Ask Coach Jackson

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Question from Damien Hardy:Will training camp practices resemble the same feel as last year, where you (as OC) challenged the defense during practices?  If so, will you (as HC) be the one to get after and challenge the players or will someone else on the coaching staff have those duties?

Coach Jackson: That's just who I am. I'm never going to not challenge our football team in any endeavor whether it's offense to defense, defense to offense, special teams to special teams, special teams to defense. I truly believe in creating opportunities for men to compete. I think that's where you get better. I do not like very quiet practices. I like business-like practices, but I don't like a very quiet practice. I like a practice that is sharp, quick, to the point, purposeful, and where guys are working and where guys are getting better. This game is about stirring the pot and making sure that when you pour the stuff out it's pretty good.

Question from Joel Fox:How exciting is it to work with the coaching staff you have?

Coach Jackson: I'm blessed. A lot of these men I had the opportunity to pick to come here and work. Some I know, some I've never known, but to watch us bond as a group of men over the last several months because we haven't had our players, to share a vision, my vision with them and have them understand my vision, and to know what they're passionate about, to have them get back to me what we're trying to accomplish, I'm very comfortable with each and every one of our staff members. Down from the equipment people, to our trainers, to our video people, I don't think people know that, because we're all in this together. I'm very fortunate to have the men that I have here. I think we're ready for battle and we're looking forward to battling.

Question from Jason Hab: As a coach, how do you prepare a young o-lineman or a group of young lineman for all the experienced defensive players and intricate defenses they must face?

Coach Jackson: You create those situations as often as you can. You put them in as tough of an environment as you can. You make it as hard for them as you can because that's what the National Football League truly is. It's a hard, grinding, driving business. Only the strong survive. It is what it is. I think we have those kind of men. I made a statement earlier that I'm going to take them to the woodshed. And I am because that's what I mean by putting them in tough environments and situations. We have a very good defensive football team, we have a very good defensive front. I'm going to try to let this front be all they can be while they help our offensive line be all they can be. I think it's a great competition between the two. I say the game is won on the lines and I truly believe that.

Question from Stephen Graham: How big of an issue do you feel the penalties are with the Raiders and do you have a plan on how to get them under control?

Coach Jackson:It's a huge issue. We will address it from the first day they walk back into this building to the end of the season if we're standing up there in Indy. We're going to continue to harp on it; we're going to emphasize it. We're going to have officials be part of what we do. We're going to do everything I know to correct the problem because it has been an issue with this football team. There are some penalties that are questionable sometimes based on judgment, calls by players, that we need to coach better. There are penalties that are inexcusable. The concentration penalties are the ones that kill your football team and that's something, as I said earlier, when we get good and become the team I think we'll become, those things won't be an issue. The confident football teams don't get penalties, they just don't. They don't get themselves penalized where they hurt their team's chances of winning. We have to understand that and I'm addressing it each and every day. It's a problem we're going to get solved.

Question from Mark Lopez: Good teams have a collective ego and bad teams have individual egos. How will you instill the team first philosophy?

Coach Jackson: Because it is about the team. There is no "I" in "team." It is truly about we, us. I like to have a team where we're not worried about who the stars are. I know the media puts certain premiums on certain guys' names and what they do. We're not going to teach that here. We're the Raiders. We're going to come in your backyard and we're coming to play. Or you're going to come in our backyard and we're going show up and play. They're not going to say Richard Seymour and the Raiders, they're not going to say Darren McFadden and the Raiders, they're not going to say Hue Jackson and the Raiders, and if they do, I don't want them to. I want them to say The Raiders because that's truly who we are. We're one group, we're all joined at the hip and we're trying to accomplish one goal which is winning a championship.

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