Hue Jackson: 10 Predictions About His Tenure As Oakland Raiders Head Coach
Every team in the NFL now has a head coach. The Oakland Raiders made the long-rumored move of promoting offensive coordinator Hue Jackson.
This move had been reported by sources from the day the Raiders announced they would not be retaining Tom Cable. This move had also been speculated since Al Davis hired Jackson last offseason and brought him in to turn the offense around.
Jackson did just that. The Raiders went from 31st in total offense in 2009 to 10th in 2010, and Jackson has been rewarded with his first head coaching opportunity.
Here are some predictions about what his tenure will hold.
No. 10: Jackson Will Have a Tenure Worth Calling a Tenure
Not since Jon Gruden was traded to Tampa Bay in 2002 have the Raiders had a head coach last longer than two full seasons. Jackson is going to last longer than that.
Jackson has already proven he knows how to work with Davis. He has earned himself at least a little leeway with his owner by having a successful run as offensive coordinator, and Davis handpicked him when he brought him to the organization.
Prediction: Jackson will have longest Raider tenure since Gruden.
No. 9: Silver and Black and...Yellow
The Raiders are notoriously one of the most penalized teams in the league. It doesn't seem to matter who the players are, who the coaches are or who the refs are. They just draw penalties—lots of 'em.
I have a theory on this.
The Raiders averaged 79.8 penalty yards per game. That's over 12 yards per game higher than the next closest team. Against the Raiders, teams averaged 72.6 penalty yards per game. That's over seven yards more than any other team.
The refs just throw flags more in Raiders games. They always have, and they always will. The Raiders can certainly lower their near record-breaking 2010 totals, but don't expect them to climb from the bottom of the barrel.
Prediction: The Raiders will remain among the most penalized teams.
No. 8: A Fantasy Coach
Darren McFadden went from bust to stud in Hue Jackson's offense. McFadden had two of the top 10 highest-scoring fantasy weeks of the year.
Jackson has a run first philosophy, and he knows how to put his backs in a position to succeed. Jackson added power blocking run plays in the Raiders' zone blocking system for McFadden, and McFadden excelled.
McFadden missed three games this season. In the three games he missed, Michael Bush started and rushed for over 100 yards. Bush found most of his success in the zone blocking plays.
Prediction: Start Jackson's RB in your fantasy league.
No. 7: Jackson Will Not Get All of His Money
Al Davis doesn't like to pay coaches. He doesn't sign them to big contracts to begin with, and he seldom pays them what their contract says they are owed.
You need look no further than the last two coaches for evidence of this. Tom Cable was reportedly fined $120,000 by Davis this season. Davis also withheld the remainder of Lane Kiffin's salary after he was fired. Davis overhead-projected he was fired with cause, and a court sided with him.
Prediction: Hue will not receive the full value of his contract.
No. 6: Bringing Back the Franchise
Much has been made out of Nnamdi Asomugha becoming a free agent. Speculation runs rampant as to where he will land next season.
Asomugha was not thrilled with Cable being let go, but he also has tremendous respect for Jackson. Jackson routinely and playfully called out Nnam and challenged him in practices, and Nnam returned the trash talk. This hire and Al's big check will make his free agent talk much ado about nothing.
Prediction: Nnamdi Asomugha will re-sign with the Raiders.
No. 5: Movin' on Up
As stated earlier, Al Davis does not pay his coaches top dollar. He also does not offer them full control of the roster. This is why Jon Gruden moved on, and this is why Jackson will do the same.
Jackson is a high-energy guy, the players like him, he has had success everywhere he has been and he is going to be a sought-after coaching commodity in a few years. Like most coaches, Jackson will want to buy the ingredients to the dinner he is cooking.
Prediction: Jackson will leave the Raiders for a higher-paying job with more team control.
No. 4: "Action" Jackson
This one is too obvious to not happen. Jackson is a fiery guy. Raider Nation likes to give its coaches nicknames. Carl Weathers is a former Raider. This seems like a done deal to me.
Prediction: Action is going to precede Jackson more often than Hue.
No. 3: Goin' Deep
Al Davis has always been in love with the deep ball. This is a big part of the reason why he also picked Jackson to run the offense.
Hue Jackson is a run first coach. He likes to run play action passes off the run and hit for big gainers. The Raiders finished eighth in yards per completion this year, and that number is only going to increase as they get the system clicking.
And we all know the Raiders are going to have the speed to go deep.
Prediction: The Raiders will have a year, under Jackson, where they lead the NFL in yards per completion.
No. 2: The Jackson Acceptance Speech
The Raiders were close to making the playoffs this year. They are a young team, and they finished the season with some positive momentum. They are undergoing a coaching change, but their offensive system and overall identity will remain the same as last year.
They are poised to make some noise next year, and when they do, Jackson will get some accolades.
Prediction: Jackson will win the 2011 Coach of the Year Award.
No. 1: Return to the Promised Land
The Raiders made a three-game improvement in 2010, and they did so by sweeping their division. They did this largely based on the improvements Jackson made to the offense.
Jackson has the respect of the players, and the Raiders are a young team. They had one of the most productive and deepest 2010 draft classes, and they are poised to improve.
Prediction: Jackson will lead the Raiders back to at least the AFC Championship Game.