Hue Jackson brings NFL-like prep to his first season in Grambing State football.
Jackson, the former Cleveland Browns and Las Vegas Raiders coach and longtime NFL offensive coordinator, has battled his added responsibility at the collegiate level — monitoring players’ academics — as he prepares Grambling for the game. Saturday’s season opener against Arkansas State (6 p.m. CT, ESPN+).
“There’s a lot of stuff in there that I think a lot of people know,” Jackson said Monday. “It’s not just about rolling a ball and going to play.
“It’s different, if we’re being honest, because the National Football League is 24/7 football. … You have to schedule that kind of (academic) time to make sure you know who is your team.”
Jackson used step-by-step practices and game simulations to help his players prepare, fine-tune where each player lines up, and hone in on other game-day operations.
“All of those things are so important before you play a first game,” Jackson said.
At this point, Jackson said he was happy with the progress the Tigers made at the start of the season.
Offensive coordinator John Simon joined Jackson’s team in the offseason after playing for him in Washington in the NFL.
Jackson has always been interested in player development, and Simon says that trait makes Jackson a perfect candidate for college play. Relationships were one of Jackson’s strengths in the NFL.
“[Jackson] to be able to meet the needs of our players, to understand that our children have lives outside of football, that they have problems, that they have difficulties,” Simon said. “So he’s a man who coaches with his heart and his former players love him. “
Jackson came to Grambling after spending last season at Tennessee State, where he was offensive coordinator under former NFL player Eddie George.
In addition to his two head coaching stints, Jackson served as the CO of Washington (2003), Atlanta (2007), Las Vegas (2010) and Cincinnati (2014-15). He was 11-44-1 in the NHL. the head coach.
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