Part of the Bay Area News Group

Herrera wasn’t the problem

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, February 16th, 2012 at 9:48 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Not sure whether all the glee among fans about longtime Raiders senior executive John Herrera’s departure is amusing or sad.

It’s certainly misguided.

Herrera showed up to work every day, even through times of immense personal tragedy, and backed his boss, Al Davis. He made statements to the press when told to do so _ even when he may not of agreed with Davis. Not that he’d ever admit it. That’s the kind of loyalty Al engendered among many of his employees, for better or worse.

He had one bad moment captured by camera _ an argument with columnist Tim Kawakami when Herrera had produced a story critical of coach Lane Kiffin for media consumption. It was pure, wacky Raiders _ a team employee actually alerting media members about a story which backed the owner at the expense of a head coach on his way out.

But a moment Herrera probably regrets hardly encapsulates his time with the Raiders.

He started out of high school, with Davis only wanting to know if he had his driver’s license, so Herrera could shuttle players, coaches, whoever, to and from the airport and run errands. Herrera set up training camps in Oxnard and Napa, left alone to handle the myriad details. Davis left him in charge of the Irwindale stadium issue, with a full staff at his disposal.

He worked in almost every corner of the organization. Knew Davis well enough that the owner let him use his home in Palm Springs for vacations. He’s probably got a million stories he’ll never tell about the bad side of his boss as well, because Davis was seldom diplomatic and sometimes cruel.

Somehow, maybe it was the Kawakami video, perhaps it was the pro-Raider stances that were his job during losing years, Herrera became the lightning rod for what ailed the franchise. As if things will certainly be better now that he’s gone.

Within a fairly short period of time, Herrera worked through an agonizing time when his wife was stricken with cancer and eventually died, and had a younger brother die of a heart attack. He’s had some health issues of his own, and a little less stress in his life can’t hurt.

Herrera called it a “meeting of the minds” and described the parting as amicable. My understanding is it was a business-side decision, and not made in the football realm. Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen are working feverishly on football and McKenzie has only recently begun worrying about handling the media _ one of Herrera’s duties in the past few years.

I talked to Herrera tonight, and predictably, he had nothing bad to say about the organization which encompassed almost all of his adult life.

“It’s been something I’ve been really thinking about since Al passed away last October,” Herrera said. “I had a great run. I was there 35 years, three different tours of duty. Particpated in three different Super Bowls. I had an unbelievably great relationship with the owner and his family since I was a kid in 1963.”

The common perception, because of a couple of instances, is that Herrera as perennially at war with the media and those who critcized Davis. Couldn’t be farther from the truth. Most of us understood that when he had an issue with something we said or wrote, he was carrying out orders from the top.

In fact, when Herrera’s wife passed away, media members took up a collection on his behalf and purchased gift cards for food at a local food establishment near where he lived. He had young daughters who were griveing as well, and in those times, preparing food isn’t exactly a priority.

What’s next for Herrera? Getting healthy. Watching his daughters’ sporting events. Herrera re-married four months ago, and his stepson is a pitcher in the Reds’ organization and he plans on seeing spring training.

He’ll still be attending some Raiders’ legends functions. An event for Clem Daniels. A roast for Tom Flores. There are a few opportunities in the sports business.

“I don’t have anything negative to say,” Herrera said. “I’ve been a Raiders fan since I was 14 and the AFL was formed and my family gave up 49ers tickets in 1960. I developed great friendships with players and coaches and front office people. I’m not going to be able to turn any of that off. All I can do is wish them the best.”

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  • hwnrdr

    Bengals hired Hue Jackson as an assistant special teams/secondary coach.
    Jackson had to settle for a low-level assistant job after essentially being black-balled following a year-ending press conference in Oakland that was negatively perceived around the NFL. A former receivers coach in Cincinnati, Jackson has a background with Marvin Lewis. He may attempt to reenter the coordinator ranks next offseason. His “market” appeal was shot for 2012.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Carson Palmer gets to play against the Bungles.

    Hue Jackson isn’t going to do anything to keep him from throwing 400 yards and 4 TD’s in a revenge game against Mike, Pete & Paul Brown!!

  • Marks hair

    The wc offense has only been around since the 80s .. What are you talking about it obviously works

  • Marks hair

    Oh that was.for 314

  • http://www.addictedtoquack.com RaiderDuck

    I guess we can rule out Palmer trying to follow Hue.

