Hue Jackson was officially named as Raiders head coach Monday night. He will be formally introduced at a news conference today - two weeks after coach Tom Cable was let go.
Jackson, the team's offensive coordinator, was promoted after he helped the team rise from 31st in total offense to 10th in his first year on the job. He took over play-calling duties from Cable and the Raiders scored more than twice as many points as they did in 2009 (410 to 197).
"The fire in Hue will set a flame that will burn for a long time in the hearts and minds of the Raider football team and the Raider Nation," owner Al Davis said in a statement.
The Chronicle first reported that Jackson would be named head coach on Jan. 4.
Jackson, 45, has never been a head coach on any level. He interviewed for the Raiders job last offseason, and one possible reason for the delay in naming Jackson head coach this month was to dispel the notion that Cable was a lame duck in the last year of his contract..
Jackson brought an energy with him when he came from the Baltimore Ravens, where as quarterbacks coach he was largely credited with the development of Joe Flacco.
"I'm kind of an in-your-face guy," Jackson said earlier this season. "I coach with a lot of energy. The most important thing is, I'm looking for a result. I'm after a result and a result is (when) I can get our players - whether it's offense against defense or defense against offense - to compete at a high level, because that's what this game is."
The Raiders finished 8-8 this season, but despite leading Oakland to its best record in eight years, Cable was told that the two-year, $5 million option on his contract was not being picked up. Cable recently filed a grievance against the Raiders to recover $120,000 in fines that Davis withheld from Cable's paychecks this past season.
The players supported Cable and were largely upset with the move, but Jackson is also popular with the players.
"(Jackson) was with us during the 8-8 season, and that was the best season we've had in the last eight years," free-agent cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha said Friday. "So he understands the players and knows what it takes to win. So I think bringing Hue along has to be the right choice if you're getting rid of Tom Cable."
Behind the legs of running backs Darren McFadden, Michael Bush and rookie receiver Jacoby Ford, Jackson's offense finished sixth in the league in scoring. The 410 points were the sixth-most scored in a season in franchise history.
But Jackson wasn't satisfied with the improvement.
"That's why I came to the Raiders was to improve, but we didn't improve fast enough," Jackson said late in the season. "We expect to be challenging for the playoffs, challenging for our division year in and year out and we're not getting that done, so to me, that's a disappointment. There's either first place or there's last place and there's no in-between."
Jackson also seems to be on the same page with quarterback Jason Campbell, who seemed to blame Cable for being benched twice even though Jackson said it was his decision in Week 2. Campbell finished strong, completing 59 percent of his passes on the year with 13 touchdowns, eight interceptions and a passer rating of 84.5.
"Most definitely we got a better feel for each other," Campbell said. "You don't just come in out of the middle of nowhere and all of a sudden light it up. It takes time to get to know each other, to know my strengths and what I can do well and what I need to work on. As the season went on, we definitely got to know each other and our strengths on offense."
Campbell now gets some rare continuity - he had four different offensive coordinators in four years at Auburn, then four more in six years in the NFL with Washington and Oakland. And it also looks like he will get an old friend, as league sources confirmed the Raiders are set to name Al Saunders as offensive coordinator.
Saunders was with Campbell in Washington as associated head coach in 2006 and 2007, and spent a year with Jackson as an offensive consultant with Baltimore in 2009. Saunders, 63, was with the Ravens in the same capacity this season, and has interviewed with Davis for the head coaching job twice over the years.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.co...L#ixzz1BMOVxw6Q