Photo by Tony Gonzales
Coach Jackson: First of all I want to address this because everybody is talking about the Raiders injuries and I really get a kick out of it because I get all this media stuff in the morning and I know everybody is talking about where we are. But, you guys know that I am extremely happy where our football team at this point. As I told you guys before, whenever there are injuries…This is the time of the year that they are going to happen and I think if you look around the league I think everybody is having similar issues. I think the difference is that obviously ours have been with are top line players. That is going to happen and I'd rather it happen now than for it to happen later. As I have said, I am going to push this team through this and when we get through this we will be where I think we need to be. Obviously a lot of guys are going to get back here very soon. Told you guys that and I am very forthcoming about that. I really truly believe that our team will be at full strength, other than the people that I have told you about that are going to have some issues as we move forward. I understand the things that are getting said, but I am very excited about where are team is. I am very excited about our players that have a chance to get back, be healthy, and be on this field at some point in time so that we can go accomplish our goal.
Q: Coach, what is your take on the secondary and your assessment so far?
Coach Jackson: I think obviously we are still a work in progress. I think the guys' communication has gotten so much better. I think obviously the first group hasn't played a ton together in a game. I think hopefully we will get them a few more snaps this week. I haven't made a decision exactly what that is going to be, but I think it is a group that is definitely getting better. We have some fine players back there obviously, with Stanford Routt, Tyvon Branch, and Michael Huff. Obviously right now C.J. is down and DeMarcus Van Dyke will get out there and get his opportunity and I am looking forward to watching him play. I think it is a very talented group and I think the more they play together obviously the better they are going to be.
Q: Is (Chimdi) Chekwa going to suit up this game?
Coach Jackson: Yes he is. He is definitely going to be up and have an opportunity to play. He is another young player with young talent that I am looking forward to watching play in a performance type of situation against an opponent.
Q: When is the cut off that you would like to know who is the five guys on the offensive line?
Coach Jackson: I haven't just said "this is the date." I think what is going to happen is as we continue to move forward, and again when I get all of these guys back out here, which I think will be pretty soon, then I think we will be able to make a determination on who those five guys should be. It is a tough race. I mean everybody is battling and we have a couple of guys that are still nicked up right now, but we are going to get them all back out very soon. Obviously if things go great in this game where we can keep everybody up right and healthy than I think we will be able to put together a very formidable offensive line.
Q: Is (Samson) Satele out Saturday?
Coach Jackson: No Satele is not out Saturday. Come on I told you guys he was fine. Again I get to exercise the right to keep these guys out. You have seen him walking around and he is going to be fine. Trust me when I tell you. I told you guys that yesterday. You guys have to trust me a little bit. You guys go digging for stuff that is not there. That guy is going to be fine.
Q: Scheme and personnel wise what can the 49ers show you to help you prepare for the season?
Coach Jackson: Well I mean they are a very powerful football team and I think they have some very good talent. They play a 3-4 defense and I know their defensive coordinator pretty well. Vic Fangio, we worked together in Baltimore; me, him, and Al Saunders. He is one of the best in the league at what he does. He has been a long time defensive coordinator in the league. So I am sure he will progress in his installation as to what he does so we will see some things differently. Vic likes to bring pressure. You know so we need to combat that. They have some very good pass rushers. They have a very formidable front and I think just playing the game against the Niners is going to be a very good test for our football team.
Q: Did you get to know Jim (Harbaugh) well at all when you were working for John?
Coach Jackson: Yes I did. I was around him a little bit and we shared some times a little bit being over at Everett and Jones. Sitting there and he was on my side of the town and I told him that he has to get on this side of the town, but he is a fine football coach and I was really impressed in what he did at Stanford and obviously he has had some time when he was at the Raiders before. So I am looking forward to matching wits with them this weekend.
Q: With a pretty crisp practice, where are you with the team's focus, where do you think they are?
Coach Jackson: I think our team is understanding that we are in the process right now. That is what I talked about when I first got to camp that we are going to build this team and we are going to build it the right way. Obviously we want wins and I don't like to lose at anything. The bottom line is that I have to get this team ready to play for the season. We have a long season ahead of us and we are still evaluating some things. We are still installing offense and defense. So there is a fine line. There is a process to get ready and to be ready to play when the season starts, but there is also a process of making sure you know who are the guys that you can go into the foxhole with that can play this game the way it needs to be played.
Q: At this time how much more installing particularly on the offense would there be at this point in camp?
