I have no doubt Oakland Raiders coach Hue Jackson wants to see his team clean up its penalty issues.
I spoke to him about it in training camp, and he called the fact that the Raiders are perennially among the league leaders in penalties is “embarrassing.” He has had officials come to practice this season in an attempt to fix the problem.
Still, the problem persists. Oakland is again the most-penalized team in the NFL — and racked up 12 more for 117 yards Sunday in a 27-21 victory at Minnesota. Sunday, though, Jackson appeared to be more upset at the officials than his team. I can understand why Jackson was frustrated. There were several questionable calls in the game.
"I am going to reach out to the league myself, personally," Jackson said. "I normally don't complain about the officiating. I don't make any bones that way because I said I wouldn't. But today I just truly felt like it was a little unfair. I really do … I know everyone says we're the most-penalized team in football and that's a fact, and I'm not running from that," Jackson said. "But there's no way ... some things that happened today on that football field, I question. I just do, and I have to, and I'm going to defend my team. It's time that I do that."
I think it is admirable of Jackson to stick up for his team. But I think he shouldn’t make a habit of calling out the officials. Maybe he'll get a pass this time, but NFL officials will not stand for being questioned repeatedly.
For Jackson's and his team’s sake, his frustration Sunday should be an isolated situation.