I will be honest my fellow Raiders fans, I was really upset at the firing of Hue Jackson over a year ago. I gave up all hope for the 2012 season. I definitely wasn't thrilled watching Reggie's first draft (I'm still not sold on any of those picks). I think the player I was most disappointed about was Nathan Stupar, the linebacker from Penn State. I wanted Vontaze Burfict BADLY, and I'm not ashamed to admit that. He was a stud as a rookie for Cincinnati as a UDFA, and all GM's should be kicking themselves. He has had 0 off the field issues up to this point, so Cincinatti got a real steal.
Side Note: Cincinnati stole a lot of things from the Raiders, Hue Jackson (currently an assistant), our 1&2 picks (because of Hue Jackson), and BO JACKSON!
I'm not saying Hue Jackson was a perfect head coach, but he went 8-8 with virtually the same roster that Dennis Allen went 4-12 with. Hue Jackson also had to deal with the death of his defensive coordinator. Yes, I am saying Al Davis was the defensive coordinator, because if you look at what happened to our defense after his death, no argument can be made that Bresnahan was a defensive coordinator. I'm not saying Al was litterally the defensive coordinator, but we all know he didn't hire defensive minded head coaches because he liked to have control over the defense. With a real defensive coordinator, the team was play-off bound going 10-6 easily. The losses to the Lions and Chargers on 99 yard drives in the 4th quarter still haunt my memory.
After Hue was fired, I lost it. I started to recover after the Raiders finally fired Chuck Bresnahan, but I remained hopeless with the hiring of Greg Knapp and the return to the zone blocking scheme which made McFadden absolutely useless his first two seasons. Even worse, they kept Khalif Barnes as the RT, further discouraging me about the drafting of Tony Bergstrom. McFadden was useless again for his 12 games in 2012 (3.3 ypc, 707 yards) compared to his six games in 2011 (5.5 ypc, 610 yards).
So what is the point of this post? Well, I might have had some more of that kool-aid, but I am once again hopeful for the 2013 season. A couple months ago, I saw it as a complete loss and figured we'd be lucky to win 3 games. But the defense has been completely retooled, making me believe we can hold teams under 30 points consistently. The offense is going back to the power blocking scheme and Palmer is gone, making me think if we are close in the 4th quarter, hopefully someone will be able to make the big plays to get us the win rather than throwing a pick six. Don't get me wrong, I liked Palmer, but only for three quarters or as a game manager.
Will Flynn, Pryor, or Wilson lead them to the promise land this season? It depends on what you consider the promise land. No way on earth do they win the superbowl, and to be honest part of me would be satisfied with 6 wins. However, if a few things happen there will be a chance to go 8-8 and hopefully above this season:
1) Tarver's defense gels and they can keep opposing teams in the low 20's and under
2) SOMEONE figures out how to score touchdowns
3) Creative play-calling in the red-zone
4) Health! For everyone! If McFadden survives 12 games and plays like 2011, we will be in good shape
If the offense sucks again, I'd be all for the rehiring of Hue Jackson as OC, but that's crazy talk and it would be wise to ignore it.
I can't handle another 4-12 season, especially with so much potential on both sides of the ball. If Hue Jackson remained head coach last season and hired a legitimate defensive coordinator, I believe the Raiders would have done better. So would Allen deserve a third season if there is no improvement in the win column this year? I don't think so, but that's because I believe he would need to be a horrible coach to not have any improvement this year. My guess is that he will be back for the 2014 season, because the Raiders are going to improve!
Because of some comments I feel the need to say Hue was a horrible GM, an average head coach (also an above average head case), but a damn good OC. My standards for coaches definitely fell over the past decade. All I want is to win some games! But I've definitely had my share of Kool-aid and believe in the 2013 Raiders.
JUST WIN BABY!