Head Coach Hue Jackson addresses the media.
Q: With the cornerbacks – with Chris [Johnson] out and with [Chimdi] Chekwa hurting, is [Joe] Porter [playing]?
Coach Jackson: Next man up, whoever it is. It all depends on how we start; it all depends on how Houston starts. It could be Porter, it could be [DeMarcus] Van Dyke, it could be a lot of people. It's just a matter of how Houston decides to come out and play and how we decide to defense it.
Q: If there was ever a time for Andre Johnson to be out – given your injury problems in the backfield, would this be the time?
Coach Jackson: I think so. Yeah, he's out. He's been out the last two years. Thank gosh. Glad he's home, not playing.
Q: As head coach eight games in, how's game management going and communication with all the other assistant coaches?
Coach Jackson: Good, I think that's been excellent. That's been fantastic. I think we've worked out the kinks earlier in preseason and got better as we go and there will be things that come up as we continue to move forward. But, I think the guys are doing an outstanding job of giving me the information I need where I'm able to make decisions, whether sometimes those decisions are good or bad. But, I get to make them so it's fun.
Q: Last week when Johnson went out, [Matt] Schaub went a lot to his tight end and to his fullback. Do you expect him to still do that or do you see them now that they've had a full week to continue to try to get downfield?
Coach Jackson: No, I think whenever you get a chance to go back and really game plan a team that you're playing, you go attack their weaknesses. So, I think they'll go run their offense. Daniels is a really good player; he's a Pro Bowl player and [Jacoby] Jones and [Kevin] Walter and they have guys. Obviously, they have this runner that we have to make sure we take care of and they're a good offensive football team. I don't think they're going to worry about exactly what's going on with us. They're going to go do what they do.
Q: In terms of your offense, are you a big believer in having a go-to wide receiver? A number one or do you kind of let stuff sort itself out?
Coach Jackson: I think that will take care of itself. I truly believe in getting the ball to the playmakers; the guys that can make plays. I don't caught up in who has that many catches or this, that and the other. I can control the running back situation because I can just turn around and hand it to them. But when you have a 'number-one receiver', teams can take that guy away. So, I think if you look at our stats, the ball is spread around pretty much to everybody because I think that's good for your team, I think it's good for your offense, and it makes it hard for your defense to just lock in on one guy.
Q: Jason [Campbell] was saying the benefit of not having a true number one. Those young guys; they do everything together. They go out to dinner together, they hang out together – as a coach, is that encouraging to you to have a young group of receivers that can grow and that there isn't a guy saying, 'Hey, I'm the number one. Give me the ball'?
Coach Jackson: I've coached that position and it's a different position. We don't have that issue here. I'm not saying it isn't an issue; I mean anytime you can have a guy catch that will catch 100 balls for over 1,000 yards, we all get excited about that guy. But, I think when you're building a team and you have young players, I think it's good that you check the ego at the door. I think that's what we've talked about with our football team, period, offensively and defensively. It's not about an ego, it's about winning – whatever we think it's going to take to win. Maybe one guy may have a little bit more skill in one route more so than another guy, so we just – again, what we try to do is make sure we showcase that talent and ability as much as we can and we don't get caught up in who is the first receiver, second receiver, third receiver. I just think we have football players that can play.
Q: How did Trevor Pryce look?
Coach Jackson: [Laughs] How did he look? He's pretty. He's a big man. It was good to see him again; it was good to have conversation with him but I think he's at home now – I think, at least he was heading home. But, it was good to see him again and good to see guys that you've been around before.
Q: Pryce – Is he an option?
Coach Jackson: Everybody's an option. Obviously, he's not here right now. Like I said, it was good to see him. We did have him in, if that's what you guys want me to confirm. We did spend some time together and we'll talk about this over coffee tonight.
Q: Is he in good shape?
Coach Jackson: Oh yeah, he is. He always stays in shape. That's part of the reason why you bring a guy like that out because you know he's in good shape and he takes great care of himself. But again, sometimes guys see football differently at this stage of their career. Making a commitment, having to do it on a high level; you've got to make sure you're all in and those decisions people have to make. They have to do what's best for them and we have to do what's best for us.
Q: Bringing him in, is that a sign that [Matt] Shaughnessy might be out for awhile?
Coach Jackson: Oh, come on. You've got to take me there? Here's the deal – he's out for this game and we're going to just go next week and see where he is. Obviously, everything is just evolving as we find out more information about exactly what's wrong and what we need to do with him, but right now, he's out this week. I don't think bringing anybody in means that. I keep telling you guys we're going to continue to find ways to try to better our team each and every chance we get, but he is out. Is there a reason why we talked to Trevor? Probably so just to make sure we cover all of our bases. We'll continue to look for better players as we continue to find them moving forward.
