QB Jason Campbell. Photo by Tony Gonzales
*Q: *Are you a little sorer today than normal?
*Campbell: *Yes I didn't even know what it felt like after awhile. The guys have been doing such a good job at protecting me. We take our hat off to Houston's defensive front and they have some great players on that side of the ball they get paid to and they came to play also. When it comes to protection all of us are involved; offensive lineman, running backs, quarterbacks, receivers we're all involved. So we just continue to move, continue to get better and put that one behind us and learn from it. * *
*Q: *Jason, I think there was 1:46 left in the first half when you finally got your first 1st down in the game. To be able to struggle that much and then punch one in before the end of the half and then sort of pull out of it, what do you think that does for the confidence of your offense for the time when things aren't going well?
*Campbell: *I think it does a lot for us. It's frustrating in a situation like that because we're so used to moving the ball and then when you get stagnant like that no one really blinked. Everyone just kept saying, 'keep sawing wood, we'll get our breaks here in a minute.' And then when it got down to the two minute situation we were able to pick up our rhythm and throw in the ball, run in the ball. Unfortunately Darren's [McFadden] run got called back because I thought that would have helped him find his rhythm for the second half. We finished the half strong and we came back there in the second half and we knew it was going to be a battle. We knew that going into the game and it came down to it, it gave me a grey hair.
*Q: *Is that the key to the whole penalty thing, because on that drive you got that touchdown called back and you still scored?
*Campbell: *Yes you have to try to keep responding. The reason you say that is because we we're in third and ten or more every last one of those drives and that's hard to convert initially especially against a good defense. I think they were a top ten defense going into the game. So they played third downs very well that's something that they did well and they weren't going to give up the third and tens, third and longs. That's a situation we didn't handle early in the game in getting ourselves in shortage amount of third downs, staying out of those third and longs.
*Q: *The touchdown pass to Chaz Schilens, what did you see?
*Campbell: *I was about to take off and run and then all of a sudden I see Chaz pop wide open and gave him the ball and he ended up running it in. It's kind of one of those plays that you just make on the move and nothing more than that.
*Q: *Were you comfortable being behind the line scrimmage?
*Campbell: *Yeah, I was comfortable behind the line. I remember a couple of years ago when Eli was saying the rule. I think if your arm is still behind the line of scrimmage it count but if you see it on TV my whole body was still behind the line so I was nervous for a little bit. If I see the challenge flag that means they saw something, but I looked up and saw it again and I was clearly behind.
Q: How do you guys guard against an emotional let down this week after your emotions were so high last week?
*Campbell: *This is what we do. This is a business. This team is coming off a bye so I understand they're 2-2 and they want to do just like we did with Houston; they want to go and get a win. Even before Mr. Davis passed away it was already a big game then it just got even more magnitude under the situation that it happened. We know they're coming off a bye week and have been preparing for us for two weeks. We got to get on our horses and get ready to play. We've got to come out there and take care of what we've got to take care of here at home. It's not a matter of looking at games. We're focused on Cleveland they've got a great running back, a really good young quarterback and they're defense is again top ten statistically. So we're getting ready to play.
*Q: *What do you think the scene is going to be like?
*Campbell: *There will probably be a lot of people, a lot of former players coming back and I expect the atmosphere to be electric because that's the way Mr. Davis would've wanted it. The one thing he'd always tell us to do is that he didn't care about anything he just wanted us to win. He always said "just win," so I think a great tribute to him is to continue to win it and that's the only way we can honor him.
*Q: *You had a couple of chances in Houston to throw some deep balls. How close are you guys to connecting?
*Campbell: *We're getting there. If you talk to Jacoby [Ford] and other guys that have been out and trying to get back into it they're saying that they're finally starting to get their legs back. When you miss three weeks then come back for a week and miss three more its tough especially when you're a receiver and you're use to running. Guys like that are all saying that they're getting to the point where they're getting their legs back. So we're still going to connect on some of those more than we have and also we just got to continue to learn where to put the ball and learn how to run those routes better. We'll get better.
*Q: *You and Darrius [Heyward-Bey] have formed a pretty good connection these last couple weeks; have you noticed a difference in the receiver you saw when you first came in last year to the guy that's out there now?
*Campbell: *Yes he's not hiding in the background. He's the guy that wants to be up front and I think it has a lot to do with the guys that are around him. They all want to compete and make each other better; you see one guy make a play then the other guy wants to make a play. I think it's a different receiver every week, when we went out to the Buffalo game we had three starting receivers out, you got Hagan and 17 and both of those guys go out there and make the plays they made, I think the other guys feel like, man I want to go out and compete and do that. It kind of filters through the whole group. Darrius's last two games have been big games for us and we'll continue to get more and more guys involved as time goes on and go in that direction.
