Oakland Raiders: This Team Cannot Afford To Let Hue Jackson Go

Ramone BrownSenior Writer IJanuary 4, 2011

Under Hue Jackson The Raiders offense improved from 31st in scoring to 6th in scoring
Under Hue Jackson The Raiders offense improved from 31st in scoring to 6th in scoring

Two days into the offseason and rumors about the coaching staff are flying. We've heard stories suggesting the Raiders will not retain Tom Cable, that Hue Jackson will be promoted to head coach and even that Josh McDaniels could be the Raiders next coach.

Not just rumors but news as well, terrible news.

Only two days into the offseason and the San Francisco 49ers are already requesting to interview the Raiders' offensive coordinator Hue Jackson for the opening at head coach across the bay.

Upon coming to the Raiders, Hue said, "I want to be a head coach at some point and won't necessarily spurn any overtures from other teams."

Do not underestimate the brilliance of Hue Jackson.

He inherited an offense that ranked 31st in total yards and 31st in points scored. After just one year under Jacksons' guide, this team improved to sixth in total points and ninth in total yardage. Also under Hue Jackson, the Raiders' former first round draft pick, Darren McFadden, shed his bust label with a break out season.

If Hue Jackson left, it would destroy all progress made on offense and the Raiders cannot afford to let that happen. The system and playbook he brought in would leave with him. And the Raiders would have to hire someone else who would would bring in a new playbook, a new coaching style and a new play-calling style.

All continuity on offense would be lost.

Jackson may very well be playing the system, and playing it well. Beingย African American, Hue Jackson will be effected by the Rooney Rule. Every team looking to replace any coach on their staff is forced to interview at least one minority for the job.

Name a better minority offensive minded coach that will be available this offseason.

You can't, though I can name two on defense: Ron Rivera, the Chargers' defensive coordinator and Leslie Frazier, the Vikings' interim Head Coach and former defensive coordinator.

Mark my words, nearly every team looking for an offensive coordinator will interview Hue Jackson, if only to fulfill the Rooney Rule. And every team looking for a defensive coordinator will interview Ron Rivera. Because of the Rooney Rule, these three coaches will be interviewed by nearly every team in the NFLย that hasย coaching vacancies.

There is no denying it, teams showing early interest in Hue only increases his value. This will force the Raiders' hand and limit their choices.

The Raiders could just let Hue Jackson walk, the sad truth is Hues' contract with the Raiders is up, as is Tom Cable's. But like I said, this would only hurt the team. If he left, Jason Campbell and the offense would have to learn yet another offense.

In this case, losing the offensive coordinator may very well be worse than losing the head coach.

Who knows, maybe it was in the Raiders' plans to let the entire staff go from the beginning?

The Raiders' second option is promoting Hue Jackson to head coach. In this case, Tom Cable would not be coming back as the Raiders head coach. In essence, he would be a victim of the Rooney Rule.

Many have speculated that this would eventually happen since the day that Hue Jackson arrived in Oakland.

The Raiders' final option is over-bidding for Hue's services at offensive coordinator, possibly making him the highest paid offensive coordinator in the league. This is assuming money could deter Hue from reaching his goal of NFL head coach.

The Denver Broncos are also rumored to be interested in Hue Jackson. Just think how painful it would be for Raider fans to watch Hue Jackson coach for a division rival or for the 49ers just across the bay bridge.

Currently, no one on the Raiders staff is under contract. They need to ask themselves one question.

Who would they rather lose, Tom Cable or offensive coordinator and possible future head coach Hue Jackson?


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