Head Coach Hue Jackson
Q: With the kicker, have you thought about that yet? Do you know anymore?
Coach Jackson: Yeah, I think I do. I think we're getting closer and again as I told you guys – you guys asked me the other day do I have guys on speed dial just in case we do. But, I think there's a good chance that we're going to be okay.
Q: Would it be [Dave] Rayner again?
Coach Jackson: Probably so because I know him, I've seen him, he's kicked, he's warmed up with us in the locker room, I shook his hand. So yeah, probably so if we did have to go in that direction.
Q: Did he [Sebastian Janikowski] try to kick today at all?
Coach Jackson: I'm sure he did. I think we're going to be fine; I really do. I think he was able to do some, but again, we've got to be cautious and just make sure. So we'll again, cross all the T's and dot all the I's and make sure he is available the right way. Obviously, we need to see him one more day to make sure he's up to speed and ready to go.
Q: Will you watch him kick tomorrow?
Coach Jackson: Yes I will.
Q: Do you need him fully to be able to do everything or would there be a chance where you would have somebody else kickoff and he would just kick field goals?
Coach Jackson: No. We'll probably have him do everything if he's able to go. What I want to make sure is that he's able to do it consistently. You don't want to have something happen one or two times and all of a sudden, then he's out and it hurts your football team. So if he can truly go if he's out there, that means he can go – he's fine.
Q: What about the weather? Do you think about that? It might be raining; slipping out there in the rain…
Coach Jackson: Yeah, I've heard that potentially it could rain so you've got to obviously play the elements too as you move forward. We look at the forecast; we look at everything, but it will all get added in to make the final decision.
Q: How did Rolando [McClain] look today?
Coach Jackson: He looked good. I mean obviously, he's been down and he ran around – he wanted to make sure I knew he was running around, that he was healthy because I think the guys know if not, there's probably a good chance we're not going to play him. I think guys want to play. I mean that's why you're on the team because you want to play so he ran around in practice, did some things, so we'll see where he is. Again, it's the next day. How do you feel the next day? Are you more sore? Are you hurting? Whatever that is, we've got to find that out.
Q: Is that middle linebacker role – I mean it's always important obviously but when you're playing [Tim] Tebow and he can take that charge up the middle anytime, how important is that role?
Coach Jackson: Very. It's very important but as I always talk about with our defense, you've got to beat 11 guys. One guy can't beat 11 guys if we're playing as hard as we can and going to the ball, but what you said is true. Middle linebacker is a huge key to that as teams try to run the ball up the middle against your defense, you've got to make sure you have your stoutest guy in there to take that on.
Q: Is there a concern that [Darren] McFadden could be more than a one game deal?
Coach Jackson: I don't know that. I know we're making progress each and every day. I think he's getting closer and closer and to me when it's that mid-foot sprain, I think you've to just take it day-to-day. I don't want to say, 'Boy, it's going to be this or that.' I think every day he's gotten better; a lot better, and I just think we've got to continue to evaluate that. Like I said, I'm not going to put him out there if he's not healthy.
Q: You made it clear that early this week with the case of Tebow, he can go off at any time. Is it easier to sell to this team because he came in here and did some good things last year here at this stadium? You have stuff on film you can go back to…
Coach Jackson: Right, we do. I mean there's – just like every player, you build a library on players and he came in here last year and played really well. I expect he'll come here with the same thought to play good. The guy has talent; I've never questioned that. He can throw, he can run, and he's on the opposing team. So, we have to do everything we can to get him under control because he is a runner with the ball, he is a thrower with the ball that uses his legs, they use his arm. They have other good runners – I mean we have a big task ahead of us.
Q: Have they been ratcheting up a lot of their spread and option type stuff?
Coach Jackson: I think what there is giving him a chance to have success. I think when you look at their offense, it's kind of gone away from obviously what [Kyle] Orton was and I think they're playing to his strengths which is smart on their part. You have to let a young man do what he can do to have success and that's what John's [Fox] doing with their football team and that's what I think any coach would do.
Q: When you look at Carson's [Palmer] progress coming through today, where do you see him? Does he look like the guy at this point who you feel comfortable, like he's been around long enough to where he should be probable on Sunday?
