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Ask Coach Jackson


Question from Jon-anthony Naihe: What's the biggest issue the Raiders need to address this season?

Coach Jackson: Winning. Finishing games. Going out and competing and playing Raider football from the first down to the last down. I truly believe that we have to overcome, just like what the other 31 teams have to overcome, this extended lockout. I'm not going to make any excuse for our team's ability to win football games week in and week out. I've already told our staff, and it's something I'll preach to our players, that we're not going to let a lockout stop us from accomplishing our goals and what it is that we're after this season.                 

Question from Felipe Amaral: You have a very strong relationship with the state of California, so my question is: What were your thoughts about the Raiders franchise before actually being a part of it?

Coach Jackson: What I knew about the franchise, because I've been around it somewhat from the outside looking in, was that it was always run with great passion by Coach Davis, and that it was a tremendous organization – an organization known for its Commitment to Excellence. Even though over the last several years the results on the field hadn't been what the organization wanted, I still think there's tremendous people here who work hard each and every day to do everything they can to put a product on the field. For some reason play wasn't meeting expectations. Then to be a part of it and work with the people here that I work with every day and have the opportunity to see the hunger and the passion of the players made me have a different opinion from the outside looking in on what the Raiders really is. There's truly a Commitment to Excellence. There truly is an opportunity to be all we can be here. It's just a matter of sharing a vision, having people believe totally in what we're trying to accomplish here each and every day, and leaving no stone unturned.

From Leslie Daniels: How far behind the learning curve are our rookies and young receivers without the OTAs, mini camps, and on-site workouts?

Coach Jackson: There's going to be some growth that's going to need to happen pretty fast, but they're only as far behind as the veteran leadership on this team will allow them to be. It's well documented that our players have met. It's well documented that they've shared information. How much information they've shared I have no way of knowing because I can't talk to them or gauge that, but I want to believe that the veteran leaders on our team understand that the players that were drafted were drafted for a reason - to come in here and compete and play. I think they know it takes every last one of us to compete and do our jobs. I would hope that our veteran leadership is trying to have the young guys catch up as fast as they can, as well as they can, and we as coaches will have some gaps to bridge as soon as we get back to playing football.

From Mark Harrington: You have a team that Richard Seymour stated as being "more talented than any of" the winning Patriot teams he won Super Bowls with.  How do you get the Raiders to play at that level and with confidence bred Super Bowl contender belief every down every week?

Coach Jackson: Demand it, and I do. I'm not going to allow us to do anything other than that. That's why I sit in the seat I sit in. I'm comfortable with that. I think our players expect that and I think our players are going to expect to win. There's talent on this team and I think what Richard is alluding to is talent doesn't win games. The best teams win games. We need to learn to play like a football team and we can. We've demonstrated that at times and we've played as a pretty good football team. I expect us to be great. I'm not interested in being good. I think there's a nucleus of players here, young and old, given the right leadership and the right motivation, can accomplish any goal that they set out to accomplish.

From Alex Hernandez: What was your favorite moment during the 2010 Season?

Coach Jackson: There were so many of them for me. I think winning the three games in a row was awesome - beating Denver and Seattle and coming home and beating Kansas City in overtime - because that should be the expectation. I don't want it to just be three games, I expect more. I don't want to put a number on it, but I have an expectation on how we should play, what it should look like. I think our fans, Raider Nation, was happy about that, that we were on a roll. The bye week threw a wrench in that. I felt we were really becoming something. We didn't really get over the hump that way, but I felt it. That was unbelievable momentum and we need to capture that again.

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