Jackson not apologizing for play calls

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Jackson not apologizing for play calls

ALAMEDA -- A day later, and Hue Jackson was still comfortable with what have turned out to be two of his more controversial calls in the Raiders' 28-27 loss to Detroit.He was making no apologies for them.That third call, though, kicking the extra-point instead of going for the two-point conversion following Aaron Curry's fumble recovery and return for a touchdown that gave the Raiders a 27-14 lead with 7:47 remaining? Yeah, Jackson might like a do-over for that and go for the "two" that would have given the Raiders a 14-point lead if successful and, if things played out as they did, led to overtime."I figured, there's no way this team's going to score 13 points," Jackson said Monday in his weekly media conference. "You know, you look back at it now, maybe that's a decision you could have did differently. But at the time ... I felt very comfortable where our team was, being 13 up -- Let's kick it, let's go in.
"I think the rhythm, the team was excited, the special teams unit was out there. I was talking to the defensive coaches to get a stop, make sure we slow this team down. That's where my head was. Not that I wasn't into the game, or thinking about, Well should we be up 14, should we be up 13? I just felt very comfortable ... we kick it, let's go play defense, get this ball back, three and out, let's go."Earlier, though, in the first quarter, Jackson chose to go for it on 4th-and-1 from the Detroit 24-yard line, rather than kick a field goal. Carson Palmer overthrew an open Denarius Moore in the end zone, though it appeared as though the rookie receiver was held by Lions cornerback Chris Houston."I mean, was the guy wide open, or not?" Jackson said. "At the end of the day, if we hit that play you guys are all saying, 'Boy, what a great call.' And when you miss it, 'It's three more points you could have had.' Well, I understand that, and that's part of this deal -- the good coaches that make those calls and they get them and sometimes you come up the wrong way and it doesn't happen that way."And on that 3rd-and-3 bomb from midfield to Chaz Schilens that bounded off the receiver's hands with 2:27 to play and the Raiders nursing a six-point lead?"It was a long three (yards to go)," Jackson said. "Everybody thought that that was a go-route. That's not a go-route; that's a slant-and-go. If I'm not mistaken we were one-of-seven at that point in third downs. They had packed the box. Everybody was standing up there. The one thing this team had been biting on, and if you studied the tape, was slants, so that's why Chaz was so wide open."It goes back to the same thing -- you hit it, we're not having this conversation. It's notwe're trying to throw the ball long. That's not the design of the play. That's not where it is. But I think, like I said, when you hit them, it's great. When you don't, then you leave yourself open for questioning."If you make them, we all feel good, if you don't, that's what happens."Still, Jackson allowed that he contemplated calling a run play for Michael Bush, who was averaging 5.7 yards per run on nine carries in the fourth quarter."But if you go back, they had put a linebacker over the tight end, they took the safety, they had no safety helphe was four yards from the line of scrimmage, behind the linebacker, so, in their opinion, they were going to stop us from running the ball," Jackson said. "Can you say, 'Boy, you run it, you don't make the first down, you bleed more clock,' or do you throw it and you end the game?"Because you knew the play was there. You knew it was set up. That play was as there as the 4th-and-1 call was. I mean, excellent looks at them both. What you have to do is execute those plays. As I've said before, I believe in those players, I think they can make those plays. I've seen them in practice. We just didn't make them yesterday, when they counted most."

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.”