When you are the head coach of the Oakland Raiders there is only one task that must be completed tin order to remain employed.
Just win, baby!
Hue Jackson knew that when he got the gig. The man before him learned that the hard way. Tom Cable might have been content with “not being losers anymore” but celebrating .500 was never in the cards for Al Davis.
The last few weeks have seen all of Hue’s loveable swagger come to be viewed as arrogant. But that is what happens when you’re losing. Suddenly a burgeoning football genius becomes an overbearing coach drunk with power.
To be sure there are no bigger egos in the sports world than that of coaches. Forget what you think you know. The players might be the ones that display their arrogance in more a public manners but the coaches are the ones that have egos which consume the room. How else do you expect one man to command the attention of talented millionaires though?
This week began with a PFT headline decrying that “Hue’s Honeymoon is Over”. Citing those ever so knowledgeable anonymous sources, Hue is said to be drunk with his newfound power. Supposedly Jackson told his players that no job is safe and he is already looking at free agents.
Yesterday Jackson appeared on Jim Rome’s show on ESPN and dispelled some of those rumors. Today he’s doing more damage control.
Now let’s get a couple of things clear.
To begin, any NFL coach that has his players on scholarship is one that needs to be updating his resume. Chances are he won’t last long. In the business of pro football there is always a means to improve.
Now I’m not saying that it is good for morale to have a head coach supposedly telling all his guys that their paychecks are in jeopardy. That would be a bad move to make at the midpoint of the season. However any man that is collecting an NFL check surely knows he is one bad day away from being behind Albert Haynesworth in the NFL bread line.
As far as Hue having too much power, that is a dicey subject.
Surely the Raiders will need to hire a GM in the future. Coach Jackson and the rest of the Raider organization are doing all they can to replace Al Davis. That is an all-hands-on-deck task to be sure. So for now Jackson should have a large say-so in personnel moves. For the time being this is his team.
If all of this control has gotten to his head it is easy to understand. While I’m not endorsing Coach Jackson acting like a god of football I can feel where he might be coming from.
One year ago he was the offensive coordinator. Now Jackson is at the helm of the ship. I’m guessing it is hard for him to view football related issues in the same light as he once did as an assistant. That is only natural.
Coach Jackson must find the right balance between confidence and cockiness. That is the line all NFL coaches walk. This is his first head coaching gig so learning on the job comes with the territory.
All that being said, Hue knows there is only one way to get all of this talk to take a back seat. He has got to get back to the winning ways displayed early in the season.
That, after all, is what being a Raider is all about.
Just win, baby!