Cable laughs at report of tension with Jackson


Cable laughs at report of tension with Jackson


ALAMEDA -- How fine is that residual line between winning and losing?Well, if the Raiders had somehow held on and pulled out a victory atJacksonville on Sunday, wed be dropping Darren McFaddens name intothe league MVP discussion alongside the likes of Tom Brady, MichaelVick and Philip Rivers. But they didnt, the defense falling flat in surrendering big playsgalore. And while still mathematically alive for their first playoffberth since the 2002 season, the Raiders need help. A lot of it.Dysfunction and chaos reign in Silver and Blackdom when the season islost, and with the third-place Raiders (6-7) staring into the abyss, aYahoo! Sports report, in the wake of Oaklands 38-31 loss to the Jaguars, wastimely. Never mind a home game on the horizon against Denver.It spoke of a tension-filled backdrop to the Raiders modestlybreakthrough season. Of coach Tom Cable being angered by owner AlDavis bringing in Hue Jackson as his offensive coordinator. Of Jacksonassociates accusing Cable of trying to undercut the playcaller. OfJackson being so unhappy with the situation that associates have beenpushing him for a number of openings in the pro and college ranks thisseason.When asked if there was any truth to the report in his weekly Monday media conference, Cable grinned.The only truth is that we were just laughing about it upstairs, Cablesaid. Theres absolutely no issue here between Hue and I. We have aprior relationship. Hes doing a marvelous job. Thats stupidity onwhoever wrote it. We had a lot of fun with it upstairs.But of course. What did you expect Cable to do, make like Kevin Baconin Animal House and yell, All is well; remain calm, while beingtrampled by an onrushing mob?Thing is, the report is no mere much-ado-about-nothing. Yet, its notquite where-theres-smoke-theres-fire, either. Its somewhere inbetween.You think Cable was thrilled to have his play-calling duties strippedat the conclusion of last season? You believe he was absolutely excitedto have a new offensive coordinator dropped in his lap? You honestlysuppose Cable was totally comfortable having a member of his staffknown as CIW, Coach in Waiting for short?Yet that was the word at the time of Cablewatch 10, when so many,including yours truly, were sure the coach was headed to the gallows that Cable survived because he acceded to Davis conditions of stayingon but giving up some power to the new guy.CIW, anyone?Jackson, meanwhile, did not arrive as some innocent. Rightly orwrongly, he came aboard with the reputation of being a smiling schemerworking the back channels for a big break. Harsh? Yes. His image insome coaching corners? No doubt.That Jackson and Cable had worked together previously on staffs at CalState Fullerton in 1990 and at Cal in 1996 made for a nice, smiley,feel-good backdrop. But it was Davis who hired Jackson, not Cable.So more than a few eyebrows were raised in recent weeks when Cableseemed to question the pass-happy playcalling in embarrassing losses tothe 49ers, Pittsburgh and Miami.The Raiders are a running team that has to stick to who we are, Cable said more than once.After the defeat in Jacksonville, Cable appeared to throw Jacksoncompletely under the bus. Asked why, with McFadden at his disposal andKyle Boller in at quarterback for an injured Jason Campbell, theRaiders would pass on third-and-three and again on fourth-and-three(neither play call worked), Cable said, I dont know. That is not forme to decide right now.Of course not. If that was not a shot across the bow of the SS Hue, I dont know what is.Which is why Cable praising Jacksons calls a day later seemed a tadforced, because it came as Cable was asked if he had the authority asthe head coach to change Jacksons calls.I dont need to, Cable said. Hes good at what he does. He did ahell of a job yesterday. I got asked about the third-and-three andfourth-and-three calls. They were two great calls. We just didntexecute them.Note that Cable never really answered the question.Cable was then asked if he talks with Jackson during timeouts about the upcoming play.About what our options are, Cable said. I think the role of the headcoach is to make sure youve looked at an A and a B as your choice.(Hue) did a great job, so theres no issue.So when Jackson makes the call from the sidelines, thats the call, no ifs and or butts about it?Absolutely, Cable said.Then surely, if you guys were laughing off this report, Jackson must beconcerned because the griping appears to be coming from his camp, right?He might be, but again, theres nothing to it whatsoever, Cable said.Its a shame that people would say or do something like that.Got it? Good. Then go head, take it all at face value. Just rememberCables flip-flopping on the QB Carousel that threatened whatever teamchemistry and harmony had been built. Even Jackson had a take on itafter the blowout loss to the Steelers.We dont like to play musical chairs at quarterback, Jackson said,but sometimes you do whatever you think you have to do to win.Cable has dramatically changed the culture, with players swearing by him.Jackson has drastically improved the offense, with the team alreadyscoring more points (314) through 13 games than it has in six of itsprevious seven full seasons.The movie on the team charter flight back home Sunday night wasMachete, a slice em up, dice em up tale of an antihero with aproclivity for knives.Could it have been a metaphor for coaches carving each other up behindthe scenes? Depends upon your point of view, and if the team wins orloses.
What's your take? Email Paul and let him know. He may use it in his Mailbag.

