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.

Raiders counting heavily on lightning rod CB against Patriots


Raiders counting heavily on lightning rod CB against Patriots

MEXICO CITY – The Raiders cornerback David Amerson didn’t practice all week, but ran just well enough to be considered “doubtful” for Sunday’s game against New England.

Translation: Outlook for Sunday is not good, but Jack Del Rio’s fingers remained crossed real, real tight. The Raiders hope there’s a way he can be active against Tom Brady’s buzz saw attack, because their cover men are beat up.

Amerson has missed two straight with a foot injury, and has dealt with injury all year. Gareon Conley’s season officially ended Monday, when he was placed on season-ending injured reserve. Antonio Hamilton and Demetrius McCray were already there.

Reggie McKenzie hasn’t reached out for reinforcements. That leaves TJ Carrie, Dexter McDonald and Sean Smith to play cornerback. Carrie’s been the rock, a sure tackler who hasn’t made spectacular plays but doesn’t give them up. McDonald has been forced into action, with holes let in his game.

Smith should be the No. 1 guy in this group, the steadying presence on the outside. That hasn’t been the case this year, where he lost a starting job in training camp and sub-package snaps during the season, only to have injuries to Conley and Amerson bring him in the fray.

He’s also been dealing with felony assault and battery charges in Los Angeles stemming from a July 4 incident in Pasadena.

Smith has been a lightning rod for fan criticism, a byproduct of his $9.5 million salary this year and explosive plays allowed early in the year.

If there’s an anvil weighing on his mind, teammates insist you’d never know.

“We’re human at the end of the day,” Amerson said. “You feel it, but you have to find a way to remain even keel and professional and do your job well.”

Smith will be counted on heavily Sunday against New England, especially if Amerson can’t play as expected. He has proven vulnerable to speed without help and proper disruption at the line of scrimmage, though that hasn’t been an issue lately because the Utah alum has recovered well after a rough start.

He got pulled after struggling against Vernon Davis in Washington. He didn’t play against the Chargers after giving up two huge plays to Baltimore the week before.

Amerson originally sprained his foot in Week 7 against Kansas City – he hasn’t played since – and Smith was called upon to respond. He wasn’t targeted in that game, and has been strong in coverage ever since.

Smith has allowed three catches for 12 yards in four targets over the last two games. The ninth-year veteran insists he wasn’t doing anything markedly different, and had zero interest in patting himself on the back for recent jobs well done.

“I’m not,” Smith said. “I’m out there doing my job, man, the best way I can.”

Smith says the off-field distractions during a roller-coaster season, one of his career’s most trying yet, haven’t impacted him much

“Nope. Not at all,” Smith said. “As long as I wake up a Raider, I’m all right. I’ll deal with whatever happens. I’ll always be there for my guys, and I’ll do whatever it takes to help our team win.”

Raiders defensive backs laud Smith’s locker room presence, saying he’s an excellent teammate. Cornerbacks in general must have a short memory when things go bad, to refocus and prevent that from happening again. Smith apparently has that in spades.

“I know how things go, especially when you have a target on your back,” Amerson said. “Sometimes you get hit with the perfect pass and you give up some plays. You can’t do anything about that but take advantage of the next opportunity. Sean’s a good player, and he definitely has that mindset.”

Smith will lend experience to this big game, something the Raiders need after suffering so many injuries.

"It sucks that so many of us have gone down,” Smith said. "You want to have all your guys out there, but that’s the NFL. Injuries happen. As long as everybody comes to work and acts like a pro, we’ll be all right. We all have a job to do. We all would like to start, but you have to be ready when your number’s called.”

Raiders standing by strategy for Mexico City altitude


Raiders standing by strategy for Mexico City altitude

MEXICO CITY – The Raiders spent all week at sea level preparing to play 1-¼ miles up. They left Oakland around noon on Saturday confident that altitude won’t be an issue in Sunday’s game against New England.

Estadio Azteca sits at 7,200 feet, a comparable elevation to where the Patriots have been practicing in Colorado Springs. That has created a debate of sorts about which philosophy works best. There’s science to support staying in altitude with New England.

There’s plenty more to back head coach Jack Del Rio’s desire to get in and out of altitude as fast as possible. We won’t break down the arguments here. There are plenty of stories written about that.

We’ll simply say the Raiders believe in their approach, and have experience to support it. The Raiders best Houston in Mexico City last year in a dramatic affair that required two fourth-quarter touchdowns.

“I thought we handled our business well last year and we’ve got a similar approach this year,” Del Rio said. “We expect to go down there and play in a great atmosphere. The fans are very engaged. It’s a great atmosphere to be a part of. Just go down there and play good football.”

The Raiders have worked toward this game the past three weeks. They’ve worked on exercise bikes and treadmills using elevation machine, which matches oxygen outputs at specific elevation. Players have done that and have then been able to recover at sea level. They’ve worn popularized oxygen deprivation masks during other activities, though they’ve practiced as usual.

The Raiders know what to expect in terms of logistics, altitude and air pollution. The Raiders have prepared well for this experience, but that doesn’t mean altitude doesn’t impact finely tuned athletes.

“When you get there, you’re going to feel it,” edge rusher Khalil Mack said in an exclusive interview with NBC Sports Bay Area. “It’s different than anything you’ve ever felt. It’s different than Denver. It was a way tougher challenge. You felt it right away. It hits you getting off the plane.”

Both teams must play in adverse conditions.

“We just have to go play,” Raiders linebacker NaVorro Bowman said. “You guys aren’t going to say the altitude had an effect on the outcome. You can’t use it as an excuse. You can’t think about that. You have to train and prepare the way they’ve been having us prepare and go out there and execute.”

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick hasn’t talked much about his strategy of staying at elevation after playing in Denver last week. Extended time away from home can be a bonding time, as the Raiders experienced a fortnight past in Sarasota, FL. He didn’t consider the time spent at Air Force Academy to be a significant advantage.

“I don’t think it’s that big of a deal,” Belichick said. “The way the schedule worked out, this worked out for us. We’re here and we’re just doing the best we can to get ready for the game.”

The Raiders anticipate Estadio Azteca to feel like home away from home. Raider Nation turned out en masse last year in Houston, giving the neutral site a silver and black edge. Fans took it to the extreme at times, pointing a green laser pointer in Texans quarterback Brock Osweiller’s eyes.

The NFL will certainly be looking to quell those disruptions, especially with a marquee Patriots team in town. New England fans will be audible this time, but another pro-Raiders atmosphere is expected. That’s why Derek Carr isn’t worried about distractions from the crowd.

“No, no, no, no, no. I think that going down there is a home field advantage,” Carr said. “I’m not worried about the laser pointers. I think that’s for the other guys.”