Hue Jackson, Ron Wolf tug-of-war could be coming in Oakland


Raiders coach Hue Jackson has made it clear that he wants to be involved in the search for a new G.M. in Oakland.  But Jackson doesn’t know whether he will be.

One man who will be involved in the process is former Packers G.M. Ron Wolf.  And there are indications that Jackson may not be comfortable with that approach.

Wolf is strongly advocating Packers director of football operations Reggie McKenzie.  Per a league source, Jackson believes that, if McKenzie lands in Oakland, he’ll bring along Packers assistant director of player personnel Eliot Wolf, with a promotion.

Eliot Wolf is the son of Ron Wolf.

Thus, Jackson’s desire to be involved in the G.M. search could be aimed at ensuring that the best person is hired for the job, not the person in the best position to Polianize the Raiders’ front office.  Moreover, it will be important that Jackson and the new G.M. have a strong working relationship; in this regard, the Raiders need look no farther than the recent dysfunction in Kansas City between Scott Pioli and Todd Haley and the fairly recent ruckus in San Diego between A.J. Smith and Marty Schottenheimer.

We’ve previously speculated that Jackson’s contract likely gives him a straight-line reporting obligation to the owner of the team.  If that’s accurate, the coach and the G.M. will have equal status in the reconfigured Raiders front office.  Unless Mark Davis wants to be caught in the middle of two men who can’t get along, it’s important to ensure that Jackson is comfortable with — and can work with — whoever ends up getting the job.

In other words, any behind-the-scenes (or otherwise) maneuverings by Jackson and/or Ron Wolf aimed at getting Davis to side with either man as to the selection of a G.M. could be a precursor to the day-in, day-out squabbles that could unfold if Jackson believes he’s dealing with a front office that isn’t on the same page with him.

Of course, it’s also important that the G.M. not be a puppet for the coach.  And so Jackson can’t dominate the process of hiring someone who then would be indebted to Hue and thus unlikely to stand up to him when Hue projects the kind of hardheadedness that has emerged in some of his recent comments to the media.

The broader question for Davis could be whether Jackson will be able to properly work in true partnership fashion with any G.M.  If Davis thinks Jackson can’t, perhaps the right move for the franchise would be to use this occasion to hire a new coach, too.

66 responses to “Hue Jackson, Ron Wolf tug-of-war could be coming in Oakland

  1. No way can the coach supersede a GM. Thats ludicrous. Oh wait, we’re talking Oakland; that sounds about right.

  2. Reggie McKenzie would be nuts to leave Green Bay to walk into any position where he is not the boss, including hiring and firing the head coach.

    One of Ron Wolf’s most important personnel decisions in Green Bay was to hire Mike Holmgren.

    One of Ted Thompson’s most important personnel decisions in Green Bay was to hire Mike McCarthy.

    The head coach should report to the GM.

    Ron Wolf owes a lot to Al Davis — he was a professional mentor to Wolf — Which is why Ron Wolf is involved in this at all. But any management structure other than having the head coach report to the GM would not be a good situation for McKenzie or for Eliot Wolf.

    McKenzie would be better off going to Chicago where the commitment to Lovie Smith is only for one more year.

  3. If Davis has any common sense he’ll take the advice of the man that built the great Packers teams of the 90’s and not the man who shipped off a first rounder for Captain Interception.

  4. raiderlyfe510 says:
    Jan 4, 2012 7:13 AM
    In Ron Wolf, we trust,

    Ron Wolf is a Raider Icon.
    Right on, whatever Ron Wolf decides is fine with me.

    They might want to hang on to Al Saunders though, and keep the offensive they have now.

  5. jackson wants to be involved so he can get a guy who likes him and wont fire his arse. Its that simple. Jackson already set the franchise back years because of that stupid stupid trade for carson palmer.

  6. I am not a Raider fan at all. But I am excited to see where this franchise goes without Al Davis at the helm. I for one would like to see some tweaks to that uniform. Nothing along the lines of Denver, Arizona or Minnesota. But something subtle like San Francisco.

  7. Wolf would have been with the Raiders when they drafted Reggie McKenzie back in 85. Many fans won’t remember that he was a starting inside linebacker for a couple of years, alongside Matt Millen.

    Hopefully he’d be a better GM than Millen was…

  8. So does every GM hire their son? Have they ever heard of nepotism? The NFL seems to be run like a Mid-East country.

  9. Just hire a GM with a proven record of success so the team can get to hiring a new DC and other staff. Just as much is lost by indecision than the wrong decision at this point. The clock on the talen pool is running.

