Raiders checklist #5

Jackson already has some doubters who think Davis was crazy for firing Tom Cable after the team's best season in nearly a decade, including some in the Raiders locker room. That's why it's critical for the Raiders to get off to a fast start, to appease the players, the fans, and, most importantly, Big Al.

There's no reason to think it won't happen. Jackson won over most of the offensive players last season and he was a big hit with many defensive players, too. So it shouldn't be too hard capturing the attention of the locker room. Davis might not be so easy, even though he was the one who hired Jackson. Since Jon Gruden split town prior to the 2002 season, no coach has stuck around for more than two full seasons.

All of them had Davis' endorsement only to see it fade away quickly when the losses piled up. Jackson's already in the spotlight because this is his first head coaching gig in the NFL but the national pressure he's facing is minimal compared to what he'll feel locally if the Raiders come out of the gates slow or fail to match last year's success.

Then again, we may not have a season anyway. Then we'll be back to debating money and contracts instead of offenses and defenses.

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