According to several reports, Baltimore Ravens Quarterbacks coach Hue Jackson will be the Oakland Raiders new Offensive Coordinator. NFL.com reports that the deal is for three years. Jackson has confirmed the hiring to the Baltimore Sun. He told Raven.com that he would call the plays.
Jerry McDonald of the Contra Costa Times reports Paul Hackett did not travel with the rest of the coaching staff to Mobile for the Senior Bowl and there was talk late in the season of Davis displeasure with Hackett’s blunt assessments of JaMarcus Russell.
There are several key things to take from this hiring/potential firing:
1) The three-year deal will make him coach with longest contract term on the team. If Cable should start slow, Davis wouldn’t hesitate to go with Jackson.
2) Hue Jackson has been credited with three major accomplishments a) as OC, turned Stephen Davis into 1000+ yard rusher b)as WR coach, turned Housh and Ochocinco into 1000+ yard WR c) as QB coach, developed a very raw Joe Flacco into a starting caliber QB and d) also developed Carson Palmer at USC.
3) JaMarcus is going to be given every opportunity to win the job back. I don’t think it will be given to him, but he will have the opportunity if he listens to Hue and starts to improve his work ethic. Could be a big “IF.”
4) If Paul Hackett is indeed out, I wouldn’t expect Bruce Gradkowski to return. Gradkowski was/and is a Hackett guy.
Here are a couple quotes and notes from Hue Jackson in regards to playing the QB position from a Baltimore Sun article by Jamison Hensley.
“He’s doing everything in his power to give himself a chance,” Hue Jackson said of Joe Flacco his rookie year. “And that’s the kind of guy we were looking for – a guy willing to do whatever it takes to be the best.”
Flacco talked on the phone every other day with Jackson in the offseason before his rookie year, the conversations lasted typically 1 ½ hours. He had this to say, “It would have been hard if you are dealing with a guy who doesn’t have the capacity to retain information like Joe does,” Jackson said.
Jackson said this unusual style of instruction could help in games.
By going over the playbook verbally on the phone, Flacco would make adjustments by picturing it in his head rather than needing to have it drawn up on the chalkboard.
“I think the foundation has been set,” Jackson said. “I haven’t seen one bit of hesitation. He doesn’t say, ‘Oh, gosh, this is hard.’ He says, ‘Oh, gosh, give me more.’ ”
Jackson said of Joe Flacco. “He’s willing to work and put in the extra work. He doesn’t just want to be good. He has the desire to be great.”
These quotes speak to the heart of just about everything that JaMarcus is not. It will be interesting to see how Jackson approaches Russell’s reported lack of work ethic.
Jackson’s track record speak volumes of his coaching ability. When most people heard Jackson was headed to Chicago to interview for their open Offensive Coordinator position, I think most observers probably figured that meant the Raiders job was out and that he’d probably catch a ride with Lovie Smith or stay in Baltimore, so this news did come as somewhat of a shock.
Makes you wonder if Al Davis called Jackson when he heard that he was going to Chicago and offered him a bit more coin to make a hasty decision.
How the Raiders announce this hiring could clear up the whole Cable job mess. A quote from the head coach, would be traditional, lacking mention of Cable would just add fuel to the fire, although the media has mostly dropped the issue since ESPN reported Cable was staying.
One NFL agent also reported via his twitter account that Cable and “staff” were staying.
All signs point to Cable continuing on as Head Coach, with some of his duties being re-assigned to other coaches and his job status secure unless/until the Raiders start slow in 2010.