Hue Jackson behaved in 2011 like a man who wasn't thinking long term. He knew he might have to make the playoffs to keep his job as coach with a new power structure arriving in Oakland, so he went all-in.
"You can beat that doggone story 'til it's worn out," McKenzie told Peter King in this week's Monday Morning Quarterback. "But I know this: We've got a quarterback we think can win the division and take us to the playoffs. Losing a one and a two doesn't bother me one bit."
McKenzie is wholeheartedly supporting Palmer because he doesn't have a choice. What else can he really say? McKenzie can't admit the Raiders gave up too much for a player who too often looks like a league-average starting quarterback. This is the hand McKenzie was dealt. We highly doubt he would have made the same trade.
"Never thought, 'Woe is me,' " McKenzie said about taking the job in Oakland. "I just figured, 'We'll find players.' "
McKenzie has done a nice job thus far making tough decisions and signing some low-cost free agents. His ability to find players, however, is less important this season than Palmer's ability to prove he was worthy of such a big investment.