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Coach Hue Jackson: Sky isn’t falling, Raiders in transition

It was darker than usual in the press room during coach Hue Jackson’s weekly news conference Monday, but that had everything to do with the lighting and nothing to do with a change in Jackson’s typical sunny disposition.
“No lights today?” Jackson asked. “Really dark in here today. Everybody think, all of a sudden it’s sorrow Monday or something? It’s not.”
No, Jackson said, it’s just the day after a bad loss to the Kansas City Chiefs and something that will be forgotten once the Raiders get through what he termed a transitional phase.
The biggest transition, of course, is weaving in quarterback Carson Palmer to an offense that performed well under Jason Campbell the first games but struggled under the guidance of Kyle Boller and Palmer on Sunday, with lead running back Darren McFadden sidelined for most of the game with a sprained right foot.
“Just a couple weeks ago, we were one of the better offenses in this league,” Jackson said, “and now all of a sudden, it’s like the wheels fell off. No, the wheels didn’t fall off. We didn’t all of a sudden become dumb on offense and not know what we’re doing. What we’re doing is we’re going through a transition period.”
Jackson said he is confident that the transition period won’t take long. Having two weeks before the next game certainly will help Palmer and the rest of the offense get up to speed.
Palmer arrived via trade with the Bengals last Tuesday. He played most of the second half Sunday despite participating in only three practices and memorizing about 10 percent of the playbook — his estimation, by the way.
“We’ve got to speed the process up as fast as we can,” Jackson said. “That’s pretty obvious, what needs to happen. How comfortable is he going to be? I can’t tell you he’s going to know them stone-cold by the time we play Denver, but he’ll have a better grasp of what this guy can do and what that guy can do based on situations because he’s going to have more practice time with those young men.”
Those young men would be the wide receivers. All who were interviewed Monday said they intend to stick around the Bay Area during their four days off during the bye week so that they can work with Palmer in an attempt to expedite the transition phase.

NO ON T.O.?
Veteran wide receiver Terrell Owens is scheduled to conduct a workout in Calabassas, Calif., on Tuesday. Media are invited to attend. So are NFL teams who are intersted in the services of a player with statistics worthy of induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Jackson said he was unaware of the workout. That doesn’t mean the Raiders won’t be there to kick the tires on Owens, to see if he might be able to upgrade the receiving corps.
“Our scouts go and see everybody work out,” Jackson said. “But I’m not actively chasing Terrell Owens, no.”
Jackson reportedly contacted Chad Ochocinco during training camp, when he was available via trade with the Cincinnati Bengals. So, why not Owens?
“I don’t know that he’s healthy yet,” Jackson said. “But anybody can improve the team. We’ve got to improve the team from inside out first. Now we have some pieces and now we just got to go re-piece this thing.”

CIRCUS NOT IN TOWN
There’s a widespread belief that the Raiders weren’t well prepared for the Chiefs on Sunday, in part because Jackson spent too much time toying with the idea of whether to start Palmer or Boller.
Nonsense, Jackson said. Quite the contrary.
“Our team practiced as well as we’ve practiced all year, this past week, and we went into the game and didn’t play that way,” Jackson said. “At the end of the day, a great practice only gives you an opportunity. You’ve got to go to the game and play really well.
“I don’t sense or feel that last week was so much about Carson. If it was, it wasn’t about me making it about Carson.”

MOORE HAS BEEN LESS
Rookie wide receiver Denarius Moore took the league by storm with a fast start this season. Suddenly, the player who looked immune to the pitfalls that tend to affect all rookies is looking like, well, a rookie.
“That’s a direct correlation to where we’ve been at quarterback lately,” Jackson said. “Once we get more stability there,” (things will be fine.) “The whole offense had kind of dropped off the last couple of weeks.”
Moore has 14 receptions for 212 yards and two touchdowns, as well as three rushes for 45 yards and a touchdown. Most of that came during Oakland’s first three games, though.
Perhaps another factor in Moore’s decline owes to the Raiders being 11 games into the season, including the four exhibition games. College players typically play 13 or 14 games, so this is about the time their bodies are accustomed to winding down.
“Players who were college players (last year) are looking at closing out and getting ready for bowl season,” Jackson said. “These guys are starting to exhale a little bit. We’re just now getting ready. Our football team is going to get ready to start playing again soon and getting better.”
Hence, the bye week comes at an ideal time for the rookies, as well as the injured players.
“This is a great time for some of these young guys,” Jackson said, “because we are playing quite a few of them. We need to continue to monitor that so that those guys can finish the season strong.”

