What looked to be a promising season in Oakland and a return to the playoffs for the first time since, turned into a nightmare quickly for former head coach Hue Jackson and Raider Nation. There were just too many hurdles for the Raiders to try and overcome in. Not only did their owner and leader, Al Davis, pass away suddenly, but the Raiders dealt with a myriad of injuries as well. Injuries to Jason Campbell and Darren McFadden were crushing. Even though the Raiders were able to trade for Carson Palmer to stay afloat, when Jason Campbell broke his collarbone, Oakland looked like a different team. After a 4-2 start, the Raiders went 4-6 over their last ten games and missed the playoffs again. The lack of discipline and losing four of the last five games to miss out on the playoffs probably cost head coach Hue Jackson his job and it will be up to Reggie McKenzie and the new regime to try and bring the Raiders back to prominence in the NFL. Something that Hue Jackson failed to after a promising start.
Hue Jackson joined 95.7 the Fan in San Franciscoto talk about how surprised he was that he was fired, whether or not he felt he earned a shot to keep his job, if he still believes that Mark Davis fired him and not Reggie McKenzie, what he thinks of the Raiders team moving forward, if he feels he lost his locker room, whether or not he feels the Raiders season turned when Oakland traded for Carson Palmer, how tough it was dealing with the passing of Al Davis, and if he was the person responsible for trading for Carson Palmer.
Whether or not he saw this coming:
“I don’t think now it really matters what I seen or anything at this time. I think what’s important is I have an opportunity to tell Raider Nation and the fans thank you so much for their support now. Everywhere I’ve gone, everywhere I’ve been people just came out with a lot of support and I appreciate it. It’s time for everyone to move forward and get going.”
Whether or not he felt he earned a shot to keep his job:
“At the end of the day it’s not gonna matter what I felt. When you start something you would like to have the opportunity to finish it. The organization made a decision to move forward, hired a new GM, Mark Davis is the owner, he’s in place, and they’re going to hire a new coach.”
If he still believes that Mark Davis fired him and not Reggie McKenzie:
“I think I said that but at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter whether it was Reggie’s or Mark’s, obviously those two have to talk anytime you make a decision and they have to agree. However you go about it, whether it was Reggie or Mark, the decision was made and I have to move on from it.”
What he thinks of the Raiders team moving forward:
“I think there’s a really good nucleus of players, there are some very good skill players there, very strong and solid offensive football team that for two years has been one of the top offenses in pro football. They have some really good players on offense to build around. I think it’s a defense that has good players and I’m sure they’ll overhaul it and do everything they can to get better. I think it’s a solid team that has a chance to really grow and get better with a great offseason. Last year there wasn’t really an offseason. They’ll have a chance to kinda hit the ground running and get better from there.”
If he feels like he lost the locker room:
“I know that’s not true. I never felt that. I know everybody made a big deal after the last game of the comments I made. I made ‘em and wish I hadn’t. Obviously I wish I would’ve done my normal which was go take a shower, put on my clothes, and then go speak. I was very emotional and felt like I felt based on the circumstances of the game and what was riding on the game and the fact that I didn’t think we took care of enough business to win the game. I said what I said. Not that I didn’t feel what I said I was feeling, but there was just probably a different way that it needed to be said. It’s a learning experience for me and I will grow from that.”
Whether or not he believes the season turned when the Raiders traded for Carson Palmer:
“No I don’t. I know everybody says that we’re a 4-2 football team and I really believe that the season in my opinion turned when we didn’t finish. We had our opportunities as a football team and we didn’t get it done. When you look back at it as a coach that’s what you’re most disappointed in.”
How tough it was to deal with the passing of Al Davis:
“It was tough. He was the owner, GM, and defensive coordinator. Coach was a tremendous man that wore a lot of different hats. He was the Raiders. I think at the end of the day I don’t think people know how hard that was losing him. I tried to explain that what he meant. I don’t think anybody understood that. The only thing that I was disappointed in was that everybody thought I was the acting GM, I wasn’t. I know that’s what the media wanted to portray but there was never a decision about the Raiders that I made on my own. The bottom line is at the end of the day we lost a great leader, a great icon, who was the Raiders and my boss who taught me what I knew and how to do it. We weren’t able to overcome that.”
If it was portrayed correctly in the media that he was the person that made the deal for Carson Palmer:
“No it wasn’t. I think if everybody would stop for a second and look and say ‘wait a minute.’ But I know what happened because the people involved knew Hue Jackson. I did coach and recruit Carson in college, I was with him in Cincinnati, I do know Mike Brown because I did work there so naturally everybody is going to say it was Hue that did it. Well no, Hue was the person when it was all said and done that was able to get the sides together. The decision was made as an organization. I don’t make a decision to give away draft picks, I didn’t make a decision on how much money someone was going to make. That’s not my domain. I don’t do that. I think if people would really slow down and say ‘well wait a minute this guy has never done any of this before but now he’s making this kind of deal.’ I think that’s what was portrayed. But no I’m not the only person. I was just a player involved in it because I knew the two parties and I knew how to get the two parties together to see if we could potentially do a deal.