  • Marks hair

    Palmers our guy. Its time to stand bye your man ppl.

  • Dakota

    Geoff Hobson @GeoffHobsonCin
    #Bengals add former Raiders HC Hue Jackson to staff as asst. to defense and sp. teams. Coached Cincy WRs 04-06

    +++++++++++

    Well, at least Hue will still get his cool $2 million from the Raiders while playing errand boy for the DC and Special Teams coach.

    Still….Must be difficult going from running an NFL team to assistant to multiple coordinators. Like starting all over for him.

  • Dakota

    JR Smith to NY? Bummer.

  • http://www.addictedtoquack.com RaiderDuck

    Dakota Says:
    February 17th, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Still….Must be difficult going from running an NFL team to assistant to multiple coordinators. Like starting all over for him.

    ========================================

    I hope seeing his vitriol in Mike Silver’s article was worth it for him. Betcha Silver won’t even return his calls now.

  • Pingback: Herrera's OUT

  • lefty12

    Marks Hair Says:
    February 17th, 2012 at 11:52 am
    Palmers our guy. Its time to stand bye your man ppl.
    ===================
    This is the Raiders blog.People don’t stand by the players,they pick ones out,rip them to shreds,then move on to someone else.

  • Silverandblack666

    “Palmers our guy. Its time to stand bye your man ppl.”

    I am in!!

  • HGDaddy

    Tim Kawakami @timkawakami
    Hue Jackson to Cincinnati as secondary/special teams coach? There’s your back-door thank you from Mike Brown for those CPalmer draft picks.

  • Dakota

    Of course Herrera wasn’t the problem, Al was the problem, and Herrera was just a symptom of the real issue.

    But you can’t get a fresh start without cleaning house.

    Good for you Mark.

    Now the question is…..is Amy Trask safe? Did Al include her in his will, like he mentioned at his presser? Or does Mark recognize her abilities? Maybe Mark was jealous of his Dad’s seemingly close relationship with Trask?

    Still some drama left in Alameda.

  • http://www.addictedtoquack.com RaiderDuck

    Dakota Says:
    February 17th, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Of course Herrera wasn’t the problem, Al was the problem, and Herrera was just a symptom of the real issue.

    But you can’t get a fresh start without cleaning house.

    Good for you Mark.

    Now the question is…..is Amy Trask safe? Did Al include her in his will, like he mentioned at his presser? Or does Mark recognize her abilities? Maybe Mark was jealous of his Dad’s seemingly close relationship with Trask?

    Still some drama left in Alameda.

    =============================================

    What reliable source is there that Mark Davis was jealous of anything?

  • Richard Bentley

    I agree with those who say this was something Mark had to do because his father diminished Mark in Herrara’s view. Herrara was completely loyal to Al but now Mark needs people around him who were not so loyal to the old King. Al was a great man, probably the most intelligent and insightful person ever involved with professional football, but he was also a paranoid micromanager who demanded total loyalty from his administrative employees. That loyalty is so ingrained in Herrara that there was a very good chance that Mark, as Al’s son, would be never anything but “junior” to Herrara.

  • BewareofRaiders

    Looks like hue jackdon will join the bungles

  • Hardline

    406.Marks hair Says:
    February 17th, 2012 at 11:52 am
    Palmers our guy. Its time to stand bye your man ppl.
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Hey Marks Hair,

    You sure you aren’t Tammy Wynette, lol ??

  • hwnrdr

    Lets say this…if Mark lets Trask go, yes, it will truly be an end to an era, and yes, he possibly despises what his dad did to him…however, if Mark does let Trask go, he’s gonna sell! Because I don’t think he can do what Amy does!

  • HGDaddy

    Tim Kawakami @timkawakami
    So it turned out to be Carson Palmer to the Raiders for a 1, a 2 and Hue Jackson. Maybe THAT’S the greatest trade in football.

  • Dakota

    Duck,

    Just speculation….hence the question marks and the maybes.

  • Seymour Bush

    hwnrdr Says:
    February 17th, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Bengals hired Hue Jackson as an assistant special teams/secondary coach.
    ======================================

    It’s good to have friends in the league. Marvin Lewis is one of Huebert’s best friends. The guy is coaching defensive backs. Now, how many of you came in here and told me he doesn’t know anything about defense? That he is an offensive coach? Please submit your blog resignations.

