GLENDALE — Hue Jackson never forgot the mentality of the Oakland Raiders, and the former Glendale Community College football player reiterated it after he was officially named head coach of the struggling franchise Tuesday afternoon.
"We're going to build a bully here," Jackson said at a Bay Area news conference introducing him as the organization's six head coach since the Raiders appeared in the 2002 Super Bowl. "This is the Raiders. We know exactly where we're headed and what we want to do. I think our players today are very excited about where they are going."
Jackson, who was Glendale college's signal caller from 1983-84 and was an All-Western State Conference selection, replaces Tom Cable, whose option wasn't picked up by Oakland after the Raiders finished 8-8 and in third place in the American Football Conference's West Division behind the Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers. He's the second former Vaquero football player to become a current NFL coach, joining Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Jackson, who passed for 2,251 yards and 19 touchdowns in two seasons at Glendale college, earned the promotion after overseeing a major turnaround with Oakland's offense this past season. After Jackson was brought in nearly a year ago from the Baltimore Ravens, the Raiders thrived under Jackson's role of being the team's offensive coordinator. Oakland scored more than twice as many points in 2010 than in 2009, leading to the Raiders avoiding their eighth losing season in a row.
Oakland quarterback Jason Campbell, running back Darren McFadden and rookie wide receiver Jacoby Ford played major roles in helping the Raiders place sixth in the league in scoring with 410 points. The point total was the sixth-most points in franchise history.
Those numbers caught the attention of longtime Oakland Owner Al Davis, who said he interviewed at least three candidates for the position before ultimately choosing Jackson.
"Everything pointed toward the guy on my right. Everything," Davis told the Associated Press. "I don't see anything from a character, personality, anything that would not, not let me raise his hand and say he should be the coach of the Raiders and be the ambassador to the Raider Nation and the country and around the world."
Jackson said he wants to uphold the tradition of the Raiders. The franchise has won three Super Bowls, the last coming in 1983, when the franchise resided in Los Angeles.
"My job is to do everything I can to take this team where we know we want to go, which is the Super Bowl," Jackson said. "Obviously this is a very talented and young football team here, as coach just talked about. We have some tremendous players on the offensive side of the football."
Jackson worked in Baltimore with quarterback Joe Flacco, who led the Ravens to the playoffs the past three seasons. Jackson was also the offensive coordinator at USC, where he mentored Carson Palmer, who is now the starting quarterback with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Jackson served as a running backs and receivers coach with Cincinnati from 2004-06, was the offensive coordinator for the Washington Redskins in 2003 and the Atlanta Falcons in 2007 and also coached running backs for the Redskins in 2001-02.
Reports surfaced on Monday that Jackson was going to be the new Raiders coach and then were confirmed by a press release by Davis. Jackson was then officially announced as the new leader of the "Silver and Black" in Tuesday's press conference.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun