Coach Jackson August 26 Transcript

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Coach Jackson: The last day of training camp, heading back to Alameda, our home, but boy what a great time it was here. I thought we got a lot accomplished, but by no stretch are we exactly where we need to be, but we are working there. I mean the guys are putting their heads down and working. Good day today and a good hot day. Again, we are just going to continue this process of trying to get ready. We have a big football game Sunday night that we need to improve in and then we have one more after that in Seattle on a Friday. Then obviously we head into the regular season where this team will be cut down and we move forward, but what a good day. I thought it was a tremendous camp, you know as fast as things got put together and had to happen. First to our organization, I would like to give great thanks to our organization and to Coach Davis. Just as fast as things happen we were able to get our players signed and get them in when they could and then obviously with the league and all the different rules that had to be set up. You know we only could practice certain players at certain times, but we got everybody here for the most part. We got people signed, lost a few people. Started practice, had some injuries, and now those guys are getting back healthy. So overall I thought we set out to accomplish what we needed to accomplish from that standpoint. Are we a finish product yet? No, but we don't need to be because the opener is September  12th but I think we are getting guys healthy, getting guys back out, and I think our team is starting to take shape.

Q: Your impressions of [Terrelle] Pryor?

Coach Jackson:My impressions of Terrelle Pryor -- I think the guy is big and can throw it. He looks like a quarterback, sounds like a quarterback, feels like a quarterback, and I am very excited to work with him.

Q: Jason Campbell was getting stretched out and then he came back in, how is he doing?

Coach Jackson: Oh he is doing fine. Jason will be fine.

Q: He is good for Sunday?

Coach Jackson:Oh yea, Jason is fine.

Q: There were a couple of times you were talking one on one with [Terrelle] Pryor before he was getting in the huddle, what kinds of things were you telling him?

Coach Jackson:The one thing I don't have to tell him is about poise. The young man has tremendous poise. I was just trying to have him understand what we were trying to accomplish for those particular looks. The guys knows how to take information, but fun part for him that it was his first practice and he wasn't just going to stand there and watch. I wasn't going to allow him to do that. I wanted to put him in there and let him go. Let him make a mistake and that is not what is important for him. What is important for him is for him to be out here with his teammates trying to compete, trying to learn what we do and how we go about it, and he had a big smile on his face and I think that he will tell you that first day is always a blast. He had some fun, but he knows that he has a ways to go to learn what we do.

Q: What is your understanding of what you can do with him once the suspension starts, he cannot be on the field with the team correct?

Coach Jackson: Honestly, I haven't really given it any thought, I know he is here and we are going to coach him until we can't. As I told you guys before, the most important thing to me is this football team that we have to get ready to play with.  I think that is really the true story of what is going on. I think it is the end of camp and that we are beginning to become a football team; a team. We have a lot of bodies out here and pretty soon a lot of those bodies will be gone. The heart, core, and soul of this team is starting to take shape.

Q: Is Lito Sheppard signing an indication of Chris Johnson and DeMarcus Van Dyke's injuries or you would have brought him in anyway?

Coach Jackson: I would have. I mean in my eyes we would have brought him in anyway. I mean from what we have seen is a guy that was sitting out there. As I keep saying we are going to continue to improve our football team from top to bottom. The roster is still ongoing and until we continue to turn over the rock and uncover everything that we can, we are going to look for good football players and improve our team that is all that is. I mean Lito [Sheppard] is a tremendous player and I am glad to have him.

Q: Have you accomplished some of the major issues from the past two games with the offense and especially defense losing the lead with second or third string? Have you felt like you have gotten somewhere?

Coach Jackson: I felt like I have. I mean again when it is all said and done the guys that have to play are your starters. You know when it is all said and done, but yeah I think there is improvement. I think the intensity in the details is better. I think how we prepare is different. I think our practice attitude is way different. I think the practice tempo is different. Obviously what is going to be important to you, our fans, and our team it is about winning games; that is the reality. Reality is truly when they start to count and when they really matter you have to start winning these battles.  That is what we are going to find out.

Q: [Terrelle] Pryor was attached to your hip all day.

Coach Jackson: I would be attached to my hip too, I am the head coach. You know I am the offensive play-caller and that is good for him. No he is a good young man and I wanted him to. I wanted him to hear how a play sounds. I want him to get a feel for how we go about doing it, learn our tempo and again it was a first day for him. Again, kudos to him, I thought he did a great job. First day and not having any, you know, we weren't able to give him a lot of information. All of this happened very quickly, got him here and obviously he is here, he is ours and we will get him ready.

Q: Coach, what surprised you the most about this camp?

Coach Jackson: Probably just the players and how they took to me. I think the most important thing is that it has been a smooth transition for me, because I was here a year ago and I think they all kind of know my personality and what my expectation is. The consistency is starting to happen because now they know. Now they know what practice is like. They know what meetings are like and they know what the tempo is. Now what we have to do is take that and start into the season the right way, because I really truly believe that this team has a good opportunity to have something special happen and I am not talking about the preseason or all of that. I am talking about this season. Like I told you, we have a big game on Sunday night and we need to come ready to play.

Q: [Richard] Seymour was out, any issue with him?

Coach Jackson:No, I think it was just that he was here and then all of a sudden he just didn't feel quite right. I don't think it was anything major. I think it will be fine.

Q: Lito [Sheppard] going to play on Sunday?

