ALAMEDA -- Hue Jackson says he lives on the edge.Sunday, the rookie Raiders coach almost walked off that figurative cliff in the course of Oakland's 24-17 defeat of Cleveland. That night, Jackson tossed and turned and questioned himself for going for it on 4th-and-1 from the Cleveland 5-yard line late in the game, rather than sending out Sebastian Janikowski for the gimme field goal."I know, I know," Jackson said Monday in his weekly media conference. "Let me tell everybody, that's on me.
"There's a bunch of people mad at me when I went to go eat last night, 'Why didn't you kick?' What do you mean why didn't I kick? I decided not to."With 4:49 remaining and the Raiders up 24-10, a 23-yard Janikowski field goal would have essentially ended things by making it a three-score game. But Michael Bush was stopped for no gain and the Browns took over and promptly marched 95 yards for a touchdown to get within 24-17 with 1:11 to play.Then, the Browns attempted and recovered an onside kick at the Oakland 49-yard line with 66 seconds left."Trust me," Jackson said, "my heart was starting to drop, every tick that was going off that clock.The Browns picked up seven yards before failing to convert a first down."Again, I have a lot of confidence in my players, and I told you, one of these times, I'm going to get bit," Jackson said. "And I almost got bit. So you learn from it. I didn't sleep last night. I'm really tired right now, and that's part of it."So, did Jackson second-guess himself?"I've got to be a little bit smarter than that the next time," he said. "Truth be told, I do. Sometimes you can believe in your players a little bit too much. Sometimes good coaching is probably a little more important than making a decision about your players at times."That's on me, and I always tell them that. I made that choice, not them. I'll learn from it and get better from it. Luckily it did not cost us."And if Jackson had it to do all over again, would he have kicked the field goal?"Probably not," he admitted with a sly smile. "Knowing me, probably not."
PHOENIX – The Raiders hope to play the next three years in the Bay Area before moving to Las Vegas. They were approved to relocate on Monday at the NFL owners meetings, but can’t leave right away because Las Vegas doesn’t have a suitable temporary NFL venue.
The Raiders have team options on one-year leases to play at Oakland Coliseum during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, and are expected to do exactly that. Owner Mark Davis said he’s open to negotiating a lease to play the 2019 season there as well before moving into new Vegas digs in 2020.
The Oakland Coliseum authority may not grant that request.
"I would say to you with the highest level of confidence, my opinion and recommendation and that of my board members, I don’t believe there is any appetite for a third season (in Oakland),” director of the Oakland Coliseum joint powers authority Scott McKibben told USA Today.
McKibben said hosting a Raiders game is a financial loss for the JPA.
If the Raiders can’t reach an agreement to play at the Oakland Coliseum in 2019, they have other options in the Bay Area, though none is ideal. They could play at Cal’s Memorial Stadium or use Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara as a last resort in the Bay Area, sources told CSN California reporter Scott Bair.
They could renovate UNLV’s Sam Boyd Stadium – locker room and security upgrades are mandatory – though the Raiders would prefer to avoid that route.
PHOENIX – Raiders edge rusher Aldon Smith has been banished from the NFL for over 16 months now as a repeat offender of the league’s substance abuse policy.
Commissioner Roger Goodell hasn’t ruled on Smith’s reinstatement application and it’s hard to imagine movement coming soon on that front after a pair of recent run-ins with the law.
He was reportedly involved in a domestic incident and was questioned by San Francisco police last month. Then he was a passenger in a vehicle that hit an unmarked police car on March 10, an incident where the driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Smith seemed out of sorts when interviewed by media after emerging from a San Francisco police station.
Smith’s banishment states he can’t have contact with Raiders personnel outside the director of player engagement, a stipulation head coach Jack Del Rio has criticized in the past.
He did so again Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings, saying it’s unfortunate the organization can’t support Smith during difficult times.
“It’s a little bit frustrating to not be able to be a part of the process,” Del Rio said. “My feel is that I could help him, but the experts know. The experts don’t allow that. We have to follow the rules.
“It does get frustrating to not be able to help a young man and provide support and provide structure. Somebody else has to make those decisions. It’s just out of my hands.”
The Raiders can’t petition for greater involvement, and are therefore in a wait-and-see mode regarding their troubled, yet talented player.
“He has to get himself together,” general manager Reggie McKenzie said. “(Smith’s status) is totally on the league office. They know more than what we know.”