Hue Jackson is a players’ coach. Now we’re not talking the Wade Phillips pushover type. Jackson is just one of those guys that sympathizes with the players as far as understanding the risk they take every time they’re suiting up on Sunday. Don’t get it twisted though. He won’t hesitate to pull you from the game or even take away your job if you’re not performing. Jackson doesn’t hand out many scholarships. Go ask Jason Campbell if you don’t believe me.
All that being said, Jackson does not like to rush players back from injury and his early track record shows it.
After Darren McFadden felt something in his foot against the Chiefs, Coach Jackson took him out of the game and hasn’t let his star runner test it since. Despite an MRI revealing no damage and a week off, Jackson still isn’t letting McFadden back into practice.
From the cynical side of things you could say that perhaps Run DMC is more damaged than Jackson is letting on. As we all know McFadden has been bitten by the injury bug every year he’s been in the NFL.
From the long-term perspective Coach Jackson is trying to win for the foreseeable future. If that means resting his best offensive player now so he’s got him later then that is just what he’ll do. For the Raiders this is about building more than a bully. This is about building a winner for years to come.
While only time will tell if the decision to hold McFadden back is either being overly cautious or simply trying to protect an investment, it is clear that Jackson isn’t willing to take any unnecessary chances.
Now if this were a game in late December with more on the line this discussion might be much different.
For now I can’t argue at all with how Hue handles his business. The Raiders aren’t going anywhere without McFadden so forcing him into action ahead of schedule would only further the frustrations.