Hue Jackson on the Lockout: “I don’t think there’s any competitive advantage that anybody is getting”May 9, 2011 – 10:30 am by Chris Fedor
After taking the Raiders from one of the worst offenses in the NFL to one of the better units as offensive coordinator, Hue Jackson was hired as Oakland’s head coach. Even though the Raiders are coming off a solid season and the Raiders have a lot of promise, Jackson has a lot of work to do and unfortunately for a first-year head coach like him, his particular task at hand is made even more difficult by the lockout that is ongoing in the NFL.
Oakland looks like they have found their answer at quarterback with Jason Campbell, who played much better in the second half of the season; Darren McFadden finally lived up to his draft status last season; they had success in the 2011 NFL Draft where they added a bunch of speed to their roster as usual; and they are coming off a season where they went 6-0 in the division. If there is anyone that is itching to get back to football it’s Hue Jackson and his Raiders.
Hue Jackson joined KHTK in Sacramento with the Rise Guys to talk about how excited he is about the Raiders draft this year, how tough this offseason is for him as a first-year head coach, what he thinks about the way Jason Campbell finished the season, whether or not he would like to have Nnamdi Asomugha back, and whether or not he always wanted to be a head coach.
How excited he is about the players the Raiders drafted this year:
“I am so excited about the players that we put on our team, the direction, and where we’re headed. Everybody gives you all these grades and all these things and it’s really funny because none of those guys have an opportunity to go to workouts, sit in the meetings, and evaluate all the different tape that we do and make the decisions that we do. I think our draft grade should be an ‘A.”
How tough this offseason is for him being a first-year head coach:
“As you get closer to the season it is challenging. I’m not going to tell you it’s not because boy one minute I thought we were going to have them here, then we didn’t have them here, then oh maybe we will have them again and then you don’t have them. So that’s a challenge, but the beautiful part is that everybody is having the same challenge. I don’t think anybody is getting the upper hand as we move forward here. I don’t think there’s any competitive advantage that anybody is getting. I know there are some team’s that are starting to truly go and workout on their own but that’s still a lot different than working out at your facility with your coaches, watching videotape, meeting, and grinding together. Hopefully someday soon we will get an opportunity to do that.”
On the way Jason Campbell finished the season:
“I was really excited for Jason. Obviously things didn’t start out as well as we wanted them to, but it takes a little time sometimes. We need to address some of the issues that we’re addressing now. We need to get better on the offensive line and I think we’re doing that. He came on and finished the season extremely strong, I think he truly understands his environment here, and he has a very good relationship with the players here. He is the face of our organization and he has to lead this organization. I was very happy that the offense was able to go from 31st to 10th. I know that is a huge jump, but there’s very talented players here. It’s not like I came here and sprinkled magic. What I tried to do was create an environment so all these players could be what they could be. I think we’ve gotta do that throughout our football team. Whether it’s offense, defense, or special teams, is showcase our player’s talents and abilities and give them an opportunity to shine. I think if we can do that I think we’re headed in the right direction.”
Whether or not he would like to keep Nnamdi Asomugha back:
“That’s one of those subjects that I can’t talk a ton about. I will tell you this I would love to have every free agent player that’s out there for the Raiders back here because we’re leaving a really good nucleus of football players from last season that I think if we can combine them with where we are this year we have a chance to be something special. Obviously he’s a part of that. I would be crazy if I told you I wouldn’t love to have him back. Sometimes as you guys know, whether it be financial reasons or other different reasons that sometimes you have to make tough decisions. He’s a true, true Raider. That’s all he’s ever known. I think he loves the silver and black and there’s no question that I know he would love to be back here.”
Whether or not he always wanted to be a head coach:
“I’ve always coveted this. You will laugh when I tell you this, but this is the place that I wanted to do it at. I wanted to do it here because I think a lot of people across the league don’t think that it can be done and I love a challenge. Number two I think this is one of the greatest organizations in football and has been. Obviously we have fallen short, but to be able to put something back where it belongs is truly a challenge and that’s truly what life is all about. You want to face those challenges all the time and conquer them. I think I have the right coaching staff, I think we will have the right players, there’s no question we have the right ownership and the right leadership. Now it’s just a matter of going out every day and competing the way the Raiders know how to compete.”