Raiders Head Coach Hue Jackson addresses the media after the team's 6th training camp practice of 2011. Photo by Tony Gonzales.
Coach Jackson: How is everybody doing? I am doing good, but that wasn't a Raider practice and I told them that. One thing I am always going to do is to be very honest with my team. I took the pads off and then all of sudden we kind of decided we wanted to take some plays down, but that is ok. I think we are going to have some of those days, but they have to understand that is what we have to go through. That is part of the process. They had a day off, and then all of a sudden your body is trying to get back, you're adjusting to all of this. I think the veteran players understand where I am coming from because I can see them talking about it. If we are going to be the type of team that I keep telling you that we are building it doesn't matter whether it is raining, hot, mud, sun, it just doesn't matter. We just come out and we get after it, but today we didn't as well as I like for us to. We got some work done don't get me wrong but not at the pace that I like. So, you tell your team and I know these guys will respond tomorrow.
Q: Why do you take the pads off?
Coach Jackson: Obviously, we have some guys with a few nicks here and there. We are down in some positions right now; we only had five linebackers, we only had this many defensive backs, this many running backs, you do everything you can to make sure your team can finish practice. So that is what I wanted to do. I didn't want all of the banging and that type of thing at that time. So let's take them off and let's continue to get the process that we are in, and the guys did that part right but the intensity needs to be higher when we do it.
Q: Hue we didn't get a chance to talk to you yesterday, Zach Miller and what was your reaction?
Coach Jackson: Well obviously as I always say here for us it's next man up. Obviously Zach was a huge part of our football team, but that is part of the process. I told you guys a long time ago that there is going to be some tough decisions; we are going to win some and we are going to lose some. Seattle won that one, good for him and good for them, but the Raiders do not get caught in all that. We are not worried about it. On to the next man and on to the next situation so that is what we are going to do.
Q: You got Trent Edwards coming out tomorrow; I know you are looking forward to seeing him?
Coach Jackson: I am looking forward to it if I can get all my guys out there tomorrow. Obviously there is talk that we may not and we may, but we will see how all that unfolds too. I hope we get them all out there because again then we will have more numbers as we continue to move forward. This football team is very resilient. I know they will go in and watch this tape and we will come out and fly around tomorrow.
Q: The drop off from actual NFL receptions at tight end from Zach Miller to the rest is pretty dramatic, do you think you have a core of tight ends here that you can make do with or you think you will have to bring somebody in?
Coach Jackson: We are going to always look to get better. I keep telling you that this process isn't over. We are going to continue to find players to put on this football team at every position. My goal, by the time we get ready to play Denver, that we will have a complete football team. So are we still searching, un-turning every rock and looking for somebody to help improve this foot ball team? Yes we are. The young guys are doing a good job: Richard Gordon, (David) Ausberry, Brandon Myers, and (Kevin) Brock; those guys are working hard. Adam Henry is coaching them and I feel good about them but when you have a guy that was their who was a very good presence obviously we are looking to get better at that position and we are looking to do so.
Q: You going to bring in Kevin Boss for a look?
Coach Jackson: Well obviously he is here. I mean there is no question that he is. We are going to work him out and see exactly where he is and find out what he can do for us.
Q: You have kind of a local connection with your backup quarterbacks: Cal, Stanford, and San Jose? Can you talk about each one of those guys?
Coach Jackson: Yeah there is a little west coast connection. Kyle Boller, whom I have been around, obviously here at Oakland and Baltimore; tremendous young man, great character, loves football and works at it every day. Trent, I have gotten to know through this process of getting him on this football team. Obviously he has had a very strong start out in his career in Buffalo and he has kind of bounced around; was at Jacksonville and he is looking for an opportunity to come in and compete. We have a tremendous opportunity here but I like him. Again he is a guy that works hard; football is very important to him and very passionate to him. I think the big characteristic of both of those guys is that they are here because they want to be Raiders. They want to do everything they can to help this football team get back to where they were.
Q: What happened to Darren in practice?
Coach Jackson: Darren, again you end up getting a little block here and there. Nothing major, but I call them nicks as I told you. You guys watched him walk right off so he will be fine. A lot of these guys, this is just part of the year where all of sudden you run into somebody than all of sudden, boom. I am always going to keep healthy football players out here. Right now you have to be overly cautious of any player with anything that comes up because you just don't want it to lead to something else.
Q: Using Darius, I saw he got some work today?
Coach Jackson: Yeah a little bit here and there. We are getting back and again our whole football team will be here soon, but we are trying to take guys that have been on the side and ease them back into everything. Take our time, make sure that we get healthy football players on the field so that we could give them a chance to compete and learn our systems: offense, defense and special teams.
Q: Murphy and Carlisle: are those guys nicked up?
Coach Jackson: Absolutely, that is why there are no 30 days, two days in a row and an off day. Again I am overly cautious to a certain degree when it comes to our football team, because I think you have to be. A lot of these I wasn't around, I know these guys are working hard but again these are big bodies that we have to take care of. My job is to make sure that they are out there healthy because that is going to be good for our football team. We don't need a guy with a nick here or there and trying to compete than all of a sudden it leads to another injury. So we are going to protect this team as much as we can and get these guys to the game.
Q: What is Jordan LaSecla going to bring to the table?
Coach Jackson: Again he is another young man who is smart, played at San Jose State and he really does a really good job with our other guys. He can throw it and you know he is just learning the NFL game and I am glad that he is a Raider; a good young man.
Q: What do you know about (Kevin) Boss, you have a personal connection with him?