Coach Jackson: Installing is probably the wrong word. It is probably more tweaking of the things you do. As I told you guys my system is about players. It is not about here is my system and just go run it. I have to find out about what guys can do and do well and put them in position to have success. I am finding out about Kevin Boss. I am finding out about Denarius Moore. I am finding out about Richard Gordon and (David) Ausberry and what they can do and what they can't do. I want to take their talents and showcase their talents and abilities and not just ask them to do something that they can't do.
Q: What are conversations like with Al (Davis) and are they daily?
Coach Jackson: They are daily, constant, and unbelievable. I love talking to Coach. We keep talking about this team and his whole focus and my whole focus is how do we continue to get this team better? We know we need to get this team healthy, but we know we want to get this team better too. Again there is a fine line we have to come out here and we have to practice. Like I told you I think across the league there are 31 other teams that are probably having the same feelings right now about injuries, about where they are, and that type of thing. The thing I love is that when you really look at our players that are down these are the guys that are going to be back here very soon. There are some players and I can't really speak of other teams but I read what you guys read. There are some players that are out totally out and we have some players that are in that situation too, but we are going to be fine and I am very excited about where we are headed and what we are doing.
Q: You talked about (Mike) Mitchell yesterday getting looked at again, any decision on a procedure on him or is he going to be able to recover?
Coach Jackson: I think he is going to be able to recover, obviously just like everybody else and I will find out more once I leave this meeting but we are doing everything we can to make sure that the things that we didn't know about that we are able to diagnosis him, get it right, and make sure that our players are back out here. And that is all that we are doing. You know sometimes you go in there and check something; oh this needed to be done because you had no way of knowing that and that is just where I think the league is. It is not so much the Raiders I think it is every football team across the league because you couldn't talk to the players. You couldn't deal with the players so you find out after a week of running that maybe something needs to be taken care of and that is what we are doing. It is no fault of the players and it is no fault of the organization, but the thing that I love that we are doing is that we are being very aggressive and making sure that those things get taken care of.
Q: Do you mean that those guys were hurt from last year or they got hurt at some point out here?
Coach Jackson: You don't know. That is my point. How do we know and you don't know until a player gets here. You don't know if it was during the offseason, you don't know if it was last year. You don't know some things. Some guy could have been working out and tweaked something and he might have thought it was nothing until he came out here and started running. So you won't know. I mean those guys don't want to tell you what is going on because those guys want to be out here. You know they are competing. They need to earn a job and those type of things, but what we have to do, what I have to do, and what we all have to do is be very cautious. When we see something, to make sure that we respond to it right so whatever it is we can get ourselves taken care of to have the best chance to have the best team that we can have.
Q: Do you think you are going to get to see Taiwan Jones in a preseason game?
Coach Jackson: Oh you better believe I am. I sure am going to see him and I think I am going to see him very soon. I think the guy is working hard. I think he is very close to being back out here and when he is out here we are going to turn him loose.
Q: With what you've seen so far with the defensive line how much of the strength of the defense rests with the strength of the defensive line?
Coach Jackson: That's where it starts, on both sides of the ball, offense and defense, our lines have got to play great, and I think we are up to the challenge, I think we have enough people, I think we have enough skill on both of those areas , offensive line and defensive line, now it's a matter on defense of playing like a raider and on offense make sure we have those guys, those five guys and make a decision and let those guys go play like a raider.
Q: How interesting of a prospect is Terrell Pryor to you?
Coach Jackson: To me? Terrell Pryor the quarterback of Ohio State. I know he plays quarterback. I am going to coach this team, I am not so much worried about him. I have a quarterback and two very good back-up quarterbacks. I can't speak to that; I am worried about the 49ers right now.
Q: When you say play like a Raider, Seymour, Houston, these are signs of life on the defensive line, is that more of what you're looking for?
Coach Jackson: I am looking for guys that understand when you are playing defensive football, the key is to make sure you stop the other team at all times. On offense we are trying to score every time we have the ball. We know that's not going to happen all the time, but that's got to be the mentality, that's how we play, and we play defense very strong and that's the way I want us to be. On offense, I want us to go for the jugular every chance we get. On special teams, I want us to be, no matter what we are doing, to get the ball and knock it out and, if we're are returning, to get the ball and score a touchdown.
Q: Derek Hill the young guy from that group, what have you seen from him and what can you take from being around that group of guys?
