By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, April 21st, 2011 at 3:32 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Hue Jackson said a lot of nothing Thursday, but at least he said it with gusto.
The Raiders coach wasn’t about to get into specifics about the Raiders’ draft plans, something he has in common with 31 other coaches this time of year, but he gets points for enthusiasm.
Some of the points he addressed with members of the Bay Area media, which is available on Raiders.com.
The chance of trading into the first round
“I think we’re throwing everything around. We’re not going to leave any stone unturned. We don’t have a first-round pick, the record books say, even thou we think we have one (Richard Seymour). We think we have a pretty good one. He plays for us already so we’re excited about him, but right now, it’s a little early in the process to know exactly what we’re going to do.”
The scrutiny faced by this draft class with veterans locked out
“You have a little more time to focus round to round, player to every different scenario you can come up with in your minds. I still think there’s no exact science to it. It’s still based on need, based on who’s the best player.”
The pressure to duplicate last year’s draft class
“We want to be right every year. I mean, we don’t go into a draft saying, “Let’s make a mistake here or there.’ We want to pick the best player for the Raiders. Obviously, it’s been well-documented, there are some better than others.”
The chances of having Nnamdi Asomugha back in uniform
“Who knows? I’m not really going to comment because I don’t think I can . . . based on the rules. None of us knows exactly what people are going to say, (whether they’re free agents) based on their years in the league.”
The possibility of drafting a quarterback
“If there is one the Raiders want to draft, we will. I don’t know that it’s a position of need as it is a position that we will evaluate as we go through the draft. Would I love to get a younger arm on this team? Yes, no question. But we have other things we need to address, and nobody knows how it’s going to unfold round by round.”
Jackson’s input and the influence of Al Davis
“You’d be surprised. I’ve been on four different teams and everybody has run a draft a little differently . . . I don’t anticipate anything but putting together a great draft this year because of the work that’s put in, not just by coach Davis but our coaching staff, the scouts, everybody that helps put this thing together to give coach Davis and myself the the information we need to make the best decision for our football team.
“I think a lot of people think it’s a one-man show. He makes the pick _ and he should. He’s the owner of the team. But the bottom line, he takes a lot of information from us all. He truly listens to what we have to say, and I truly appreciate that. But at the end of the day, he’s going to make the decision, and we all support that.”
On whether the Raiders held a `Pro Day’ for local players to work out as a group
“No, we haven’t. We have guys in, we’ve had some local guys in, not all of ‘em. I think the 49ers had a pro day the other day, and I think it’s great. As we move forward, we’ll continue to evaluate where we need to go and what we need to do.”
The issue of last year’s rookie class having their progress halted with a lockout
“Is it concerning? Yes. But is it the ultimate answer to it all? No. At some point in time, we’re going to practice. At some point in time, we are going to get ready to play a game. How much time we’re going to have in between of that will probably determine what you’re asking . . . I would think there are a lot of players in the NFL that are working on their skills today to get better. I mean, that’s what they get paid to do and you only get paid in this league when you stay in the league and play well.
“Now, it’s not under our supervision. We understand that, but I think the players are working very hard, so when they walk back in this building, they’ll be ready to go.”
On the Raiders not having a top 10 pick
“There’s a lot of pressure in my opinion when you’re in the top half of the draft. Because you’ve got to be right. You take an opportunity, you make a decision on a player and the expectation on that player goes through the roof. Be it the media, the fans, the team staff, everything. Sometimes that’s a lot of pressure on a young man. I kind of like being where we are, in the middle of a round because we had a decent season. Hopefully, next year we’ll be drafting way late because it means we’ll have a great year.”
The Raiders need for speed
“We love fast guys. I don’t run from that. I want them as fast as I can get them, but we also want them to be the best players when they get ready to play.”
The 2011 schedule
“I love it. Are you kidding me? Does it get any better than that? Monday Night Football in Denver. Then I have the opportunity to back and play Buffalo in Buffalo on their opening day in Buffalo. And then come home against the Jets and the Patriots. You guys scared? Because I’m not. We’re very excited about our schedule.”
The offseason arrests of Michael Bush, Mario Henderson and Louis Murphy
“I’m very disappointed about it. It’s not very Raider-like but obviously there’s nothing I can do about it. The rules wont’ let me talk to those particular players or anything. But I am disappointed. I’m sure when we’re allowed to address it we will.”