If (well I should probably just say when) the Raiders make the playoffs this year Hue Jackson is going to get plenty of camera time. He is a great interview. It's not that he loves putting a foot in his mouth (his or others) like Rex Ryan it is that he is full energy and passion.
As it has been pointed out it is a lot like a former Raiders coach that resembled a doll with murderous intent. Hue recently sat down for a little chitty-chat with Gil Brandt on Sirus XM Radio. There is nothing to revelatory here, and Brandt really just lobs him some softballs, but this is the Raiders coach talking, and there is no other action in football to talk about. So, I am going over this interview for football nuggets like a crack head combing through his shag carpet.
Most of this interview, when Brandt wasn't busy kissing up and pointing out Hue lettered in two sports in college, had to do with the rookie class. Jackson adds some insight into why Wisniewski was the guy at No. 48...
I talk about changing the culture a little bit here from an offensive standpoint and I think we all know it starts up front with the lines and so I wanted to make sure we got the right quarterback. When I’m talking about quarterback, I’m talking about the quarterback of our offensive line, someone that can come in and lead a group – a guy who has leadership. But more so than that, a guy who is very physical, very dominant at his position and so Stefen fit that bill and we were able to draft him and we’re very fortunate to have him.
That just addresses half of the new linemen. Moving right along to Mr. Barksdale:
And as you talked about, Joseph Barksdale from LSU, you know, a guy who has played left tackle, right tackle. He’s played guard before, I mean, he’s played so many different positions. And he has long arms, he’s big, he’s athletic and he likes to play the game. He’s been very solid and hasn’t had a lot of injuries so we were able to pick him up and obviously to help bolster our offensive line.
The versatility he brings up is terrific. The Raiders have a lot of moving parts and youth on their offensive line. This is going to give them tremendous flexibility moving forward as they try to upgrade this group, and it is always valuable as depth. I hope the Jackson is planning on getting Satele to guard, but as a free agent he can't comment on Satele.
Gil Brandt pointed out something I hadn't heard as he mentioned that Wisniewski and Barksdale are friends from high school. They are both from Michigan and played in All-Star games together. This is a minor detail, but I like it. Barksdale comes to the Raiders with questions of having the proper intensity. No one is questioning Wisniewski's intensity. Barksdale is entering a new setting, and I assume the only person he knows is Wisniewski. They will be in the sames groups in practice and may hang out at other times. I imagine he will get at least a little residual Wisniewski intensity.
Back to Hue. He was asked if lil' Wiz and Bruce Campbell would be starting:
You know Bryan, I think all those guys are going to be ready because we’re going to create an environment for them to be the best they can be. How fast they’re going to be ready is yet to be seen. Is it game one? That’s what we all hope, but it might be game five. But I feel very comfortable that our line is going to get coached through my vision of how I want the offensive line to play.
Ah...Hue's vision—he's got coaches in place to help him turn that vision into a reality (on offense anyway):
Obviously I have a relationship with Al Saunders that stems back from some years ago in Baltimore. What he brings to the table for me is what I need so that I can be able to touch every part of this football team as often as I can, but I’m also being on offense as my specialty, but I have guy there that I trust. I know he knows exactly what my vision is and how we’re trying to play on offense. It’s really a great match.
Saunders experience is going to prove priceless this year. Hue only has one year as a play caller under his belt, and now he is going to add head coaching duties to the demand on his time.
We took him because I sent Rod Woodson down to University of Miami to work this young man out. The speed at the combine got our attention, watching video got our attention, but Rod went down and came back and said, ‘Hue, this guy can do it.’ He said, ‘This guy has the hips, he has the feet, he has the wherewithal, and he has the smarts to go with cover receivers, and he understands the game.’ So I’m taking this advice from a Hall of Famer, somebody who has done it in this league at a very high level, who told me without a shadow of a doubt that this young man can get it done. I believe in our coaches and so that is the decision we made.
I think too much stock is put into Woodson's word on a quality corner. He is a first year coach. Sure, he is a Hall of Famer, but what does that have to do with player evaluation? Very little. In fact, often times the best players are horrible coaches. I am glad Woodson is on board, but I'd put much more stock in the assessment of DVD if it came from fellow and experienced secondary coach, Kevin Ross.
He’s very physical, loves to play man coverage, loves to put his hands on you and that’s the way we play. We’re going to line up and challenge every receiver in the National Football League because that’s what we love to do. We’ve got two young players that are going to give us an opportunity to do that.
Hue could sell ice to an eskimo, and right now I am buying everything he is selling. I am excited! I always am after listening to Action Jackson. Get these guys on the field already!