Get ready for the good vibes


We’ll learn Tuesday that all is well in Raider Nation.

It will be the ninth time going on 17 seasons we’ve heard it, this time with Hue Jackson delivering playoff promises and Super Bowl dreams and Al Davis nodding in agreement.

At least this time, the good feelings will emanate from an 8-8 season, the only time other than Jon Gruden’s trade to Tampa Bay the Raiders made a switch with a record of .500 or better.

At least this time, the Raiders have a solid core of young players more than at any time in recent years.

At least time, they’re doing it with a coach who accomplished something tangible, having molded one of the NFL’s worst offenses into the sixth highest scoring team in the NFL.

Players have gone their separate ways for the offseason, and they seldom show up in numbers at coach hirings or that reason.

Hiring Jackson was the only move that made sense, and by the time the Raiders gather whenever the labor issue is solved, you can expect they’ll be solidly in his corner. The two players who returned phone messages, Zach Miller and Stanford Routt, were happy with the choice. They were sorry to see Tom Cable go, but intrigued to see Jackson operate as head coach, provided they get through whatever form free agency entails and remain Raiders.

(Shane Lechler, by the way, did not return a phone message, but I suspect he’ll get behind it as well).

Jackson’s skills as an offensive coach are solid, and his ability to recruit free agents could be infectious. Cincinnati’s Chad Ochocinco contgratulated Jackson on his Twitter account and said he was the best wide receivers coach he ever had. Perhaps his energy can reach over to the defensive side, which had days when they were terrific (usually in the AFC West) and days when they were a step behind.

We may learn nothing concrete about the staff other than both Davis and Jackson will insist it will be entirely Jackson’s call. You know, like it was Cable’s call. And every other coach before him.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting Al Saunders is the likely offensive coordiantor, and the “false rumor-mongerer” has been on his game with regard to the Raiders of late. No real concrete evidence as to the defensive coordinator, but some solid educated guessing by more than a few e-mailers and Twitter followers about Baltimore defensive backs coach Chuck Pagano, a former secondary coach with the Raiders.

You could always throw the name of Winston Moss in there, considering he’s interviewed with the Raiders before, has publicly said he’d love to work for Davis and is currently an assistant with the Green Bay Packers. They’d have to wait for the Packers to lose before hiring Moss, or secondary coach Darren Perry, for that matter.

The Raiders biggest question marks, however, won’t have to do with players or coaches. It will be whether Al Davis can navigate the franchise through what could be an unprecedented period in league history with a potential lockout, the possibility of sudden, mass free agency and an offseason that may not be an offseason at all when it comes to organized team activities, minicamps, a shortened training camp and maybe even missed games.

But why worry about that now?

At 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, Jackson will be the coach, Davis will hopefully be sitting there right next to him, and it ought to be a hell of a show.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • RaiderRockstar

    Get ready for the good vibes

    By Jerry McDonald – NFL Writer

    Monday, January 17th, 2011 at 9:35 pm in Oakland Raiders.

    We’ll learn Tuesday that all is well in Raider Nation.

    It will be the ninth time going on 17 seasons we’ve heard it, this time with Hue Jackson delivering playoff promises and Super Bowl dreams and Al Davis nodding in agreement.


    99, you didn’t read this ???

    please find a way to twist it around and put words in Jerry’s mouth for me, would ya?

  • RaiderRockstar

    this whole thing spells dysfunctional !!!

  • Did Al Saunders work with Campbell at Washington?


    I read that Rockstar, I STILL don’t see where Jerry says Hue is a significant downgrade.



  • Groundhog day Dirt-lot?

  • hwnrdr

    Like Ground Hogs day over and over again!



  • I think Jerry’s being a little sarcastic rather than put Hue down.

  • hwnrdr

    Heck, I think maybe Ryan and keeping HJ as OC maybe would have been better! LOL
    Cna Hue be that buffer between the team and owner and media? We shall see…of course if there are no CBA…then we wouldn’t have to worry about it!

  • RaiderRockstar

    Did Al Saunders work with Campbell at Washington?


    Yes. 2006 & 2007

  • Morning Dirt-lot.
    not to bad (thanks for asking – yourself?),cold but sunny and I don’t go back on shift till Saturday so I’m happy!

  • RaiderRockstar

    On January 19, 2006, he joined the coaching staff of the Washington Redskins as the Associate Head Coach – Offense, reuniting him with fellow Don “Air” Coryell alumnus, Joe Gibbs. At the time, his 3-year, $6 million contract made him the second highest paid assistant coach in the NFL behind Gregg Williams. Players such as recent additions Antwaan Randle El and Brandon Lloyd have claimed that the signing of Saunders to the Washington coaching staff was a major pull factor in their decision to sign with the Redskins. In this role, he served the team like he did in Kansas City, as the primary play caller and offensive coordinator.

    Saunders offensive playbook reportedly has approximately 700 pages of various plays. When the Redskins struggled offensively in the 2006 pre-season and during the first two regular season games, the lengthy playbook became the subject of criticism -both humorous and serious- by Washington sports media. However, desiring not to provide scouting information to opponents, the Redskins only used a small number of plays (estimated by Saunders at around 2% of his playbook) during the pre-season. Beginning with the third game of the regular season, Washington’s offensive production increased but later fell.