Coach Jackson: I don't have a personal connection with him. I've seen him a few times. I have obviously played against the Giants. His most personal connection is with Mike Waufle. You know Mike Waufle was on that Championship team in the NFL. Obviously, Mike has a lot of glowing things to say about him, and watching video tape of him, he has some characteristics that we are looking for. He is a big guy. He is all of 6"6", he is 254 lbs. So we will work him out and see what he can do.
Q: What have you seen from Denarius Moore so far?
Coach Jackson: Wow. You guys know I like using that term "wow." He's a tremendous young player; he's very talented. That young man played at Tennessee and everything he did at Tennessee he's doing out here on our field, and when you look around, every time you look up there's number 17 making a play. I talked to our guys, this game's about performance. He comes out every day and he performs. The guys that are able to stay healthy and compete each and every day as well as our guys have, they're going to have a chance to play on this football team.
Q: On the flipside of that, he's going against Stanford an awful lot, and making some plays on him; how do you approach having a veteran guy who's supposed to be one of your main guys who is having a rookie get the better of him?
Coach Jackson: Oh yeah; there's a lot of things coming at Stanford too, we're not just sitting there lining up and saying "here, cover us." We're moving around a little bit, we're making it tough for those guys. But yeah, Stanford's competing; I don't see anything in that that I go "oh my gosh, Stanford's not getting it done." I see rhythm and timing of our offense, the quarterback throwing the ball on time in rhythm and guys making a play. I think that's exactly what you're seeing, and plus some guys are trying to figure out the tempo; the tempo changed at practice there because I wanted to slow it down a bit because we took off the pads, so that's exactly what I think we're seeing at that time.
Q: Who do you see competing for the right tackle position?
Coach Jackson: Obviously, once we get everybody in there, Joe Barksdale is the main guy there, but we have several guys once we get to line up here with our football team that have a chance to be there. Obviously we haven't made any decisions about that but we have a bunch of names, we have a bunch of big men who are going to come out here whether Thursday or Friday and get after it.
Q: Samson Satele re-signed; he's only played center, starting center last year. Where do things look for him once he gets going?
Coach Jackson: I think he's got a chance to go play center. I mean again, this game is about competition and competing performance. I know everybody said I handed the job to Stefen, but at the time Stefen was the only center other than Parsons on our team. So Sammy's back and he'll get a chance to go in there and lineup and play and show what he's got. He's a veteran player, started a lot of games. But obviously I'm very happy with Wisniewski, he's doing an excellent job and that's going to be fun to see because they're going to raise the level of play of this whole football team.
Q: What about Smiley; what spot is he going to start at?
Coach Jackson: He's going to play some guard. Again, that's what he's played, that's what he's done a good job of in this league, so we'll stick him in there and see what he's got. I'm looking for some men that are going to line up and get this thing done. I tell our guys, "we've got a job to do and we've got to get it done," and we will.
Q: And the tackle, Heyer?
Coach Jackson: Oh yeah; he's a guy that can play either one of those tackle spots. Again, we'll find out exactly where to play those guys, but those are big, athletic men. There's a certain performance level I'm looking for; those guys understand it, we talk about it, and that's why they want to be here, because they know that we're going to chase perfection here and that's exactly how we're going to do it.
Q: Bruce Campbell; is he closer to coming back?
Coach Jackson: Yes, yes he is. I think, obviously, I'll get with the doctors after practice here and see how close he is, but I think he's getting very close to being back.
Q: You have him down now as a starter, or could he compete for a starting spot?
Coach Jackson: Yeah; you're right he's competing. All of those positions across the line, guys are competing and playing. Guys know that they need to earn what you get and you get what you earn and that's just exactly what we're going to be.
Q: Campbell mentioned that you were transitioning him back to tackle; is that the way you see it?
Coach Jackson: I think Bruce can play any of those spots, whether it's guard or tackle. We've got to see where he best fits. Obviously he's played guard, I know he can go in there and play. We'll give him a shot there, see where it starts, and see where it goes from there.
Q: Do you plan on giving Samson or Wisniewski any looks at guard?
Coach Jackson: You never know; somebody might have to move over there. Again, I'm looking for five of the best linemen on this football team. We're going to turn them loose and let them play, let them grow together, let them come up and work together, communicate with each other, and then go play.
Q: Any update on Michael Bush?
Coach Jackson: Hopefully he'll be here soon. He doesn't have to be here until tomorrow, so he should be here soon. Looking forward to him walking into the room, giving him a big hug, and let's go.
Q: Going back to Moore; did he especially catch your eye today or have you seen this all along?
Coach Jackson: I've seen it from day one. There's no question, number 17 is a playmaker. That's why we drafted him. We draft good players, and that's why we brought him here. He's making plays and I expect him to make plays
Q: Saw Moore fielding some punts, I assume he's in the mix to be a starting punt returner; who else is in that battle?
Coach Jackson: I think obviously Nick Miller's back there, Moore is back there; we have a lot of capable guys. Obviously when Jacoby's back, he has a chance to be. We have quite a few guys that can go back there and do it, we have not just settled on one individual yet. But obviously Nick Miller is a guy a year ago; Denarius Moore is back there doing it. So again, we're just going to keep finding guys who can keep uplifting this team.
Q: When he returns, do you think Taiwan could be considered for that or do you think he's mostly a kickoff returner?
Coach Jackson: Yeah. I know he's back there as a kickoff returner, I have not seen him back there with punts yet. Obviously he got nicked early and he can't.
Q: So you might look at him?
Coach Jackson: Absolutely; if a guy can make a play for us we're going to see if they can go back there and make one.