  10. “If Davis thinks Jackson can’t, perhaps the right move for the franchise would be to use this occasion to hire a new coach, too.”

    As a Raider fan, I don’t want to have to go through another coaching change, except it would mean HueJax is out. I would rather have Art Shell back than this boob. He’s a horrible head coach.

  11. Maybe Hue wants the Wolf there….Hue just wanted to win. im happy he is pissed they didnt. the raiders need that fire. Hue will know his place and will get the job done..

  12. It would be easier to fire Jackson, he isn’t that good anyway. He should be fired for the simple fact he traded two 1st round draft picks for Carson I threw 16 Int’s in 9 games Palmer.

  13. I like Hue but he needs to know ‘his place’ within the organization. Love the fact that Ron Wolf has such influence on a team that never shouldve let him get away to begin with….

    Cant wait to see this ship cleaned up and righted…


  14. Jackson is doing the old power play and believes he can flex his muscles and he alone should be able name a GM or convince Davis that he can do both.

  15. If I hire someone to search for management personel and on eo the names on the list is a relative then I need to fire the guy.

  16. Mark (and Carol) Davis are going to side with Ron Wolf and John Madden (also involved). They have been very close for decades and have utmost trust in each other.

    Hue showed his true colors in the last week.

  17. This, from a man who blew at least four leads this year, demands that he be involved in ALL aspects of the team…I feel a little sorry for Mark Davis having this man around. He along with a few other head coaches..see Jason Garrett.. have no business in the head coaching business.

  18. To steal a quote from Bill Tobin, “who in the hell is Hue Jackson anyway?” Jackson has the biggest ego of a guy that has never accomplished anything that I have ever seen.

  19. If Jackson can’t get along with a new GM, then fire Jackson. Pretty simple solution. It’s not like he has done anything special…unless you consider a .500 record special.

  20. An 8-8 record leaves plenty to be desired. Hue would be wise to buy and read The Prince by Machiavelli. His record as a head coach gives him little if any leverage in the decision as to who the next GM should be. He would be to wise to focus on creating better schemes and programs for next season. That is if he’s the head coach next season. Its obvious that he’s severely handicapped when it comes to being Machiavellian.

  21. Eliot Wolf signed a contract extension in Green Bay last year or year before. Ted Thompson is unlikely to let him leave if Reggie McKenzie goes.

    The Packers learned a valuable lesson when Mike Holmgren took half of their front office/ coaching staff away to Seattle (and did little with them).

    Holmgren= great head coach- terrible executive.

  22. Hue Jackson may be pig headed, but nepotism is worse.
    Only time will tell if Eliot Wolf will make a good GM.

  23. Do your homework people.. Whatever Ron Wolf says goes! Once a Raider ALWAYS a Raider!

  24. Whomever the Raiders new GM is, he needs full power to decide who the coach will be. If it works out that Jackson is that guy, great. If not, send him on his way. That is the biggest key to any organization, everyone being on the same page.

  25. No tug-of-war coming. Jackson knows that loss pretty much has his decision making in neutral after the Palmer deal didnt get them to the playoffs. I might also add that it is going to be a media fueled twitter war as the Packers are still in the Playoff race, and a Super Bowl win would probably end Jackson’s tenure as head coach, as Wolf may just take some coordinators and appoint them within the staff ,and ultimately replace Jackson altogether.

    Jackson is on thin ice, since the Palmer deal didnt put them in the playoffs – which he near guaranteed. “Build a bully” may ultimately haunt him…..

  26. This controversy is only beginning. Hue Jackson is delusional and really doesn’t realize how inept he actually is. It’s gonna take someone with real big ones to reveal that to him.

  27. The last line of this article is the most important one. Hue is entirely too full of himself for someone so bad at game managing. There’s no sense in wasting another season with this guy. Let the new GM pick a head coach, preferably a defense minded guy like Mike Zimmer or Winston Moss, leave Saunders in place so the offense is afforded a seamless transition, and let’s get this thing turned around.

    We waited a long time to get Al out of the way. The last thing we need is for Hue to pick up that torch of arrogance and incompetency and run with it.

  28. If the Raiders kicked Jackson to the curb and brought in McKenzie their team could be a perennial contender in 3-4 years.

