Raiders reunite with former coach Hue Jackson on Sunday
Hue Jackson helped bring credibility to the Oakland Raiders offense, first starting off as an offensive coordinator under then head coach Tom Cable in 2010, and eventually taking over his job the next season. However, Hue Jackson was fired last January in Reggie McKenzie’s first move as the new general manager, after Jackson led the Oakland Raiders 8-8, one win short of a playoffs run in the 2011 season.
Now with the Oakland Raiders 3-6 under head coach Dennis Allen, the team will meet Hue Jackson for the first time on Sunday since their parting of ways and after he jumped boat with the Cincinnati Bengals (5-5) as assistant secondary and special teams coach.
"Obviously, it was time for a switch here with the new regime coming in, but I thought Hue was… a great head coach… and I think he will get another opportunity,” reflected Oakland Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer. Hue will be a head coach again because he is a great leader, he understands enough about the game to be a head coach but he's also passionate.”
“Guys follow him."
Late Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis brought Hue Jackson in to tweak an offense that settled for the second-last spot in the league for scoring and yards per game during the 2009 season. In just two seasons Hue Jackson transformed the offense so that it ranked 10th in the league for scoring and first in rushing yards during his era at the Oakland Raiders.
"He's a phenomenal play-caller," said Carson Palmer. "He does a great job of keeping defenses off-balance and surprising defenses with some new stuff."
But the system has since been subjected to radical changes on both sides of the ball and more than half of the Oakland Raiders’ former roster is no longer active. Over the last two years, the Oakland Raiders offense has slumped back to its former spot in the league in rushing yards and 22nd ranking in scoring.
Hue Jackson also helped two key former high ranking picks achieve their true potential after failing under several offensive systems.
Former 4th overall pick (of 2008 drafts) Darren McFadden had a disappointing start with the Oakland Raiders, amassing just 856 rushing yards with a 3.9 average in 15 games over two injury-plagued seasons. But Hue Jackson revived Darren McFadden’s career by integrating him in a scheme that was more reliant on his strongest plays so that the Oakland Raiders running back racked-up 1,771 rushing yards with a 5.3 average in 20 games during the 2010-11 season.
Oakland Raiders receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey was also one of the beneficiaries of Hue Jackson’s new offensive scheme. The former 2009 drafts’ 7th overall pick Darrius Heyward-Bey struggled to hold onto balls after totaling just nine receptions in his rookie season. Hue Jackson worked hard with him so that Darrius Heyward-Bey was onto a breakout season putting up 64 receptions for 975 yards along with four touchdowns in 2011-12.
"He's a great technician as a coach and…he can see both the detail work you have to have to be great, but he can also see the entire big picture," Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said about Hue Jackson. “That's why he's so special as a coach.”