2013 DRAFT GUIDE
Raiders prepare for reunion with former coach

By JOSH DUBOW - AP Sports Writer
    2012-11-21 18:29

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) - Hue Jackson made a big impact in his two seasons with the Oakland Raiders.

He helped revive Darren McFadden's career, turned Darrius Heyward-Bey from a bust to a capable NFL receiver and sparked a moribund offense that was one of the most inept in the league before he arrived.

Jackson helped bring credibility back to Oakland first as offensive coordinator in 2010 and then head coach last season. But when Reggie McKenzie was hired as general manager last January, he overhauled the organization starting by firing Jackson after an 8-8 season and bringing in Dennis Allen.

The Raiders (3-6) will see their former coach again Sunday when they visit Cincinnati (5-5) to face the Bengals, where Jackson is an assistant secondary and special teams coach.

``I thought he was a great head coach,'' quarterback Carson Palmer said. ``Obviously, it was time for a switch here with the new regime coming in, but I thought Hue was great and I think he will get another opportunity. There's just guys you know, kind of like DA, you know he is going to be a head coach. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when. Hue will be a head coach again because he is a great leader, he understands enough about the game to be a head coach but he's also passionate. Guys follow him.''

Late owner Al Davis brought Jackson in to be offensive coordinator under coach Tom Cable for the 2010 season after Oakland finished second-to-last in scoring and yards per game the previous season.

The improvement under Jackson's play-calling was immediate and the Raiders had developed into one of the NFL's better offenses. In two seasons with Jackson running that side of the ball, Oakland ranked 10th in the league in scoring and first in rushing over that span.

``He's a phenomenal play-caller,'' Palmer said. ``He does a great job of keeping defenses off-balance and surprising defenses with some new stuff.''

But the Raiders have fallen to 22nd in the league in scoring, averaging 3.2 fewer points per game, and are second-to-last in rushing with a drop of more than 62 yards per game from Jackson's two years.

The biggest beneficiaries of Jackson's offense were McFadden and Heyward-Bey. McFadden struggled his first two seasons after being picked fourth overall in 2008 as he was limited by injuries and a blocking system that didn't suit his game.

One of the first things Jackson did when being hired by the Raiders was ask McFadden what were his favorite runs and using those power schemes more than the old system. After rushing for 856 yards with a 3.9 average in 15 games over his first two injury-filled seasons.

That all changed under Jackson's leadership as McFadden had 1,771 yards rushing and a 5.3 average in 20 games in 2010-11.

``I felt like he helped me a whole lot, just building my confidence in the league and he gave me the opportunity to show folks I can go out there and run the ball the way I do,'' McFadden said.

With the Raiders going back to more zone runs this season, McFadden has reverted back and is averaging just 3.3 yards per carry.

Heyward-Bey had just nine catches as a rookie the year before Jackson arrived as he struggled to hold onto balls. While never living up to his No. 7 draft status, Heyward-Bey finally emerged as a legitimate threat with 64 catches for 975 yards and four touchdowns last season.

``He just saw the work I put in,'' Heyward-Bey said. ``He believed in me. He was the type of coach that he will call plays because he wanted to see if you were going to make a play. He did that the years he was here.''

But despite his success on offense, Jackson was fired as head coach by McKenzie last January when Oakland fell one game short of the playoffs.

He ended up back in Cincinnati, where he had spent three years as an assistant previously, getting a taste of defense and special teams after being exclusively an offensive coach for most of his career.

``He's a great technician as a coach and he sees the details and he sees the big picture. That's why he's so special as a coach. He can see both the detail work you have to have to be great but he can also see the entire big picture,'' Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. ``It's been great. I've missed him since he's been gone and it's great to have him back here.''

The roster in Oakland is quite different from the one Jackson last coached in the season finale against San Diego. Of the 53 players on the team for that game, more than half (27) are no longer active with the Raiders and the system has changed on both sides of the ball.

``I maybe can shed some light on a thing or two here or there, but at the end of the day it's going to be two really good football teams out there playing and they're going to do everything they can to win and we're going to do everything we can to win,'' Jackson said.

---

AP Sports Writer Joe Kay in Cincinnati contributed to this report.

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Aldon SmithApr 17 09:32p

The San Francisco 49ers do not plan on releasing LB Aldon Smith this offseason. Smith is expected to be suspended at the beginning of the season, but the length [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 17 08:52p

New York Jets RB Chris Johnson (knee) said he expects to receive medical clearance to resume football activities in the near future. He underwent knee surgery in January but [ More ]

Sebastian VollmerApr 17 08:42p

New England Patriots OG Logan Mankins said OT Sebastian Vollmer (leg) has looked good this offseason while he recovers from the broken leg he suffered during the 2013 season.

