Reggie McKenzie said he wanted his guy to coach the Raiders. As the team’s new GM, McKenzie has the power to make that call. And his guy isn’t Hue Jackson.
A 1-4 record down the stretch and no ticket to the playoffs certainly didn’t help Jackson’s cause. But McKenzie’s admission that he wanted “his guy” and “a fresh start” points to more behind the scenes.
As NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora pointed out Tuesday, Raiders owner Mark Davis didn’t receive positive feedback when reviewing Jackson during the team’s leadership void following the death of previous owner Al Davis.
“A lof of players and coaches felt like that went to (his) head, and that he conducted himself in a manner that at times put himself in front of the team,” La Canfora told NFL Network. “Then you go to what he said at the end of the year, when he basically pointed the finger at his players at his Sunday night press conference after they didn’t make the playoffs. Then he came back the next day and talked a lot about personnel control and how he should continue to run the organization.
“That didn’t bode well for him.”
The truth is this decision was about more than wins and losses. Enter veteran Richard Seymour, who gave a definite pause on “Around the League” when finding an answer for whether or not Jackson was well-liked in the locker room.
“Yeah … I mean, I don’t … ah, as far as I know, of course we did,” Seymour explained. “I think we all had his back, and he had our back. I think at the end of the day, obviously it came down to the new general manager wanted his guy in there. As a player, you have to trust that the new leadership will guide us in the right direction. It’s the nature of the beast.”
As far as we can tell, Seymour’s dance around the question is an attempt at being honest. The same goes for his explanation about what the Raiders lacked in 2011.
“We were too inconsistent to beat the good teams when it mattered most,” Seymour said.