By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Monday, November 21st, 2011 at 12:34 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Looks like the Raiders are fine with allowing Hue Jackson to be the front man in their issues with NFL officials.
Jackson broke his policy of not criticizing officials in the wake of some calls in a 27-21 win over the Minnesota Vikings that left him scratching his head.
He said he planned on contacting the NFL and simply wanted a fair playing field.
At one point Jackson said he didn’t know what a legal hit is any more.
Jackson talks to the media at 2 p.m. in his weekly press briefing, at which point he’ll be asked about the penalties and also presumably have an update on injured wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey.
With 12 penalties for 117 yards against the Vikings, Oakland leads the NFL with 103 penalties for 892 yards and is on pace set the league record in both categories. They have 17 personal fouls on defense alone, just two behind the 1998 Chiefs over 16 games when they set the current NFL records of 158 penalties and 1,304 yards.
And the Raiders still have six games to play.
Linebacker Aaron Curry has already been hit with three personal fouls since joining the Raiders.
“The thing about it football is a game full of personal fouls,’’ Curry said. “They’re all personal. It all depends on whether a referee decides to throw his flag or not. Every hit we make, they’re all borderline.
“You can call a personal foul on every play, you can call a holding on every play, you can call a facemask on every play. It just depends on what the guys feel like calling.’’
Safety Matt Giordano said the Raiders respect the rules but can’t be affected on the field by concern over getting a flag and positioning themselves for a hit that is within the rules.
“It slows you down as a defensive player if you’re thinking, `OK, how can I hit this guy,’ ‘’ Giordano said.“ I honestly think as a defender, that’s how defenders get hurt, they’re thinking about where to place their head on a receiver’s body, because if they go too high, they could actually damage themselves rather than make the play that they needed to make.’’
While Jackson said the Raiders weren’t allowed to fine players for penalties, defensive tackle Tommy Kelly said there is a “fine jar’’ and that players are aware of the problem.
“We have officials every day at practice,’’ Kelly said. “Coach stresses it. We stress it with each other. I don’t know what else we can do.’’
Following a Week 2 loss in Buffalo, when Richard Seymour and Kelly among others were grumbling about all the flags the Raiders get as opposed to teams without their reputation, players have been careful with their words.
“I’m not really going to comment officiating,’’ tight end Kevin Boss said. “Coach took care of that.’’
Said Giordano: “You know what, you can’t control what the refs do. That’s what they do. I’ve never seen a ref lose or win a game. So it always comes down the players so you’ve always got to be ready and with the understanding that you’ve got to play with poise.’’
Even Curry, whose helmet-to-helmet personal foul against Minnesota seemed particularly iffy, wasn’t taking the bait.
“The referees are just doing their job,’’ Curry said. “There’s a rule book and the Raiders are going by it.’’
A few other notes:
– Place kicker Sebastian Janikowski felt his sore left hamstring was a factor on the 49-yard field goal attempt that was blocked.
“I had to kick it lower to get it there and I kicked it too low,’’ Janikowski said.
He said he goes to treatment every day but conceded it could bother him all season.
“With hamstrings, they take awhile to heal,’’ Janikowski said.
– Center Samson Satele, who left the game with a concussion, was in the locker room and talking to reporters. He said he felt fine. Asked about the concussion protocol for being cleared to play, he said, “It hasn’t come up yet. I’ll go see now.’’
– Boss was pleased to be included as a part of the passing offense, catching five passes for 37 yards with a long of 11.
“It was real nice. I want to feel involved and help this team the way I know how,’’ Boss said. “I haven’t lost any confidence in my abilities. I know what I can do to help this team in that part of the offense. So it felt good.’’