*Q: *What do you think of Terrelle [Pryor]? How was he out here today?
*Campbell: *Terrelle, look alike, he's a big athletic guy. He's tall and can run. I think he's just excited to be on the practice field. After having to sit out for five weeks and obviously not receiving paychecks for the last five weeks kind of stings too. I think he is obviously excited about being out here with his teammates and getting to learn football and getting to learn our offense and grow together.
*Q: *What was he like in the meeting rooms?
*Campbell: *Oh he talks; he's really quiet but at the same time he still talks. He'll come up with suggestions and write it on the board saying, "I think we should do this on this play." So I told him, "What, are you our consultant now?"
*Q: *Jason, you didn't have the luxury of an offseason of being here but you did have some organized player workouts that you were a big part of. Condensed time period from the start training camp until no, how have you guys come together and how's the camaraderie?
*Campbell: *I think it started in those sessions that we had always being around each other. At that point I could tell that we had a chance to have a really good season because the guys were all in really good shape and we did our drills and everything and the guys looked like they'd been working out and doing the things they needed to do to be ready for our season. Then going to training camp our chemistry as a team everyone pushing each other and that's what it's all about. We stay on each other. I push Darren, Darren pushes me, we push receivers, receivers push us, linemen pushing each other and the defensive side of the ball is the same way. Sometimes things get heated but it's a good heated because that means we're not just trying to settle we're trying to become something and that's our motto.
Q:When you take those shots and it seems like you guys do at least once a quarter or sometimes twice, that even when you don't get it, it does something?
*Campbell: *Definitely we have to because we do have fast guys and you're not going to complete every ball but you have to at least take those chances. It's hard to go fifteen plays down field all the time. We've been doing it. I think we've been starting out on the twenty a lot and have been doing eighty yard drives which is hard to do consistently, you have to have those big plays. Like Darrius on the short catch he makes the guy miss him then goes the distance. Those are the plays that we have to have in order to continue to be successful.
Q:In terms of the defense knowing that at some point you're going to go down field it kind of forces them to give up something else.
*Campbell: *I think that what teams have started to do in these last couple of weeks is that they know we're going to complete sometimes and you see them looking for it. For us it's good for our run game because hopefully you can get some people out of there and run the ball more and more successfully. So there are reasons for it.
Q:What a luxury is it to have a guy like Janikowski with those two drives where you didn't even get a first down and he's kicking fifty plus yards?
Campbell:Yes you're talking a Mercedes or a Hummer. Take the 600 Mercedes that's he is. He's a luxury vehicle to have on the car lot. You walk out on our field and you see him you'd probably think he plays for a baseball team then all of a sudden he comes out on Sundays and he's kicking 50 to 60 yard bombs. It's exciting for us to see that but I'm pretty sure that he doesn't like being in that situation all of the time but he takes a lot of pride in it too.
Q:As a quarterback you've got to love the options you have now. Dmac kind of shutting down last week and you go to your passing game you have so many options now.
*Campbell: *We're pretty much loaded in every position and that's where you want to be. Like Coach said it's not always going to be pretty and we don't look for it to be pretty every Sunday. Teams get paid to play too, he said, but at the end of the day are you going to fight for sixty minutes? And I think guys are fighting for sixty minutes. Like Darren, he didn't get frustrated because they were stopping us, he just kept saying 'Hey next play, next play.' Here and there we might bust one any minute and someone might make a big play. You just have to keep going and can't get frustrated because there is going to be times where you play a really good defense and that's why they're a good defense.
*Q: *Jason, as a quarterback and as a captain of this team how strange was it that the last play was made with only ten guys defensively?
Campbell:It was very strange. You look back to the Buffalo game and how things happened and then you come to this game and we have one short guy on the field and it was like man Mr. Davis had a hand in that. Even when the fullback went out in the flat and dropped one for the touchdown. Things happen and I'm pretty sure Houston probably said the same things we said, 'we should have been this, we should have been that.' Things happen in NFL games and that's why you have to be ready for every scenario.
Q: Were they taking away Boss or was he just not part of the game plan last week?
*Campbell: *Well we used him more as protection a little bit in that game because of the guys they had rushing on the pass and everything. So it'll be different, weeks he'll be more involved than others.