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Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis and new head coach Hue Jackson pose for a photo after the press conference officially naming Jackson the new head coach at the Raider's headquarters in Alameda, Calif. on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011. (Laura A. Oda/Staff)

It was a scene impossible to forget for those in attendance at Raiders headquarters that January day.

There was owner Al Davis pulling out a file folder stuffed full of details about the transgressions that had led to the firing of his most recently deposed coach, Tom Cable. It was an impressive scorched coach campaign, perhaps rivaled only by the time 27 months earlier when Davis eviscerated Lane Kiffin with the help of an overhead projector.

Hue Jackson sat to the right of Davis, a smile on his face, not seeming to care that his own hiring as the 18th head coach in franchise history had been upstaged by the kind of theater only the Raiders can provide.

It was his dream job then, as it is now.

Jackson is the ninth head coach since the Raiders moved back to Oakland in 1995 but doesn't seem to care about the volatility of his position, nor the perception that Davis is an intractable employer who is impossible to please.

"I can't speak to what everybody else has been through," Jackson said. "I can only comment on what I deal with on an everyday basis, and I feel very comfortable where he and I are headed."

Jackson is convinced he can succeed where the five previous coaches since a 2002 AFC championship have failed.

He has been a whirlwind presence since taking over. Jackson pressed the flesh in the community during the NFL lockout and dominated training camp through force of personality as no coach has since Jon Gruden arrived in 1998.

He plans to take the Raiders to the playoffs, building on last season's 8-8 record, and he says proudly, "restoring the great tradition of the Oakland Raiders."

After their January 2003 Super Bowl appearance, the Raiders lost 11 or more games for seven straight seasons, an NFL record. Then came some signs of life last season. Cable was the coach who presided over that improvement, Jackson the offensive coordinator who helped ignite the best offensive performance since the last playoff run.

Jackson appears to have learned from those who walked before him.

Both Kiffin, fired after four games in 2008, and Cable, whose contract was not renewed after the 2010 season, had their issues with Davis aired in public. Art Shell left quietly in 2006 after a 2-14 disaster.

By the time Norv Turner departed after the 2005 season, he thanked the media even before getting official word of his demise. Bill Callahan exited after the 2003 season by reading from a statement at a season-ending news conference, and then briskly walked out the door without taking questions.

The relationships between each coach and Davis deteriorated as the losses piled up.

Jackson has made it top priority not only to embrace Davis but also to do so publicly. He calls him "Coach Davis" as a sign of respect and says of their conversations, "They're great, they're daily, they're constant. They're unbelievable."

He doesn't see the virtue in charting his own course, isolating himself from Davis the way others have.

"I bounce everything off him, and why wouldn't I?" Jackson said. "This is his team. But he doesn't sit there and rule everything with an ironclad fist. For me not to use him as a resource wouldn't be smart."

Tom Flores, the last Raiders coach to win a Super Bowl (1983 season) and an analyst on the club's radio broadcasts, thinks Jackson's approach gives him a chance.

"He gets along with the owner and he's not threatened by it, and that's important," Flores said. "Everyone who has done well here has accepted who the boss is, what the relationship is, and let's get down to business and do our job.

"If you come in with a chip on your shoulder, you're never going to succeed. This organization has been run a certain way for years, it's not going to change. And if you think you're going to come in and change it, you're not."

Former Raiders quarterback and CBS analyst Rich Gannon said when he arrived from Kansas City, he was advised by Gruden to reach out to Davis.

"Jon told me early on, this is an interesting guy. He's a legend, a Hall of Famer. He knows more football than you and I will ever know," Gannon said. "I wasn't up in his office, but when he was around, I was always curious. His mind is fascinating. He could probably name every player on every roster.

"I think it's good Hue has that relationship. It doesn't mean you're not going to have a difference of opinion. Al and Jon disagreed on some things, but they were working toward the same goal."

One former Raiders assistant coach said that when Davis had a suggestion Gruden didn't agree with, the coach would produce a film cutup outlining his objections. The act of considering the suggestion, thinking it through, was enough to appease Davis.

Jackson's ability to keep the lines of communication open will be crucial. Davis is 82 and did not attend a single training camp practice this year. But according to those who deal regularly with the franchise, Davis has no front office executive he is depending on along the lines of Bruce Allen or Mike Lombardi, meaning Jackson is his primary conduit.

It helps that philosophically Jackson and Davis are of a like mind. They both prize offenses with strong running games that take shots down the field.

Jackson's choice as offensive coordinator, Al Saunders, has known Davis for years, even working as a ball boy at Frank Youell Field when Davis was Raiders coach in 1963.

They both want bigger, faster and tougher players. Jackson put three former Raiders on his coaching staff in Steve Wisniewski (assistant offensive line), Greg Biekert (linebackers) and Rod Woodson (cornerbacks).

Most important, the Raiders appear to have more young talent than at any time in recent memory. In an interview with Yahoo! Sports, Gruden sees the acquisition of good players as more important than how the coach gets along with the boss.

"A lot of people make way too much of Al Davis and the personality it takes to work for him," Gruden said. "When I was there we won because we had a lot of good players. You don't win because of personality. You win because of playmaking.

"Hue's personality and approach fit a lot of places. I think he's proven that. Look at his resume. He's worked his way up to get to this position."

Jackson isn't the first coach to be enthused over working for Davis in his first year. Kiffin called it the "honeymoon" period and a year later began sniping at Davis in public before getting himself fired.

"I know all about the other coaches," Jackson said, "but they're not Hue Jackson, OK?"