Jackson not apologizing for play calls


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."

Raiders put Amari Cooper in position to break out vs Chiefs


Raiders put Amari Cooper in position to break out vs Chiefs

Raiders receiver Amari Cooper has been creating steady separation for a few weeks now. That didn’t break him out of a prolonged slump.

Coaches were impressed by Cooper’s route running in a Week 5 loss to Baltimore. It only earned two targets and an eight-yard catch. They tried to find No. 89 more often in a Week 6 loss to the L.A. Chargers, though six targets generated five short catches for 28 yards.

Low production stretched through a four-game losing streak, with nine catches for 51 yards. Including stats from to early wins, Coopers season stats (18 catches, 146 yards and a touchdown) were worse than nearly 200 others.

Even that astonishment didn’t make Cooper demand the gosh darn football, please. The low-key Cooper attitude: The ball will find me.

It finally did in Thursday night’s 31-30 victory over Kansas City. Several times in fact.

Cooper had 11 catches for 210 yards and two touchdowns. He was targeted 19 times. Nineteen. That’s no coincidence.

They moved him around, including significant snaps in the slot. He was targeted 11 times from that position, per analytics site Pro Football Focus, and produced six catches for 95 yards and a touchdown.

They schemed opportunities and quarterback Derek Carr used them to create big plays early.

Carr’s first pass went 12-yards to Cooper. His third was a 38-yard touchdown strike. His seventh was an in-stride delivery that Cooper took across and then up the field for a 45-yard score.

Just like that, Cooper was off and running for the first time this year.

“We put him in positions to make plays, obviously,” Carr said. “We knew that there were certain things that we liked. Nothing changed in his demeanor or his mentality or the way he worked or anything like that. We just stayed the course. We know what we have here and we know that if we just stay the course and work and grind through the tough times.

“…For ‘Coop’ to just continue to grind and get on the other side of it, I just felt good for him. You guys know Amari. I think we all felt good for him.”

Cooper said the early explosive touches provided confidence. Ability produced a signature performance. The Alabama product is excellent extending production with his legs, and had 78 of his yards come after the catch. That’s an average of 7.1 yards after the catch per reception, per PFF.

His second touchdown reached him 15 yards downfield, and he hit the jets and reached the end zone. He turned a short catch into 15 crucial yards to start the game-winning two-minute drill, and later high pointed a 39-yard receptions.

“The way he finished after the catch was really special,” Carr said. “Obviously, we all know he can go up and get a ball and all those things. That second touchdown where he cam across, the burst that he had, that’s freakish. Not a lot of guys have that. To turn the jets on like that and just out run the angles of the defense, that was really special. I think just after the catch he just played with some dog in him, which we know he has. We were able to get him the ball and let him shine and do what he does.”

Cooper’s showcase was vital to a huge victory that kept his team in the hunt. It also ended a rough month where Cooper and the Raiders both struggled. Veteran running mate Michael Crabtree was never concerned with the downturn and told the young receiver to stay the course during tough times.

“(I told him), ‘Just be you,’” Crabtree said. “It’s just about everything coming together. Coop’s a fighter, man. Coop has got skills. I don’t worry about Coop and I’m sure he doesn’t worry about me. That’s why we are so good together.”

Reports: Peters to speak on Marshawn’s behalf during appeal hearing


Reports: Peters to speak on Marshawn’s behalf during appeal hearing

First it was Marshawn Lynch coming to the defense of Marcus Peters. Now, it appears the Oakland native is returning the favor. 

The Chiefs cornerback will be speaking on behalf of Lynch during the Raiders' running back's appeal of his one-game suspension, according to multiple national reports. The appeal will take place on Monday.

Lynch was ejected in the second quarter of the Raiders' 31-30 victory over the Chiefs on Thursday night. After the Chiefs and Raiders saw themselves in a heated exchange from a controversial late hit by Peters on Derek Carr, Lynch ran off the sidelines and came to the defense of his close friend Peters with multiple Raiders going after the young defensive back. 

But in doing so, Lynch put his hands on an official and was immediately ejected from the game. He was then handed his one-game suspension on Friday.

“They can say what they want to say, but one thing’s for certain: Family do come first," Peters said to Logan Murdock of The Mercury News on Thursday.

FOX Sports was first to report the news.