If you're like me, you're a little baffled and disappointed by Coach Jackson's decision to release WR Derek Hagan to make space for WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Not the Housh isn't a good move, just that Hagan wasn't the player who should have been released. I can think of several players who should have been cut before Derek, e.g. Louis "Stay Stiff" Murphy, Chaz "Glass" Schilens, Marginal blocking running catching Tonga, et alia.
During his press conference today, Hue was asked about the WR situation:
Q: But you brought in receivers during training camp…
Hue: "So at that time Derek was there, we took Derek; I wanted T.J. Hey like I told you – when Coach makes a decision, he made it. Well now all of a sudden as I keep looking at our football team and where we are, I say, ‘Hey, here’s a guy that can help us now that we’re in a whole different situation’ and that’s why I did what I did.
Could it be that Hagan was the one cut because he was Al Davis' choice at the exact time that Hue wanted Housh? I believe this is exactly the case and also that this decision is Hue's Declaration of Independence (from "Coach's domination over him).
I'm not laying any value judgments on this attitude; quite frankly, I never bought into Hue's obsequious lavishing of praise and credit upon Al Davis while the great one lived. Hue was the only type of coach that had a chance at being functional under the long-standing conditions imposed by the iron willed HOF legend who ruled the Raiders. Now Hue is unbridled - no longer restrained by the role he assumed as executor and facilitator for the ideas and vision of Al Davis. Hue wants to be entirely his own man now, call the shots, impose his own will and vision.
Whether this is a good thing or not will become evident very soon. The Raiders next five games should all be won (Denver, StD, Minn., Chicago, Miami). If the Raiders come out of this rather fortuitous period - say 9-3 (or even 8-4) - I will be the first to say, "Hue, you are the Man" ... but if we crash, if we suck, well, I don't even want to think about that.