With Jackson's firing, McKenzie makes immediate waves

January 10, 2012, 8:06 pm
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Reggie McKenzie cleared his throat, and the Raiders world came tumbling down.

RELATED: Raiders fire Hue Jackson
This is what Mark Davis wanted, which is why he brought McKenzie in as general manager, and McKenzie wanted his own man as head coach, and his own people beside and below him.Put another way, this could well be the end of The Old Weird Raiders.

In firing Hue Jackson, McKenzie made it clear that nothing is safe in the building which is the mandate he was given. As the first team general manager in, well, damned near forever, McKenzie was empowered to pull the Raiders into a less quirky universe in which they were the only inhabitants, and rather than dance around the office politics, he dove into them with a two-footed cannonball splash.He took out Jackson, who was Amy Trasks right hand, and if this signals a power struggle between Davis and Trask, or between McKenzie and Trask, McKenzieDavis is up, 1-nil.More likely, Trask acknowledged the chain of command as she always has, and acceded to Jacksons dismissal, barely months after he became the de facto Al in a building that had none at all.Now Al has been replaced, by his son, and Jackson has been replaced, by McKenzie. And Carson Palmers world got slightly more jittery although with his contract, the only way he would be in true danger would be if Marvin Lewis quit Cincinnati to come west.Most important, the Raiders are going to start resembling all the other NFL teams in technology, in coaching, in scouting methods, in understanding what is worth fighting over and what is not. The days of personal idiosyncrasy is over, because Reggie McKenzie learned his chops in the most orthodox place of all Green Bay.And he just got the first item on his demand list. His own people, starting with the head coach.Jacksons tenure is a rich yet weird one, and it had every chance to go completely off the rails when Davis stepped in and hired the general manager who was once Hue. As a result, his next head coaching job, if it ever comes, will seem a lot smaller, a lot less heady, and a lot more limiting than this one did. But already he is just another line on a long list of coaches in the Oakland 2.0 period of Raider history. It may turn out that he is regarded as less odd than even Lane Kiffin, though only history will tell.But this is about Reggie McKenzie now, and his first big stomp in a field that until today had only Al Davis footprints.

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