Former Packers director of football operations Reggie McKenzie wasted no time in making sure he was starting with a clean slate yesterday by making his first major decision as general manager of the Oakland Raiders the firing of head coach Hue Jackson.
This was absolutely the right move, both for McKenzie and for the Raiders organization. Some in the national media have painted it as a continuation of the long-standing Raiders dysfunction that has gripped the franchise since it lost to Tampa Bay in the Super Bowl.
Those takes are shortsighted at best.
McKenzie has waited patiently, first working under Ron Wolf, Mike Sherman and finally Ted Thompson. He watched as Thompson tried to make things work with a coach that he inherited, and how neither man was ever able to truly trust the other. He learned from both Wolf and Thompson the need to make extremely difficult decisions, no matter how unpopular they may be, for the sake of getting something right.
What is right in this instance is for McKenzie to be able to pick his own coach, which of course could end up costing the Packers in more ways than one.
Initial reports point to McKenzie wanting to bring assistant head coach Winston Moss to Oakland to be his head coach. Safeties coach Darren Perry's name has been brought up as another possible candidate, as has Joe Philbin's.
You can bet on a couple of things.
- McKenzie's head coach will most likely come from the Packers
- Whoever that coach ends up being will try to bring at least one if not more coaches from the current staff with him.
Here's my completely-out-of-thin-air prediction for how things will play out.
McKenzie will bring in many candidates over the course of the next few weeks while waiting for the Packers season to end. Then, the good lord willing, during the bye week prior to Super Bowl week, Moss will be brought in to interview. Sometime shortly after the Super Bowl, McKenzie announces Winston Moss as the new head coach of the Oakland Raiders. Moss, in turn, hires Tom Clements as his offensive coordinator and Darren Perry as his defensive coordinator.
Again, this is just me throwing things against the wall. It will obviously actually play out differently than what I've laid out above. But the chances the Packers could be in for a bit of a talent drain from the coaching ranks is quite good.
Or, McKenzie could hire Jon Gruden tomorrow.
Whatever happens, it will be very interesting to see how McKenzie's moves in Oakland end up effecting the Packers.
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