The cone of silence has been lifted.
Yesterday, for the first time since becoming offensive coordinator for the Raiders, Hue Jackson addressed the media. You can read the full transcript here.
Media blackouts for Raider coordinators are nothing new under the sun. One year ago, John Marshall underwent a similar vow of silence when he inherited the defensive coordinator position.
Jackson’s fiery approach in practice has been well documented. But just what does he think about his new offense and how it’s progressing thus far?
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.
I’m very excited about the progress we have made. Obviously from week 1 to week 2 there was improvement. We’re looking for that same improvement from week 2 to week 3. As we continue to move forward, our whole goal is to make sure we’re ready to hit the ground running when the regular season starts and I think we’re well on our way to that happening.
One of the bigger stories coming out of camp has been the progress of the $21-million man, Darrius Heyward-Bey. Jackson doesn’t think DHB is short on confidence in any way and is exited about seeing him in action against the 9ers this weekend.
I don’t think I need to build up any football player’s confidence. What it is is going to work. It’s rolling up your sleeves every day and going out to work to improve your skill level. That’s what the young man has done.
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.
Hue was careful not to pile on JaMarcus Russell when asked his opinion of last year’s offense.
No, I’m not going to say. I think it’s everything. I don’t think it was the quarterback, I don’t think it was the offensive line. I think more than anything, last year was last year. When I came in and took a peek, I said the most important thing I told the staff and players, whatever has gone on here in the past really doesn’t matter to me.
However, when asked what qualities Jackson looks for in a QB, he gave a very un-JaMarcus response.
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.
When asked about what it’s like working for Al Davis, Jackson described it as “a dream come true” while making it abundantly clear just whose team this is.
Oh my gosh, this is a dream come true for me, to be very honest with you. To have an opportunity to work for Mr. Al Davis – and I’m being very sincere when I tell you guys that – that man is phenomenal. He is a walking football. And I’m being very serious. There is nothing about football that you can’t talk to Mr. Davis about.
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 Bisciotti, 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.
Jackson has certainly brought a whole new mentality to an offense that has failed to produce over the past few years. With the weekly improvements taking shape on the field, expectations are high. Now its time for the results to come.
Just Win Baby!