  29. As a Raider fan I really hope Mark Davis listens to Ron Wolf and Amy Trask . Finally having a sound chain of command would actually make up for not having a draft and having executives that have worked in the Packer front office right now could only be a big plus . We need a strong front office not a coaching snake oil salesman . I find Hue Jackson to self serving . Not what the Raiders need right now .

    I also hope Mark Davis doesn’t let the franchise leave the bay area . Just win baby !!

  30. Who is Hue Jackson anyway? Raiders missed the playoffs–AGAIN! I understand that they have made some improvements and are at least a .500 team but give me a break. Hue needs to step back and just worry about why the defense collapsed and also why they insisted on letting Palmer throw them out of playoff contention. Leave the front office stuff to a guy that already has a good track record. Jackson thinks he has Bill Belichek cred without winning anything yet.

  31. Most of this is still speculation but Hue Jackson needs to go, he is the worst head coach in the NFL, unable to prepare himself or his team for games, he should be ashamed of himself and I think that Mark Davis will send him packing.

  32. Why would I care who my GM picks if I don’t have any draft picks for the next few years because my current crazy coach traded them all away?

  33. Hue’s false statements to date:
    We’re going to build a bully
    I know what needs to be fixed and I will fix it
    We’re going to win the AFC west
    The best players will play
    Players will be held accountable

    Who can trust anything this guy says? He’s all about what’s best for Hue Jackson, NOT what’s best for the team. The way he separates himself from problem areas on HIS team is a telling trait.
    He saw in the 2nd game of the season that the defense was in a shambles, and he chose to ride with it the rest of the season? How is that being accountable?

    There is no way on Earth Hue should have more of a hand in anything to do with the team. He’s turning into a dumpster fire in Alameda.

    He DID out-perform my expectations. When he was promoted, I told everyone I know that they’d be 7-9 this year.

    So there’s that….

  34. The honeymoon was over with Hue after he gave up in KC…

    He points the finger at the Defense, and Chuck needs to go again, however the offense could not score unless they used a trick play.

    To Hue: When you point the finger, four point back at you. Good day .

  35. Giving up those two first round picks for Carson Palmer makes the Oakland job less attractive for the someone like Reggie Mckenzie who was schooled in the Ron Wolf – Ted Thompson school of building through the draft.

    But the Bears could be a good destination for Reggie.

    And Eliot is turning into a good personnel man, too. He’s had the training. It’s in the blood.

  36. Raider Nation –

    Reggie McKenzie is your guy. He’s Ted Thompson’s protege in the same sense that Thompson was Wolf’s. And as a Packers fan, I hope they don’t let Eliot Wolf leave. He’s spent his entire life in the film room, and would love for him to be Thompson’s eventual successor in 5-10 years. He was a teenager when he tried to convince his dad to trade up and draft Ray Lewis, only to have Baltimore draft him one spot in front (with the Packers drafting the forgetable John Michels who was more interested in becoming a doctor than playing football). He filed his first scouting report at age 14 while interning with the Atlanta Falcons, and has attended 19 consecutive scouting combines (he’s 29 years old so, do the math).

    Bring in McKenzie, keep Saunders as OC, and replace Jackson with Packers assistant HC Winston Moss. Bring in Darren Perry to coordinate the defense. Packers West.

  37. Jackson may have been the best guy to hire last year, but the circumstances this year and his latest comments have me thinking the Raiders would best be served by getting rid of the entire staff (like the Bucs did) and allow a new “regime” to get better results from an under performing team (even with the injuries). Jackson’s ego is getting out of hand and that will hurt the team in the near future. I don’t think he is the right guy to keep as long as his attitude remains the same.

  38. yamchargers says:
    Jan 4, 2012 7:34 AM
    Dysfunction outlived Al Davis in Jokeland
    Say a charger fan, whose Owner decides to fire a head coach that goes 14-2, and decides to keep the staus quo, and continue with mediocrity, a quality that is adequate or acceptable but not very good. The joke is on you!

  39. Jackson is a 2nd year coach who has never had a winning record and no experience in personnel other than trading high draft picks for a retired QB

    I’m hoping the Davis family does what’s right for the team…Jackson needs to shut up and coach – or fire him.

  40. jimmysee says:
    Jan 4, 2012 7:20 AM

    McKenzie would be better off going to Chicago where the commitment to Lovie Smith is only for one more year.

