After an 8-8 season, the best season for the Raiders since 2002, they decided to fire Tom Cable and promote Hue Jackson as the new head coach. Jackson has bounced around the league, he has paid his dues, is a good coach, and while the offense improved dramatically under the watch of Jackson, it’s hard to see the logic behind firing a coach that just went undefeated in his own division. Nonetheless that was the decision made by Al Davis and now it will be up to him and Jackson to prove that the Raiders made the right move when it looked like the team was finally headed in the right direction.
Hue Jackson joined KHTK in Sacramento with Grant Napear to talk about getting an opportunity to be the head coach of the Raiders, why he believes the Raiders will be relevant again, whether or not he is worried about the players not accepting him right away because they are upset about Tom Cable being fired, and talks about how confident he is heading into 2011 with Jason Campbell as his QB.
On the opportunity to be the Raiders head coach:
“It’s a tremendous opportunity for me. It’s a dream. You get an opportunity to come back to California, I spent so much time on the east coast, southwest, and south so to have the opportunity to come home after one year of being the coordinator here at the Raiders, have an opportunity to be the head coach and lead this organization, I’m fired up about it.”
Why he believes the Raiders will be relevant again:
“Because I think this team is beginning to make the progress that you need to make in order to make the next step. Obviously coming off an 8-8 season., 6-0 in our division where we were able to fight and claw and get it done within our division and now what we got to do is improve on how to win outside the division and do a little bit better as we travel towards the east coast. I think all those things are very fixable and the talent is here and it’s in place. All we need to do now is I’m going to need to surround myself with a really good staff and go to work.”
How worried he is about his players not respecting him right away because of Tom Cable being fired:
“I’m not worried at all. I’m being very honest when I say that. I have great relationships and built great relationships here on both sides of the ball. I respect how Shane (Lechler) feels. I know sometimes when someone is very popular who you knew and spent a lot of time with goes, sometimes that’s hard and I respect that. Shane never said anything bad about Hue Jackson. Shane’s a tremendous football player, very good, one of the best in the league at what he does, and I think he’ll come back here and be very excited about the direction we’re going in and here we go.”
Whether or not he is worried about going into 2011 with Jason Campbell as his starting QB:
“None whatsoever. Jason obviously ended the season doing a fantastic job. Obviously the struggles early in the year were well documented and not just him. It was just our offense in general. We were trying to find our way. After that little blip early in the year, he came on, started battling, and played as well as I thought he played anywhere that he’s played. Heading into this season, in the same system, knowing the environment, knowing the players, and creating an environment where we can get more good players around him, I think is gonna really allow him to go on and play the type of football that we need him to play this year.”