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GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 26: Quarterback Bruce Gradkowski #5 of the Oakland Raiders talks with offensive coordinator Hue Jackson during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 26, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Raiders 24-23. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Bruce Gradkowski; Hue Jackson

Hue Jackson will be introduced as the Raiders coach Tuesday. And he will be fired ... in two seasons, one season or by Thanksgiving?

Jackson had better be a cutting-edge offensive innovator who returns the Raiders to greatness, of which an 8-8 campaign does not qualify.

Otherwise, his job security is nonexistent under Al Davis, the Raiders' unparalleled icon and the most demanding employer known to mankind.

Undercover boss? Not Davis. At 81, he still rules with an iron fist as legendary as Captain Hook's.

"The fire in Hue will set a flame that will burn for a long time in the hearts and minds of the Raider football team and the Raider Nation," Davis said in a statement.

A long time? As calculated in Raider years or dog years?

We've heard such promises in the past, only to see coach after coach get burned.

Jackson is the Raiders ninth coach in 17 seasons since the Raiders returned to Oakland in 1995.

That hiring/firing spree started with Mike White (two years), Joe Bugel (one) and then Jon Gruden (a four-year run that ages better with each passing day). Bill Callahan, lasted two seasons -- the first featuring an AFC championship, the second showcasing the "dumbest team in America."

After Callahan came Norv Turner for two seasons. He got dismissed rather politely by Davis compared with those after him in the firing line.


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Five years ago, Art Shell was welcomed back for his second tour of (Al's) duty. Wasn't Shell's contract "for life"? He was gone after a robust 2-14 season.

Lane Kiffin strutted around for 20 games. Then came one showstopping firing, complete with an overhead-projector demonstration by Davis. The heat in that projector's bulbs seared Kiffin's heart.

Tom Cable stepped in for Kiffin four games into 2008, then staggered through personal and professional turmoil. Two days after the Raiders completed a 6-0 run through the AFC West and finished 8-8, Cable got his silver-and-black parachute, which reportedly cost him $120,000 in fines out of this season's paychecks.

That conga line of coaches makes it increasingly difficult to buy into whoever steps in next.

Jackson, 45, is the next victim. His promotion was expected as far back as a year ago when he was hired as offensive coordinator.

Jackson didn't take long to climb up the ladder of authority, publicly declaring that he benched quarterback Jason Campbell at halftime of the Raiders' second game.

But has Campbell since grown on Jackson? The Raiders definitely got better offensively, but how much of that was running back Darren McFadden's emergence, as opposed to any Campbell-Jackson meshing?

Bigger question: Why would Jackson want a job proven to have such a short shelf-life? Answer: Jackson hasn't had a head coaching job in his life. He's presumably never clocked in for work at his new pay scale.

Only 32 of these jobs exist. Check that. None of the other 31 NFL coaching spots compare to the Raiders' work conditions.

If Jackson thrives, he will reverse a troubling trend and thus deserve major recognition that he could parlay into a better job (see: Gruden, 2002).

Jackson has to keep the offensive progress on the fast track to success. That AFC West window won't stay open much longer. The defending champion Kansas City Chiefs are up-and-coming, even if they faded at the finish line this season. The Denver Broncos have new leadership in executive John Elway and coach John Fox. The San Diego Chargers still have the division's best quarterback in Philip Rivers.

Jackson's promotion should make for a smooth transition on the offensive side, where Campbell, McFadden and a young receiving corps return. As for the linemen, they were in Cable's corner, and even though reinforcement is needed at most spots, Jackson had better win over that unit to keep the offense moving forward.

But Jackson's job has other duties. Hobnobbing with "Coach Davis" -- as Jackson referred to Al this season -- won't be so easy anymore. Harmonizing a locker room and coaching staff falls on Jackson now, too.

Jackson was friendly and energetic during his first season in Alameda. But the place and its unique atmosphere has a tendency of cooling off that flame needed to coach the Raiders for "a long time."

Jackson has been coaching for almost 25 years. He's coordinated the Raiders, Atlanta Falcons (2007) and Washington Redskins (2003), as well as Cal (1996) and USC (1997-2000).

He hasn't stayed in one NFL locale for more than three years. That leaves him at least 24 months still to serve on Al-catraz.

Contact Cam Inman at cinman@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/CamInman.