By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Saturday, January 7th, 2012 at 1:53 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Didn’t see the ESPN report where Chris Mortensen speculated Hue Jackson could be moved aside by new general manager Reggie McKenzie in favor of Green Bay defensive assistant Winston Moss. It was picked up by Profootballtalk.com and apparently was said over the air because ESPN hasn’t seen fit to give it a headline on its Web site.
The PFT headline reads “Reggie McKenzie will have the power to fire Hue Jackson” . . . of course he does. McKenzie doesn’t take the job otherwise. He has been a candidate for GM before and it was a matter of time before he got hired. There’s no way he accepts any job without the ability to hire and/or fire his coach.
The fact is, once McKenzie came aboard, Jackson was essentially re-interviewing for the job he got a year ago. While GMs like the idea of hiring their own guy, don’t discount the fact that Jackson has some distinct advantages over an outside candidate and McKenzie knows it. He’s passionate about the organization, knows the roster and already has been implementing a system of offense for the past two years.
He already started the process of rebuilding it for Carson Palmer, who will be the quarterback for the foreseeable future.
It’s just as easy to speculate Jackson will be retained as it is to assume he’ll be dismissed. He’s got one of 32 NFL head coaching jobs, and it’s not like he’ll be in great demand for another if he butts heads with McKenzie over power. It’s more likely he’ll get on board with McKenzie and relish the opportunity to coach the team and work with someone who will rebuild the infrastructure of the organization.
Bottom line is it’s McKenzie’s call, but a lot of this is up to Jackson and his willingness to work with the general manager rather than feel he has been stripped of power. Following the Green Bay model, McKenzie will stay out of Jackson’s way when it comes to on-field stuff. Mike McCarthy has input with the Packers but ultimately it’s Ted Thompson’s call when it comes to player acquisition, the draft, contracts, etc.
As much as Jackson was willing to take on more within the organization, as he said following the season-ending loss to the Chargers, the McKenzie hiring could be the best thing that could have happened for his career. It’d be better for the organization if McKenzie gives Jackson at least a year to maintain a semblance of continuity unless he thinks they simply can’t work together.
BROWN A FINALIST
Will the third time be a charm for Hall of Fame finalist Tim Brown?
The guess here is no, simply because from what I’ve gleaned from talking to people involved in that process is that numbers for wide receivers don’t carry enough weight because the game changed so dramatically to favor the pass. Without a signature moment in a Super Bowl or having played for more winning teams, it’ll be a tough go for Brown.