Raiders release statement on hiring of Jackson

Raiders release statement on hiring of Jackson


Hue Jackson will formally be introduced as Head Coach of The Oakland Raiders tomorrow.Jacksonhas 25 years of coaching experience in college and professionalfootball and has been an offensive coordinator at both levels.OaklandRaiders Owner Al Davis spoke about the dynamic 45-year-old 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.Lastyear, Jackson coordinated an Oakland Raiders offense that finishedfourth in the AFC and sixth in the NFL in scoring (25.6 points pergame). The Raiders more than doubled their scoring output from theprevious year, totaling 410 points in 2010.Under Jacksons guidance, the Raiders also finished fifth in the AFC and 10th in the NFL in total offense (354.6 yards per game) and second in the NFL and AFC in rushing (155.9 yards per game).Priorto joining the Raiders, Jackson spent two seasons as Baltimoresquarterbacks coach and helped the Ravens advance to the postseason in2008 and 2009. In 2008, Jackson tutored Joe Flacco, who became thefirst rookie QB to win two playoff games in NFL history as the Ravensadvanced to the AFC Championship game.In2007, Jackson was an NFL offensive coordinator for the second time whenhe served in that capacity for the Atlanta Falcons. He was offensivecoordinator for the Washington Redskins in 2003 and also held that posttwice at the college levelthe University of Southern California from1997-2000 and the University of California in 1996.UnderJacksons tutelage in Cincinnati (2004-06), Chad Ochocinco and T.J.Houshmandzadeh became one of the most prolific wide-receiving tandemsin NFL history. In 2006, as wide receivers coach for Cincinnati,Ochocinco (1,369) and Houshmandzadeh (1,081) became the first pair ofBengals to eclipse the 1,000-yard receiving mark in a single season.Ochocinco led the NFL in receiving yards and for the fourth-consecutiveseason, his yards topped the AFC, marking the first time a player hadled his conference in receiving yards in four straight seasons.In2005 under Jackson, the Ochocinco-Houshmandzadeh tandem combined tototal 175 receptions for 2,388 yards, while helping the team secure theAFC North title and a playoff berth for the first time in a decade.Jacksonwas promoted to offensive coordinator in Washington by Head Coach SteveSpurrier in 2003 and handled the teams offensive play-calling,becoming the only coach to perform that duty other than Spurrier.In2002, with Jackson as running backs coach, Pro Bowl RB Stephen Daviswas on pace for another 1,000-yard rushing season before suffering aseason-ending injury. Davis posted a career-high 1,432 rushing yards in2001.Jackson served as USCs offensivecoordinator from 1997-2000, helping to recruit and develop players,including QB Carson Palmer, with whom he was later reunited inCincinnati. (Palmer was the NFLs No. 1-overall pick by the Bengals in2003.)As Cals offensive coordinator in1996, Jackson helped lead the Golden Bears to an Aloha Bowl berth. Hecoached running backs at Arizona State from 1992-95. He was a minorityintern fellowship coach in training camp with the Washington Redskinsin 1995, with the Arizona Cardinals in 1992 and the L.A. Rams in 1990.From1990-91, Jackson was running backs coach and special teams coordinatorat Cal State Fullerton. He gained pro coaching experience as a runningbackswide receiversspecial teams coach for the London Monarchs of theWorld League in the spring. Jackson launched his career as an assistantcoach at Pacific in1987 and coached there through 1989.Asa quarterback at Pacific from 1985-86, Jackson threw for 2,544 yardsand 19 TDs. He also lettered in basketball in 1986 and earned hisdegree in Physical Education. Jackson is a Los Angeles native who was astar quarterback at Dorsey High School in his hometown, where he alsolettered in basketball.

Healthy Edwards, NFL Draft could help Raiders improve interior pass rush

Healthy Edwards, NFL Draft could help Raiders improve interior pass rush

The Raiders had an NFL-worst 25 sacks last season, and that’s with Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin in their employ. That duo had 18 sacks (and 11 forced fumbles) between them. That left only seven for everyone else. Stacy McGee and Denico Autry had 2.5 each, and McGee isn’t here anymore.

Mario Edwards Jr. was certainly missed last season, when he missed 14 games with a preseason hip injury. The versatile defensive lineman is a solid edge run defender and internal pass rusher in the sub package.

If he’s healthy, Edwards Jr. could pose a real threat rushing the passer next to Irvin or Mack.

“Having Mario healthy will make us a better defense, and that’s not just as a pass rusher,” general manager Reggie McKenzie said in March. “He’s a solid run player. We’ve just got to have him healthy.

“But we’ll continue to add there, too.”

