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Jackson brought fire, ice in single season as Raiders' coach

  • By Marc Sessler NFL.com
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It's one and done for Hue Jackson in Oakland.

In a rapid fall from grace, Jackson was dismissed Tuesday as coach of the Raiders after only one season, an 8-8 campaign highlighted by big words, a few big wins and, ultimately, a crash-and-burn act that leaves the franchise searching for the 18th coach in its history.

Jackson's dismissal comes just days after the hiring of general manager Reggie McKenzie, who appears determined to remake the organization.

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Back in October, in the days following Raiders owner Al Davis' death, Jackson was celebrated for his vocal leadership amid remarkable transition. His rousing postgame speech after a win over the Texans -- one day after Davis' passing -- appeared to signal a new start in Oakland.

But Jackson flashed mega-hubris in parting with first- and second-round draft picks for quarterback Carson Palmer, who failed to lift the Raiders to the playoffs despite the coach calling it the "the greatest trade in football."

As the Raiders floundered down the stretch -- punctuated by a disastrous 28-27 loss to the Lions -- Jackson's fiery, well-crafted language about guiding Oakland into new frontiers started to fall on deaf ears.

When Redskins linebacker London Fletcher visited with NFL.com last week, he talked about NFL team captains being measured and legitimized by their grace under fire. When the floor falls out, players know what kind of captain they have. Young players watch their coach -- especially a new one -- with those same eyes.

When Jackson called out his players after their season-ending loss to the Chargers, telling reporters, "Yeah, I'm pissed at my team," whispers spread that he already had lost large sections of a locker room that once believed in his message.

Jackson admitted he was stunned by Tuesday's firing, especially when he considered himself close to McKenzie.

"He's going to gut this place," Jackson told Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. "He (McKenzie) wants to bring in his own guys. No job is safe right now."

One, however, is open in Oakland.

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