For many of the Oakland Raider faithful it can be said that the addition of an Offensive Coordinator is the biggest Game Changer of the off-season, thus far.
It was quite simple that Tom Cable had bitten, or bitten off more than he could chew, or punch, when he tried to be a first time NFL Head Coach AND Offensive Coordinator, while also maintaining a strong presence in the way the Offensive Line worked.
When the 2010 off-season began nobody agreed 100% on the everything the Raiders should do. Some people wanted Cable fired, others wanted him retained, but we all agreed that IF he were retained, he would need an offensive coordinator. Voila!
Enter Hue Jackman, the singing and dancing Wolverine...I mean Hue Jackson, the young quarterback tutor who'd just brought along Joe Flacco in a run heavy offense that played to Flacco's strengths and kept him away from mistakes. Enter...JaMarcus Russell's "Hope on a rope" or "Life Jacket", if you will.
In 2009 the Oakland Raiders only averaged 12.3 points a game (31st in the League). If you take out Bruce Gradkowski's heroic performance in Pittsburgh, the Raiders would have only produced 10 points a game (Dead Last in the NFL).
Meanwhile in Baltimore. Behind a stout offensive line and with no receivers to speak of, the Baltimore Ravens ranked 9th in the NFL in scoring at 24.4 points a game.
If the Raiders could just average 20 points a game, they will be vastly improved, nevermind averaging 24.4 points a game. As Oakland Raider fans we know that our defense is better than the stats show. If the offense could just keep the defense off the field at an average rate and make the opposition throw the ball then the Raiders will be at an advantage as Nnamdi Asomugha, Michael Huff and Tyvon Branch will have chances to make plays and get turnovers.
In short, adding Hue Jackson is probably the biggest no-brainer in Raider Coaching history. Then again, there may never be a bigger no-brainer than sending Tom "Bed & Breakfast" Walsh out to pasture in 2006.
Now, the impact that he will have remains to be seen. Will he be calling the plays, or will the game plan come from upstairs? Will he use McFadden and Bush like a two headed beast? And the biggest question of all...Can he put JaHumpty Dumpty back together again?
The jury is out on Mr. Jackson and the team in general until we see what their game plan is,but his signing is by far more important than the addition of Kyle Boller. What do you think Silver and Black Pride? Who is your Game Changer, thus far?