The Raiders did nearly a complete coaching overhaul this offseason. Tom Cable is out and Hue Jackson is promoted to the head job. He hired a lot of new assistants to join him in his quest to bring the Raiders back to their winning ways. But among all of the new hires, quarterbacks coach was not one of them.
Under Tom Cable, not only did they have a quarterbacks coach (Paul Hackett), but they even had a passing game coordinator (Ted Tollner). On top of that, Hue Jackson was hired last season as the offensive coordinator.
That is a lot of offensive minds all focusing on one aspect of a team. Which makes it all the more strange that now there is no one on this staff with the singular objective of coaching the quarterbacks. Or so it would seem.
It appears at this moment that Hue Jackson himself will be handling those duties. Then the question becomes if he is trying to wear too many hats. On top of his head coaching duties, he is also the offensive play caller and, apparently, the quarterbacks coach.
It is not unprecedented for a head coach to pull double duty. Sometimes it works out. But often times it does not. And if things go wrong, there is that much more blame to fall on Jackson himself, especially when the struggles can be simply attributed to being spread too thin. Whether those claims are valid or not.
But aside from the precarious position in which Hue is putting himself, this may just be the best choice.
It is true that Hue will be wearing three hats. But those hats are not extremely heavy. As the new head coach, he will have familiarity with the team from last year working in his favor. He has their respect and they have his. That puts him in a much more comfortable position than a new coach coming over from another team—especially considering those new coaches haven’t met their players yet.
Second off, he is the offensive play caller but he has a brilliant offensive guru in Al Saunders as offensive coordinator. So while Hue may have the final say in which plays are called, Saunders will be designing much of the plays. Also the input and assistance he gets from Saunders will make his play calling duties a lot easier. This situation is considerably different than if Jackson was trying to juggle being the head coach and offensive coordinator as his predecessor attempted to do prior to his arrival.
And lastly, who better to coach Campbell and Boller than Hue Jackson? They are both familiar with Jackson and he is familiar with them. Campbell from working under him as offensive coordinator last season and Boller from last season and going back to Hue’s days as the quarterbacks coach for the Ravens.
Hue has said that he “wants his hands all over this team.” And there is nothing he does better and seems to enjoy more than coaching quarterbacks. On top of that, if the Raiders were to bring in another quarterbacks coach, he, Campbell, and Boller would have to acclimate to a new coaching style. This way they have the continuity of Jackson. And for Hue’s sake, he won’t find himself wanting to be more hands on with the quarterbacks while trying to be careful not to step on the toes of his quarterbacks coach.
So, while on one hand the Raiders may find it beneficial to have a head coach who was just the head coach and not perhaps spreading himself too thin, on the other hand the alternative could be worse.
The Raiders have seen firsthand that quantity in coaches doesn’t always equal quality. You just have to ask yourself which is crazier; three coaches to fill one role, or one coach to fill three?