Question from Estevan Casas: Which game of the 2011 season will be the most challenging and good for the team to see how good they can be?
Coach Jackson: I think everyone will look to the Jets game, our home opener, because they've been in the AFC Championship game for the last two years. It would be a measuring stick because that division houses the New England Patriots who we play the very next week. They are a very strong division and if we intend on being the football team I know we intend to be, those are the teams you have to beat.
Question from Gary Bernhard: What have you and the rest of the coaching staff been doing to prepare for this season during the lockout?
Coach Jackson: We've made sure we've crossed all the T's and dotted all of the I's when it comes to our opponents, whether it be preseason or regular season. We go back and recheck what we're doing schematically, offensively and defensively and special teams. Also, we bond a little more together, get to know each other. I think the more you know about each other, the more you fight for each other. I truly believe in that and I think our coaches do too. I think we've gotten a lot closer as a staff and have shared in a vision to try to do everything we can to win a championship.
Question from Dave Birch: How do you re-install the Raiders of old with the young guys coming in who might not know about the history?
Coach Jackson: You're right, a lot of the guys don't know the rich tradition and history here so it is in our halls, it's on all our walls, it's everywhere. We're going to make sure that people understand the great players that have played here before these young men. It's my job as a head coach to educate them. It's our job as assistant coaches to educate our young players and our old players of what being a Raider is truly all about.
Question from John Anderson: How do you bring back the leadership that makes so many teams successful?
Coach Jackson: As far as the leadership is concerned, I'm going to create the environment and the players and the coaches are going to follow my lead. My lead is one where we are focused on Commitment to Excellence, chasing perfection, and building this bully.
Question from Aaron Young: With the Raiders dominance of the AFC West last year, how do you plan on carrying on that dominance outside of the division this year?
Coach Jackson: We need to get better. We understood how to play the teams in our division, obviously that's well documented. We need to continue that dominance, that's what we want to continue to do. But we also need to learn how to defeat the teams outside our division. That comes with poise, that comes with understanding, that comes with playing intelligently, and that comes with making sure we understand that winning in the division doesn't just rest in winning in our division. It also rests in winning outside of the division because there are teams that our division opponents are going to play also. We need to be prepared to defeat them.
Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Each Friday we'll post the answers in Q&A format.