MCFADDEN UPDATE
Jackson said running back Darren McFadden has a mid-foot sprain. McFadden walked into the team facility on crutches Monday morning, with his right foot in a protective boot.
McFadden will undergo tests throughout the week to monitor the injury and determine how much time he needs to heal. Jackson said he planned to give McFadden plenty of rest this week anyway.
“I’m hoping to get him back soon,” Jackson said. “I know one thing, one of my plans for him was to get him some rest this week, to get him back up and get him fresh because, obviously, when Darren is rolling, he’s one of the best backs in this league. So, we need to get him healthy.”

BOLLER BETTER THAN EDWARDS
Jackson scoffed at the suggestion that Trent Edwards outperformed Boller during training camp and exhbition games and that Boller made the team at the behest of managing general partner Al Davis.
“I don’t think that Trent outplayed Kyle,” Jackson said. “It was the other way around. We kept the best player based on what we were doing and, if you looked at the numbers, Kyle had played better than Trent.”
Boller was intercepted three times against the Chiefs before he was replaced by Palmer early in the third quarter. Even so, Jackson said he still feels comfortable using Boller if the need arises.
“There’s no question in my mind,” Jackson said.
He added that the way things unfolded wasn’t all Boller’s fault. The play of the offensive line and the receivers goes into it, as well.
“It was unfortunate and … when you see interceptions, the first thing you think is it’s the quarterback all the way,” Jackson said. “But it’s more than one person. It’s an offensive unit. It’s not just Kyle Boller.”

Follow me on Twitter: @corkonthenfl

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Steve Corkran

  • J Hill

    You know what game is?

    Going
    Above
    Man’s
    Expectations

    ——————————————————-

    Good one!

  • http://repealitnow.org MistaBrown

    Ok LA to the Gay Veld has a spectacular game those false starts and holding calls were a thing of beauty!

    Happy now?

    Go wipe your chin

  • LA to TheBay

    Palmer trade wasn’t made for one game, one month, or one season.

    Guy is here to play.

    “Washed up 32 year old.”

    Isn’t he still 31 for a few months, anyway?

    Schein rushed that article.

    How old is Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, etc.?

    Sometimes you just need a fresh start and a team could be a better fit.

    Look at Aaron Curry. He looks like an absolute natural on this D.

  • Chris in NY

    LA to TheBay Says:
    October 25th, 2011 at 10:26 am
    Don’t know why a lot of you guys put so much stock in media, particularly national media.

    You know the team better than they do.

    A lot better, really.

    ————————

    Very, very true. Game announcers, too, often came out with things that just make you feel embarrassed for them for being so off sometimes.

    Still, hate to see the Raiders get disrespected like that by someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about but has a platform from which to spread this garbage.

  • DMAC

    I know Stan Routt has had a pretty good season so far.
    But is it just me or does he struggle when covering the quick slants?

  • LA to TheBay

    MistaBrown Says:
    October 25th, 2011 at 10:31 am
    Ok LA to the Gay Veld has a spectacular game those false starts and holding calls were a thing of beauty!

    Happy now?

    Go wipe your chin

    ————————-

    Never said he had a spectacluar game. Said he had a few mental errors.

    You have this weird tendancy to become very defensive in the face of logic and make personal attacks on people you don’t know.

    Stick to the trailer park and voting against your own social and economic interests.

  • LA to TheBay

    DMAC, it’s not you.

  • DMAC

    Yeah, Curry has been solid for us. Love his relentless pursuit to stop the run.

