One day we may learn all the reasons why Reggie McKenzie chose to relieve Hue Jackson of his duties after only one year as the head coach. You’ve got to believe the manner in which Jackson mishandled Rolando McClain’s arrest during the season was one of the reasons why Jackson was shown the exit.
After entering a not guilty plea and waving his arraignment, today McClain’s trial date was set for May 17th.
No matter the outcome of the case Hue Jackson failed to properly discipline his young defender. McClain could very well be cleared of all charges but that hardly clears his image in the eyes of Roger Goodell. A teaching moment that could have been instrumental in McClain’s maturity instead turned into the right to be a starting middle linebacker for a playoff contender for the remainder of the season.
I was of the belief that McClain should have been suspended by Jackson for the rest of the season if for no other reason than poor judgment. While that may seem a harsh punishment Jackson owed it to his players and McClain himself to at least sit the immature millionaire for a minimum of one game.
As we’ve seen in recent years, Goodell’s law is not tied to the legal system. If the commissioner feels a player has violated the NFL’s conduct code then he won’t hesitate to administer punishment regardless of the legal outcome.
Naturally my hope is that McClain will not find himself facing a punishment that could rob him of his future earnings. Until we learn more the only thing he’s truly guilty of is bad decision making. For people like you and me that might not mean much. For public figures like McClain it can bring about life-changing circumstances.
McClain is young and has much to learn. This could be a tough way to wise up but that is just life. The man who truly failed him was Jackson. Hue’s selfish desire to win (which didn’t happen) trumped common sense. Yes, winning is everything in the NFL but taking a loss in the game of life is infinitely more tragic.