Oakland Raiders Former HC Hue Jackson Talks Derek Carr, Fans


Former Oakland Raiders head coach Hue Jackson has cast a shadow over the team since he was fired after an 8-8 season with the team due to an apparent unwillingness to accept a rebuild along with abrasive comments in the media that wrote the ending to Jackson’s story in the Bay Area before he could guide the team to a playoff run. Going 1-4 down the stretch and missing the postseason sealing the fate of the coach who remained a popular following in Oakland as the team underwent a rebuild with his replacement in Dennis Allen.

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Jackson went to Cincinnati to be the offensive coordinator of the Bengals, but with the Raiders not coming close to the .500 record Jackson posted in his final year, fans of the Raiders often wondered “what if” when it came to the firing of Hue before deciding (being forced into) a salary cap restructure of a promising roster.

Both sides appear to be at peace with the situation now as Jackson has moved on to his true calling as an offensive coordinator over the past two seasons while the Raiders recently hired Jack Del Rio and appear set to return to respectability after a few seasons of building for the future. At the Super Bowl festivities, Jackson stopped by the 95.7 The Game booth to talk about the Raiders and he had praise for Derek Carr who he feels has a high ceiling after a promising rookie year in Oakland.

Jackson also talked about his relationship with the fans in Oakland, who he noted are different than those around the league based on their immense passion for the team.

Until Del Rio and the Raiders get back into playoff contention, the cult following of Jackson in Oakland will still remain as fans truly believe he was the best coach the team has had since Jon Gruden was traded to Tampa Bay. Despite the final stretch in the 8-8 year where the Raiders failed to close the deal on a return to the playoffs, Jackson did a good job with a team that was in a tough situation and along with Tom Cable before him got the team as close as they have been to the postseason since their Super Bowl run. Unlike Cable, who left in a disgrace of domestic abuse and violation of team rules accusations, Jackson was well liked by the fans who took the firing as a huge error even if the team was undergoing what was a needed rebuild due to poor structuring of player contracts by the late Al Davis.

Now in 2015 those wounds have slightly healed and both sides appear to be at peace as well as places where they can succeed. Jackson attempting to build Andy Dalton into a better QB on a Bengals team that is an annual AFC North contender while the Raiders are looking to build upon their best draft in years to climb up the AFC West ladder in 2015. It is unlikely that the Raiders and Jackson would have enjoyed the success of that 8-8 season again with a rebuilding roster so although unpopular at the time, it appears the right decision for both parties was to move on for their best interests.

Jackson will always be a divisive figure amongst fans who argue about how the direction of the team would have went had they not fired Hue, but time should heal all scars and it appears that that will be the case as the years go by. An admirer of Al Davis, Jackson still has respect for the franchise that gave him a head coaching opportunity even if things went sour at the end. One day Hue will get his chance to head coach again and when it happens expect many fans in Oakland to wish their former head coach the best as the love for the offensive mind runs deep in Raiders circles.