  • DMAC

    LA to TheBay Says:
    October 25th, 2011 at 10:34 am

    DMAC, it’s not you.
    =======
    ????
    ????? (You got me on that one)

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    Lol LA…

  • LA to TheBay

    DMAC, in response to…

    “But is it just me or does he struggle when covering the quick slants?”

    It’s not you, he’s given up a bunch of these this year.

  • aig-raiders

    After reading the article below by Vittorio, we’re lucky Palmer didnt injure himself out there. Hue, pls dont ever this again in your coaching career. Stuff like this could easily make the coach lose his team’s support.

    ————————-

    Didn’t matter who starting quarterback was

    People are still talking about the 28-0 loss to the Chiefs and the Kyle Boller/Carson Palmer fiasco — it’s amazing how fast the radio jockeys and columnists who were crowning coach Hue Jackson last week are calling him “too cute” and a bad play-caller this week — but really the QB issue didn’t matter.

    Sure, Jackson could have handled it better, and I still not sure what his plan was, but the Raiders would have lost that game no matter who was quarterbacking at the start. The Chiefs came in angry after losing to the Raiders twice last season and Oakland mailed it in like it does a couple times every season.

    To those who say the defense only gave up 14 points, I say Matt Cassel had a terrible day, missing on a lot of throws, the Chiefs were comfortably ahead the whole game and they could have scored again at the end but took a knee.

    As for the quarterbacks, Kyle Boller throws that first interception across the field no matter how many reps he gets in practice (it’s like the signature throw of his nine-year career). And it snowballed from there, Oakland’s one chance to get back in the game extinguished when Michael Bush tip-toed and couldn’t score on four straight carries from the 5-yard line in.

    Jackson said his team didn’t have its usual intensity, but said that the Raiders had a good week of practice. He was asked if last week became too much about Palmer, whether he was going to play or not, and maybe the coach set that tone . . .

    “I didn’t feel that way,” Jackson said. “I didn’t think it was all about Carson and not getting ready for a football game. I think our team practiced as well as we’ve practiced all year this past week, and we went into the game and didn’t play that way. … I don’t sense or feel that last week was so much about Carson. If it was, it wasn’t about me making it about Carson. I think a lot of things was written about Carson Palmer. My deal was all about making sure we were getting ready to play the Kansas City Chiefs, another division football team. Obviously it didn’t come out that way, but I know exactly what the focus was.”

    Jackson is in his first year as a head coach on any level, and while he has done a tremendous job this season, he wasn’t ready for last week’s unique situation. And whatever his plan was, it got muddled. He thought Boller knew he was starting, but didn’t officially tell him until Saturday. Hue said he was practicing “gamesmanship” by not announcing his starter, but then why did he chew out an ESPN reporter Sunday morning for the station reporting that Palmer was starting on Wednesday.

    And finally, he put his chosen “franchise quarterback” in a bad spot. While Palmer said the plan was that he was never supposed to play Sunday, Jackson said he wanted all along to at least get Palmer in the game in the fourth quarter. While Palmer is not going to rock the boat his first week here, we heard that his wife was visibly upset and shocked in the stands when he went in the game in the third quarter.

    Why? Because he had only taken 20 percent of the snaps in practice, and by his own count, only knew four of the protection packages. The three interceptions Palmer threw were a much better outcome than him getting hurt, so Jackson should be thankful. (The coach admitted he “took a sigh” on Palmer’s first play when he took a shot in the knee from Tamba Hali.) The 28-0 loss could have been a lot worse.

    The Raiders now have 2 weeks to get their offense in sync (today’s story in the Chron) and put this ugly, confusing loss behind them. They have a layup in facing the Broncos on Nov. 6 (especially after an angry Lions front line gets done with Tim Tebow Sunday) and I fully expect Jackson to have the Raiders ready to get firmly back in the playoff race with a win.

  • No Mas Diamante

    Curry was a great trade. I also think blackstock showed some potential.

  • DMAC

    LA to TheBay Says:
    October 25th, 2011 at 10:37 am

    DMAC, in response to…

    “But is it just me or does he struggle when covering the quick slants?”

