Jackson named new Oakland Raiders head coach

Hue Jackson

January 18, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
The Oakland Raiders introduced new head coach Hue Jackson on Tuesday, which meant team owner Al Davis addressed the media for the first time in 27 months. Jackson will be the sixth coach in the past nine seasons.

Like many of Davis' gatherings with the media, this was a classic -- one hour and 38 minutes. It covered everything from a new stadium, which Davis would like a new one in Oakland, to former head coach Tom Cable, who was apparently let go for on and off the field issues.

At age 81, Davis is clearly having a rough time physically, but he's sharp mentally. Davis says he fined Cable $120,000 this season because of legal fees involving the Randy Hansen assault case and domestic abuse charges involving Cable.

"...just wasn't going to take it anymore and so our attorneys asked them to resolve all of the cases against us, the Raiders, and until you do that, we're going to take money out of your check because we don't know what the final verdict will be against the Raiders in the lawsuit," said Davis.

When asked if there was an issue the Raiders were having with background checks, Davis admitted, "Yeah, we're very bad at it."

As is often the case when Davis speaks, the man sitting next to him gets completely overshadowed. That's what happened with Jackson.

"I want you to meet the new head coach of the Oakland Raiders. I'm proud as hell?Hue Jackson," said Davis.

Jackson, 45, will take over as the lead dog on this Raiders sled and he's ready for the challenge.

"I am so proud to stand before you today and have this opportunity to take this football team to where I know we can go. We're going to get in those playoffs and we're going to challenge for the Super Bowl," said Jackson.

Jackson inherits a team that Cable put back on track.

"The process is in place. We're going to create an environment for our players to be great and that's what we're chasing. We're chasing greatness," said Jackson.

I found it interesting that no current players were at the press conference. So I asked coach Jackson if being on last year's staff helped him overcome Tom Cable's popularity in the locker room.

"Today, alone, I got 20 text messages from our players who are very excited about me being here, being the head coach, and they can't wait to get back here," said Jackson.

Davis admits his previous choices at this position have been suspect.

"I've made mistakes, yes. You're saying should I take some of the blame? I certainly do. You want me to get it from my wife? I do get it from her," said Davis.

Jackson lacks head coaching experience, but he makes up for it with confidence.

"I'm here to be great and I know we've talked about the coaches before me and I have great respect for them, but they're not Hue Jackson and I came here for one reason, it's to come back and help restore the great tradition of the Oakland Raiders," said Jackson.

Just after Jackson was introduced, Cable was introduced by the Seattle Seahawks as their offensive line coach and assistant head coach under Pete Carroll.