Apart from the obvious implications of a pair of ugly home losses in a division the Raiders dominated last year, there are clear signs that Oakland coach Hue Jackson has entered the post-honeymoon phase of his career as a head coach.
We’ve been hearing increasing chatter via our network of sources regarding a growing perception among players that Jackson’s power in the wake of the passing of owner Al Davis has gone to Jackson’s head. It’s believed within the locker room that Jackson is running the show; as one league source explained it, some players believe Jackson isn’t qualified to have that much power.
Punctuating the quietly growing sense of resentment was a team meeting from Saturday night in which Jackson warned players that he’s already looking at free agents and that he won’t hesitate to cut current members of the team and replace them. Whatever Jackson did to push the right buttons before the game against the Broncos didn’t work; Oakland lost by 14 points to a team that extensively used the kind of college-style read-option offense that isn’t supposed to work at the NFL level.
Winning, as we’ve seen elsewhere, can quickly quiet the complainers. Jackson gets a chance to get things under control come Thursday night, when the Raiders travel to San Diego for a game against the Chargers.