Jackson consults with Davis, Trask


Jackson consults with Davis, Trask

ALAMEDA -- With quarterback Jason Campbell lost for at least six weeks with a fractured collarbone, the Raiders have a huge decision to make before Tuesday's 1 p.m. PT trade deadline.

Which begs the question: in the wake of Al Davis' passing on Oct. 8, who does coach Hue Jackson answer to now in regards to player personnel decisions?

"I'm not going to do this alone," Jackson said. "I talk to Mark (Davis), I talk to Amy (Trask). Those are my two people I spend a lot of time talking to because they've been here and they're people I know the most.

"Then I pray. I pray hard to try to make the right decision. I ask for guidance and wisdom. We all need to because we're trying to win. That's the way it is. Those people are very, very important to this process. I'm not doing anything without Mark Davis and I'm not doing anything without Amy Trask knowing."

There had been reports that the Raiders were leaning on John Madden, Ken Herock and Ron Wolf in recent days.

I asked Jackson if he had been consulting anyone outside of the organization.

"I can't bounce things off those guys because they'll start telling my secrets," Jackson said with a laugh. "I can't do that. They start telling on me. Theyll start telling you guys and you guys will write them."

Jackson paused.

"I really don't," he added. "We try to keep everything in here pretty close to the vest because that's the way it should be. What we're trying to do is something that I think every team is trying to do. There's a blueprint of how to do it and we're working our blueprint."

Davis passed away Oct. 8 at the age of 82. Mark Davis became team owner following his father's death.

Trask is the team's CEO. She said last week that at some juncture there will be a search for a director of football operations or a general manager, possibly both.

Wolf played a prominent role in personnel operations with the Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders from 19661975, and again from 19781990.

Herock is a former Raiders player (1963-67). He was Oakland's player personnel director in 1975 after starting his front office career with the Raiders in 1970 as a combination personnel scout and special teams and tight end coach.

Donald Penn: Raiders players trust McKenzie will add right pieces

Donald Penn: Raiders players trust McKenzie will add right pieces

The Raiders were pretty darn good last season. A 12-4 record proved that point. There was plenty of talent on a team with a penchant for high-wire acts in victory that masked the fact there were holes on the roster.

They need to be filled for the Raiders to improve in 2017, and new players will be imported through free agency and the draft.

Left tackle Donald Penn is excited to see who gets added, but said there’s no doubt talent is coming to Oakland. He speaks for Raiders players, who have faith that general manager Reggie McKenzie will make the right moves.

“Things that Reggie has done in past drafts have been great, and we’re looking forward to seeing what he brings back towards us,” Penn said recently during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network. “We can’t wait to get back out there healthy. We’re ready to hit the football world with a storm.”

While new guys are coming, a few might head out. The Raiders have several unrestricted free agents. Penn wants to keep his guys around – he mentioned running back Latavius Murray by name -- though he has some ideas for McKenzie’s checklist.

The Raiders don’t need much with most key players under contract – the Raiders should be less active in free agency over past offseasons – but a few key components could put this team over the top.

“If we stick to Reggie’s plan, we’ll be great,” Penn said. “I know he’s going to have a great draft, add a couple little pieces here and there – maybe somebody in the secondary to help out a little bit.

"On offense, you could always use a weapon. Maybe we get another receiver to take (pressure off Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper), but we have a good nucleus right now.”

Raiders LT Donald Penn: QB Derek Carr 'almost 100 percent'

Raiders LT Donald Penn: QB Derek Carr 'almost 100 percent'

Derek Carr is on the mend. The Raiders franchise quarterback had surgery to repair his fibula shortly after he broke it in a Week 16 victory over Indianapolis, and is recovering well during the offseason.

Carr insisted on intense rehab this winter in an attempt – however unlikely it may have been – to return should the Raiders have played in the Super Bowl. It slowed to a normal pace after the Raiders' loss at Houston in the postseason’s opening round, but those in contact with him say he’s making strides.

Left tackle Donald Penn was recently in contact with Carr, and provided an update on Monday during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network.

“I texted Derek (a few) days ago checking in,” Penn said, “and he said he’s almost 100 percent.”

Surgically-repaired broken filbulas take significant time to heal, and the Raiders plan to be conservative with their MVP candidate during the offseason. Derek Carr’s brother and NFL Network analyst David Carr, who was on set with Penn on Monday, said Derek could be back for offseason work.

“He’s doing good,” David Carr said. “He’s walking around already, stretching it out. You can’t do a lot for the bone, right? But he’s going to be back. He’s going to get a whole full offseason in. That’s going to be the best part.”