Q: When you go into a game, especially the last couple of weeks, are you purposely trying to get Kevin Boss involved early? He's had a couple long catches on the opening drive?
Coach Jackson: I'm trying to get – I'm trying to score touchdowns and that's my job. If a guy can help us get the ball down the field, I'm going to throw it to him whether it's Kevin, whether it's Jacoby, Darrius, or whoever. I mean his number was called and again as you guys know, when you call a play, it doesn't necessarily mean it's going to go right where you call it. Sometimes, the defense will take that away. He's been fortunate enough that those things have been open and we've been able to get him the ball, but at some point in time, people are going to say, 'No, you've got to throw it someplace else' and we will.
Q: With your fullback situation not knowing who you're going to have, you use you're tight ends back there a lot; I know Brandon [Myers] has been back there. But, would you use Kevin at all in that role, are you open to using him there or is he too valuable as a blocker on that line?
Coach Jackson: I think what's important – again, you go back to that same philosophy of letting players do what they can do and that's something he's never done. So, I would never ask him to do something he hasn't done. I think he's very comfortable being a tight end playing on the line of scrimmage. Not that he can't play off, but to go play true fullback I think would be a little stretch at this time.
Q: What do you do if Marcel [Reece] can't go?
Coach Jackson: What do I do? Next guy up. We'll craft somebody. We'll find somebody to line up back there I promise you that, that can do it. We'll be fine. I know that everybody's concerned heading in, but I think you guys know me. I don't worry about those things. It's not because I don't plan for it; I plan for it. It's going to sort itself out. We're going to have somebody back there that can block and get the job done.
Q: Would that somebody be Brandon Myers or that somebody is somebody else?
Coach Jackson: I'll tell you this much – you'll find out come Sunday.
Q: So Reece is questionable – you might see where the ankle is Sunday morning?
Coach Jackson: Yeah, we never know. Again, it's unfortunate he hasn't been able to go but we'll see what happens. We'll have somebody back there playing fullback.
Q: I know you've been asked maybe using John Henderson and maybe moving Richard Seymour to the outside? What's your thought process on that?
Coach Jackson: This is Friday night and normally, this is when I take that list of things that I write down and sort through them all and figure out what's best for our team. But, anything is conceivable to do. Whatever we think is going to help this team win a football game, that's what we're open to doing. We don't shy away from anything. If it can help us win, that's what we'll do but I feel comfortable that we've got enough guys where they need to be. We just need to go play football.
Q: It must be nice to have Seymour be able to do that…
Coach Jackson: Oh, no doubt. That's the beautiful part about our guys. I mean there are a lot of combinations we can use if we need to do that. But, I mean, no one is pushing the panic button now. It sounds like everybody else has. 'Okay, you guys are in trouble.' No, we're not. We're going to be fine; I guarantee you, we'll be fine.
Q: I'm sure you don't want to look ahead, but what could a win this week do when you've got the three games at home coming?
Coach Jackson: It gets the bad taste out of your mouth. We've got to move beyond last week and to me, it's week-to-week in this business. A week ago, you guys were all fired up and 'Here we go, the Raiders are doing some things.' This week all of a sudden, you boys can't stop the run again. It's week-to-week; it's what have you done for me this past week and I think the players understand that. I think they know that's kind of the way I operate this thing; when it's good, it's good. When we need to get better, we need to get better.
Q: Looking at when Andre Johnson's out or when he has a bad game, you guys still haven't done all that well against Houston even when Andre Johnson is out. Is that a surprising factor and does that give you something to talk about with the guys this week?
Coach Jackson: No, because it's not about that. It's not about all that whether Andre Johnson is playing or not playing. He's one of their better players, no doubt about it, but we're going to have to cover whoever we put out there. They're going to put somebody else out there. It's not Andre Johnson – that's the only difference. Their offense is still going to go, they're going to line up and say, 'Set, hut!', and hand it to the runner. They're going to throw the ball all over the place and whether he's there or not is not the issue. I don't get caught up in all this, 'Well, when he played, they did win or when he didn't play, they didn't win.' But, we need to go win a football game. This is Sunday – we get paid for performing on Sunday and I get paid for helping the team win on Sunday, so that's all that's on my mind. I think we've had a good week of work, a good week of practice, I think the emphasis for what we need to do to win a football game is right; what we need to do is go play. We need to go take this trip, pack a good team, go down there and go win a game.