Pacific holds Hue Jackson Appreciation Night


Pacific holds Hue Jackson Appreciation Night


STOCKTON With an hour-long line of Raiders fans extending out the door, he was the most popular person on the south concourse of the Spanos Center. More likely, the most popular person in the entire arena.He signed everything placed in front of him. From footballs to helmets to pictures of himself. To, what, no babies to kiss?In the middle of an autograph one fan asked him to PLEASE! re-sign Zach Miller. We will, he said with a bright, reassuring smile.Shortly thereafter, a Sharpie exploded in his hand. And if that was the worst thing to happen to Hue Jackson on Hue Jackson Appreciation Night at a Pacific mens basketball game against Cal State Fullerton, it was a good night. Especially with labor unrest between the NFLs owners and its players threatening to impede Jacksons start as the new Raiders coach.
RELATED: NFL, union extend deadline by 24 hours
Honestly, I dont even, the labor thing, its going to take care of itself so Im not even concerned about that, Jackson told CSN California. Tonight is about being here amongst the fans, the Raider Nation and also the people here at the University of the Pacific and watching a great basketball team play tonight.So being at the alma mater, where he played quarterback in 1985 and 1986, throwing for 2,544 yards and 19 touchdowns, where he played one year of hoops, in 1986, where he earned his degree in P.E. and got his start in the coaching fraternity in 1987 as the Tigers running backs coach, must also serve as a nice distraction, right? Even with the 24-hour extension agreed upon by the owners and players to avoid for the time being a lockout.It does, but honestly, I havent even thought about it, Jackson said. I know everybodys talking about it (but) I just feel like, thats going to take care of itself. I have total faith in the process on how theyre going about doing it. And whether we get to start when we need to start, or whether we have to start later on, its going to all take care of itself.Forgive Jackson if he sounds as if hes merely whistling past the graveyard. Because really, who honestly believes there will not be a season in 2011? The real threat is in any hindering of Jacksons growth as a head coach for the first time in his careerat any level.Thats why a trio of Raiders season ticket holders from the area made sure they were among the first in the building. Just to get a glimpse of Jackson. And, of course, to get his signature and press the flesh.Were diehards, said Fernando Gomez, 35, of Sacramento. Weve been through the two-win seasons and the playoffs. That offense Hue had last year, it made it fun to be a fan again. His ability to put the ball in the end zone; put up points. Thats where we were getting celebrating mediocrity. The Nation needs this.In his first season as Oaklands offensive coordinator, the Raiders more than doubled their scoring output, going from 197 points in 2009 to 410 points last season and improving from the No. 31-ranked total offense to No. 10, on the strength of the NFLs second-leading rushing attack.
RELATED: NFL team statistics
It gives you hope, added Ollie Churchill, 24, also from Sacramento. Its fun to met the coach who gave life to the offense.Josh King, 33, and from Stockton, concurred.Its unbelievable, King said. Its a chance of a lifetime to meet the current head coach of your favorite team. Awesome.Jackson was interviewed by UOP hype lady Amanda King for the crowd at the 12-minute media timeout of the first half and he said his biggest thrill was catching up with professors he knew.This is home, he said.And at halftime, Jackson was escorted to midcourt by Tigers athletic director Lynn King and feted with a plaque, a jersey and accolades.Wow, a choked up Jackson said after. Thats all I can say. What a tremendous honor. And I havent done anything. To be presented with those things, what a challenge. Truly, I should be honoring them and hopefully I can by getting the Raiders back to the Super Bowl.Still, even with the labor strife delayed for at least another 24 hours, there were other matters of importance in the streets of Silver and Blackdom. Like the departure of left guard Robert Gallery.
RELATED: Raiders G Gallery and Al Davis agree to part ways
Gallery told ESPN he and the Raiders came to a mutual agreement for him to leave The Raiders said Gallery wanted 8 million to return while they were willing to pay him 2.5 million.Thats part of the business, Jackson said of losing Gallery. Its a tough deal anytime you lose guys whove been here for a long time. And Roberts been part of the process when things were good and then all of a sudden didnt go as good and now all of a sudden hes leaving with a better taste in his mouth because he did such a good job and he was a huge cog in what we did this past year.But this is a business and we know things, sometimes, decisions get made for different reasons. Hes going to go on and do great things and were going to keep going forward also.Then theres that matter of the Raiders still not listing a defensive coordinator and Jackson joking at the Combine last week that he was the DC.Im not going to call the defensive plays, Jackson howled. But Im going to make sure that we are very sound in what we do and how we go about attacking people. Thats my goal and thats my job.That process is going to get wrapped up pretty soon but we are still in a holding pattern.Jackson was talking about the purportedly vacant defensive coordinator position. He might as well have been referring to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement staving off a work stoppage.

Snap count: Raiders' Melifonwu experiment at cornerback backfires


Snap count: Raiders' Melifonwu experiment at cornerback backfires

The Raiders are razor thin at cornerback, without many bodies or talent they can trust. They were down to three healthy career cornerbacks heading into Sunday’s game against New England, with TJ Carrie, Sean Smith and Dexter McDonald available.