    It’s not you, he’s given up a bunch of these this year.
    =========
    Sorry bro.
    Its a little early still.
    I’ll wake up soon.

  • joetoronto

    DMAC Says:
    October 25th, 2011 at 10:33 am

    I know Stan Routt has had a pretty good season so far.
    But is it just me or does he struggle when covering the quick slants?
    *********************************
    Routt has always been stiff, that’s why he looks much better on the outside.

    When he played Nickel, he’d get lost in space all the time, not very fluid in the hips.

  • LA to TheBay

    Sure, Jackson could have handled it better, and I still not sure what his plan was, but the Raiders would have lost that game no matter who was quarterbacking at the start.
    ————

    I think the idea was to keep KC guessing, then have Kyle play more aggressive than would be expected of him, catch them off guard.

    Needless to say, didn’t work.

    Kyle sucks.

  • J Hill

    ut is it just me or does he struggle when covering the quick slants?

    ——————————————————

    Struggle???

    Belecheat mentioned how our corners have tight hips and don’t open up well. I think that applies to Routt.

    It’s kinda hard to stop a quick slant though. Especially when the other WRs are running interference. The TDs he so called gave up in the red zone were just good plays by the offense.

    Walter slant against Houston, just a good quick route.

  • LA to TheBay

    The TDs he so called gave up in the red zone were just good plays by the offense.

    Walter slant against Houston, just a good quick route.

    ———-

    Agreed. he could have used some help in the middle. Left on an island.

  • Raiderbuck

    this is NOT a “layup” against the DOncos!!! They will beat us bloody if you give them the chance!! No “layups” in the NFL!!

  • No Mas Diamante

    We need a solid nickle corner to help with those slants. We are paper thin at cb.

  • LA to TheBay

    They have Huff playing a lot of nickel.

    A few times, KC put Bowe in the slot against Huff.

    If it didn’t go to Bowe, it went to Breaston one on one with the rook.

  • DMAC

    I like our starter now.
    When CJ and Check come back, who do you guys prefer at the nickel?

  • LA to TheBay

    Chimdi.

    CJ was really good for 8 games in 2008. Kind of up and down since.

  • DMAC

    I know CJ had a horrible game at Buffalo, but I still think he has little left in the tank. Those hammy’s do worry me though.

  • hwnrdr

    CJ needs to find his groove again…better go find Stella!

  • LA to TheBay

    hwnrdr Says:
    October 25th, 2011 at 10:46 am
    CJ needs to find his groove again…better go find Stella!

    ——–

    LOL, where’s 4eva?

    STELLLLLLLLLAAAAA!

  • J Hill

    Chekwas is “stiff” like Routt.

    I think he belongs on the outside.

    CJ37 should go against the slot.

  • joetoronto

    Huff has done a hell of a job at Nickel, he’s a natural CB, IMO.

  • No Mas Diamante

    Our secondary needs to learn to hit. MM can bring it but there have been too many whiffs back there.

  • raiderinparadise

    I think the secondary is not bad in coverage but I think as far as tackling, that is still an eye opening issues with angles and success. Bottom line our defense gave up only 14 points when the offense gave the ball away 6 times and short drives. The defense has been playing well enough the last 3. The offense dropped off big time. Palmer better get into the groove and McFadden needs to be healthy.

  • LA to TheBay

    They gotta settle Mike down. He could be awesome.

    Him and Houston are some mean MFs. MM’s a headhunter and Houston’s a bully, or trying to be.

  • joetoronto

    I still can’t get that wiff from Giordano out of my head, from a couple of weeks ago.

    That was fugly.

  • DMAC

    Like I said DVD needs to eat a few cheese burgers and hit the weights a bit. He’ll be alright though.

  • No Mas Diamante

    Giordano does a few things well but he is a whiffer for sure.

