By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, April 28th, 2011 at 10:06 pm in Oakland Raiders.
The Raiders did not have a selection in the first round of the NFL draft for the first time since 1989 and are scheduled to pick at No. 48 Friday.
Raiders coach Hue Jackson said he and owner Al Davis considered several opportunities, but none of them was the right fit. He reiterated the Raiders already have their first round pick _ Richard Seymour, who cost Oakland the No. 17 selection the Patriots used to pick offensive tackle Nate Solder out of Colorado.
Some of the things addressed by Jackson regarding the first round and players beginning to return to work Friday:
The scene in the draft room
“There was so much phone-calling going on in that room like you wouldn’t believe. There were a lot of opportunities but nothing that really fit for us . . . obviously the player has to be there when you want to trade with somebody, and there were several phone calls made but it just didn’t fit for us at this time.’’
The experience of running a draft with Davis
“Just seeing the different dynamics that happen, getting a phone call, talking to him saying, `Hey, what do you think about this? What do you think about that? `No.’ Then we talk about a few more things. `Maybe.’ Then we talk about a few more things. `No way.’
The position in the draft of teams that called
“Oh you’d be surprised. A little bit of everywhere. I think a lot of people wanted to get out of the first round.
“ It’s a different type of draft obviously because of what’s been going on so I think a lot of teams wanted to make sure that value of a player was very important, so I think from everywhere there was about every team really truly discussing trying to move out of it and some teams were trying to move in.’’
The confluence of the draft and return of players to work
“I love chaos. Bring it on. That’s probably when I’m at my best. I love it. All kinds of stuff was flying around today, right? We get our players back. All of a sudden they say ‘Hey you get to talk to them now,’ and that’s what we did. We tried to talk to every last one of them or text them. We did it all today.
“I tried to call every last one of them. I called them. I texted them. I got calls back. We did it today.’’
What is expected of players upon arrival
“When they get here they’ll start getting acclimated to our offseason program, getting acclimated to our coaches, just get back into football, just being back in the building and us getting to know them, them getting to know us and starting this process on our journey toward our goal.’’
On timing of the first minicamp
“I don’t know . . . there’s still some rules that need to come down from the league. I came right out of the draft room and all of a sudden they grab me and say you got go downstairs. I didn’t get to read anything else. My thing is once I find out about all the different rules that’s going to be in effect for what we’re trying to accomplish with the league, you know, we’re going to do everything the right way, then we’ll make that decision about when minicamp will be and when OTAs will be and all the different things we have to do.’’
No discussion of labor situation with players
“There’s not been one player that I talked to that even mentioned the lockout. The players I talked to are excited and ‘Coach, I am there. I’m all in. When do you want me to be there? When can I get there? What do I need to do? Who do I need to talk to? Let’s schedule a flight, and get me there.’ And I think that’s what’s most important. I think all of our players are very excited about where we’re headed.”
On how much time was actually missed by veterans
“There’s some offseason time that has been lost as far as conditioning. Again, pros in this league understand what they need to do to get ready to play. I think every player’s been training. Has he been training under the watchful eye of somebody within the organization? No. But I think a pro football player knows what his job is.
“And if he wants to continue to make the money and support his family, he has to make sure his corporation is ready to go perform. And I think that’s what they do. I think they prepare themselves.’’
Timeline on the arrival of players
“I think they’ll be trickling in. It’s like anything, you call ‘em, and there are some guys that still have some loose ends to tie up. Again, the word I love to use is fluid . . . What I said to our players, I want to see you in this building at some point in time next week. I think our guys will get here.
“They’re excited about getting here and they’re doing everything they can to be here by Monday because that’s when our team will start, it’s when our offseason program will begin.
Whether he’s confident about getting the player they’ve targeted at No. 48
“I feel pretty good. I mean, there’s still a lot of good players on that board, a lot of guys that we evaluated and are sitting there for us. This is a process, it can change, you can wake up in the morning and after our first pick the whole board can go upside down or it can stay consistent and just keep on flowing. But there’s a lot of good players from the Raiders to choose from starting tomorrow.’’