  • Dakota

    Something our new coaching staff better watch out for when playing the bungholes next year…….fake punts and FGs lol.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Tim Kawakami @timkawakami
    So it turned out to be Carson Palmer to the Raiders for a 1, a 2 and Hue Jackson. Maybe THAT’S the greatest trade in football.

    ***

    the Raiders will win more games in 2012 than the Bengals.

    print it

  • RaidO

    Silverandblack666 Says:
    February 17th, 2012 at 11:58 am
    “Palmers our guy. Its time to stand bye your man ppl.”

    I am in!!
    ————————————————–
    Where is this Palmer overrating coming from? Geez. Palmer sucks. You guys drank that Hue Palmer hype Kool aid. We should hope they cut him and his $12.5 owed this year. Especially since they are changing to a WCO.

    Come back to reality please. Don’t forget Palmer had Ocho in his prime.

    Aaron Brooks what??

    Carson Palmer:
    62.9%, 22694y, 154tds, 100ints, 86.9r, 4.8td%, 3.1int%
    46-51 (.474), 0-2 (.000)

    Aaron Brooks:
    56.5%, 20261y, 123tds, 92ints, 78.5r, 4.2td%, 3.1int%
    38-52(.422), 1-1 (.500)

  • RaiderRockstar

    Something our new coaching staff better watch out for when playing the bungholes next year…….fake punts and FGs

    ***

    Yup

    let’s be real for a second though. Seabass, Shane, Condo, Cartwright & Myers are all EXCELLENT special teamers and Bones found a new job as ST Coach like 2 days after his contract with us was up!

  • HayesDaze37

    Of course HueJax got a Defense/ST coaches job…he did such a great job taking control of the one here last year.

  • http://cheapseateats.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Lester-Hayes.jpg RaiderDogg

    Hue Jackson has been hired buy the Bengals as an assistant coach helping the secondary and special teams.

  • Silverandblack666

    “Where is this Palmer overrating coming from? Geez. Palmer sucks. You guys drank that Hue Palmer hype Kool aid. We should hope they cut him and his $12.5 owed this year. Especially since they are changing to a WCO.

    Come back to reality please. Don’t forget Palmer had Ocho in his prime.”

    Yes you have an opinion and so does everyone else and guess what it still smells like ass!

    So you hate Palmer who would you replace him with being the super blog GM that you are?

  • Marks hair

    411. Ha. Osee my bad

  • RaiderRockstar

    Where is this Palmer overrating coming from? Geez. Palmer sucks. You guys drank that Hue Palmer hype Kool aid. We should hope they cut him and his $12.5 owed this year. Especially since they are changing to a WCO.

    Come back to reality please. Don’t forget Palmer had Ocho in his prime.

    ***

    Raid,

    Chad Johnson sucks. Hue Jackson does too

    Palmer will be better in the WCO, especially with a full offseason under his belt

  • http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXj7I1RzLSE&feature=related exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    Wow. What a reduction to the money the Raider’s will have to still pay HJ. Let’s see, Subtract $40,000 from $2.mil.

  • http://www.addictedtoquack.com RaiderDuck

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    February 17th, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    let’s be real for a second though. Seabass, Shane, Condo, Cartwright & Myers are all EXCELLENT special teamers and Bones found a new job as ST Coach like 2 days after his contract with us was up!

    =====================================

    You can tell which assistants were highly regarded around the league by who got poached right away (Waufle, Fassel, Lal) and who wasn’t (everybody else including Wylie, surprisingly enough).

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    Wow, what floor are we on again? Talk about a kick in the nuts. Let me get this straight.

    Hue jack wrecks our locker room and sends the season careening out of control like a locomotive coming off the tracks, with his dogged determination to infuse these miserable bungles into the fold. Flames out in rather unspectacular and inglorious fashion. He trades our draft picks, unceremoniously dumps the team captain, and best qb we have had since gannon via text message and espn sound bites. proceeds to blow smoke up the wazoo of every raider fan that would listen about palmer and this elite qb bs. Gets axed and now goes back to the bungles??!?!?

    UNREAL!!! Maybe mike brown hooked him up with a gig as a thank you for allowing brown to fleece the silver and black for our picks and at the same time taking on cinci’s sloppy seconds qb refuse.

    AL DAVIS IS TURNING OVER IN HIS GRAVE, AND I AM ABOUT TO LAY DOWN RIGHT NEXT TO HIM!!

    EFF UUU BABY HUEY

  • Silverandblack666

    “Of course HueJax got a Defense/ST coaches job…he did such a great job taking control of the one here last year.”