  • DMAC

    Giordano = Cover skills aren’t 2 bad/ horrible tackler

  • No Mas Diamante

    DVD is getting some good experiance. I would like to see him turn and look at the qb more though. He is my mup

  • raiderinparadise

    Giordano won the Denver game. He is a vet. Simply a guy that can cover the field with his understanding of the game and instincts. But he has whiffed, heck everyone has and will, the D needs to rally the ball a bit more, thats the whole point of all these blazers right?

  • No Mas Diamante

    I like giordano on the blitz.

  • DMAC

    Thought I would never say this but………

    DHB has been our most consistent WR this season.
    Keep it up DHB!

  • DMAC

    I thought we resigned Lito?

  • hwnrdr

    I thought I saw that too…I think someone was messing around with that one…it said JC IRd and resigned Lito!

  • raiderinparadise

    Yeah DVD surely looks like a great 3rd round value pick. He has become a starter and a competitive defender. He does need to bulk up a bit, he is Phillip Buchannon lol maybe he can return punts.

  • DMAC

    Probably just BS

  • inonewordraider

    They gotta settle Mike down
    __________________________
    he was free/unblocked to stop the rb on 3rd and goal from the 1 and didn’t make the play and had the opportunity to crack guys after catching the pass but slowed up. I know the rules are puzzy schit but you gotta figure out a way to make your presence felt

  • DMAC

    inonewordraider Says:
    October 25th, 2011 at 10:58 am

    They gotta settle Mike down
    __________________________
    he was free/unblocked to stop the rb on 3rd and goal from the 1 and didn’t make the play and had the opportunity to crack guys after catching the pass but slowed up. I know the rules are puzzy schit but you gotta figure out a way to make your presence felt
    =======
    Didn’t he give a good lick to Bowe?

  • raidertay

    Good Article….

    Mark Purdy: Reasons to believe Oakland Raiders will bounce back after loss to Kansas City Chiefs

    The worst thing the Raiders could do is overreact to Sunday’s miserable 28-0 loss.
    The second-worst thing the Raiders could do is underreact to the embarrassment against Kansas City.
    The third-worst thing the Raiders could do is fail to be totally ashamed if they still don’t win the AFC West. Because there’s no doubt they should. If they don’t, helmets should roll. (As long as it is permissible under the new concussion-prevention rules.)
    The fourth-worst thing the Raiders could do is … well, give me a few more paragraphs. I promise to come up with something.
    It is a stirring NFL tradition for fans to go way overboard about a single victory or defeat in October. The Raiders stunk Sunday. But they now have a bye week to hang air fresheners in the locker room, allow new quarterback Carson Palmer to learn how the playbook furniture is arranged, and mentally regroup.
    Monday, of course, was time for spin for all of that. Hue Jackson, the head coach, wisely turned down the dial on his perpetual swagger machine. He did not exactly turn up the humility dial, however — especially when someone asked if he was concerned about his team’s offense.
    “A couple of weeks ago,” Jackson said, “we had one of the best offenses in the league — we were ranked in the top 10 in almost every category. Now, everybody’s acting as if the wheels fell off. The wheels didn’t fall off. … We’re going through a transition period. That’s what we’re doing. And we’ll go through it quickly.” Know what? I agree with the man.
    Go back and check Sunday’s box score against Kansas City. On offense, the Raiders finished with more total yards and rushing yards than the Chiefs — even with the quarterback misadventures of starter Kyle Boller and reliever Palmer, plus the loss of running back Darren McFadden to a foot injury early in the game. Meanwhile, on defense, the Raiders allowed just two touchdowns. The loss was purely the product of the six interceptions thrown by Boller and Palmer.
    Sunday’s loss was very bad. It was hardly disastrous. The Raiders (4-3) remain only a half-game behind first-place San Diego (4-2). They play each other Nov. 10 in Southern California. Between now and then, the Chargers play Kansas City and Green Bay. The Raiders have the bye week before playing host to last-place Denver.

