Planted firmly in the realm of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, former Raiders coach Hue Jackson has gone farther in defending his time in Oakland and his untimely release than anyone thought he would go.
When he was hired as the Raiders' offensive coordinator in 2010 under then head coach Tom Cable, he claims it was not the offer he was first given by the late Al Davis. Jackson says Davis originally offered him the General Manager position.
Jackson says he then turned down the GM job saying his passion was coaching and working with players. He also said that contrary to popular belief, including that of former head coach Tom Cable, Mr Davis made no mention of Jackson being a "head coach in waiting" at that time.
This is a lot to process, of course, as first and foremost it seems hard to believe Hue Jackson would somehow be tabbed to go from being a position coach to a General Manager. Equally difficult to believe is that suddenly Al Davis would bring on a GM after resisting any such idea for so long.
Hue's words must be taken in the context of the moment as well.
After he was ousted as Raiders head coach by new GM Reggie McKenzie, he found himself out of work. He only found a new job in the NFL last season when his former team, the Cincinnati Bengals, brought him in as an assistant defensive backs coach - an odd title for an offensive guru to be certain.
This off-season, despite the eight new head coaching jobs, Hue didn't get a single interview. He only got one interview as an offensive coordinator and was not hired. He has since been promoted within the Bengals organization to be their new running backs coach.
The word around the league from GM's Jim Trotter has spoken with confirm their reluctance to bring Jackson in after his post game press conference tirade which sounded to them like a head coach overstepping his authority. Combine that with the whole "head coach in waiting" Jackson was prior to his getting the head job, and it's a scary thought.
This is more than a lack of respect for Jackson, it is more akin to being avoided like the plague. It hurts, as one can imagine, to go from being a rising star in the NFL to a pariah. Not only is this a tremendously humbling experience for Jackson, but at this point he absolutely must say and do whatever he can to repair his reputation if he hopes to work his way back into the good graces of the NFL.
"Everybody is not for everybody," Jackson told Trotter. "I'm very vocal, I'm very vocal with my players, I'm very confident in what I'm able to do, and sometimes people take that the wrong way. But I can't worry about what the next man is thinking. My challenge is, go look at what I've coached, who I've coached, go talk to the players and ask them. If you did that you'd get an entirely different description of me. My challenge is to get people to bring me in and let me challenge them on the things that they've heard, because I'm not who some people have painted me to be. I've asked several people who I trust in this business what's going on, but they tell me to be patient, that things will work out."
The problem here is anyone believing him when he says Al Davis, of all people, offered him, of all people, the position of General Manager. If he was looking for some damage control, making claims like that may not be the way to go. Not to say he's outright lying, but if you were an NFL GM, would you be inclined to believe it?
Yeah, me neither.