Hue Jackson is a Raider. From the moment he arrived in the East Bay his confidence has become contagious. It was routine for Jackson to be jawing with defensive players in practice as his offense went head-up in 7-on-7s. That attitude was instrumental in not only breathing life back into a once-dead offense but it eventually earned him a promotion.
When first introduced as the newest head coach of the Oakland Raiders, Jackson made some of the same proclamations Tom Cable, Lane Kiffin and even Norv Turner did upon their introductions. The promise of returning to the playoffs with a Super Bowl proclamation mixed in.
But with Jackson it was different. You got the feeling he believed what he was saying and that his players would buy-in too.
Four weeks into his head coaching career and Jackson is well on his way to resurrecting the Raider Way. His bravado is not the cocky type though some might say borders on Rex Ryan territory. After seeing the silver and black smacked back down to .500 courtesy of Wes Welker and the New England Patriots, Jackson re-upped with what he said his goal was from the beginning.
”We’re going to win the AFC West. We’re going to do everything we can to get in the playoffs and go challenge for a Super Bowl. I am not backing down from that.”
With proclamation that bold it was only natural for ESPN to pickup on Jackson’s swagger. His words are currently front page material on ESPN.com. For good measure I’m sure Norv Turner might have them plastered to the locker room wall in San Diego too.
But that is what makes Jackson so beloved by his players. He believes in them but more importantly instills the confidence for them to believe in themselves.
It doesn’t matter what the world thinks of you. It only matters what the scoreboard says after time has expired. If Jackson can keep his team focused and get his defense to make a dramatic turnaround then there is no doubt this team will be the best in the AFC West.
Now making it to the Super Bowl is another story. Some might see some Rex Ryan in Hue Jackson but I doubt you’re going to get any Super Bowl guarantees. As the Jets are learning you’ve got to walk a fine line when tip toeing between confidence and cockiness.
Jackson has all the confidence in the world that he’s got the right men for the job. Now they just need to go out and prove him right.