For Tom Cable, 8 was not enough. By proclaiming the Raiders couldn’t be called “losers anymore” Cable authored his parting words as Al Davis showed him the exit. The best season in seven painful years wasn’t what Davis expected. In Al’s mind the Raiders were a playoff team in 2010. A missed kick in Arizona here, a bad performance in San Francisco there and this squad could have easily been champions of the AFC West.
All that being said, there is only one way for Hue Jackson to appease his boss: he’s got to punch a ticket to the postseason in his first year at the helm of the ship.
As if there weren’t enough pressure coaching for Al Davis, Cable had to go out and unite the locker room and raise the bar of expectations. For Jackson anything less than making the playoffs will be considered a failure. There is no honeymoon period. No timetable for improvement. No moral victories and no adjustment period.
By making the move to can Cable and promote Jackson, Davis has made it clear that there is only one outcome that will suffice.
It’s playoffs of bust for Hue Jackson.
Cable might not ever be a head coach in the NFL again. He might not have been the man that would gift Davis another Lombardi for his collection. But what he did in his short time in Oakland was nothing short of amazing. Coach Jackson inherits a readymade roster. Sure, there are holes to be patched but overall Jackson’s players are far and away the best collection of talent in the East Bay since the Super Bowl team eight years ago.
At no fault of his own, Jackson is already on the hot seat. He won’t have the luxury of suffering through a 5 win season trying to implement his ways. This team is young and is beginning to peak. The time is now.
Nobody is saying Jackson has a Super Bowl contender on his hands. But he does have a team that just completed a clean sweep of the AFC West. Depending on what happens with a new labor agreement, the Raiders could be facing some tough decisions in free agency. One area that was not a difficult call to make for Davis was to give Jackson the task of taking this team to the next level. Now all Jackson has to do is one-up Cable. Easier said than done but that’s the nature of working for Davis.