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Coach Jackson Friday

Posted Sep 16, 2011

Head Coach Hue Jackson addressed the media after practice before getting on the plane to Buffalo.

Photo by Tony Gonzales

Q: That’s a pretty long list [referring to injuries]. Are you worried?

Coach Jackson: No, I’m not. We’re [going to] get on the plane and go play a game at Buffalo and we’re going to be ready to play.

Q: What’s wrong with [Stephon] Heyer?

Coach Jackson: He tweaked something yesterday, that’s all.

Q: Who’s going to return kicks?

Coach Jackson: I’ll let you know that when I make that decision. I haven’t made that decision yet.

Q: Who do expect to use for Jacoby [Ford] at wide receiver?

Coach Jackson: Obviously, we’ve got a host of guys. We have Hagan, we have Miller, we have all those guys that are on this team and are healthy and available right now. But again, it all depends on what the set is that I want to come out in as opposed to who plays.

Q: What about Chaz [Schilens]?

Coach Jackson: Chaz will definitely play. There’s no question. All the healthy bodies that can play are going to play.

Q: What is it that went into [Derek] Hagan being inactive last week?

Coach Jackson: Okay, let me, because this has come up several times about Hagan. I’ve said Hagan has done a great job and obviously he was our leading receiver in the preseason, right? But I never once said that he was the best receiver on our team. I never once said that. What he did in the preseason gave him an opportunity to be on this football team. It did not make him the starting receiver on this football team. So let’s make sure we understand where I was with Hagan. Now, if he gets an opportunity this weekend, he gets an opportunity, but I get to make that decision, nobody else. Me. Everybody who thinks that I was supposed to put him out there because he was our leading receiver in the preseason forget that we had other guys that have been very good receivers on this team. So I get to make that decision, that’s the decision I made last week, and on we go. Now if he plays this week, he plays. And he’ll go play well.

Q: We took the cue from you saying that the guys who performed the best are the guys that are going to play?

Coach Jackson: Yes, but here’s the deal. You said, ‘perform the best.’ No doubt. But we had some other guys that hadn’t practiced that I have seen perform in games and make big plays, i.e. Jacoby Ford. So you guys, to me, like I was supposed to sit Jacoby Ford down and let this kid play. No, that’s not where I was. So let’s make it clear about what that was. That was for him to get on the team. Performance is what matters and that’s what got him on the team. That’s where it starts first. Then he has to continue to perform and beat some of these other guys out and then he’ll play. That’s the way it works.

Q: Final thoughts on the Bills.

Coach Jackson: Let’s go. Let’s go. It’s a big football game for us. I’m very excited about it. Our team is very excited about it. We have some traveling to do right now. We have to handle that the right way because as you travel you have to prepare and that’s something I talked to our team about. We’ll get prepared. That’s what it is. This process is ongoing to and through the game, but we’ll be ready to play.

Q: First long trip for you as head coach. Have you borrowed from other coaches that you’ve worked for as far as schedule and how to handle it?

Coach Jackson: Yes, I have. I’ve talked to several guys that I really trust and I think we’re doing what we need to do. But it all gets down to my feel of our football team and what I think is best. And obviously, changing the schedule, putting our body clocks on the time which we’re going to play, on top of making sure that when we get on this plane, that we’re not just on the plane. We’re on the plane still preparing, still focusing on what needs to be done. When we get off, making sure that we get our bodies, our minds, refreshed and have a good day tomorrow, on Saturday, and then get ready to play this game on Sunday morning.

Q: If Huff doesn’t go, who goes in place of him?

Coach Jackson: Again, it all depends on how we start in the backfield. But obviously, there’s Jerome Boyd and there’s Matt [Giordano], so we have some bodies back there if he can’t go, but I feel very comfortable that we’ll have all these issues solved as we get ready to play this game.

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