    Do the math. If form follows, the Chargers and Raiders will have identical 5-3 records when they meet. The mission for Jackson is to ramp up the Raiders with a new quarterback and gain momentum for that San Diego game.
    Here is why I believe Jackson can do it: He already has shown he can pull the Raiders locker room out of one potential spiral. And he probably didn’t get enough credit for it at the time.
    The critical moment happened after the Raiders’ soul-crushing loss at Buffalo in Week 2. In the locker room after the last-minute 38-35 defeat, some Raiders players began pointing fingers at teammates or blaming the officials for what happened.
    Such an attitude has poisoned many Raiders teams in the not-so-distant past. Jackson nipped that attitude in the bud with some forceful vocal intervention. The Raiders went on to win three of their next four. There is no reason to think Jackson can’t again reorient and recalibrate the Raiders and — with the time Carson Palmer now will have to actually learn the offense — beat Denver a week from Sunday. Then be ready for San Diego.
    That said, Jackson is definitely showing that he is in his first season as a head coach at any level. He clearly mishandled the quarterback situation against Kansas City. Palmer, with just three days of practice after his trade to the Raiders, clearly was not ready to play at a high level when he replaced Boller in the third quarter. The game was Boller’s to win or lose. He almost surely would have lost. But so what? As noted, it didn’t hurt the Raiders much.
    Fortunately, Palmer sustained no injury during his time on the field. Even more fortunately, a number of Raiders receivers say they are sticking around to work with Palmer at the practice facility this week, even during the mandated four-day “vacation” required by the collective bargaining agreement. You can probably credit the coach for that, as well.
    Jackson is holding two days of practice before dismissing the team. After that, there can be no supervision from the coaches, even by sign language.
    “We can’t text them,” Jackson said. “We can’t Skype them or anything.”
    No, but what the coaches can do over the next two days is explain to Palmer what it would be really, really good for him to work on over the following four days.
    Understand, this not about me drinking all of Jackson’s Kool-Aid. It is mainly about me looking at every other team in the division and seeing weaker, watered-down Kool-Aid — or in some cases, watered-down water. San Diego owns no victories over teams with winning records. Denver will not be saved every week by Tim Tebow. Kansas City is no juggernaut.
    So here’s what I am saying: If Palmer picks up Jackson’s offense as quickly as I expect over the next 12 days, and if McFadden recovers from his injury over the next two or three weeks, the Raiders should be in as good a position as any NFL team to win a division title.
    By the way, I finally figured out the fourth-worst thing the Raiders could do. They could repeat that stupid trick play with third-string quarterback Terrelle Pryor, the one that resulted in a penalty flag in Sunday’s first quarter and started the downward slide.
    Trick plays won’t win the AFC West for the Raiders. Palmer and McFadden will. If Jackson sticks to business and subdues his vaudeville tendencies, that’s what will happen.

    Contact Mark Purdy at mpurdy@mercurynews.com or 408-920-5092

  • MikieG

    Does anybody have a more horribly all encompassing Annoying ucfking voice than Adam Shine? It sucks that he is paired up with Gannon, cause I like Rich, but dude needs to learn how to speak the english..
    He pronounces every “T” like its a “D” ‘quit’ sounds like ‘quid’ ‘set’ sounds like ‘sed’ etc. etc..and as we know there are LOTS of ‘T’s in the English Language…drives me nuts..throw in his crappy Dialect and voice inflection and you have someone who I would love to Seymour in the grill…
    Hate that ucfking guy to death.

  • DMAC

    I know first things first. A W against the Donks.

    We’ll smash the Queefs in KC!

    Print that!

  • inonewordraider

    CorkOnTheNFL Steve Corkran
    Marcel Reece on the field for first time since he hurt an ankle against the Jets on Sept. 25.
    1 minute ago »
    CorkOnTheNFL Steve Corkran
    If #Raiders would look at Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens, it’s safe to assume that they will check into just released WR Bernard Berrian.
    35 minutes ago »
    lindsaysoto Lindsay Soto
    Still no teams here (that we know of.) Still no TO…yet. Jerry Rice is here though. (His longtime trainer Raymond Farris’s running wkout)
    42 minutes ago Retweeted by @CorkOnTheNFL

  • DMAC

    Reece practicing?
    Great news.
    Let me stir it up in here some!
    Reece>Tonga
    lol