Hue Jackson Fired: Could Kansas City Chiefs Gain an Offensive Coordinator?

Derek EstesCorrespondent IJanuary 10, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 01:  Head coach Hue Jackson of the Oakland Raiders walks a replay and decides not to challenge a play when the San Diego Chargers appeared to fumble the ball on a kick off in the fourth quarter at Coliseum on January 1, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The AFC West provided plenty of headlines last week.

Tim Tebow led the Denver Broncos to an upset overtime victory over the Steelers. The Chargers decided to stand pat with their Norv Turner and A.J. Smith, and the Chiefs confirmed Romeo Crennel as their head coach.

Then this afternoon, the Oakland Raiders made a major move. Four days into the job, general manager Reggie McKenzie fired his head coach, Hue Jackson.

Oakland's head coach position is no stranger to turnover; the last coach to last more than two years was Jon Gruden, who left in 2001 after four years. Tom Flores lasted six years in the 80s, but no one's stayed with the Raiders longer than that since John Madden.

Jackson was supposed to change that trend. Mild mannered compared to his predecessor Tom Cable, Jackson had a respectable coaching resume, recent success as Oakland's offensive coordinator in 2010 and just enough grit to appeal to Al Davis.

But for better or worse, these are no longer Davis' Raiders. And with Jackson as the remaining leader of the old guard, McKenzie couldn't keep him with the team; the spectre in the silver jumpsuit will be ever-present as is.

Jackson's sudden unemployment could pay huge dividends to the Kansas City Chiefs, though. Oakland fielded a solid offense before injuries to Jason Campbell and Darren McFadden hobbled the team. Jackson has experience capitalizing on shared backfield offenses with McFadden and Michael Bush, and excels at coaching receivers. Kansas City needs someone to continue working with Dwayne Bowe and Jonathan Baldwin

Jackson could likely also convince a player or two to come out to the Midwest. Kansas City could use a big, young back like Michael Bush next year.

The biggest knock on Jackson (aside from coaching the Chiefs' biggest rival) is Oakland's record-setting penalty mark this year. Kansas City had plenty of their own issues avoiding flags; Jackson will need to instill more discipline than his team showed for the Chiefs to be successful.

Crennel has plenty of choices to make as he builds a coaching staff and team capable of winning a Super Bowl, and he'll need a solid offensive coordinator to compliment his skill on defense.

Jackson might not be the absolute best choice out there, but the Chiefs could do far worse. Plus, winning with Oakland's jettisoned coach in the booth would only further fuel what is already the NFL's biggest rivalry.