Raiders offensive lineman next in line for extension with Carr's deal done

Raiders offensive lineman next in line for extension with Carr's deal done

The Raiders locked up Derek Carr last week, signing their franchise quarterback to a five-year, $125 million contract extension.

He isn’t the only member of the 2014 draft class worthy of a raise. Edge rusher Khalil Mack will get a big one, likely at some point next offseason. The Raiders have some time with Mack after exercising a fifth-year contract option available for first-round picks.

General manager Reggie McKenzie didn’t have that luxury with Carr, and his 2014 second-round pick cashed in before formally entering a contract year.

Right guard Gabe Jackson could do the exact same thing. McKenzie prefers to draft, develop and reward homegrown talent, and the 2014 third-round pick should be next in line to do so.

McKenzie has said back in March that he’d like to extend Jackson’s contract, though there isn’t a deadline to do so.

“There’s no timetable,” general manager Reggie McKenzie said. “But, I alluded to earlier in the offseason that Gabe is one of the guys I want to get locked up.”

That could happen later this offseason, or further into training camp. Despite paying Carr an NFL-record $25 million in 2017, his contract is structured in such a way that there’s room for another offseason extension. That was important for Carr, that the Raiders can sign other members of this young core.

“We figured out a way to do it,” Carr said, “so that we have the opportunity to sign the other guys that I think are important to this organization.”

The Raiders have roughly $18 million in salary cap space after the Carr deal. Some of that is earmarked for the team’s top three draft picks, which remain unsigned to this point. A large sum could go to Jackson as incentive to sign up early, well before he’s eligible to hit the unrestricted free agency.

The offensive guard market is booming, with bigger deals going to a position group generally lower than other spots on the offensive line. The Raiders contributed to that inflation in 2016, signing left guard Kelechi Osemele to a five-year, $58.5 deal with $25.4 million in guarantees.

Osemele is one of eight guards with contracts worth $40 million or more, a list that includes two right guards. Jackson played left guard – the more valued position – until Osemele showed up. He moved to the right without complaint.

Jackson thrived there as well. He didn’t allow a sack in 2016, according to analytics site Pro Football Focus, with 27 quarterback pressures in 735 pass-blocking snaps. Jackson has been a strong run blocker as a pro, where he has started 44 games in three NFL seasons.

Finding proper value to entice Jackson to sign while remaining on budget is McKenzie’s next task, trying to keep a valuable offensive lineman in place for years to come.

Carr plans to spread new wealth after Raiders contract extension

Carr plans to spread new wealth after Raiders contract extension

ALAMEDA – Derek Carr isn’t one for extravagance. The low-key Raiders quarterback already has some nice cars, a house and some luxury items to his name, but signing a $125 million contract extension Friday morning won't prompt a spending spree.

Cornerback Sean Smith suggested he get a Bugatti. That’s a $1 million car.

“Yeah,” Carr said with a smirk. “That’s not going to happen.”

That isn’t the 26-year old’s style. Carr had a his own plan after signing on the dotted line.

“I’ve been eating clean,” Carr said. “I’ll probably get Chick-fil-A.”

That makes sense. This is a guy who celebrated his first NFL victory with a trip through a Carl’s Jr. drive-in.

There will be other purchases. His wife Heather will get something nice in the near future. His family, especially Heather and sons Dallas and Deker, will be taken care of for life.

After all that, Carr plans to spread the wealth.

“The exciting thing for me moneywise, honestly, is this money is going to help a lot of people,” Carr said. “I’m very thankful to have it, that it’s in our hands because it’s going to help people. Not only in this country, but in a lot of countries around the world. That’s what’s exciting to me.”

Carr and former Raiders running back Latavius Murray took a missionary trip to Haiti, an impoverished nation had a profound impact on the star quarterback.

“I’ve been down to Haiti and I’ve seen some of those struggles that they have and the kids there, and my heart just… I cry sometimes thinking about it,” Carr said. “So, just knowing that we can go down there and make a difference and help, those are the kind of things that the money makes me kind of like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ Because now we can really do some things to help a lot of people.”

He plans to support those in that area, in addition to global and domestic charities he has been involved with over the years. Don’t expect a press release accompanying every donation. Carr would rather keep those decisions private.

“I’m going to do my best to make sure no one knows what we do with it,” Carr said. “I’ll just say this, I can assure you that it’s going to help a lot of people. I’m not stingy. My business manager will probably be on me saying, ‘Hey man, that’s enough.’ I won’t get into when, how or why. It’s not all about that for me. It’s about making a difference. That’s what’s exciting for me is that we’ll be able to do that.”