Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Jackson takes Raiders back in time
By Bill Williamson
NAPA, Calif. -- In his first year as the head coach of the Oakland Raiders, Hue Jackson wants his players to understand the history of the franchise and the importance of restoring the winning tradition.
So Jackson turned on the film. And he pressed the way-back machine.
Jackson had a film produced that featured interviews with several of the team’s all-time great players like Ken Stabler, Jim Plunkett and Jim Otto. Several other former Raider greats were featured including current coaches Steve Wisniewski, Rod Woodson and Greg Biekert.
Players spoke of what it meant to them to be a Raider. There were also plenty of highlights. To provide extra motivation, Jackson showed the team some highlights from the current players which he deemed were up to the standard of the Raiders of the 1970s and early 1980s.
“We’re chasing greatness,” Jackson said. “Not everyone is a Raider. I wanted them to see what it is and what it means to be a Raider. This is a special organization. There is history here and I want these guys to live up to being a Raider.”
Defensive lineman Richard Seymour said the message came through loud-and-clear.
“You could feel it,” Seymour said. “Just watching the film, showed the guys all the tradition of the this team. For me to see guys like Howe Long and Lyle Alzado, it was really inspiring.”
Jackson said it was especially powerful when film of Woodson, Wisniewski and Biekert were shown.
“Guys could look around and see those people in the room,” Jackson said. “Being a Raider is an opportunity. It’s a family.”