Oakland Raiders: Was Hue Jackson To Blame For Raiders Struggling Offensive Line?

Ramone BrownSenior Writer IJanuary 21, 2011

Among Raider fans, there seems to be a common trend: Crediting Hue Jackson for everything positive that happened in 2010 while blaming Tom Cable for everything negative.

I've taken part in arguments suggesting that Hue Jackson was responsible for not only the improvement on offense, but running JaMarcus Russell out of town, Darren McFadden shedding the bust label and an improved defense.

At the same time I've argued Tom Cable was responsible for the blown challenges, wasted timeouts, the quarterback controversy and the porous offensive line.

Though I still believe Hue Jackson is deserving for the praise he was given, I have also decided he deserves some blame for the Raiders struggles in 2010.

For one Hue Jackson was responsible for the Raiders inefficiencies in the red zone. He admitted as much in the recent press conference and acknowledged that it needs to be fixed.

Hue Jackson also shares responsibility in the quarterback controversy. As Hue took credit for benching Jason Campbell for Bruce Gradkowski at halftime of the Rams game. But Tom Cable only added to the controversy by making the decision to start a healthy Gradkowski after the bye week.

Then there's the offensive line. Many Raider fans, even myself, have suggested that Tom Cable was responsible for the struggles on the offensive line because he was the former offensive line coach and supposed guru. While others argued that Tom Cable was no longer coaching the offensive line and was no longer responsible for the offensive line.

Reality is Hue Jackson was responsible for the struggles on the o-line and in turn responsible for high sack count and injuries to the QBs. As offensive coordinator, Hue Jackson was not only responsible for the offense as a whole, but it was his decision to make the transition from a zone-blocking scheme to a man or power-blocking scheme.

Likely transitioning and learning a new scheme on the fly contributed to many of the struggles on the offensive line. I suspect many of the sacks the Raiders gave up were do to mental errors on the O-line because of the new scheme. This explains why their performance improved as the year went on and they became more accustomed to the new scheme.

Not only were the players hampered by the transition, but so were the coaches, both Jim Michalczik and Chris Morgan(Tom Cable as well) were students of the zone-blocking scheme, and not prepared to teach power-blocking at the NFL level.

Regardless of whether or not Hue's decision to implement implement power-blocking hurt the team, it was a move that had to be made. Unlike Tom Cable, Al Davis isn't a firm believer in zone blocking and it was doing nothing but holding us back.

Hell, zone blocking isn't even what I would call the Raider way. The Raider way is about being better than the guy lined up across from you, not about using cut blocks, angles and deceit to gain an upper hand.

The Raider way is about being a bully, and that is exactly what Hue Jackson had in mind when he replaced Tom Cables zone-blocking scheme with a power-blocking scheme.

To quote Hue Jackson:

"What I'm most excited about is the environment that is starting to be created here. The process is in place. We're gonna create an environment for out players to be great..."

That process started when the Raiders re-implemented power-blocking into the offense.