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Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Sifting through the words of Al Davis

By Bill Williamson

As usual, Al Davis stole the show on a day he announced the hiring of a head coach.

Like the day when Tom Cable was promoted in 2008, much of Tuesday’s press conference focused on the team’s former coach. Cable replaced Lane Kiffin. Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson now replaces Cable.

Jackson sat next to Davis as he tore down Cable as Cable did when Davis tore down Kiffin. Kiffin lost his case against Davis. Cable is now fighting Davis in a grievance. Cable, who was hired in Seattle as offensive line coach and assistant head coach Tuesday is trying to recoup $120,000 in fines levied by Davis.

Al Davis
Raiders owner Al Davis announced the hiring of new coach Hue Jackson and addressed several other topics.
Both the San Francisco Chronicle and Oakland Tribune had solid coverage of Tuesday’s Oakland reality show.

Here are my thoughts on some highlights:

On the Cable talks: Davis is clearly starting his legal case against Cable. Many of Davis’ issues with Cable stemmed from 2009 before Davis kept him for another year.

On the pending free agency of star cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha: Davis said Asomugha is great and said he hopes he can re-sign Asomugha. I still expect Davis to be aggressive in his attempt to re-sign Asomugha. I’m surprised Davis wasn’t more verbally forceful about his hopes to keep Asomugha.

Davis continued to support quarterback Jason Campbell: It's clear Davis will stick with Campbell for the short term and he likes him more than backup Bruce Gradkowski. Davis compared Campbell to names from the past prior to the season the way he did with JaMarcus Russell before him. The truth is Campbell is 29. I have no problem with Oakland going back to him in 2011 and giving Jackson more time to work with him. But the time is now for Campbell.

Davis addressed Russell: Davis said Russell was a good person, but he has some personal issues. Davis admitted the failure of the No. 1 pick in the 2007 draft.

Meanwhile, Jackson said he will be the primary play caller and Al Saunders is an offensive coordinator candidate. I have no problem with Jackson calling the plays. He did a terrific job in 2010. The Raiders were sixth in the NFL in scoring, It would be strange if Jackson didn’t keep the gig.

Jackson was his usual enthusiastic self and said all the right things, including that the Super Bowl is the team’s goal.

Meanwhile, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Ravens have promoted secondary coach Chuck Pagano could to defensive coordinator. It had been reported that the Raiders would pursue Pagano for the same job.