Jackson says why Raiders WR Hagan was inactive

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Jackson says why Raiders WR Hagan was inactive

Sept. 16, 2011GUTIERREZ ARCHIVE
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Paul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.comALAMEDA -- It wasn't quite Tony Montana in the hot tub going all, "Who put this thing together? Me, that's who. Who do I trust? Me." But it was close to a seminal scene from "Scarface." And it was entertaining.Hue Jackson had been asked what, exactly, went into his thinking when he did not activate receiver Derek Hagan for the Raiders' season opener at Denver on Monday night.
"OK, let me, because this has come up several times, about Hagan," Jackson said. "I just said Hagan's done a great job and obviously he was our leading receiver in the preseason, right? But I never once said he's the best receiver on our team. I never once said that. What he did in the preseason gave him an opportunity to be on this football team. It did not make him the starting receiver on this football team. So let's make sure we understand where I was with Hagan."Now, if he gets an opportunity this weekend, he gets an opportunity. But I get to make that decision. Nobody else. Me. So everybody else who thinks I was supposed to put him out there because he was our leading receiver in the preseason, forget that we had other guys that have been very good receivers on this team. So I get to make that decision. That's the decision I made last week and on we go. Now, if he plays this week, he plays."Truth be told, no one said Hagan should have been the Raiders' No. 1 receiver. Many were taking Jackson's training camp cues that production should equal playing time."Yeah, but here's the deal," Jackson said. "You said that, 'Performed the best.' No doubt, but we had some other guys that hadn't practiced that I've seen perform in games and make big plays. i.e. Jacoby Ford."So, you guys were like, I'm supposed to sit him down, sit Jacoby Ford down, and let this kid play. No, that's not where I was. So, let's make it clear about what that was. That was for him to get on the team. Performance is what matters, and that's what got him on the team. That's where it starts first. Then, he has to continue to perform and beat some of these guys out and then he'll play. That's the way it works. OK, anything else?"Got it? Good.

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.”