Hue Jackson has issues with NFL officials


Hue Jackson has issues with NFL officials

MINNEAPOLIS -- For what seems since the halcyon days of JFK's Camelot, the Raiders have been seen as the dirtiest, most foul team in professional football. As such, it's the most heavily-penalized, too.But after another rain of yellow flags, Oakland coach Hue Jackson wants a sit-down at the NFL's roundtable to discuss his team being penalized so much.Unprovoked, Jackson broached the unbroachable following the Raiders' 27-21 victory over Minnesota, a game in which the comedic became the absurd with Oakland being flagged 12 times for 117 yards.

"I am going to reach out to the league myself personally," Jackson said. "I normally don't complain about officiating. I don't make any bones that way because I said I wouldn't. But today, I just truly felt like it was a little unfair. I really do."As a head coach of this football team, I have to look out for my players also and there was a string of calls there where I will go back and see them and review them. But at the end of the day, the description on what was said to me, I just didn't feel that (was satisfactory)."Jackson was referring to a sequence in a single fourth-quarter series in which the Raiders were flagged for defensive pass interference on Lito Sheppard on 4th-and-2, illegal contact on Rolando McClain two snaps later, unnecessary roughness on Desmond Bryant two plays after that and defensive holding on Mike Mitchell on the next snap."I understand that I am a rookie head coach, and maybe I don't get all those calls," Jackson said. "And that is fine. But at the end of the day, I am going to protect my football team, too."I know everyone says we are the most penalized football team in football, and that's a fact and I am not running from that. But there is no way that some things that happened today in that football game (happened)."Jackson said he was also dismayed at what he felt were lack of explanations afforded him."Sometimes I would get brushed aside," Jackson said. "Sometimes I would get talked to as if they didn't know what I was asking, and I just don't think that is fair. I asked several times for explanations and I wouldn't get them."I don't like (talking about ) this because it is not, obviously, about the officiating. And I have always said that when we get good enough, it won't be. Obviously, we might be getting good enough because we are winning games."The Raiders now have a league-leading 103 penalties for 892 yards and are on pace for 165 penalties for 1,427 yards. The single-season record is 158 penalties and 1,304 yards, both dubious marks held by the 1998 Kansas City Chiefs.The Raiders' single-season mark for penalties is the 156 they committed in both 1994 and 1996, while the 1,276 yards in penalties they had last season set the franchise mark."I want us to have the same opportunity that everyone else has in this league," Jackson added. "All of the other 31 teams, we go to the game and it is officiated correctly and people give you explanations as to why things are done and if I can get that, then I am fine. If somebody can tell me exactly why it is like it is, I respect that."But when people just brush you aside and we can't get the ref over here then all of a sudden there is a break in the action but yet he is over there on the other bench having conversations with them but can't come over to me, and I have to remind everybody to come over and see me, I have a hard time with that."Jackson was also dismayed when asked his view of the play that knocked receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey out of the game. Was it clean? Was it dirty? Was it a forearm?"You know, I don't even know what football is anymore," Jackson said. "I don't know what hitting is. I don't know what tackling is. I have been in this game a long time and I can't tell you what hitting, or tackling, is, or what a personal foul or even what anything is anymore."At the end of the day, this team is 6-4 and that is what I am proud of."

Donald Penn yet to report as Raiders return home


Donald Penn yet to report as Raiders return home

ALAMEDA – Raiders left tackle Donald Penn missed training camp holding out for a new, more lucrative contract. He missed Tuesday’s practice, the first back at the team’s training facility.

His protest began 26 days ago. The regular season is 19 days away.

Penn has worked out with top trainers and private offensive line coaches while away from the team, but still needs time to get back in the flow.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported Monday that Penn is expected back this week. He wasn’t there for the first of three sessions when the Raiders will focus on the third preseason game at Dallas. It’s the last meaningful exhibition, with players down on the depth chart expected to populate the preseason finale versus Seattle.

Penn doesn’t necessarily need to play in a preseason game to prep for the Sept. 10 regular-season opener at Tennessee, but it could help.

Head coach Jack Del Rio wouldn’t address Penn’s status, or whether there’s a deadline for him to report and be ready for the regular season.

The Raiders have managed with Marshall Newhouse on the left and Vadal Alexander on the right. The pair has fared well, though the line will be significantly stronger with Penn back and a Newhouse/Alexander competition on the right.

Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie made it clear weeks ago that the Raiders wouldn’t talk contract until a player reports. Penn preferred a contract get done before showing up. Weeks were lost to that impasse.

Quarterback Derek Carr hopes it will end soon, and that Penn will come back to the team.

“It would obviously mean a lot, if that’s what he chooses to do,” Carr said. “He’s our teammate. We want all our teammates here. We want to work hard together. We want to be together and joke together. It’s more than just football. We want to be there in his life, with him.

"It would mean a lot. Obviously, I would love it.”

If McGregor beats Mayweather, Raiders may move to Dublin


If McGregor beats Mayweather, Raiders may move to Dublin

So Las Vegas’ army of legal books are in a moderate panic because they are so overexposed with Conor McGregor bets. Apparently, other than the Maloof brothers, they can’t scare up any Mayweather money at all.

Maybe this is the secret reason Mark Davis has declared publicly that the Raiders intend to colonize Los Angeles.

The latest evidence of the books’ distress is this Big Lead headline, which subtly hints, “Vegas Sportsbooks Are Exposed Like Never Before, Will Be Decimated if Conor McGregor Beats Floyd Mayweather.”

Well, if McGregor wins (and you’ll have to tell me about it because I’d rather watch feet sweat in the noonday sun than this), gambling in Vegas apparently will not exist any longer because the sporting apocalypse will finally be upon us. And if there is no gambling in Vegas, there is no Vegas, and all of a sudden the Raiders are moving to a town whose mayor is an iguana and whose chamber of commerce is tumbleweeds.

Hence, Davis’ answer to a question from Los Angeles Daily News writer Vincent Bonsignore about how L.A. has always been a Raiders’ town and that the team will get lots of its fans from the basin – fans who apparently cannot stomach either the Rams or the Chargers.

Ignoring Davis’ folly of answering that question that way at this time, when the NFL itself is wondering if, for its financial purposes, the mayor of L.A. is an iguana and the chamber of commerce is tumbleweeds, this news reminds us that the league has managed in less than two years to ruin the second-largest market in the United States by dithering, by backroom deals, by aversion of money spent by “the wrong kind of people” (see “brown”). That level of chaos is to be appreciated and enjoyed for what it is – nature’s way of telling rich people who’s boss.

Now, if nature doubles down and figures a way to make McGregor win and break Vegas, maybe the entire down isn’t destroyed but instead becomes a colony of Ireland, where the prime minister is not an iguana but a human, and the closest thing to tumbleweeds is a Guinness brewery.

Maybe if that happens, the Raiders end up playing in Dublin instead (a delightful little asterisk since there was a perfectly good Dublin not far from Oakland to begin with) – and they spend their entire time complaining that they have to share Croke Park and that there are too many markings on the field from all those damned hurling matches.

Of course this isn’t likely to happen, and Vegas keeps taking all the McGregor money you can throw at it. But one of these times, and sooner than we think, the apocalypse is not going to take no for an answer, and you will see Mark Davis with a pipe stuck bowl downward in his mouth standing next to a pot of gold.

Which of course will belong to the Bank Of America, because there are some things even the apocalypse can’t beat.