You’ve got to give it up to Hue Jackson. No matter the circumstances Coach Jackson remains positive. Like any good coach, Jackson never sees the obstacles only the solutions. Which is why this entire situation with Darren McFadden has got to have Hue unbelievably frustrated.
Jackson, like everyone else including McFadden, is helpless in this matter. Each week Raider Nation awaits news on McFadden’s status and each week it is the same update – nothing new to report.
All along Coach Jackson and the organization have held out hope that McFadden will return to the field at some point. Well, time is running out.
The Raiders only have two games left both of which are must-win if this team still wants to keep those playoff hopes alive.
Hue Jackson has high hopes that his team can still compete for a playoff spot despite the late season swoon. Jackson is also hoping Run DMC will return to help lift the team.
“I am going to keep on holding out hope I know he is moving around a lot better than he has been … we’ll see where he is.”
That the Raiders have refused to place McFadden on IR or reveal the true nature of his injury says a lot.
For one, it speaks volumes as to how valuable Run DMC is to the franchise. When healthy there is no doubt McFadden is among the NFL elite. The Raiders have remained hopeful that McFadden could miraculously heal. Coach Jackson has been leading that charge knowing his team isn’t going anywhere without its best player.
Secondly, the refusal to shutdown McFadden also speaks to how urgent Hue Jackson’s desire to win is. One of the great sins committed by NFL coaches is to start thinking long term. In pro football coaches caught looking into the future are most often the ones that are eventually caught looking for work again. Jackson knows winning now is everything so he’s not going to limit any of his options no matter how unlikely some of them might be.
At this point, even if McFadden is healthy enough to play there isn’t much time to get him up to speed. There is no telling what his conditioning is like at this point. There is also no way of knowing how useful he’d be. With so much to play for the Raiders might be better served going at it without Run DMC than they would trying to reintegrate such an integral piece.
While I admire Jackson’s positive outlook there comes a time when reality and common sense must win out. That time is now.
Since McFadden’s injury back in October the argument was that he’s got time to heal. That time has run out. Nobody would think any less of Coach Jackson if he just owned up to the fact his best player is lost until next year. Nobody would think he’d given up hope. They would likely say he’s finally come to his senses.