Raiders fire Hue Jackson

Raiders fire Hue Jackson
January 10, 2012, 6:49 pm
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PROGRAMMINGALERT: Tune into Raiders Press Conference Live on CSN California at 2 p.m..

In his season-ending media conference last week, Hue Jackson said he wanted to have a large role in deciding the direction of the Raiders going forward.

"As the head coach of this football team I would hope that the organization understands that I have a pretty good idea of where we need to go," Jackson said at the time." Because if not, then I shouldn't be where I'm sitting."

Tuesday morning, Reggie McKenzie pulled the chair out from beneath Jackson as the Raiders new general manager fired the first-year coach. The story was first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Jackson told CSN Bay Area's Henry Wofford he was "shocked" by the developments after a morning meeting.

"We no longer need your services," Jackson said he was told.

When he asked McKenzie why that was, McKenzie replied, "I'm starting from scratch. I'm going to bring in my own guys."

Green Bay assistant head coachinside linebackers Winston Moss' name has been mentioned prominently. He is also a former Raider, having played for the Raiders from 1991 through 1994. The next head coach will be the Raiders 10th since the team returned from Los Angeles in 1995.

Jackson was hired prior to the 2010 season by late owner Al Davis as Tom Cable's offensive coordinator and, it was assumed, the coach-in-waiting. Davis promoted him upon the firing of Cable following an 8-8 season.

In his first year as a head coach at any level, Jackson endured the passing of Davis on Oct. 8, became the Raiders' de facto general manager in the aftermath and orchestrated trades for linebacker Aaron Curry and quarterback Carson Palmer and signed receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh. And despite a spate of injuries, including losing quarterback Jason Campbell and running back Darren McFadden for the season on consecutive weeks after Davis' death, the Raiders were 7-4 and on the brink of returning to the playoffs for the first time since the 2002 Super Bowl season.

But then middle linebacker Rolando McClain was arrested in his hometown of Decatur, Ala., for allegedly firing a gun near a man's head, while purportedly back home for a grandfather's funeral, and Jackson offered no discipline, allowing McClain to play that weekend in Miami.

The Raiders dropped four of their last five games to finish 8-8, just like Cable, and lost the AFC West to Denver on tie-breakers. Particularly galling were late meltdowns by the defense, including 98- and 99 12-yard drives allowed at home to Detroit and San Diego. The 2011 team, under Jackson, set NFL single-season records for penalties (163) and penalty yards (1,358).

And despite Jackson greatly improving the offense, there had been rumors of unrest from many players that they did not trust Jackson in the wake of how he handled the Palmer deal, calling it "the greatest trade in football," despite it being for at least first- and a second-round draft picks.

Many in the building saw Jackson as having gone on a power trip since Davis' death, referring to him as "Hollywood Hue." Especially after he ripped the players following the season finale pratfall to the Chargers, saying he was "pissed" at him team and then explaining it the next day as, "The year is over now; now I can tell you what I really feel, and what's really on my mind."

Those types of comments were big no-no's with Davis alive.

McKenzie, meanwhile, is still scheduled to be introduced in a 2 p.m. PT press conference at the Raiders facility in Alameda.

Texts to owner Mark Davis and email and calls to several players had not been returned within an hour of the news of Jackson's firing breaking.