"I can't go through another head coach".
The above comment was made by Oakland Raiders, Hall of Fame kicker, Shane Lechler. Shane Lechler has already played under six head coaches in a decade and you have to wonder how the rest of the players feel since the release of former head coach Tom Cable.
Shane Lechler went on to further comment that the release could affect the team's ability to retain free agents OL Robert Gallery and RB Michael Bush.
This is not good news the Silver and Black. In fact, it disrupts the positive spirits of a team, that under coach Tom Cable, had swept their AFC West rivals. 2010 had also marked the first regular season since 2002 that the Oakland Raiders posted a non-losing regular season.
So which direction will the Oakland Raiders head in the 2011 season.? At this point it appears that Hue Jackson will "clench" the Head Coaching position in Oakland and this is speculation based on the recent firing of Tom Cable. Al Davis does not normally fire a coach unless he has someone in mind and Hue Jackson appears to have come to the team knowing that he had a shot at the job.
Tom Cable was an excellent coach and as Shane Lechler mentioned he pushed "hard nosed' football much like that of the great John Madden who wanted the opponents to know that they had played against a tough team.
This season its pretty obvious that the defense was the core and heart of this team. It was their hard rushing and QB hurrying that was able to get the ball back into the hands of Jason Campbell and Darren McFadden.
The Oakland Raiders are definitely heading towards the title of "tough and mean' that made them the legends they are today. There are still holes in the defense and plenty of costly mistakes. It should be noted that although the team dominated the AFC West 6-0 they played horribly against the Colt, the 49ers and the Miami Dolphins. Hue Jackson was the offense coordinator, so what happened in those games. Why couldn't the Raiders defeat teams outside the AFC West division?
There is definitely room for improvement and if Hue Jackson is to be the next head coach ( I was sure he got the job, but I guess its still open) can he stop the Oakland Raiders from making mistakes that hurt the team? One prime example was the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, where the final punt resulted in a kick return the killed the Raiders. Blame it on Special teams?
Based on the remarks of the millions of Oakland Raider loyal fans, there was sudden shock at Tom Cables firing. However, there's no use in crying over spilled milk. It is what it is.
Al Davis has made great judgments in the past by drafting and signing a new lineup of defensive/offensive players. Yeah, offensively JaMarcus Russell was a bust as was Javon Walker but overall, look at this seasons team, not bad at all. The offense is actually scoring instead of relying on the foot of Sebastian Janikowski.
All the fans and players can do is hope that an improved play calling coach will take the team farther than they went this season. Its great that this young team played as a unit. One can only hope that the new coach for the Oakland Raiders will help the team stay bonded as they were this season and make the playoffs in 2011.
Hue Jacksons role this season was a plus as the offense looked much more improved but QB Jason Campbell at this point is an average QB. The running of Darren McFadden and Michael Bush has set this team in the winning aisle. Michael Bush is a free agent this season and lets hope that Shane Lechlers statement wasn't fact because Michael Bush compliments Darren McFadden.
The weak link for the Oakland Raiders by far is the receiving corp. Darius Heyward Bey was not worth the first round last season. In fact, as I have mentioned before, it would not hurt the team to release and replace both he and Chaz Schilens and with free agency veterans or even WRs from next seasons draft. Jacoby Ford should also be given Darius Heyward Beys contract and vice versa.
Lastly, is the stability at management. Shane Lechler is obviously tired of the "musical chairs" head coaching dance. Why couldn't Al Davis answer his phone calls and let him know what was going on? Isn't it worth answering or explaining what is happening to keep the best punter in the NFL? Wouldn't he have done it for Tim Brown? Both have a lot of time devoted in the Silver and Black.
It has been rumored that Al Davis has an open line of communication with his players so what happened with Lechler? Shane Lechler hasn't been released just yet and every morning one can simply hope that the Oakland Raiders will do there best to keep Lechler and make him happy in Oaktown.
Seriously, every time the Raiders release a player (or coach) of this caliber we end up paying for it in future games i.e. Superbowl against former coach Jon Gruden, when Jeff Jaeger defeated us, etc.
If the Oakland Raiders are to have even a minute chance at Superbowl contention, they are going to need a coach that knows the players and has been there for at least a few years. I doubt Hue Jackson or any other coach will be able to come in and get the Superbowl win next season. It would be a gift from the Gods of Olympus, but at this point, its a tough call.
Unless of course its Jon Gruden who in his first season with the Tampa Buccaneers to the Superbowl and defeated the Oakland Raiders. That is a rare scenario. In fact, it took Jon Gruden a couple of years to get the Raiders to playoff contention. In his first two seasons, Jon Gruden posted an 8-8 (sound familiar) record then the following three years he was able to take the division.
Well Al Davis has made his decision and for the loyal fans out there its pretty normal as Al Davis has runs the Oakland Raiders his own special way.
Regardless of who is coaching the Oakland Raiders next season, the fans will be there to support the team and lets hope that Al Davis gets this team to the Super Bowl before Jerry Jones gets his Dallas Cowboys there. The Oakland Raiders are the true, "Americas Team". Go Raiders and please keep Shane Lechler.