QB coach, Dan LeFevour and Tony Pike could both be intriguing options if they’re still around in the 3rd round or so.

    What a lot of people aren’t talking about, however, is the glaring lack of depth at CB. With any luck the whole Stanford Routt debacle has finally come to an end. I’d like to see the Raiders bring in a young corner to play the nickel slot, maybe even spell Chris Johnson on some downs. Lito Sheppard is a free agent and might be a decent pickup, but the knock on him has always been his inconsistent tackling, and who knows if he’s physical enough to play corner in this particular defensive scheme. Still, it seems like anything would be better than Routt and Jonothan Holland being our only backup CBs.

  • YoungAmerican

    … and by “Dez Bryant” I meant Desmond Bryant.