Head Coach Hue Jackson speaks to the media. Photo by Tony Gonzales.
Q: How long was that field goal?
Coach Jackson: 64 yards.
Q: Then you pushed him back 5?
Coach Jackson: Yes I did. I will not tell you how come, but he was very close.
Q: What is your comfort level with him [Sebastian Janikowski] in a game?
Coach Jackson: Wow, very comfortable. Very, very comfortable. That is reassuring to know you have a guy that can probably kick it anywhere on the field on the plus side of the field and have a chance. You know he is a tremendous competitor and I am glad he is on our team. There is no doubt about that. He is good at what he does.
Q: Does he have the strongest leg in the NFL?
Coach Jackson: I think so. I mean I have been around four other teams and I have never seen a guy that can kick a ball like that and he does it. It is not like he is taking a running start; I mean the guy takes two steps than boom, there goes the ball and it goes through the uprights.
Q: How surprising was that last year with the issues he had in Arizona?
Coach Jackson:Obviously I didn't know him that well then, but I know him now. I know he is beyond all of that and he is a tremendous asset to this organization and this football team.
Q: I know you don't like the kickoff rule moving to the 35, but with him kicking from the 35 that has to be….
Coach Jackson: That is reassuring. We can kick it off and make the team start where we want them to start or we can have the team try to return it and go get them. It is exciting to have him and I wish the kickoff was different because of Jacoby [Ford], but it is what it is and we will make due with it.
Q: Jacoby [Ford] was saying that he thought with the coverage guys not being able to get the running start that they got before, that it is not that big of a deal?
Coach Jackson: (laughter) Until he has to bring one of those bad boys out; he probably doesn't, but no he is excited. I am going to have to temper him down a little bit, because he might be one of those guys that catch it nine yards deep and decide here I come. So, we have some very talented specialists. I am looking forward to when we start playing and those guys get the opportunity to play. Obviously, Shane [Lechler] already showed that Shane is one of the best punters in football and Seabass [Janikowski] already showed his worth earlier this year. We have some tremendous specialists on this team and they are really good at what they do.
Q: Do you feel good so far with how you put together gunners, personal protectors, and all the other special team parts that are going to be?
Coach Jackson: Yes I do, I feel comfortable. I mean obviously we lost a tremendous gunner in Hiram [Eugene] and we have some guys that are working really hard to fill that void; one guy will not do it. It has to be a team effort. I think we have some candidates.
Q: It looks good in that regards so far?
Coach Jackson: I think all of those guys have. We haven't made any decisions that way yet, but I think all of those guys look good, but as we start to cut this team obviously that will be an emphasis about who can do the job and do it well.
Q: Last couple of days you talked about fixing those fundamentals on the run defense. Today you seemed pretty animated out there. You are always animated but what have you seen out there?
Coach Jackson: Again when I put my name to something, I am going to do it. This run defense thing has baffled this organization for years and we are going to put our head down and we are going to get good at it. There is no magic to it. Players have to stay in their gaps and you guys have heard all the clichés that you have to get off blocks and do this and do that. Here is the deal; we have to get it done. I have to get it done. The defensive coaches have to get it done and our defensive players have to get it done and I believe we will. We are not going to make any excuses about it. We are not going to take "no." We are going to take yes because we are going to get that done. We are going to get it fixed.
Q: Back to special teams for a minute, how important to your team is Jon Condo and what kind of football player is he?
Coach Jackson:Oh my gosh, he is very important because he is very consistent at what he does snapping the ball for this football team, covering punts. He is a tremendous asset. That is why I said all of our specialists. Every last one of those guys that are on this team, our kickers, our long snappers, those guys have a tremendous responsibility to this team and all of them do their job extremely well.
Q: Did you see what happened to Brandon [Myers]?
Coach Jackson: Yeah I just, he caught a ball over the middle and I think he kind of got kicked in the foot. I mean obviously I don't know much about it until I am able to go inside and see him. Hopefully, it is just a ding, but nobody quote me on that because sometimes those dings turn into more. Hopefully he will be okay, and we can get him back out here and get him playing.
Q: (Richard) Seymour and [Rolando] McClain is that just…..
Coach Jackson: Absolutely, again any time I think it is time to give a player the day off, that is what I am going to do and I just keep monitoring guys and watching them and that is my job as a head coach to make sure I keep this team as healthy as I can.
Q: Without (Travis) Goethel, how much more careful do you feel you have to be without having a back up to use him?
Coach Jackson: No, he still a young player. He is a young player that needs to play and continue to get better and get good at his skill. So I mean obviously we are going to watch them all, but he still needs to get better and he will.
Q: (David) Ausberry is he closer too, if Brandon [Myers] is out you will be short tight ends?
Coach Jackson: Yeah I think he is getting closer. I think he is definitely getting closer but how close he is, I don't know. I will find all that out once I get away from you guys.
Q: [John] Henderson is still just a veteran thing?
Coach Jackson: Yeah, little bit of that.
Q: Taiwan Jones got a swing pass and shot down the sideline and you seemed to be watching that, what did you think of his speed on that play?
Coach Jackson: Oh my gosh, can he run. I mean, he can go and I am very excited. We have a lot of skill. We have guys that can do a lot of different things and it is my job along with Al Saunders and our offensive coaching staff just to create something for these guys where they all can showcase their talent and abilities and I think we are getting closer. I am going to be excited to watch him playing the game because he is a lot tougher than what people think he is. I think he has some extreme talent, but again that is out here on the practice field and he needs to do it in a game.
