QB Jason Campbell addressing the media. Photo by Tony Gonzales
Q: With this defense the last two weeks, they played really poor against New Orleans but then last week, they really looked strong. Have you been able to get a good read one way or the other on them?
Jason Campbell: I think a lot of it has to do with picking up Wade Phillip's scheme. More and more as you are watch them on film, they have a better understanding of his philosophy of playing a defense. To their credit, they have gotten a lot better. Since last season, they're a much improved defense and that's part of the reason that they're 3-1 starting out the gate; definitely, much respect.
Q: What's your philosophy as far as shaking off a bad outing?
Jason Campbell: You take a lot of things from the film. I'd say you feel like you play a good game and then you look at one or two throws you wish you had back and change the whole complex of how you play the game. The interception in the end zone – wasn't trying to throw it, I kind of reacted then, threw it away and didn't see him right there. Other than that, you've got to put it behind you and move forward. I've played this game for a long time, I've been a starter in the league for four and a half, five years and it's all about moving on to the next week. Sometimes, the defense is going to get you. The D-line ended up getting us, our line was blocking him good, and he just ended up falling into our check-down. Other than that, you just have to put it behind you and move forward.
Q: I think you were 11 for 14 at the time of the interception. You seemed to be cruising, the team was moving good and it kind of went stagnant after that. Do you think the interception affected you at all or are you at the point now in your career where you can just shake that off?
Jason Campbell: Oh, you have to shake it off and move forward. Like I said, we came back in the second half, we had the ball back and we went right down the field. That's when they called the pass interference that would have put us on the one, but took it away. We responded really well to come back in the second half to try to go down and score a touchdown, but ended up putting us in a third and long situation where we had to settle for a field goal. After that, we moved the ball right back down the field so I think I guys are able to put it behind us. I know myself, I have to as a quarterback and you have to put it behind you. I think the thing with that play – it just killed the momentum as an offense going into the half because we hadn't gotten stopped yet. We were moving the ball and that would have put us at least 17-17 at the half and see what happens.
Q: Did you see Darrius [Heyward-Bey] coming across?
Jason Campbell: I did. I saw him come across and then, right when I got ready to throw it, he left again and that's when I looked to my left real quick. I glanced back to throw it away and then [Patrick] Chung was sitting right there. It was kind of like slow motion him intercepting it and I was like, 'Gosh, please drop it.'
Q: It looked like Darrius thought that he was held or stopped. Did you talk to him?
Jason Campbell: Yeah, I talked to him about it. The guy was kind of grabbing him a little bit, so he was going to stop and go back the other way. It was one of those things you learn from as a quarterback. Next time in that situation, you've got to tuck it and run it or you just throw it completely high, out-of-bounds. Don't try to make something out of nothing.
Q: You've played four very different opponents defensively and now you've got another one that's got its own challenges. How has the offense responded to the different pressure packages that these teams apply and how have you been able to attack it?
Jason Campbell: We've been getting some tremendous defenses the past couple of weeks and like you said, it's another one this week. Mario Williams is the guy that anchors that defense. He's very athletic, he's big, he's strong, he makes plays, and we're going against another good defensive coordinator in Wade Phillips. So, you've always got to prepare each and every week. It doesn't get any easier and it's always getting harder and harder as we go down the road because everyone's trying to get wins and that's what it's all about. So, we've just got to prepare ourselves each and every week. We watch film together as linemen, quarterbacks, running backs, receivers and tight ends – we watch film together and figure the things out so we're all on the same page.
Q: You've had receivers step in and make plays – Derek, Denarius, Jacoby. How nice was it to see Louis [Murphy] back at practice?
Jason Campbell: Oh, it's great to have Louis back out here. I think he's more excited about being back after being out for eight weeks. It's tough on a guy like that, especially following the lockout so it's been a long road for him. He's definitely excited to get back out there and contribute to the team. It feels good to have all the guys back. We're getting to the point of the season where we're starting to get more healthy and that's what it's all about.
Q: Through four games, I think it's just two sacks and one of them you had your feet tangled with Darren [McFadden]. Have you ever gone through a stretch in your career where you've had protection this good for this amount of time?
Jason Campbell: Yeah, this is the best it's been and I think a lot of it has to do with the offensive line taking a 'proud-ness' in protecting the quarterback and our running backs, and I think they do an outstanding job. I think the other part of it is our receivers create separation and then me getting the ball out of my hands. So, it all contributes together – the quarterback getting the ball out of his hands, running backs blocking, linemen blocking. I just think all those guys are doing an outstanding job of being on the same page and taking a lot of pride in what we do in our passing game.
Q: You guys run the ball so much. How much did your eyes light up when running those empty back sets?
Jason Campbell: Yeah it creates, for us, hopefully it creates a lot of opportunity for the ability of our speed and guys out in open space. You know, get the ball, let them run, and make plays and that's what it's all about. That's what's so exciting about what we do offensively. We have so many different things that we can do. It's not like we're just hinged on one thing and I think that's what's so exciting about the guys that we have on our offense.
Q: You've got six wideouts healthy now and I don't think any of those guys have a history of whining when they don't get the ball enough. How much easier does that make it on you?
Jason Campbell: That's big. You have a bunch of guys not complaining about who gets the ball; it's huge for our team because unselfishness is what helps you win games and at the end of the year when you look back on it, a lot of guys will be where they thought they should be. You're not focusing on statistical things; you are just focusing on winning and that's what it's all about. We understand that there's not a real starter at the receiver position because all of them are considered starters and based on what formations and what plays we have in the game are designed on that guy's ability. It's not like it's one or two starters – a lot of those guys are considered starters, they just rotate.
Q: Do you look at it like each of those six guys gives you different things?
Jason Campbell: Yeah, some of them do. The main thing is that all of them are young. It's not like you have that one veteran; all of them are young guys so it's exciting to see what these guys can become if all the pieces stay together. They are a group that came in together, they're a group that's gone through some tough times and now, they are starting to see the better end of it. So, they are growing together so it's more of a brotherhood for them. That's a lot to do while they are so unselfish – they hang together, they go out to eat together, everything they do is together and that's what it's all about.
Q: Without having a veteran amongst that group, have you had to be a little bit more patient with them?
Jason Campbell: Yeah, you definitely have to be patient. You have to talk more to them, communication is the key, and at the same time, I'm more like a big brother to them. So, my role has changed tremendously too so it's about communication from the standpoint of us being on the same page. That's why we meet together and we have those meetings together so we can have a feel for what we'll see on the field.
Q: Darrius has been making some fairly steady progress from last year to this year, but at the end of the game the other day was one of the first times I've seen him run under like a rainbow – like a 50 or 60-yard ball in the air and then come down with it in coverage on a pass that far. How much does that do for him?
Jason Campbell: Yeah, that does a lot and one that he caught on the sideline. The safety belining straight at him; he didn't take his focus off worrying about getting hit. He just went up and caught the ball and that Darrius has grown into that. When he makes those spectacular catches and the one like you said on the nine-route when he catches a bomb down the field, it's all about concentration and focus, and I think he's getting better at locating the ball with his hands and eyes. I think that's the most important as the receiver is the location of the ball and being able to react, so I think he's reacting quicker to catching the ball and that's where it's coming from.