There’s a strange dynamic unfolding right now in Oakland, which probably shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who has followed the NFL for the last decade. And there’s a theory making the rounds in league circles that the arrival of Reggie McKenzie as the team’s next General Manager could lead to the departure of coach Hue Jackson.
Even though both men are represented by Kennard McGuire, there are indications that Jackson wasn’t fully on board with the decision to hire McKenzie. Jackson, whom we believe reports directly to owner Mark Davis, has been publicly candid (perhaps too candid) in recent days regarding his desire for more control. It’s our understanding that, behind the scenes, Jackson has been even more candid, and that the arrival of McKenzie could — not will but could — result in Jackson being one and done in Oakland.
Would it be shocking? Yes. But not much more shocking than last year’s decision to part ways with Tom Cable after a far less expected 8-8 season.
Every G.M. wants to hire his own coach. Even if the G.M. says as he walks through the door that he’s fine with the head coach who is in place, every G.M. wants to hire his own coach. With Jackson seeming in recent days like a bit of a loose cannon when it comes to the management of the team, McKenzie could have some real misgivings about moving forward with Jackson.
The fact that McGuire represents both men will influence the situation, but that will go only so far. At some point, McKenzie will have to make what he believes to be the right decision/recommendation for the franchise, even if it means potentially alienating his own agent by firing one of his agent’s other clients.
At this point, we’re not reporting that Jackson is on his way out or predicting that he’s not long for the job. What we do know is that folks inside the league are keeping an eye on Oakland, because there’s a sense that McKenzie and Jackson possibly won’t be able to coexist.