If there was any doubt before today that this was the dawn of a new era in Raider football, it is gone now. For good or ill, this is Reggie McKenzie's team.
Personally, I am disappointed that Jackson got the ax. I wanted to see him come back for a full season with Carson, have a legitimate defensive coordinator, and not having to worry about front office turmoil distractions. I loved the direction this offense was headed, and that was almost entirely due to Hue Jackson. There were some obvious faults, but I saw enough to look past those due to the promise of greatness.
That said—at this time—I am not going to judge McKenzie negatively for this move. What I will say, is that he better make this work.
Obviously, this move has many ramifications and means many things. First and foremost is the fact that McKenzie just erased any buffer period he may have had. From day one, it is going to be his neck on the line. This is entirely his deal.
The new GM essentially just shortened his window for the amount of time people are going to tolerate this team not succeeding.
As for next season, it is now totally up in the air. With Hue in the fold, it seemed likely that this team would return resembling the squad they had this season—at least on offense. Now, who knows? McKenzie may completely gut this team. There could be a rash of brash roster moves.
There could be wholesale changes. McKenzie comes from a team that runs the west coast offense. If he wants to run that here, the entire passing offense needs to be overhauled. This is a roster built for deep attacks, and not precision timing routes.
My hope is that whoever comes into coach employs a similar offensive system that was run this year. For example, McKenzie could bring in a defensive minded coach, and keep Al Saunders as the offensive coordinator.
After the events of today though, I am skeptical. McKenzie has the look of a man that is going to completely rebuild. That thought is a little discouraging. This team was close. They just needed a little health and a more disciplined defense. I am not ready to start over.
Ultimately, I will reserve judgment on any of these moves until things start to play out. I am just anxious as hell now that they play out quickly and efficiently.