Raiders elevate Jackson to head coach

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Raiders elevate Jackson to head coach

Jan. 17, 2011
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Paul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.com

Never oneto miss the opportunity to make a statement or take advantage ofsymbolism, Al Davis chose Martin Luther King Jr. Day to announce HueJackson as the second African-American head coach in franchise history.Art Shell had two tours of duty with the Raiders, from 1989 through 1994 and again in 2006.Davis, though, was careful not to mention race in pronouncing Jacksonas the Raiders ninth coach since they returned to Oakland from LosAngeles in 1995. Davis verbiage, though, was indeed flowery in astatement released by the team.RELATED: Raiders' statement on Hue Jackson
The fire in Hue will set a flame that will burn for a long time in thehearts and minds of the Raider football team and the Raider Nation,Davis said.Jackson, 45, had been the leading and logical candidate to replace TomCable ever since the Raiders announced on Jan. 4 they would not pick upCables two-year, 5-million option.In fact, Jackson was seen in many corners as the HCIW (Head Coach InWaiting) from the moment he was hired by Davis to be the play-callerand offensive coordinator last January.Jackson, who could not be reached for comment and will be officiallypresented Tuesday at 1 p.m. in Alameda, acknowledged on Dec. 16 hewanted to one day be a head coach.Let me say this: I have the best job in football right here, coachingwith the Oakland Raiders as their offensive coordinator, Jackson saidat the time. I like what I do.I like our players. I like the people that Im around every day. Ivegotten to know some of you (in the media) and Ive enjoyed my timehere. I would be wrong to say that everybody whos in my positiondoesnt want to go have that opportunity some day to be the best thatthey can be. Thats what I want to do. Thats what we all want to do.In his first season as the Raiders O.C., he improved the offense fromNo. 31 overall in 2009 to No. 10 overall this past season and boastedthe No. 2 rushing attack in the NFL. The Raiders also more than doubledtheir scoring output and, thanks in part to a breakout season byrunning back Darren McFadden, first-year quarterback Jason Campbellgetting comfortable in his skin, and rookie receiver Jacoby Ford arevelation, their 410 points scored were the sixth most in the league.It was the sixth-highest scoring output in franchise history.Guys have said all season how much improved we are on offense, tightend Zach Miller said the week before the season finale. We were prettybad last year on offense. To have a turnaround like that is a greatcredit to our players and coach Jackson.McFadden agreed, somewhat.We got a lot better, McFadden said, but at the same time, we left alot of plays out there. Some games we were saying we should have had 20more points out there. Its something you have to deal with infootball. We got a lot better out there.Still, while 8-8 was the Raiders best record since 2002 and ended astreak of seven straight seasons with at least 11 defeats, Oaklandmissed the postseason, despite going 6-0 in the AFC West.We expect to be challenging for the playoffs, challenging for ourdivision year in and year out and were not getting that done, so, tome, thats a disappointment, Jackson said on Dec. 30. Theres eitherfirst place or theres last place and theres no in between.This will be Jacksons first head job on any level and no financialterms or length of contract for him have been disclosed. As such, thereare questions as to if he will continue his role as the play-caller.Longtime NFL coach Al Saunders, who has long been a favorite of Davisand was Baltimores senior offensive assistant this past season, isbeing rumored as an offensive coordinator candidate.Plus, with John Marshall reportedly on his way out, Jackson would needa new defensive coordinator. Rob Ryan, rumored for the job, is on hisway to Dallas, though, according to numerous reports.Defensive line coach Mike Waufle is still under contract, though his interest level is not known.Jackson has coached in Washington, Cincinnati and Atlanta and came tothe Raiders from Baltimore, where he was the Ravens quarterbackscoach. His relationship with Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco, who ispurportedly soured on Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis, is sure to gettongues wagging.At 13 days, the time between Cables dismissal and Jacksons hiring isthe shortest amount of time Davis has taken to hire a successor. Ittook Davis 18 days to hire Lane Kiffin after Shell was shown the doorfour years ago.And that was definitely not on MLK Day.

Carr discusses contract negotiations with Raiders: 'These things take time'

Carr discusses contract negotiations with Raiders: 'These things take time'

Raiders general Reggie McKenzie plans to extend quarterback Derek Carr’s contract this offseason. That isn’t a new thing, something that has been in the works for some time. He re-affirmed that fact last week, citing his team’s commitment to work out a long-term deal likely the biggest in franchise history.

Carr was reportedly frustrated with the pace of contract talks after the NFL draft – they’re supposed to heat up this spring and summer – but said he believes a deal will get worked out before training camp begins.

That’s his deadline for an offseason deal, the point where he wants focus honed on football.

“I have an agent who is in charge of that and I am confident that he and Mr. (Reggie) McKenzie will work it out,” Carr, a Fresno State alum, told the Fresno Bee. “I am only focused on becoming a better football player and helping my teammates become better players.

“I have complete faith it will get done before training camp. These things take time. The Raiders know I want to be here; this is my family, and I know they want me to be their quarterback.”

The sides have discussed parameters of a long-term deal, with greater specifics to be ironed out in the future. Carr has long said he wants to be a Raider his entire career. The Raiders want him as the public face of their franchise. A new deal is expected by all parties, a sentiment that has never wavered on either side.

Carr is scheduled to make a $977,519 in base salary in 2017, the final year of his rookie contract.

Raiders offseason program intensifies as OTA sessions begin

Raiders offseason program intensifies as OTA sessions begin

The Raiders offseason program is five weeks old. Players have lifted weights. They’ve improved cardiovascular shape. They’ve done drills in position groups and discussed schematics. They’ve added rookies to a group now 90 strong.

On Monday, they can finally put on helmets. They still can’t wear pads or have full contact, but the Raiders can play 11-on-11. Receivers will be covered. Quarterback Derek Carr will throw into traffic. Generally speaking, the competition cranks up a bit.

The NFL collective bargaining agreement has strict mandates regarding offseason activity, and a period formally called “Phase III” allows for more realistic on-field football work.

The Raiders will conduct 10 OTA sessions over the next three weeks. The media can watch three of them. Tuesday is the first, with another in each of the next two weeks. These sessions are technically voluntary, though the Raiders generally hover around perfect attendance. Head coach Jack Del Rio prefers his team be unified in the offseason. Players know it and show up.

There is a mandatory minicamp from June 13-15 which wraps the offseason program and starts a quiet period that extends until training camp begins in late July.

These OTAs offer an opportunity for new players to learn the system, for adjustments to be made and for chemistry to be built heading into a 2017 season where expectations are high.