This year, the Raiders were expecting playoffs come January. The team made great improvements in the offseason, the rest of the division was looking vulnerable and they had their easiest schedule in years.
This was enough to prompt Tom Cable to promise postseason play for the Raiders.
Unfortunately, with everything working in his favor, Tom Cable failed to deliver on his promise.
Now, with the end of another failed season approaching, whispers of Cable's demise are increasing. And one of the top candidates to replace him is offensive coordinator Hue Jackson. Actually, there have been whispers of Hue Jackson replacing Tom since the day Hue arrived in Oakland.
There are a number of reasons Hue Jackson is one of the top candidates to replace Tom Cable.
Hue Jackson's offensive philosophy revolves around the power running game and a vertical passing attack. His mentality is to bully the defense with the running game. He doesn't care if the defense knows exactly what their gonna do, they aren't going to stop it.
Unfortunately, the Raiders don't have the personnel, especially on the offensive line, to run this kind of offense. And it has showed occasionally with runs stuffed at the line of scrimmage.
The second part of his offensive style is the vertical passing game. Setting up the play-action and sending receivers on vertical routes taking strikes deep down the field.
As far as receivers go, the Raiders have the the perfect personnel to execute this kind of offense.
This team is two new starters on the offensive line away from being a perfect match to Hue Jackson's style of offense.
In order to be a successful coach in the NFL it is imperative that you have experience as a coordinator first.
Unlike Tom Cable, Hue Jackson has experience coaching nearly every aspect of the offense, including time as a running back coach, receiver coach, quarterback coach and offensive coordinator. As a matter of fact, Jackson's resume puts Tom Cable's to shame.
In 1996, Jackson was the offensive coordinator for the Cal Bears, the same team that Tom Cable was merely the offensive line coach for.
Jackson would then move on to coach the offense at USC for three years before coming to the NFL.
In his first stint in the NFL in 2001, he took a job as the Washington Redskins running back coach until 2003, when he would be promoted to interim offensive coordinator.
In 2004 he became the Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver coach. Under Jackson from 2004 to 2006, Chad Johnson and TJ Houshmandzadeh would have some of the best seasons of their respective careers.
In 2007, Jackson would get his first true shot as an offensive coordinator in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons. It would be short lived as the team would rank 23rd in total offense and the entire staff would be fired at the end of the year. This was also the Falcons' first year without Michael Vick.
Then in 2008, Hue would be called upon to develop rookie QB Joe Flacco. Under Jackson's tutelage, Joe Flacco would go on to complete over 60 percent of his passes throwing 35 TDs and 24 INTs.
Hue's work with the Raiders
In 2010, the Raider offense would improve notably under new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson. In 2009, the Raiders offense ranked 31st in both yardage and scoring. In 2010, Hue Jackson's first season with the Raiders, the Raiders would improve to 10th in yardage and seventh in scoring.
Additionally under Hue Jackson Raider stars Darren McFadden, Micheal Bush and Zach Miller would all have the most productive seasons of their careers. And FB Marcel Reece would have a breakout season. Before 2010 many were beginning to call Darren McFadden a bust, but now the critics have been silenced.
When asked if he was happy about the Raiders improvement Hue Jackson had this to say:
"No. Not pleased at all. We didn't win enough games, so I'm not pleased by any stretch of the imagination.
"When you don't make the playoffs and don't win your division there's nothing to feel good about," Jackson said.
Clearly Hue's work is not done, nor will he settle for mediocrity.
What Hue Jackson Could Bring To The Raiders as Head Coach
As a head coach, Hue Jackson could bring the improvement that he brought to the offense, to the team as a whole and the culture of the Oakland Raiders.
Jason Campbell and the Raiders offense would also benefit from continuity as the new OC would likely run the same offense that Jackson installed when he arrived in Oakland. The only thing that would change is the style of playcalling, and I'm sure Jackson would still keep limited playcalling power.
Jackson could also use connections from his days coaching with the Baltimore Ravens, Atlanta Falcons, Washington Redskins, Cincinnati Bengals, USC Trojans and Cal Bears. If given the power by Al Davis, Hue could attract premier coordinators, positional coaches and even premier free agents that he has worked with in the past like Chad Ochocinco, Jared Gaither and Troy Smith.
With Hue Jackson at head coach, the team as a whole would begin to reflect his character and finally become a bully. With Jackson at head coach, this team would finally be headed in the right direction.
Why Tom Cable Cable Shouldn't Be the Raiders Head Coach
All season, the Oakland Raiders have been hampered by Tom Cable's blunders and inexperience. Wasted timeouts, blown challenges, flip-flopping QBs and decisions to go for it on fourth down rather than punting or taking an easy three points.
Like I said earlier in order for a head coach to be successful in the NFL it is imperative that a coach have experience as a coordinator. In order to run an entire team, you first need to be able to successfully run an offense or a defense.
Take Mike Singletary, he made the jump from linebacker coach to head coach and failed because he had no experience as a coordinator. Tom Cable made a similar jump from O-line coach to head coach and is failing for the same reasons.
Sure the players are behind Tom Cable, but it is a coach's job to win games, not to be the players' friend.
The Raiders are a greatly talented team, yet have only been held back by Tom Cable's miscues and and mishandling of his power at head coach.
The team has reached its peak under Cable as he has taken the team as far as he can. In order for the team to grow, it needs to be taken over by someone with more experience and know-how.
As it stands right now, the best candidate is Hue Jackson.