Did Hue Jackson tip his cards on Hagan?

Did Hue Jackson tip his cards on Hagan?
November 2, 2011, 7:17 pm
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ALAMEDA -- The Raiders apparently waiving receiver Derek Hagan to make room for T.J. Houshmandzadeh has created mixed and surprised reactions in the streets of Silver and Blackdom.But should it have? Many fans appreciated Hagan's work ethic and sure hands. Yet coach Hue Jackson gave a huge clue about Hagan's place in the receiver rotation early this season. Despite Hagan leading the team in receiving in the preseason with 12 catches for 224 yards and a touchdown, Hagan was inactive for the season opener at Denver.RELATED: Source -- Raiders waive Hagan to make room for Houshmandzadeh
Asked four days later what went not that decision, Jackson did not blink."OK, let me, because this has come up several times, about Hagan," Jackson said at the time. "I just said Hagan's done a great job and obviously he was our leading receiver in the preseason, right? But I never once said he's the best receiver on our team. I never once said that. What he did in the preseason gave him an opportunity to be on this football team. It did not make him the starting receiver on this football team. So let's make sure we understand where I was with Hagan.
"Now, if he gets an opportunity this weekend, he gets an opportunity but I get to make that decision. Nobody else. Me. So everybody else who thinks I was supposed to put him out there because he was our leading receiver in the preseason, forget that we had other guys that have been very good receivers on this team. So I get to make that decision. That's the decision I made last week and on we go. Now, if he plays this week, he plays."Told he had said players would earn playing time based on performance, Jackson did not flinch, either."Yeah, but here's the deal -- you said'Performed the best,'" Jackson said. "No doubt, but we had some other guys that hadn't practiced that I've seen perform in games and make big plays, (like) Jacoby Ford. So, you guys were like, I'm supposed to sit him down, sit Jacoby Ford down, and let this kid play."No, that's not where I was. So, let's make it clear about what that was. That was for him to get on the team. Performance is what matters, and that's what got him on the team. That's where it starts first. Then, he has to continue to perform and beat some of these guys out and then he'll play. That's the way it works. OK, anything else?"