Aug. 29, 2011GUTIERREZ ARCHIVE
RAIDERS PAGE RAIDERS VIDEOFollow @PGutierrezCSN
CSNCalifornia.comHue Jackson was far from his usual jovial, optimistic self Sunday night. And for good reason. The Raiders had just been throttled by New Orleans, 40-20, in their third exhibition game, which traditionally serves as a dress rehearsal for the regular season.But late Monday afternoon, after a day of studying the tape, Jackson was back to his happy-go-lucky ways, at least, on the telephone."I feel better this morning," the rookie head coach said in a conference call with Bay Area reporters. "Obviously, when you watch the tape, it;'s never as bad or never as good. But there was some things that we can build on."REWIND: Saints double up Raiders at the O.co 40-20
What Jackson liked, and what definitely deserved praise, was the play of the offense, which scored on four of its first six possessions. The highlight was quarterback Jason Campbell answering the Saints' opening 80-yard scoring drive with a 91-yard, 11-play series that ended with Derek Hagan's 35-yard catch-and-run touchdown.What he should not have taken a shine to, and deserved some derision, was rookie cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke getting burned for 73 yards on four Drew Brees passes in that opening New Orleans drive. Put it this way, Van Dyke was directly responsible for all but seven of the Saints' yards in that series.So, after a rough opener against Arizona All-Pro receiver Larry Fitzgerald and then this latest episode, how is the third-round draft pick's confidence?"I don't think his confidence is shaken," Jackson said. "He's a very resilient young man. He knows and understands that people want to keep throwing the ball on him. He needs to get better, we need to get better and we'll do so."All of which brings up the natural follow-up question -- will Chris Johnson, who has been out two weeks with an undisclosed injury, be back this week?"No, not this week," Jackson said. "But sooner, rather than later."One of the most intriguing training camp battles is still up in the air, though Jackson said he has "a pretty good idea" about who his back-up quarterback is going to be."But," Jackson added, "I'm not ready to share that yet."If exhibition game reps are an indicator, Kyle Boller seems to have taken the lead on Trent Edwards.Boller completed five of seven passes for 69 yards for a passer rating of 102.7; Edwards was six of 10 for 60 yards but was sacked three times and his rating was 77.1. Granted, Edwards was basically playing with a third-string offensive line trying to protect him.Gutierrez: Five thoughts from Raiders' loss to Saints
Jackson also said he has not finalized his offensive line yet, though against the Saints it started out like this -- LT Jared Veldheer, LG Stefen Wisniewski, C Samson Satele, RG Cooper Carlisle, RT Khalif Barnes.Safety Mike Mitchell, who has been out since early in camp and was seen last week in Napa on crutches and with his left leg heavily wrapped, is not really in danger of being cut, despite his inactivity and Jerome Boyd making a run at making the team."Jerome is doing a great job and that's a credit to him," Jackson said. "But as far as Mike's concerned, until we're ready to put him back out there (no) decision about where he is on our football team needs to be made."The only injury updates Jackson offered were on backup cornerback Jeremy Ware, who suffered a sprained ankle, and receiver Louis Murphy, who Jackson re-confirmed would not be ready for the season opener in Denver on Sept. 12. Murphy has been hobbled after undergoing a procedure to correct symptoms that sound like a sports hernia. The Raiders have not said what is ailing Murphy.The defense, which has given up 402 and 514 total yards the past two exhibitions, was described as a "work in progress" by Jackson."I like our personnel," Jackson added. "Our personnel just needs to go to work and keep working at the things that we need to improve on."Teams have to get their rosters down to a maximum of 80 players by 1 p.m. PT Tuesday and the Raiders currently have 88 on their active roster, including quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who will not count against the final tally when his suspension begins.
The Raiders practice Tuesday at 11:15 a.m. at their Alameda facility. The rest of this week's schedule -- practice Wednesday at 11:15 a.m. in Alameda, travel to Seattle on Thursday, play the Seahawks in exhibition finale Friday with kickoff at 7 :30p.m. and off Saturday, when rosters must be cut down to 53 players by 1 p.m. PT.
Aug. 29, 2011GUTIERREZ ARCHIVE