After two straight losses to division foes, Hue Jackson is still adamant about running the franchise his way regardless of how Al Davis wanted the franchise to be run. If that means benching Kevin Boss, and subjugating Darrius Heyward-Bey to the fifth or sixth receiver, so be it. Hue is determined to have it his way—regardless of the consequences.
Over the last two games we have seen Hue’s way. We have seen losses to division opponents for the first time since JaMarcus Russell was leading the charge. We have seen a divide in the locker room for the first time in years. We have seen the alienation of key players.
But if we see a third straight loss, we will see the ship sinking with Hue at the helm. We will see everything that Al put together crumble like all great empires.
"I'm comfortable with the entire playbook, comfortable with the guys,” Palmer said before the Denver game. But Palmer may not be comfortable with Boss and Heyward-Bey.
When Hue Jackson was confronted about the issue, he responded, “That’s not any reflection toward Kevin Boss or Darrius Heyward-Bey. It’s just sometimes those are the circumstances that happen when you have players at those positions."
But that’s not the way Heyward Bey saw it, which prompted him to storm out of the locker room, refusing interviews or Jackson’s post-game speech.
When Jackson was asked by Murph and Mac of KNBR in San Francisco about the questionable acquisitions, particularly that of TJ Houshmandzadeh, and the benching of Heyward Bey and Boss—Jackson responded, “I don’t worry about what everyone else is saying.” Well Hue, I remember what Al Davis was saying about bringing in Houshmandzadeh, no, emphatically no!
"So at that time Derek was there, we took Derek; I wanted T.J. Hey like I told you—when Coach makes a decision, he made it.”
It’s obvious that despite the tears and homage paid to Coach Davis by Hue Jackson—Hue has a different vision for the Raiders. Hue has decided that the vision of late owner Al Davis was not the vision that Hue envisioned. No more Jason Campbell, DHB, Boss and Hagan—Hue wants his guys on the field which was evident on Sunday against the Broncos.
Hue has decided that if the ship sails or sinks it will be by his accord, on his terms, and with his guys. And with Al Davis out of the way, Hue has the power to transform the Raiders into his team.
Jackson swore absolute fealty to Al Davis and every iota of Al’s philosophy while Jackson was campaigning for the job (while Cable was still HC), and while Al was alive.
Then Davis passed away and Jackson still swore total fealty…BUT very quickly started moving hard from many of Davis’ core beliefs.
Davis didn’t want T.J. Houshmandzadeh; Jackson signed his old Bengals WR. Davis didn’t like blitzing; the Raiders now blitz under Jackson.
Davis loved Darius Heyward-Bey and signed Kevin Boss; in the last loss to Denver, DHB and Boss were bypassed for other options.
Jackson said he was totally committed to Jason Campbell until about two minutes after Campbell was hurt, then gave up the team’s future to grab after Carson Palmer, who most suspect Jackson really wanted all along.
Then Carson Palmer spouts out about his Raider teammates on Tuesday: “They want to be good and they want to be good now.” Update, they are good and they were a winning team before you arrived.
Palmer continued: “I'm extremely excited about what we can be. I think the future is bright." And I respond, the Raiders were 4-2 before you arrived. The Raiders were 7-0 against AFC West teams before you arrived. And you are 0-2 against divisional rivals. As Al Davis would say, “Just Win Baby.”
Don’t talk about it—be about it.
Nyhlaa Black of Sports Junkie summed it up this way:
What was once a perception of “Just win, baby!” has become centered on the advancement of Palmer…
It would only admit what a lot of the media felt was an overly compensated exchange for an over-the-hill QB. The franchise would have to tuck its tail…
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