Coach Jackson: I think anytime you are around a group of veteran players that are around here working every day, I think what a young players gets to see is that those guys work. It's not just talk. They are in the meeting rooms and they are preparing and they are on the practice field and they are working on it. It's not like they just walk out here and all of a sudden the day passes by. They are out here to serve a purpose. I think for a young player to see a veteran work at it and work as hard as he can shows him every day I have to go get it because I am not as accomplished as some of these guys that are here.
Q: How much are you looking forward to seeing Bruce Campbell getting in?
Coach Jackson: I am. I mean I truly am. I want him to play and I want him to play quite a bit so that I can make that evaluation because I think he is a fine talented young player. Obviously he had a set back and we are getting him back at the right time and I think he has a chance to go show us something.
Q: He has been out there the last few days and he looks like he did some good things in a drill the other day. I guess the deal with him last year is that he was fast and an athlete but didn't know how to play fast yet; have you seen that?
Coach Jackson: Well he is playing a different position than a year ago. I think obviously year two has been a process for Bruce Campbell and I think there is something great there and I think what he needs to do is go play now. He has practiced. I think he is getting healthier. I think he is feeling good about where he is. Now he needs to go into the game and perform.
Q: Is he a guard because of need or is that what he is suited for?
Coach Jackson: I think he is a big body and I think obviously he can play a lot of different things. Again that is the process I am in; do you put him right here where he was a year ago where he is very comfortable? And then if we need to put him some place then we will, but you have to have a starting point. Everybody has a starting point and that is where he played last year and I think he is very comfortable there. Obviously I think every player would like to play just where they want to play, but again it is about me taking these pieces and mixing and matching to make sure that we get five guys that are very good playing together so that the offensive line can function.
Q: I know that you have a specific things that you need to get done in a preseason game, but this one is a little bit different, it is the Battle of the Bay and you have a lot of guys on the team that have Bay Area ties; how important is the Battle of the Bay to the team and to the community?
Coach Jackson: Very. I mean obviously Oakland versus San Francisco. Toll road where you have to pay and you don't have to pay when you come on the other side. That is the way I look at it. You know it is the 49ers versus the Oakland Raiders and we are going there with a purpose just like any game we play. We go to win and sometimes it doesn't work out that way but that is part of the process too.
Q:Learning the new assets on your offense, how has Kevin Boss grown?
Coach Jackson: He has grown. Oh my gosh, he made a couple plays today. That just goes to show you, again I just keep putting them into situations so that you find out what a young man can do and he is doing it. I am very impressed by what he is doing so far. He has learned a whole system real quickly. He hasn't been here very long. This is the first time he has been around us and the first time we have been around him so he is learning a whole different language, a whole different way of doing things, and I think the more that he is out there, I think the more Jason, the more myself, the more his teammates feel more comfortable with who he is and what he is doing.
Q: (Derek) Hagan seems to be a guy that got here and seemed to catch on very quickly with what you are doing. Does he have some background in this system before or just because he is a veteran?
Coach Jackson: I think it is a combination of both. I think he has had some knowledge of the system and number two I think it is because he is a veteran player. I think he understands that instead of going in and playing Xbox at night time and trying to understand what man can score touchdowns on that video game, he goes in and takes his book and opens it and he works at it and that is a tribute to him.
Q: Who has picked up the leadership vacuum left by Nnamdi and Zach Miller?
Coach Jackson: Well on offense it is Jason Campbell and defense it is (Rolando) McClain and (Richard) Seymour. I think we have some very good leaders on this team and I think leadership is all about making sure that you can be a person that the players can look to and call on and that you are accountable and I think those guys are accountable to this team. They are accountable to me and I think we have some very fine leaders on this team.
Q: Hue, you being such an important part of last year, do you think that this is an extension to last year or is it a new start?
Coach Jackson: It is a new start. I mean last year was last year. You know we wiped the slate clean. What ever happened last year is over with. You know the 6-0 in the division and the 8-8. None of that matters anymore. I mean we are going to be 0-0 three weeks from now. What we have to do is build our own season, build our own identity at what this year is going to become, and be.
Q: Bruce Campbell is he back in the mix?
Coach Jackson: No question. He is and again it is about performance. He has to go out now and perform. Everybody is going to earn what they get here and I think I am very excited about our players because that is the way they want it. When our players talk to me they're like, "Coach, just give me a chance, give me an opportunity to show you and if you give me a chance I will show you that I deserve an opportunity to be on this team."
Q: Any update on Zac Etheridge?
Coach Jackson: On Zac, no, we are still going to be day to day with him. You know I will keep the guys informed about where he is.