In some coaching news, after the passing of long time Raiders owner Al Davis, the Raiders organization was due for some changes.  The first change came when Reggie McKenzie was appointed as general manager.  And when general manager’s get the job, their first move is usually to make a major change with the team to show that they mean business (i.e. they are serious about winning).  McKenzie’s first move was to fire first-year head coach Hue Jackson. Jackson wasn’t a bad coach.  He kept the Raiders competitive, and they even slipped into first place a couple times during the season.  But McKenzie said the Raiders were headed in a different direction.  The Raiders clearly aren’t the always-respected franchise they used to be, and McKenzie wants to try and get back on track.

In some other coaching news, the Jacksonville Jaguars found their new man after firing long time head coach Jack Del Rio.  They’re bringing in Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey as their new skipper.  Mularkey has been somewhat of a journeyman in the NFL, but he was the guy who took rookie Matt Ryan and turned him into one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.  The Jags are desperately hoping that Mularkey can come in and do the same thing with Jags rookie Blaine Gabbert going into his second year.  Gabbert was extremely unimpressive in his rookie campaign, and perhaps he just needs a few new philosophies to get him back on tract.

Finally, in some very sad news, on the cusp of playing in the Divisional Playoffs against the New York Giants, a very tough match-up, the Green Bay Packers were dealt a tragic blow.  For the last few days, Michael Philbin, the 21-year old son of Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, had been missing.  The Packers are trying to prepare for the Giants, but how can anyone concentrate when their son is still missing? And just yesterday, Michael Philbin’s body was found in an icy river in Oshkosh Wisconsin.  As of now, police aren’t sure exactly how he died, but it’s just a very difficult time for Joe Philbin and his family.  And the Packers are like one big family, so all of them will be grieving from this.

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