One day after being fired as the Raiders head coach, Hue Jackson is in full spin-control mode.
On Wednesday, Jackson took to the air to give his side about comments he made minutes after his team’s season-ending loss to the San Diego Chargers, in which he said he wanted more control over the team and blamed his players for their play against the Chargers.
It’s interesting to note that new general manager Reggie McKenzie said Tuesday at his introductory news conference that Jackson’s comments after the Chargers game had “nothing to do with” Jackson being fired. He said everyone makes comments that they wish they could take back.
New owner Mark Davis said he didn’t want to comment on Jackson’s postgame remarks Jan. 1. That was the only question that Davis refused to answer, by the way.
Here’s the transcript from Jackson’s interview, courtesy of NFL Network:
On if he was caught off guard by being relieved of his duties by new Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie:
“I was a little surprised, but I do understand the nature of pro football. Sometimes things that look like they should don’t always end up like they should. So I understand. The Raiders did me a favor by giving me an opportunity, Al Davis did and I thank him for it. What a tremendous organization. My time there was awesome, the people at 1220 [Harbor Bay Parkway] who I worked with, they were tremendous – the staff was tremendous. I understand the nature of this business, but obviously I wish it would have went a different direction than it did.”
On how he found out that he would no longer be the head coach of the Raiders:
“[Reggie McKenzie and I] didn’t really get into too many of the details. Reggie was very forthcoming and just said, ‘I’m going to make a change, I need to bring in my own guy,’ which I understand. I knew that anytime a new GM comes in, they like to line themselves with their head coach, somebody that they want to bring in. At the end of the day, I can’t fault him or anyone within the organization for feeling like they feel. I wish the situation was different but it’s not.”
On his news conference following the Raiders’ final game of the season:
“I wish I could it take it back and say it differently so people could really understand what I was trying to say. I wasn’t trying to say that I wanted to take total control of everything. When you work for the Raiders, you understand that Al Davis is first and foremost – you work for him. So I didn’t get an opportunity to put everybody that I wanted on my staff or run the team to do with football operations the way that I see fit. I took the job and I knew the parameters of the job, and I accepted that. At the end, what was coming out of me was the emotion of a long season, being 8-8, losing to the Chargers with so much riding on the line: the opportunity to win the AFC West, to host a playoff game there at home, the opportunity to have the first nine-win season since 2002. I went and talked to the team, and what I normally do is I go in and take a shower and put on my clothes before I go see the media. I carried some things with me and that’s a lesson learned for me that I don’t think you can go in there [immediately]. You need to settle down first and really think through what you’re saying. But what I said is what I felt. Not that I was trying to say I wanted to run everything; I just wanted to be able to feel like I knew there were some changes that needed to be made and I wanted to be able to make them, and I was trying to voice that. Not take total control or anything like that.”
On any conversations he had with Mark Davis over the past couple of days:
“I didn’t talk to Mark [before the decision was made]. I have not talked to Mark. Mark is a good man and I have spent a lot of time ever since the night that Coach [Al Davis] died; the person that told me was Mark – he came to my room and informed me of what had happened to Coach. I haven’t had an opportunity to speak to him. I did text him and tell him thank you for the opportunity and to thank him and his family, and I wish him well. But at the end of the day, like I said he’s the owner and he’s going to make the decision of which direction the franchise runs and I have to accept that.”
On the Raiders down the stretch of the regular season:
“We didn’t finish; it’s a term that I’ve always used. We didn’t play as well as we could have down the stretch, and again that’s what I was feeling after that San Diego game. We had so many opportunities, whether it was going to Miami, going to Green Bay, finishing at home against Detroit, went to Kansas City and then here comes San Diego. We weren’t able to get it done and I don’t have an excuse for that. At the end of the day, that’s my charge: to make sure that we do [get it done], and we didn’t. I know we played decently on offense, we didn’t play as well as we could or should on defense and the players know that. They own up to that and they respect that. But at the end of the day we just didn’t finish. When you don’t finish this is what happens: you end up 8-8 and you end up out of the playoffs.”
On if he wants to coach in 2012:
“There is no doubt I do. I love coaching, I love leading men and coaching guys. Whatever is going to happen is going to happen, but I’m going to take a couple of days to just relax and then let the chips fall where they may. There is a place out there for me someplace and I think I’ll find it.”
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