On Tuesday, the Oakland Raiders fired head coach Hue Jackson after one season at the helm, a season that saw them contend for a playoff spot into the finals minutes of the season.
The Raiders would have won the AFC West with a win over the San Diego Chargers in Week 17, but they fell short and finished third in the division thanks to tiebreakers with the division champion Denver Broncos.
Hue Jackson’s Raiders collapsed from a 7-4 start to finish 8-8, breaking the NFL record for most penalties and most penalty yardage in a season along the way.
When the Raiders hired new general manager Reggie McKenzie this week, some speculated that Jackson could be on the chopping block as he looks to start from scratch, and that’s exactly what’s happening.
Current New York Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer is interviewing for potential head coaching gigs, and it remains to be seen what his future holds within the Jets organization.
The Jets signed Schottenheimer to a two-year, $3 million extension last January, and if he found a new job elsewhere, they wouldn’t be on the hook for his remaining salary, like they would be if they fired him.
That is the reason that I hope in my mind is the only thing keeping Schottenheimer still employed with the Jets as offensive coordinator and primary playcaller.
Hue Jackson intrigues me, however. If Schottenheimer is let go, I think it would be wise to interview Jackson as a potential replacement.
There have been whispers that Jackson, who was the Baltimore Ravens quarterbacks coach from 2008 to 2009, was Rex Ryan’s first choice for Jets offensive coordinator when he was hired in 2009.
However, it is widely believed that Schottenheimer is a favorite of someone in the Jets front office, and Ryan was forced to keep him on and he was not allowed to hire his own offensive coordinator.
Schottenheimer has been the offensive coordinator of the Jets since 2006, and as much as I hate to admit it, it’s still a possibility that he will remain in the Jets organization in 2012.
That doesn’t necessarily mean he can’t be reassigned, of course. Perhaps Rex Ryan will look to bring in Hue Jackson as an offensive assistant, not necessarily the offensive coordinator job that isn’t available yet.
Jackson has been a quarterbacks coach, after all, and the Jets are reportedly leaning towards parting ways with current quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh.
But if the Jets decide to bring in a guy like Jackson, I think he can be a great addition to the Jets coaching staff.
Rex Ryan is a defensive-minded coach, and he has confidence in the coaches he delegates power to. If Jackson truly is the guy that Ryan wants, the Jets need to give him the autonomy to make that move.
If the speculation is true about the Jets strong-arming Ryan into keeping Schottenheimer on as his offensive coordinator, I think it’s time for a change. Most fans would agree. Schotty is just not the right fit here.
I would definitely endorse Hue Jackson as Jets offensive coordinator. He is not the AFC West coach I expected to be available, (stay classy, San Diego) but he’s a guy I would approve of if the Jets hired him.
Until Brian Schottenheimer’s head coaching interviews conclude, we won’t know for sure what’s going on. But the Jets need to make changes, and I think they’ll make the right ones.
Time will tell. Jets fans will hope for the best.