OAKLAND (CBS13) — With success comes praise and with failure comes criticism. Such is the nature of life in the NFL, and Oakland Raiders coach Hue Jackson understands that.
The Raiders were one of the success stories of the early part of the season after jumping out to a 4-2 record and completing a stirring win on the road against Houston one day after Hall of Fame owner Al Davis died.
But since then the Raiders have lost starting quarterback Jason Campbell to a broken collarbone, traded away two high draft picks for Carson Palmer to replace Campbell, and they’ve lost two straight AFC West division games against Denver and Kansas City by a combined score of 66-24.
With the losses came rumblings that Jackson has assumed too much control of the team since Davis’ death. He dismisses that.
“We don’t get into all that,” he told KHTK The Fan’s Grant Napear on his weekly radio show. “We know it has nothing to do with the coach doing too much or anything. This is a player’s game. We are very disappointed just like anybody else that we didn’t get it done this past week.”
The Raiders jumped out to a 10-point halftime lead Sunday against visiting Denver but were outscored 31-7 in the second half. Oakland was gashed for 299 rushing yards in the loss and committed 15 penalties.
“I wasn’t happy with any of it,” Jackson said. “What we have to do is go back to work, which we did the last two days, and get ready to play against San Diego. We’ve just got to keep working on it. All of a sudden we’ve sort of reverted back to things that were troubling us earlier in the year.”
The Raiders once again lead the NFL in penalties this season, and Napear asked Jackson if he was tried of talking to the media about it.
“It’s not going to drive me crazy that you’re still asking me about it,” Jackson said. “It drives me crazy that we’re still getting them. It may be Week 16, but we’re going to get it solved.”
Despite the setbacks and the criticism now surrounding the team, Jackson said it’s not time to panic.
“I think what happens is everybody is anticipating the wheels falling off,” he said. “There’s no wheels falling off. You just stay to the grind, and eventually this thing gets back to where it needs to be. It is a long season.”
There were positives for the Raiders against Denver, including 332 yards passing and three touchdowns from Palmer, but he also threw three interceptions for the second straight week.
“Obviously what he has to do is to take care of the ball,” Jackson said. “He had some sensational throws in the game. Obviously there’s three touchdown passes, but there’s three turnovers. We can’t turn the ball over.”
The Raiders won’t have long to lament Sunday’s loss. They play at San Diego on Thursday in the first midweek game of the 2011 NFL season. The game is being televised nationally by NFL Network. Both teams are 4-4, as are the Kansas City Chiefs.
“It’s tough. There is no day off. The week is just crunched down to a couple days,” Jackson said of the short week. “It is a tough week. But we’re not going to make excuses for something we know is coming.
“I don’t like what’s gone on the last two weeks, but we also understand the situation we’re in.”
Hear Jackson’s entire interview with Napear: