Unless that team on the other side of the Bay and their coach take a Josh McDaniels nosedive, chances are the coach of the year award will reside in San Francisco. But that doesn’t mean Hue Jackson shouldn’t get some serious consideration for coach of the year.
Now let’s get something straight. This isn’t one of those charity cases where a coach gets props for making magic happen when none was expected. The Raiders should have been in the playoffs last year. For Coach Jackson to see his team not competing would have been proof Al Davis made a bad decision.
The talent in Oakland is real so the expectations were naturally high before the season began.
Instead this is a case of great coaching. Period.
To start, Oakland lost their best interior lineman, best weapon in the passing game and an All-Pro cornerback all to free agency. Aside from the subtractions, the Raiders were looking at an overhaul of the offensive line and had little to no time to get all those new bodies on the same page. To date the defensive secondary is a patchwork unit that features Lito Sheppard starting mere weeks after being signed and journeyman safety Matt Girodano who was a late camp addition.
In case you haven’t noticed the O-line is one of the best in all of the NFL and the secondary is getting better by the week.
Half way through the season, the Raiders lost their starting QB, their best player, their emerging defensive end and have had to deal with an ever growing list of injuries.
To top it all off Oakland dropped two straight at home to divisional foes that left the team at .500 amid rumors of Hue Jackson becoming a control freak in the wake of Mr. Davis’ death.
Oh yeah…I almost forgot to mention that the most iconic owner in NFL history passed away too. The man that was the alpha and omega of the Oakland Raiders was gone leaving a legacy no man will ever match.
Despite all of that Coach Jackson has made no excuses. He’s found a way to keep his team motivated, hungry and humble.
Most important of all, Hue Jackson just wins, baby!
I fully understand how amazing a job Jim Harbaugh has done. I also realize that a certain team in the Midwest is flirting with perfection.
But when you add it all up, what Hue Jackson has done thus far is nothing short of a miracle.
Don’t forget that this season is Jackson’s first stint as a head coach…ever. Despite his many stops on the way to becoming a head coach, Jackson was never the head shot caller at any level until Mr. Davis gave him the bump. Keep that in mind when you reflect on Hue’s ability to step in and run things as the interim GM as well.
Say what you will of Jackson. Not everything he touches turns to gold. He’s not always right. But you have to respect a man who owns it and moves on.
With Oakland mired in another record setting year of penalties it would have been easy for Jackson to throw up his hands and complain of not catching a break. Instead he’s rolled up his sleeves and created his own breaks.
To be sure my opinion is largely biased. But that doesn’t mean it’s not valid.
No matter how you slice it Coach Jackson is building a really strong resume that should be on the short list for coach of the year. Now the season is far from over so this entire take could change depending on how things finish. For now, I’ll take Jackson any day of the week over most any other coach in the game.