Chris SneeApr 17 07:32p

New York Giants OG Chris Snee (hip, elbow) is expected to participate when offseason workouts begin next week even though he is not 100 percent.

Rolando McClainApr 17 06:02p

The Baltimore Ravens reinstated LB Rolando McClain from the reserve/retired list Thursday, April 17.

Russell AllenApr 17 05:02p

The Jacksonville Jaguars released LB Russell Allen, WR Jabin Sambrano and DEs Will Pericak and D'Aundre Reed Thursday, April 17.

Chad JohnsonApr 17 02:22p

Free-agent WR Chad Johnson (Patriots) signed with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League Thursday, April 17.

Brian CushingApr 17 01:32p

Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing (knee) was medically cleared Thursday, April 17.

LaMichael JamesApr 17 10:04a

According to a league source, the San Francisco 49ers have been shopping RB LaMichael James. He finds himself behind RBs Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and perhaps Marcus Lattimore on [ More ]

Mike BrownApr 16 11:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Mike Brown signed his exclusive-rights free agent deal Wednesday, April 16.

Eli ManningApr 16 11:33p

Former New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said in a radio interview this week that it is 'ludicrous' to say QB Eli Manning is declining. 'There's been no [ More ]

Sidney RiceApr 16 08:03p

The Seattle Seahawks are re-signing WR Sidney Rice to an undisclosed one-year deal Wednesday, April 16, according to sources.

Dwayne BoweApr 16 07:03p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe pleaded guilty Wednesday, April 16, after being arrested last November for marijuana possession. He pleaded guilty to lesser charges of littering and defective [ More ]

Arian FosterApr 16 04:53p

The Houston Texans may consider selecting a running back during the middle rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft that could become RB Arian Foster's backup in the future.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 04:43p

The New York Jets signed RB Chris Johnson to a two-year deal worth $8 million, with another $1 million in incentives available.

Terrelle PryorApr 16 04:33p

The Oakland Raiders hope to trade QB Terrelle Pryor before the start of the offseason program Monday, April 21.

Clay MatthewsApr 16 04:13p

Green Bay Packers LB Clay Matthews (thumb) said he likely will be limited during offseason workouts because of his surgically repaired thumb.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 03:53p

The New York Jets will use RBs Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory as a tandem this upcoming season and have them split carries. RB Bilal Powell will be the team's No. 3 running back.

Dan SkutaApr 16 03:33p

San Francisco 49ers LB Dan Skuta (foot) is not expected to need surgery on the foot injury that bothered him during the 2013 season. Skuta met with a foot [ More ]

Gus BradleyApr 16 02:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley watched Georgia QB Aaron Murray participate in his pro day Wednesday, April 16.

Reggie BushApr 16 02:13p

Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said RBs Reggie Bush and Joique Bell likely will receive similar workloads this upcoming season than they did during the 2013 season. Bush [ More ]

Cheta OzougwuApr 16 01:53p

The Chicago Bears have waived DE Cheta Ozougwu.

Mike JamesApr 16 12:53p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Mike James (ankle) said he is happy with the progress he has made in his recovery from an ankle injury and that he has been [ More ]

Carson PalmerApr 16 12:43p

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer said he would understand if the team selects a quarterback during the 2014 NFL Draft, because he knows the team has to think about [ More ]

Josh FreemanApr 16 12:23p

The New York Giants have agreed to terms with free-agent QB Josh Freeman (Vikings). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:13p

Updating previous reports, retired LB Rolando McClain failed his conditioning tests during his workout with the Baltimore Ravens. The test consisted of six timed 150-yard runs.

Golden TateApr 16 10:53a

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate said he thinks he can be a 'more explosive Lance Moore,' referring to the former New Orleans Saints receiver. Moore caught 65 passes for [ More ]

Matt FlynnApr 16 10:01a

Green Bay Packers QB Matt Flynn is expected to compete with QB Scott Tolzien for the backup quarterback job, but head coach Mike McCarthy anticipates keeping three QBs on [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:03a

Retired LB Rolando McClain (Ravens) worked out for the Baltimore Ravens Tuesday, April 15, as he attempts a comeback. The workout wasn't a smooth one in terms of conditioning, [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 16 12:03a

The New York Jets are sticking to their budget/value system. While they want free-agent RB Chris Johnson (Titans), they will not 'overpay' for him. The depressed running back market [ More ]

Aldon SmithApr 16 12:03a

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith hasn't only lost the benefit of the doubt with the team, but he probably won't play with the team in 2014, according to [ More ]

Malcom FloydApr 15 11:53p

San Diego Chargers WR Malcom Floyd (neck) continues his rehab from a neck injury, but his status is still uncertain. When the team begins voluntary workouts April 22, Floyd [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group