Head coach Jack Del Rio added a new name to the mix. He started second-round safety Obi Melifonwu at cornerback against the high-flying Patriots, an experiment that didn’t work out well.

Melifonwu played 26 snaps at cornerback, where he had been working some in practice since becoming eligible to return off injured reserve. He spent the early season on IR after having arthroscopic knee surgery.

Melifonwu was put in a tough spot, and struggled as a result. He allowed two receptions for 69 yards on four targets, including a 64-yard touchdown to Brandin Cooks where he had his eyes in the backfield when the Patriots speedster blew right by.

This position switch came in Melifonwu’s second NFL game, with just seven defensive snaps under his belt. 

Head coach Jack Del Rio admitted it was a move made out of desperation.

“Yeah, a little bit,” Del Rio said after Sunday’s 33-8 loss to New England at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. “We need more production (at cornerback). We're willing to try just about anything and we talked about being lean there and needing more production from that spot.

“(Melifonwu’s) a talented kid and it was probably asking a little too much, but we are going to roll those guys, we rolled our guys in the secondary tonight, and we're going to do that. We have got to do that until somebody starts playing well enough to stay in there full-time.”

The Raiders are in a bind at cornerback with Gareon Conley on injured reserve and David Amerson out three straight games with a foot injury. Demetrius McCray and Antonio Hamilton are also on season-ending injured reserve.

Carrie was a mainstay on Sunday, playing all 60 defensive snaps. Smith took over early, when the Melifonwu experiment wasn’t working out. He played 43 snaps, allowing three catches for 34 yards on five targets. McDonald played just eight snaps.

The Raiders are hoping someone can improve and settle into a full-time spot. The secondary has been thin for some time, but the personnel department has declined to sign anyone new off the street for depth.

That means Del Rio’s staff is still searching for answers at that position from a small pool.

“We're not playing really well on the back end and we have to find a way,” Del Rio said. “And we're going to make it competitive and let guys challenge for it and challenge for time and the guys that play the best are going to play the most.”

Quarterback – Derek Carr 74
Running back – DeAndre Washington 24, Marshawn Lynch 21, Jamize Olawale 14, Jalen Richard 11,
Wide receiver – Amari Cooper 67, Seth Roberts 59, Michael Crabtree 58, Cordarelle Patterson 25, Johnny Holton 13
Tight end – Jared Cook 54, Clive Walford 14, Lee Smith 10
Offensive line – Kelechi Osemele 74, Rodney Hudson 74, Donald Penn 74, Gabe Jackson 74, Vadal Alexander 74

Defensive line –
Khalil Mack 53, Mario Edwards 44, Justin Ellis 38, Eddie Vanderdoes 34, Denico Autry 31, Treyvon Hester 24, James Cowser 14
Linebacker – NaVorro Bowman 51, Bruce Irvin 46, Cory James 44, Nicholas Morrow 15, Marquel Lee 9
Cornerback – TJ Carrie 60, Sean Smith 43, Obi Melifonwu 26, Dexter McDonald 8
Safety – Reggie Nelson 60, Karl Joseph 51, Shalom Luani 9

Nicholas Morrow 18, James Cowser 18, Marquel Lee 15, Erik Harris 15, Xavier Woodson-Luster 15, Keith McGill 15, Jamize Olawale 15, Cordarrelle Patterson 13, Dexter McDonald 12, DeAndre Washington 11, Jalen Richard 9, Shalom Luani 9, Lee Smith 7, Khalil Mack 7, Mario Edwards 7, Eddie Vanderdoes 7, Denico Autry 7, Treyvon Hester 7, Jon Feliciano 7, Johnny Holton 6, TJ Carrie 6, Jon Condo 4, Marquette King 4, Karl Joseph 2, Cory James 2, Obi Melifonwu 2, Giorgio Tavecchio 2

QB EJ Manuel, OT David Sharpe

QB Connor Cook, OT Jylan Ware, DL Jihad Ward, CB David Amerson, LB Shilique Calhoun, RT Marshall Newhouse, DT Darius Latham

Raiders first-round pick Gareon Conley having surgery


Raiders first-round pick Gareon Conley having surgery

Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley will have surgery to repair his injured shin on Monday, a week after he was placed on season-ending injured reserve.

This year’s No. 24 overall pick announced that news in an Instagram post, accompanied by a picture of his young son.

Surgery was always a likely outcome after heading to IR, though the team never formally stated that would occur.

The Raiders believe Conley will return completely healthy for the 2018 campaign, and have high hopes for him as a lock down cover man.

They could certainly use him this season. He was expected to contribute heavily as a rookie, but a shin injury suffered in a June minicamp prevented that from happening. He missed training camp and the entire preseason slate, but eventually made his NFL debut in Week 2. He suffered a setback in a Week 3 game at Washington, and was shut down indefinitely on Oct. 6.

Conley was re-evaluated early last week, and the Raiders didn’t see enough progress to keep him on the 2017 roster.

The Raiders are lacking at cornerback with Conley down and David Amerson dealing with a foot injury.

Head coach Jack Del Rio will speak to the media Monday afternoon, and provide an update on Conley’s procedure.