Reggie McKenzie wasted no time getting acclimated to his new role as general manager of the Oakland Raiders, swiftly making a decision to fire coach Hue Jackson after finishing 8-8 in his first season, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Many will call the move controversial, especially given the progress of the offense during the past two years under Jackson's guidance. Ultimately, this was the right move for the organization after Coach Jackson made several critical errors during the final stretch of the season in which the Raiders failed to make the playoffs for the ninth straight year, which is the second-longest drought in the NFL.
Coach Jackson lost the locker room and the respect of his players after failing to discipline the often-troubled and disappointing first-round draft pick Rolando McClain following an incident where he allegedly threatened someone's life and discharged a firearm inches away from the person's head.
McClain was supposed to be home in Decatur, AL for a relative's funeral, when the incident occurred. He proceeded to miss the entire week of practice leading up to the Dolphins game, only to meet the team in Miami and start in what ultimately ended up being a blowout by the hometown Miami Dolphins.
This was the beginning of the end for an extremely talented, yet remarkably underachieving team that seemed to quit after the Miami game.
Coach Jackson went on to blame anyone and everyone, including his defensive assistants and players. This is not the Raider way, and with John Madden advising Amy Trask and Mark Davis, you knew it would only be a matter of time until Hue was gone.
Rich Gannon said on Sirius NFL Radio today that he believes the Oakland job is the one job that could pull Jon Gruden from the broadcasting booth. He also stated that Madden has a great relationship with Jon Gruden and could be the one to get him to come back to Oakland.
Winston Moss would be an excellent candidate for defensive coordinator, and could be instrumental in making the switch to a 3-4 defense so that we may salvage what little use Rolando McClain may have to justify the first-round pick that was used on him.
McClain is clearly out of place and overmatched as the sole MIKE 'backer in a 4-3 scheme, and if Moss or another 3-4 candidate are not brought in, look for them to try to get rid of McClain.
Also, on the horizon...look for the Raiders to try to trade Carson Palmer for a 2012 second- and third-round pick, and watch for the arrival of Matt Flynn by April.
If Gannon's speculation comes true, Jon Gruden could be on the way folks. Either way, the rebuilding of the Raiders has officially begun. Hail Reggie!
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