    Not really, since McKenzie could end up ultimately firing Jackson and have year head start on putting a staff together…25% of the league will be free agents, and with coaching turnover, plenty of assistants to choose from.

    The problem is with no new stadium in the mix, the revenue stream is going to be limited, so it behooves them to get a new site going (LA), (Dublin), (San Jose) wherever, so they can get a long term deal to finalize the franchise really moving forward.

  41. Hue haters seem to forget his team was 7-4 at one point… and this was after losing his starting Qb and his best player in McFadden.

    Hue the rookie HC, did a good enough job to keep his job. Hue the GM had too much on his plate and it showed down the stretch. I don’t have a problem with him wanting to be involved in the GM search… it’s his bosses (Mark Davis and Amt Trask) who must put things in proper persepctive for him and reel him in a bit. They are the ones who must be most responsible and accountable for how the new GM enters into the Raiders mix.

  42. jimmysee, kmdp4:

    The trade for Palmer was NOT for two ones. It was for a one and a two, with the two becoming a one ONLY if the Raiders make it to the AFC championship game next season, and Hitler will need earmuffs in his current home before that happens. The trade was disasterous enough from the Raiders’ standpoint as it is; no need to make it worse.

  43. I love the fact Mark Davis has enlisted the help of Ron Wolf to make this decision. Wolf will have the best interests of the team at heart and McKenzie is a former Raider who has been a part of the best team in the NFL right now. I like Hue Jackson, but he’s emotional and I think he was overwhelmed with all the responsibility that was thrown on him this season. I think he needs to either accept just being the Coach or they need to part ways. Unlike most I didn’t dislike the Palmer trade either. They have a QB who can win ball games and they weren’t going to get that with the 18th pick of the draft this year. Finally after many years of disfunction it appears my beloved Raiders may get their act together.

  44. uwsptke,

    Thanks for the background. I like your idea a lot. Hue is a good guy, but I’m not sure he’s cut out for the HCing thing after what I’ve seen this year both on the field and off.

    I was and always will be a huge Al Davis fan, but there is no question he let this franchise slip over the past decade and this is an opportunity to start fresh and build the team under the guidance of a modern day Ron Wolf type GM. I think the Raiders would be crazy not to take advantage of this opportunity.

  45. Hue is a glorified coordinator. He’s not head coaching material. I view it like this. Lets say your neighbor has two giant apple trees. One tree consistantly produces good apples and one tree doesn’t. You want an apple tree in your own yard someday but you must plant it yourself. Which tree do you acquire seeds from? Hue comes from NOTHING. He comes from teams headed by Cable, Spurrier, Petrino, Marvin Lewis, John Harbaugh and Marty Shottenheimer (Skins). What exactly is his pedigree?? Don’t get me wrong… many coaches have started out this way- advancing through the ranks on the backs of teams whom they won nothing with. What i’m asking you is- who you gonna trust? A no named coach who has a few playoff wins and nothing more? Or the advice of a former SB winning GM- who also teeters on the edge of being called a football genius. Ron Wolf has a clue and he loves your franchise enough to share it. Don’t look the gift horse in the mouth.

  46. Fact – Hue Jackson is the coach

    Fact- the GM passed away

    Fact- Raiders will hire a football guy that knows football to be involved in all decisions.

    Fact- Hue would like a lot of things, know one blames him for wanting that.

    Fact – Nobody knows anything about the raiders and what they are planning on doing except the raiders.

  47. disturbedshifty says: Jan 4, 2012 7:30 AM

    I am not a Raider fan at all. But I am excited to see where this franchise goes without Al Davis at the helm. I for one would like to see some tweaks to that uniform. Nothing along the lines of Denver, Arizona or Minnesota. But something subtle like San Francisco.

    You need to shut your dirty mouth. Oakland needs to make some changes, but the uniform is not on the list.

  48. disturbedshifty says: Jan 4, 2012 7:30 AM

    I am not a Raider fan at all. But I am excited to see where this franchise goes without Al Davis at the helm. I for one would like to see some tweaks to that uniform. Nothing along the lines of Denver, Arizona or Minnesota. But something subtle like San Francisco.
    WOW, I was actually going to comment on the subject at hand, but this I could not pass up. Just W.T.F. are you talking about disturbedshifty? Oh yea, maybe something beige would be nice! Or maybe a nice mauve!
    Oh Yes, you’re disturbed! Seriously! Mentally! Disturbed!

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