Q: What ways is he different than let's say [Darren] McFadden or [Michael] Bush? Is he any different?
Coach Jackson:He is fast man. Gosh can this guy run. He is extremely fast. He is very nimble and he is very smooth and I don't think sometimes knows he is running that fast. For a guy that is built like he is, he is very physical. There is a lot of velocity behind the man when he runs into a pile and I have been excited to watch him out here in practice and we are going to make sure that we crank him up this weekend and let him run.
Q: You have got [Stephon] Heyer back, is he going to get right back in the mix and compete? Can he possibly play this week?
Coach Jackson: I don't know that yet. I have to obviously check with our medical staff, but I am glad that he is back. When we definitely can have him back out there, but he wasn't totally back out there yet, but he is getting close. Once he does get back there we will throw him in there and shake this thing down and come up with a very good offensive line.
Q: How has Trevor Scott been, he looks like he is up to 100%?
Coach Jackson: Wow, wow. Playing. I mean he is going to play some and he needs to, but I mean what a tremendous competitor. What a tremendous football player. Again, those guys that have been away that now have come back to practice have elevated practice because they are tremendous football players and the way they play. The Jacoby Fords, the Darren McFaddens, the Taiwan Jones, and the Trevor Scotts, I mean those guys are good players. I mean they have a say in how this thing is going to all go down so I am excited about our football team. Obviously we need to put the practice performance to the game. Like I told you all of these preseason games they don't count and we all understand that, but they do matter, because it matters about where we are going as a football team. And I told you, it has been a process, and we are going to keep working this process as we go forward.
Q: What did you see from Ware out there today?
Coach Jackson:[Jeremy] Ware?
Coach Jackson: I saw a guy that was competing. Again, our defense did a good job today of really concentrating and playing defensive football all the way around. Secondary through the front seven, everybody did and I thought today that he really competed because I paid a lot of attention to the defense today, and I think those guys did a good job.
Q: Are you still in the same situation with [Terrell] Pryor, expect him here this weekend?
Coach Jackson: Possibly. Hopefully, and I am sure that when he is here you guys will know. I am sure that when he walks through this place everybody will know that he is here. Again he is just a piece to the story. The true story that is going on right now is this football team and the chance that we have to be a very good team.
Q:Is part of it at all that you'd just as soon wait for behind closed doors in Alameda before you bring him in here?
Coach Jackson: Oh no. I'm being honest with you guys, I don't have that reservation. I think what you said is what we're doing; you have to cross all the T's and dot all the I's before you get a player here. Like I told you guys earlier in the week, he'll be here soon and when he's here, we'll get him going. We're not hiding him, I guarantee you that. He's ours. Obviously there's some protocol left to follow to make sure we do everything the right way before we get him here. Once he's here, you guys will have access to him.
Q: Do you buy into the importance of the third preseason game?
Coach Jackson: I buy into playing. I think the team has to get ready. As I told you, a lot of teams don't play their starters very much. I think we haven't played a ton of plays and, to get ready for a big Monday night game in Denver, I need to make sure that this team is battle tested and ready. They have to go out and compete and I'll sit down closer to the end of the week and figure out how much they're going to play. They played more last week, but we probably need to ratchet it up a little bit more just to make sure that these guys are ready, but the things I see in practice and the things I see in meetings are the other part of the equation to make sure that this team is ready to play.
Q: How much of a test is it, especially for the cornerbacks, to go up against [Drew] Brees and that offense?
Coach Jackson: I think it's an unbelievable test. It's probably the best test we can get; playing against a tremendous offensive football team with a quarterback who I think is one of the best in football. I think it's a great test for our football team, just the New Orleans Saints versus the Oakland Raiders in the [O.Co Coliseum]. It gets no better than that.
Q: With Rolando [McClain] on the sideline at the moment and [Travis] Goethel out, what do you see from those linebackers out on the field?
Coach Jackson:I see guys that are competing and trying to do things the right way. I'm watching guys improve, I'm watching veteran players get better, and I'm watching coaches coach these players and demand that they take the next step. We're about to take the next step because we have to. It's getting closer to the season, it's time for our defense to stand up and play. I expect them to play.
Q:Do you feel like you need another linebacker in that mix?
Coach Jackson: I feel like any time we can get better at any position, we need to add. If there's a player out there that can help the Raiders get better, we are going to look at him, I think we should. This thing is about getting better, being as good as you can be when the season starts, and trying to get better throughout the season so that's what we're trying to do.
Q:A couple days ago when Jason wasn't practicing, the passing game looked a little off and [the media] thought it might be the rotation of quarterbacks affecting it. Sure enough, it seems like it has been better. Is the passing game on the plane that you want to see to become the passing team that you want to be?
Coach Jackson: I think so. I truly believe that the receivers are doing a good job; I think the quarterbacks are doing a good job, but overall I think our team is growing. I think what you're seeing is what you would have seen in OTAs and minicamps. I think we're starting to hit that stride and trying to find that rhythm because we're getting players healthy and getting players back out there. Jacoby Ford is back out there, Darrius Heyward-Bey is doing a good job, the rookie Denarius Moore has done a fantastic job, Derek Hagan, and pretty soon we'll get Chaz Schilens back out there. We will be at full strength here soon; I'm excited about that because there's some very good young talent on this football team.