When Hue Jackson was named Head Coach of the Oakland Raiders he always talked about building a bully. He wanted to get bigger and stronger in the trenches. He put together a smash mouth, quick strike offense in his two years as OC/HC, with limited resources I might add. The Raiders were 7-4 at one point under Hue but that season unraveled when Jason Campbell was lost for the season and Darren McFadden, who was leading the NFL in rushing at the time, suffered a lisfranc injury.
When the new regime took over Hue Jackson was let go despite going 8-8 in his first season as Head Coach. Reggie McKenzie said he had a lot of respect for Hue Jackson. He said it was just simply a case of wanting his own hand picked coach to run the team. They actually were acquaintances long before either man worked for the Raiders. They also share the same agent in Kennard McGuire.
Could it be that Hue Jackson was the perfect man to lead the Raiders all along? The Raiders seem to be putting together the team that Hue Jackson was talking about when he said he wanted to build a bully.
Let's look at the off-season moves the Raiders have made. During the first period of free agency the Raiders didn't go for the block buster move. Instead they added some beef to the offensive line in signing 6'5" 340 lbs Donald Penn and 6'7" 334 lbs Austin Howard. They also added some attitude and veteran leadership to the defense in Justin Tuck, Lamar Woodley, Antonio Smith, Tarrel Brown, and Carlos Rodgers.
In the draft the Raiders added a few more "bullies" in guard Gabe Jackson and defensive tackle Just "Jelly Roll" Ellis who both weigh in at over 330 lbs. The Raiders also added a couple of big defensive backs in 6'3" 215 lbs Keith McGill and 6'3" 195 lbs Jonathon Dowling. And lets not forget about Khalil Mack who plays the game in a rather violent matter.
Looks like the Raiders are getting bigger and stronger throughout the roster. I think the team Reggie McKenzie has put together looks a lot like the bully that Hue Jackson envisioned. Either way it looks like the Raiders will be respectable and might even surprise some people this year.