    Many believe that the pairing of Al Saunders offense and the veteran quarterback Mark Brunell was a bad fit. The Al Saunders offense, an Air Coryell offense, requires a quarterback with a very accurate sense of timing and trust with the receiver which could not be replicated in Washington during Brunell’s 2006 season.

    In 2007, Jason Campbell dislocated his left knee in a week 14 game versus the Chicago Bears. Veteran back-up Todd Collins, who took over the reigns and was very effective as he led the Redskins to four straight victories and into the playoffs. Collins’ success can be attributed to the fact that he had been studying under Saunders’ offensive scheme since 2001.

    After Joe Gibbs retired as head coach of the Redskins on January 8, 2008 and Jim Zorn was hired as the new offensive coordinator by Redskins’ owner Dan Snyder on January 25, Saunders was fired by Snyder on January 26.


  • No doubt Hue will still be calling the O plays.I’m more interested in who we’re getting for D coach.

  • tuckrulefool

    Hey Jerry,

    Given the upcoming (relatively rare) opportunity to ask direct questions to Raiders gm/owner Al Davis, I really hope you take this opportunity to ask a pointed question or two.

    Painful as it has been most of the time, I have been a very long-time Raider fan. Like many others I’m fed up, especially after the perceived promise of 2010. (That 31-10 KC win seems like it happened when dinosaurs roamed the earth.)

    Anyhow, PLEASE ask all-powerful Al this question, or something akin to it…


    Simple…to the point….unassailable facts.

    Can you represent many of the (tired and fed up) Raider nation on this one one?

    Much thanks,


  • RaiderRockstar

    39 year old Todd Collins to replace Bruce Gradkowski?

    He’s backing up Jay Cutler in Chicago this season … but will be a UFA in March

  • 700 PAGES!!!!

    Al Davis’ play book has 700 pages…….and he coloured them in all by himself.


    Fact is that Jerry is accurately pointing out that this will be yet another press conference where the Raids introduce yet another HC, and that as expected Hue will promise great things to come and Al will agree.

    How you translate that to ‘Hue is a significant downgrade’ eludes me, but that must be because us ‘retards’ just aren’t as smart as ‘rockstars’.

    Interesting that you think I’m the one putting words into Jerry’s mouth, when it’s actually YOU that’s doing precisely that.

    Jerry hasn’t said that Hue is a significant downgrade. He hasn’t even hinted at that.

    You’re the only one that’s said that Jerry thinks Hue is a significant downgrade.

    You’re an idiot.


    Here’s a repost for you ‘Rockstar’.
    I hope and think HJ is going to do a fine job as HC of the Raids.

    Enjoyed reading the reports of him taking over the practices during pre-season. If Corkran and Jerry are to be believed, Hue’s banter motivated the players and kept things lively.

    Although some here ridiculed Hue for being a butt kisser during his ‘Coach Davis’ presser/interview, I thought he came off as being well spoken, respectful and personable. I like the guy.

    Also noticed that Hue seemed to interact well with the players when he was shown discussing things with them on the sidelines during games. The man seems to have the ability to get your attention. He’s animated and energetic and appears to be a good, confident teacher.

    One critique though. There was more than one occasion where plays seemed late coming in from the sideline and the Raids blew quite a few time outs this year due to this tardiness, lack of comminication or indecisiveness. This is definitely an area for improvement.

    Alot of the fans here have rebuked Hue for using the reverse way too frequently in 2010. I’m going to go against the grain here, and say I think for the most part those reverses were very succesful and it was refreshing to see the Raids have somewhat of a ’signature’ or ‘go to’ play in the arsenal for a change. The offense not only scored more points than we’ve seen since forever, it also seemed on the cusp of actually developing an identity.

    Not a bad achievement considering Hue was saddled with JaJason at QB, an OL that is urine-poor at pass blocking and a less than stellar performance from the WRs.

    Moving forward, Hue and Al must finalize the staff for 2011, and then decide what needs to be done personnel wise in the draft and free agency.

    Can the moves made recently be construed as a lack of stability (as Jerry seems to think) or even dysfunction ? Maybe. But stability isn’t a good thing when you haven’t had resounding success. 8-8 is mediocrity. Yes, a step up from the sewer we descended into – but nothing to rest your laurels on. In my mind, things are falling into place nicely and the prospects for this franchise are greater than they have been in quite some time.

    Of course, there’s still the elephant in the room which must be addressed – and that’s somehow, someway, finding and bringing a franchise QB to Oaktown.

    JaJason sucks.

  • tuckrulefool

    Hey Jerry:

    A big question for HUE (ok davis)…

    Will the team run HUE’S offense and will Saunders call plays from that framework? Or…will the team have to endure yet another change in offensive philosophy and terminology?

    This is not a trivial point!

    I really hope the former. No offense to JC but hes not too quick on the uptake (see his Week 1 deer-in-the -headlights performance for more gory details).

    Saunders tweaking and adding wrinkles–>good plan. I just hope its NOT a wholesale change. Why would you go that route given last season’s success? Then again, this is old mad-man Al we are talking about here so anything goes especially if it makes ZER0.0 SENSE.

    Hope the media blasts Davis a few times later today.

    He more than deserves it and I am looking forward to seeing him make a fool of himself again.

  • RaiderRockstar

    new post Hue Jax boot lickers!

  • irjonny

    Hey how you doin guys? new to the blog. anyways with bush’s contract potentially being over and the glaring need for a 1-2 punch in oakland. how about getting leron mcclain from baltimore? word is he’s out in baltimore