Coach Jackson: Probably will be a little too soon to put him in a game. Not having any contact or anything like that. Again, it is still about the health of these players and this team. I think that will be a little early to stick a guy in a game in my opinion. Again, just a get a feel of where we are after tomorrow's practice, but I would think that is a little quick.

Q: Starters going into the second half this game?

Coach Jackson: Oh wow, don't you want to know, but I haven't had that sit down to make that decision, but I know that the third game is normally when that does happen. Again I want to see where our health is of our team before I make that decision about who is going to do what, where and how.

Q: You think we are going to see any of [Terrelle] Pryor in the last preseason game?

Coach Jackson: There is a possibility for anything. You never know but again how fast can he get up to speed with what we do and how we do it is the question. I think he is a very bright young man, but if he is here and going I don't see why we wouldn't give anybody an opportunity, but that is down the road so we will cover that as we get closer to that.

Q: Coach we have Jesse here from NFL Rush—so do you ever get tired of the reporters asking you questions every day?

Coach Jackson: (laughter) I like you, but you know honestly I don't. I think they are great at what they do and they have a job to do and I respect what they do, because I think they respect what I do. So it is a mutual respect, they are trying to be good at what they do and I am trying to be good at what I do. Sometimes they can get a little overbearing and sometimes they probably think I can get a little overbearing, but they are good people and I appreciate everything that they do.

Q: Do you have any advice for a young reporter?

Coach Jackson: Yes, always report honestly and I think that is very important. When you start digging for information; don't go get bad information, get good information and good things will happen for you. Thank you Jesse.

Q:  So, when it comes to starting positions, which positions would you say are most wide open at this point?

Coach Jackson: There are a lot of them that are not just totally wide open. I think again you guys know we need to settle on the offensive line. I know very quickly I know that is the burning question to everybody's mind and I will do that here soon. I know that we are pretty set just about every place else. I think that is the biggest question as to who is going to play where, and how, and who is going to walk out there on the first day. I think that is kind of where we are. I think we know who our quarterback is; no doubt. I think we know who our runners are. I think we know who are receivers are. We still have to get some guys healthy. I think we know who are defensive line is, linebackers, and secondary is with still the exception of getting some people healthy. So I feel very good about that. Are there still some other guys that can jump in? No doubt.  Again, it is about performance. There are two more games to play and anything can happen in those games where all of a sudden a player just lights it up, but I think we know who the core of this team is and I think I know where the heart of this team is and I feel good about where we are at.

Q: How much farther ahead is this passing game than it was a year ago in terms of scheme and guys breaking open because of scheme, and possibly being able to carry a game if you need it to?

Coach Jackson: It's further ahead. I don't know that the scheme [is the deciding factor], it's about timing and rhythm and people maturing in the second year of the system, understanding the little details that you have to know, a quarterback playing so much more efficient, and the offensive line blocking so much more efficiently. It's a combination of everything that's happening. Can it carry us in a game? I think we want to be a team that however we have to win a game, we can win it. We are going to be a balanced football team. There are going to be some times when we do have to throw, and hopefully when we do, we will throw it well. I think we have improved, I think the passing game is better; I think you guys even think the passing game is better. But again, it has to be like that on game day. Out here on the practice field is one thing, but it has to transfer over to the game.

Q: Which players have emerged as leaders on this team? Since you didn't have the benefit of an offseason, you didn't get to see them in that environment, who has emerged as leaders?

Coach Jackson: I think on offense Jason Campbell, our quarterback, and he has to be one of our leaders. He's the quarterback of this football team and one of the faces of this franchise. I think [Samson] Satele has done a great job with leadership of this offensive line, and honestly young [Stefen] Wisniewski has really done a good job of stepping up on offense. Saying that, there are still the Darren McFaddens and the Marcel Reeces who are some very important core players on our offensive football team that have been great. On defense, as I've told you, number 55 [Rolando McClain] has to get it done. McClain has to be one of the guys that is a leader, and he has. He has assumed that role, he does it in a different manner, but he's done it. Obviously [regarding] Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly, I lean on those guys quite a bit. Some of the biggest leaders on our team are some of our specialists; Shane Lechler is very important to me and this organization in that mode because he's been around here longer than anybody and understands the lay of the land and understands these players. I trust him, I trust what he says and I trust what he thinks and he's done a great job for me. I think we're starting to build that, and I think you have to have that to go where we want to go because this team, at some point in time, [is not going to rely on] us coaches doing all the yelling and hollering; in that locker room is where a lot of things take place. This is a player's game and the players have to make a decision that they want to be great and I think they have.

Q: How important is it that during this camp, it seems anyway, some kind of side issue, a player that's not happy, or an issue with a coach, something that's gone on that's ancillary to the football.  None of that has gone on this year, is that by design?

Coach Jackson: That's the way it should be. I don't want drama. It's hard to become a good football team when there's a bunch of drama surrounding your team. We head into this season with a clean slate when it starts. Everybody is going to start 0-0 with no issues, and then we're going to roll out the ball and start playing, and I think that's the way you want it to be. It's not about the drama; it's about becoming the best we can be so that we can have an opportunity to win a championship. That's all we want, that's all we think about, and that's all we talk about. What we try to do is leave all of the distractions out, whether it's the meeting room, the practice field or wherever, I don't want distractions to our football team or our coaches. I think it's very important that when we come in, we come in with a purpose to get better, and leave all the other stuff out the door.

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