Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

August 26, 2010
Hue Jackson speaks, No. 2 QB spot wide open and other Thursday nuggets as Raiders break camp in Napa

First-year offensive coordinator Hue Jackson spoke publically for the first time since his Jan. 26 hiring - seven months to the day - at the conclusion of practice today in Napa, just as the Raiders broke camp and headed home to Alameda.

I've written a column on what he said and what it means for tomorrow's paper. A sampling, then, of Jackson's Q&A with assembled media...

Hue Jackson.jpg

Jackson, on how the offense will look different this season:
"I hope it's already looking different. The most important thing is, we're striving for balance. We want to be a team that we can run the football when we need to run it and we can throw it when we need to throw it. We're a multiple-formation team. We have some no-huddle. We do a little bit of everything. We do whatever it takes to win football
games. That's the most important thing that I've stressed from our coaches to our players that whatever it takes to win, that's what we're going to do."

Jackson, on if he sees running backs Michael Bush and Darren McFadden splitting carries:
"Well, I don't know. Darren hasn't played yet. Obviously he'll get an opportunity in this game and then we'll kind of see where it goes from there. I'm excited about getting a lot of our pieces out on the football field and watching them play. I have not seen Darren play in a game. That's going to be exciting. I haven't seen Bruce (Gradkowski) perform in a game. That will be exciting for me as a coach finally seeing the other pieces we have to have an opportunity to go out and compete in a game-type environment."

Jackson, on how receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey has progressed:
"I think the sky's the limit for the young man. I just think he needs to go play and I think he will this week. Obviously we've been in one game with him, he didn't play very much the first game, didn't make it to last week's game. I'm looking forward to watching him play. Again, that's what I'm saying. I'm excited about watching a lot of our pieces finally come out and play together for an extended period of time and see where we are."

Jackson, on if his coaching style meshes with that of head coach Tom Cable, with whom he previously coached at Cal State Fullerton in 1990 and at Cal in 1996:
"There's no question. Tom's one of those old throwback coaches. He likes to get down in the dirt and get after it, and so do I. We kind of do it with a little flair. There's a flair to what we do. I think our players enjoy it. I think you guys have talked to our players. I think they like the direction we're heading. That's the biggest thing. There's a confidence about this football team. It permeates everywhere. It's not just our team. It's in the equipment, it's in the weight room, it's with our media people. It's everywhere. This is a different time in Raider football, and I'm excited about it, and we all are."

Jackson, on if Saturday's exhibition really matters:
"Our whole thing is if they're keeping score, everything's important. That's just kind of the way I am. If they're keeping score, I want to win, and I think that's the way our players are. We're going to walk out there, and they're going to put a ball out there and we're going out there to play, and we're going to play to win. We're not just going out there to play. Any time we take the field and we're wearing that uniform, that's what our intention is, to go win a football game."

Jackson, on the No. 1 quality he looks for in a quarterback:
"His ability to lead men. I think it's very important that the quarterback is able to take players and get those guys around him to follow him, to understand exactly what the message is that's being sent, not just on the field but also off the field. And I think we've got four very capable guys, and they're working at it each and every day, and I feel good about direction that we're going in."

Jackson, on how often he taps into Al Davis as a resource:
"Very often. Very often. Because, again, let's make no bones about it, this is his football team, and I have a great respect for that. I've been with a lot of different owners in the league, the Dan Snyders, the Steve Bisciottis, the gentleman at Atlanta, and they are fine, fine men But this guy knows as much about football, and he is as sharp about football as any man I've ever been around, so to have a resource like that and not be able to use it, I don't think would be very smart on my part. Just watching how he ran the draft. Again, this is an exciting time in my opinion in Raiders football. We've had an outstanding draft, we've brought some great players here, and now the leadership puzzle, as Nnamdi (Asomgha) has said, is in place, for us to have an opportunity to have something special happen here."

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Bruce Gradkowski.jpg

Coach Tom Cable said the back-up quarterback position, presumed to be the exclusive domain of Bruce Gradkowski, is instead up for grabs. Gradkowski has been beset by injuries as last season ended with a pair of knee injuries a week after his stirring comeback win at Pittsburgh, a weigh-lifting accident led to surgery on his left chest and a strained groin has kept him out of the first two exhibition games. Kyle Boller, meanwhile, has performed admirably against Dallas and Chicago, leading the comeback victory against the Cowboys.

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Also, those that did not practice in the morning walk-through - WR Chaz Schilens (knee), C Samson Satele (ankle), DE Alex Daniels, who moved back to defense from fullback (hamstring), DE Jay Richardson (hamstring) - are not expected to suit up against the 49ers Saturday night at the Coliseum. Neither is DB Chris Johnson (hamstring), though he did practice.

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Because the game did not sell out, it cannot be shown on live television in the Bay Area. But in Sacramento, you can watch it live on KCRA. TV broadcast rules differ in the preseason from regular season contests.

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Lastly, I will be on Friday's special "Chronicle Live" on CSN Bay Area from the Raider Nation Celebration at Frank Ogawa Plaza in downtown Oakland. The hour-long show airs at 5 p.m. but the festivities, free and open to the public, go from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Those scheduled to join host Greg Papa (the voice of the Raiders) on the show include coach Tom Cable, QB Jason Campbell, CB Nnamdi Asomugha, DL Richard Seymour, TE Zach Miller, TV analyst Bill Romanowski, TV host Jim Kozimor and Oakland Tribune columnist Monte Poole.

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For timelier updates, follow me on Twitter @PaulHGutierrez

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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