2015 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

Jake BequetteAug 28 08:52a

New England Patriots TE/DE Jake Bequette (undisclosed) was waived/injured Thursday, Aug. 27.

Miles AustinAug 28 08:32a

Philadelphia Eagles WR Miles Austin hasn't stood out, or received many chances to stand out, thus in training camp. His role is undetermined as he could start on the [ More ]

Nelson AgholorAug 27 10:22p

Philadelphia Eagles WR Nelson Agholor should be the 'second-most productive receiver on the team when the season ends,' according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Ryan MallettAug 27 07:52p

Updating a previous report, Houston Texans QB Ryan Mallett missed practice Thursday, Aug. 27, because he overslept. Mallett was present for meetings later on, however. He will also be at practice Friday, Aug. 28.

Josh JohnsonAug 27 07:42p

Free-agent QB Josh Johnson (Bengals) signed with the New York Jets Thursday, Aug. 29. QB Jake Heaps was subsequently waived.

R. Griffin IIIAug 27 07:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (concussion) has been cleared to play Saturday, Aug. 29, against the Baltimore Ravens.

Earl ThomasAug 27 06:22p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) is on track to be ready for the start of the regular season, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Markus WheatonAug 27 05:42p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Markus Wheaton could be primed for a breakout season, in the opinion of ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler.

Letroy GuionAug 27 04:52p

Green Bay Packers DE Letroy Guion will be suspended for the first three games of the regular season after his appeal was apparently denied.

Martavis BryantAug 27 03:02p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Martavis Bryant has been suspended four games for violating the league's Substance Abuse Policy, according to league sources. He has filed an appeal.

Arian FosterAug 27 02:22p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) has been working out in Houston, and he's expected to return to the field in some facet by Week 2 to Week 4, [ More ]

Pat DevlinAug 27 10:32a

Free-agent QB Pat Devlin (Dolphins) signed with the Cleveland Browns Thursday, Aug. 27. OL Ryan Seymour was waived.

Connor BarthAug 26 08:53p

Free-agent PK Connor Barth (Broncos) agreed to terms with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Aug. 26, on a two-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

DeVante ParkerAug 26 04:23p

Miami Dolphins rookie WR DeVante Parker (foot) isn't sure if he'll be healthy enough in time for Week 1. He and the Dolphins don't want to have rushed return [ More ]

Brandon McManusAug 26 10:33a

Denver Broncos PK Brandon McManus won the kicking job as PK Connor Barth was released Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Connor BarthAug 26 10:33a

Denver Broncos PK Brandon McManus won the kicking job as PK Connor Barth was released Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Evan RoysterAug 26 10:13a

Atlanta Falcons RB Evan Royster (undisclosed) was waived/injured Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Rex GrossmanAug 26 09:23a

Free-agent QB Rex Grossman (Redskins) was signed by the Atlanta Falcons to a one-year, $1 million deal Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Taylor MaysAug 26 12:43a

The Oakland Raiders signed free-agent SS Taylor Mays (Bengals) Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Orlando ScandrickAug 26 12:43a

Updating a previous report, Dallas Cowboys CB Orlando Scandrick (knee) suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee Tuesday, Aug. 25. An MRI confirmed the injury.

Michael VickAug 25 07:42p

Updating a previous report, free-agent QB Michael Vick (Jets) signed a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers Tuesday, Aug. 25. Financial terms were not disclosed. QB Bruce Gradkowski (finger) [ More ]

Evan MathisAug 25 06:13p

Free-agent OG Evan Mathis (Eagles) agreed to a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Jameis WinstonAug 25 04:33p

Updating a previous report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie QB Jameis Winston (ankle) suffered a sprained ankle Monday, Aug. 24, against the Cincinnati Bengals. Head coach Lovie Smith still expects [ More ]

Josh JohnsonAug 25 02:53p

Cincinnati Bengals QB Josh Johnson was released Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Victor CruzAug 25 02:42p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (calf) doesn't know when he'll be able to return to practice as he continues to deal with inflammation in [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerAug 25 01:23p

Tennessee Titans backup QB Zach Mettenberger has performed at a high level in training camp and the preseason, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt laughed off a suggestion that the [ More ]

Bruce GradkowskiAug 25 12:53p

Pittsburgh Steelers backup QB Bruce Gradkowski (finger) suffered a dislocated finger on his left hand during the team's preseason game against the Green Bay Packers last weekend, according to [ More ]

Andre WilliamsAug 25 12:22p

New York Giants RB Andre Williams could overtake RB Rashad Jennings as the lead back sometime this season, maybe even to open the season. Williams has worked on his [ More ]

Mike EvansAug 25 09:13a

Updating a previous report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (hamstring) isn't believed to have a serious hamstring injury. 'I talked to him and he didn't feel like it [ More ]

Jameis WinstonAug 24 11:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston completed eight of his 13 pass attempts for 90 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions in the preseason game Monday, Aug. 24, against [ More ]

Doug MartinAug 24 11:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin rushed six times for 59 yards in the preseason game Monday, Aug. 24, against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Mike EvansAug 24 09:12p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (hamstring) left the preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals Monday, Aug. 24, due to a strained hamstring.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group