    We can all see how desperate of a reach it is to hire him on as a secondary coach. I get that Marvin likes him and this was probably a sympathy hire.

  • Just Fire Baby

    So how soon before Hue starts trashing the Raiders, Carson Palmer, and the trade that Mark Davis orchestrated?

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    HUE JACKSON WHEN YOU WERE HIRED I THOUGHT WE WERE IN LOCK STEP, NOW I KNOW IT WAS ACTUALLY LOCK JAW. YOU AND THE BUNGLES DESERVE ONE ANOTHER

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    Silverandblack666 Says:
    February 17th, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    “Of course HueJax got a Defense/ST coaches job…he did such a great job taking control of the one here last year.”

    We can all see how desperate of a reach it is to hire him on as a secondary coach. I get that Marvin likes him and this was probably a sympathy hire.
    ================

    one hand washing the other….WOW

  • Richard Bentley

    So Jackson ends up with his OLD team and is going to assist new secondary coach Mark Carrier as well as special teams coach Darrin Simmons. He says “I’ve got a lot to learn, but who better to learn from than Marvin Lewis and Mike Zimmer? Those are two guys that I know and I’m comfortable with and Darrin is one the better special teams coaches in the league.” So he DOESN’T know that much about the defensive side, and meantime, he couldn’t wind up anywhere as an offensive coordinator.

    Cable goes to a NEW team as Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Line Coach. Seems like Cable had a much softer landing and is much better thought of than Hue.

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    I am fuggin pizzed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Silverandblack666

    I personally like Palmer and believe that he will be great next year. He is the driving force behind me renewing my tickets for next year.

    Now let the bashing begin……

  • Just Fire Baby

    Mistic,

    As you would say:

    Hue Jackson owns you

    You went all in on that guy, and you let him cast his spell on you.

    Your smarter than that.

  • Jaxom

    Hue Jackson returns to the Bengals

    Posted by Mike Florio on February 17, 2012, 3:00 PM EST

    APApparently, the trade that sent Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer to the Raiders also included a coach to be named later.

    The Bengals have announced that former Raiders head coach Hue Jackson has been hired. He’ll serve as an assistant coach helping the secondary and special teams.

  • Hardline

    Stand by your man
    Give him two arms to cling to
    And something warm to come to
    When nights are cold and lonely
    Marks Hair, 406
    Silverandblack666, 412

    Dedicated to Marks and Silver from Sweet Tammy:

    “Stand by your man
    And tell the world you love him
    Keep giving all the love you can
    Stand by your man
    Stand by your man
    And show the world you love him
    Keep giving all the love you can
    Stand by your man”

  • Just Fire Baby

    I personally like Palmer and believe that he will be great next year. He is the driving force behind me renewing my tickets for next year.

    ********************************

    Palmer gives me more hope for the season than I have had in a long time.

  • RaiderRockstar

    So how soon before Hue starts trashing the Raiders, Carson Palmer, and the trade that Mark Davis orchestrated?

    ***

    do asst ST coaches & asst DB coaches get many interviews?

    If so, get Clayton Lopez & Keith Burns the mic!

  • Silverandblack666

    Why didn’t Hue just take a year off, he was getting paid anyways he could have worked on repairing his image so that next year at this time He could be in a conversation about HC vacancies in the league.

    This does not make sense did Marvin need him or was he just sympathetic to Hue’s situation?

  • Silverandblack666

    “Palmer gives me more hope for the season than I have had in a long time.”

    Me too!

  • RaidO

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    February 17th, 2012 at 12:15 pm
    Where is this Palmer overrating coming from? Geez. Palmer sucks. You guys drank that Hue Palmer hype Kool aid. We should hope they cut him and his $12.5 owed this year. Especially since they are changing to a WCO.

    Come back to reality please. Don’t forget Palmer had Ocho in his prime.

    ***

    Raid,

    Chad Johnson sucks. Hue Jackson does too

    Palmer will be better in the WCO, especially with a full offseason under his belt
    __________________________________________

    Yeah he sucks now but Ocho used to be one of the top WR’s in the NFL. You know this. Stop the nonsense.

    Carson Palmer played in the West Coast offense in USC under Paul Hackett and was an absolute disaster.

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    February 17th, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Mistic,

    As you would say:

    Hue Jackson owns you

    You went all in on that guy, and you let him cast his spell on you.

    Your smarter than that.
    =========================

    owned me like a lil biatch