McKenzie subtracted one Tuesday, releasing Dan Williams to free salary cap space. He hasn’t yet added a defensive tackle in free agency, but could certainly do so in next week’s NFL draft.

There’s some quality interior pass rushers in this class. Let’s take a look at some options the Raiders could select and when:

Good fits: The Raiders select 24th overall in this draft, far lower than years past. Some quality defensive tackles might be a proper fit there, especially with depth at positions of need.

They could use some versatility, players like Edwards Jr. who can play multiple techniques. Michigan State’s Malik McDowell is an strong, athletic freak who analysts believe needs to improve his effort and technique. McDowell could develop into a top talent and be viewed as a steal at No. 24, or not realize full potential.

Michigan’s Chris Wormley is a versatile player in the Edwards Jr. mold, a player who seems to fit Raiders needs. Analysts says inconsistency is troubling but has the leadership quality and character the Raiders love. He can be a base end and move inside when required. He also has the size at 6-foot-5, 298 pounds and could develop well at the NFL level while making an immediate impact.

Florida’s Caleb Brantley is also an intriguing prospect adept at reaching the offensive backfield. Analysts say he’s a powerful player with quickness and an ability to work through blocks despite being slightly undersized. Brantley is potential to be a quality NFL pass rusher, and is confident in his ability. He didn’t play a high snap count at Florida, but the Raiders might use him in sub packages as a rookie and fill an important role right away. He’s viewed as a second round pick, and the Silver and Black might cross fingers he’s available at No. 56.

Auburn’s Montravius Adams could help if the Raiders are looking for more of a run stuffer. Clemson’s Carlos Watkins could also play multiple spots and could be available later in the middle rounds. Old Dominion’s Rashaad Coward also fits that mold and would be available in later rounds, though he hasn’t had much pass-rush production.

Controversial RB Joe Mixon impressed Raiders during pre-draft visit

Controversial RB Joe Mixon impressed Raiders during pre-draft visit

ALAMEDA – The Raiders visited with former Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon at the team’s Alameda facility on March 21.

General manager Reggie McKenzie came away impressed by the controversial figure notorious for punching a female in 2014 while at Oklahoma, who has spent significant portions of the pre-NFL draft process trying to show that violent incident caught on video doesn't define him.

“We thought he was a really good kid. He came off very well and explained each and everything, the questions that we had,” McKenzie said Friday in a pre-draft press conference. “He had an explanation and he was up front about everything. The kid really came across as a good kid.”

Mixon is also a premiere talent going pro, but there’s no telling how far his off-field issues will drop him in next week’s NFL draft. There’s debate where he’ll be taken, though many expect Mixon to go in the first two rounds.

He was not invited to the NFL scouting combine due to an incident where he punched victim Amelia Molitor and fractured several bones in her face. Mixon has made several pre-draft visits and meet with dozens at Oklahoma’s pro day trying to explain his actions and why he’s a safe pick in this year’s NFL draft.

Mixon and Molitor released a joint statement on Friday announcing the settlement of a civil suit, with both parties hoping to move on from an ugly incident after which the victim spoke out about being harassed.

“I am happy we were able to bring the lawsuit to an end,” Molitor said in a statement. “Joe and I were able to meet privately, without any attorneys, and talk about our experiences since that night. I am encouraged that we will both be able to move forward from here with our lives. From our private discussions I am satisfied that we are going to put this behind us and work towards helping others who may have found themselves in similar circumstances. I greatly appreciate his apology and I think the feelings he expressed were sincere. We both could have handled things differently. I believe if we had a chance to go back to that moment in time, the situation would not have ended the way it did.”

The running back is obviously a polarizing public figure, and the team that drafts him could take flak for selecting him.

“When stuff like this happens, whether it’s domestic violence or drunken driving, whatever issue that comes up, we’ll be prepared to answer questions,” McKenzie said. “We’ll do our research and if we make a decision, we’re going to prepare to have answers for each and every decision that we make.”

Raiders owner Mark Davis has taken a hardline stance against players involved in domestic violence incidents – this was technically assault of a man on a woman, as Mixon and Molitor were not in a relationship -- and he would have to okay a Mixon selection. The Raiders put considerable thought and research into select players with character concerns.

“What we do, we research everything. We get all of the information. We will not make a decision until all the information is in front of us,” McKenzie said. “With certain issues, like domestic violence, we consider that and we really look into everything that is surrounding that. Every decision will be well-researched so if it’s one way or the other, we are going to make it where that decision is based on all the facts, all the research and on the kid moving forward. But yes, we hold that very dear to what we do, as far as who we bring in, absolutely. We will not tolerate that at all.”