Perhaps Al Davis was just reminding everybody who was boss of the Oakland Raiders by keeping offensive coordinator Hue Jackson waiting a week before naming him head coach. Davis did what everyone expected him to do by promoting Jackson Monday evening. Jackson will be formally introduced to the media today.
Davis was uncharacteristically flowery in his press release. ”The fire in Hue will set a flame that will burn for a long time in the hearts and minds of the Raider football team and the Raider Nation.”
Redskins fans will remember Jackson as the offensive coordinator in Steve Spurrier’s last year, 2003. It was a forgettable season, but we would be wrong to be dismissive of Jackson’s role in that. Spurrier gave every indication when hired that he only wished to run the offense, specifically the passing game. Jackson was part of a core of NFL coaches Dan Snyder brought in to support Spurrier.
In the end, Spurrier felt that being NFL-ized was not for him and he left the ‘Skins at the end of the season.
Jackson found assistant coaching roles with the Cincinnati Bengals under former Redskins defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis, followed by time on the staff of Atlanta and Baltimore before being named offensive coordinator for the Raiders last year. Oakland finished the season as the 10th ranked offense.
Oakland was Jackson’s third stint as offensive coordinator. He was named to the same role with Atlanta in 2007 where, as with the Redskins, he was expected to bring the NFL perspective for a college coach moving up to the pros.
The Falcons resigned themselves to the thought that Michael Vick would not adapt to a pro style offense. They hired Bobby Petrino away from Louisville with hopes that he and Jackson could install and offense more suited to Vick. News of Vick’s involvement in an interstate dog-fighting gambling ring that he funded was only beginning to emerge. Petrino quit the Vick-less Falcons for Arkansas 13 games into the season. Jackson was swept away after a disastrous season.
Jackson’s offense always featured a dominant running attack. Stephen Davis fit the bill in 2002, but not in 2003 when Spurrier and Snyder brought in Trung Canidate. Jackson was the Redskins running back coach in ’02. He has a marvelous back to build around in Darren McFadden. QB Jason Campbell speaks highly of Jackson. FOX Sports Jay Glazer points out that Campbell gets a second season in the same offensive system with Jackson.
Campbell has had two years in the same system only once in his career going back to Auburn. That was the 2008-2009 season under Jim Zorn. Campbell and Jackson are in the same environment they were in with Washington. The owner churned through head coaches, two of whom, Mike Shanahan and Jon Gruden, have won Super Bowls else where. The Raiders line is suspect and the receiving corps is more questionable than the Redskins.
Washington finished the season with the eighth best passing offense. Oakland ranked 23rd. Unlike Washington, the Raiders found ways to score–410 points compared to the Redskins 302. Campbell finished the season with a QB rating of 84.5, higher than Donovan McNabb or Rex Grossman.
Raiders.com – Oakland Raiders Name Hue Jackson Head Coach
Redskins Hog Heaven – How Hue Jackson NFL-ized Steve Spurrier And What Might Have Been For The Redskins
Thoughts From The Dark Side – It’s official: Hue’s the man in Oakland