Coach Jackson: Well obviously, I have a comfort level with Carson in just myself. So, I do. I think his teammates are the most important thing. I think they now have a confidence level in him too because they've seen him work on and off the field and I think guys appreciate that. I think that's how you endear yourself to your teammates. When they watch your commitment to learning an offense and going out and practicing and executing, that's how you gain their trust and their acceptance. Me knowing him, that's the number one thing he wanted to do. Now, the second thing he wants to do is play well and help this team win. I think he's had some really good days of practice. I think he's on top of his game. Obviously, what he's doing in my opinion is remarkable. When you haven't had a training camp, we put him in a game two weeks ago and here you are five days, six practices later – here we go. Now, you're starting a game and playing and you're not just playing; you're playing to win a football game, a division game on top of that, so he's done a good job. We don't make any excuses. That's not to say, 'Oh my gosh,' if something doesn't go right. We expect it all to go right and I expect him to play well and he will.
Q: Why were you so confident? You were with him in Cincinnati, but there was a period of time when you weren't with him every day. Why were you so confident that he'd be able to come in and do this?
Coach Jackson: I've known the player for a long time. I mean I've recruited him, I've spent a lot of time with him, I've coached him so I've been around him. I know what makes him go, I know what doesn't make him go so I have an inside knowledge – that's probably the right word -- of what he is. I know what Carson Palmer likes to do and what he doesn't like to do, so we'll play to his strengths and play to our football team's strengths and give us the best chance we have to win football games.
Q: The Chiefs were very aggressive up front and now you're playing another aggressive front seven. How important was it to get Carson some work in that game to look ahead to this one?
Coach Jackson: It was – as I look back on it, I know I got a lot of people that said a lot of different things about it. But at the end of the day when you look at it, the fact that he did get some work before playing this game – he was in a game, regardless of what the outcome was and regardless of what he did or didn't do, he was in a football game with fans, with his teammates, I mean, with everything. Quarterback to coach communication, calling the cadence on the field, handing the ball off to guys he really hadn't handed the ball off to much, talking to guys, watching guys follow him out on the field; I mean all those things are invaluable. Now that has happened so when it happens in a game this week, there's no surprise. I think, like I said, I'm not concerned. I know everybody else may be; I'm not. This young man will play well for this football team.
Q: In the game coming up, you'll be playing Willis McGahee – apparently he's back in the lineup, Tebow runs the ball. This team, the Raiders, they've given up 3.2 yards a carry the last three games. I mean it's been a long – it seems against Buffalo, the team couldn't stop the run and now suddenly the team is stopping the run. What's difference?
Coach Jackson: I told you we were going to stop the run. That's the mantra I've had since I've become the head coach. We are not going to have teams run the ball up and down the field against us. We didn't do it early, I think our guys accepted the challenge and we're doing some things differently. I think our guys are playing hard and I mean it's what we expect to do. That's my expectation for this football team. We're going to stop the run and we're going to be able to run the ball and I think we can do both. We need to do both better than what we've done it. I keep saying this team needs to go to the next level, but I think we will and I think we can.
Q: Is there anything in particular scheme-wise you guys have done?
Coach Jackson: No, we're just getting people on the ground – basically, getting off blocks. I mean all the things that everybody says, all the clichés that people use – I think we're doing them the best we've done them and kudos to the defensive staff and Chuck Bresnahan. But again, the players, when it's all said and done, they've got to make a decision in that locker room that they're tired of having the ball run at them like that and that's what they've made; that's what they've done.
Q: Carson was saying the other day that he thought that is was kind of an eye opener for the younger receivers to see T.J. [Houshmandzadeh] coming here and in one day, pretty much understand everything and be really on point; how much his grasp is of the offense and that sort of thing. Do you see that with him and the young guys, and two – what kind of a role do you think he'll play this game?
Coach Jackson: T.J.'s a pro. As I told you guys, when I put guys on a football team, I put guys on a team to help us. If I thought that he couldn't pick it up or learn it, I never would have made that decision. T.J. knows how to play. He's played a long time in this league. He brings vast knowledge, obviously game experience to the receiver room, to the practice field, familiarity with the quarterback, so those are some huge factors. Then on top of that, I mean he's the one guy that I know I can go to a game with on Sunday and say, 'T.J., go in there and do this' and he can do it. I don't have a concern whether he's been hit, whether somebody's going to hit him; that's just the type of player he is. So yeah, I'm going to play him. How much he's going to play? I don't know. But I know this – I'm not afraid to put him in the game and say, 'Go make some plays,' by no stretch of imagination.
Q: Is Lito [Sheppard] going to play a lot too?
Coach Jackson: If it calls for that, we wouldn't be concerned playing Lito. He's had a good week of practice. I think he's ready to go.
Q: With the offensive line – they're going to be blocking for Michael Bush, a different type runner than Darren McFadden. Is there anything, any different marching orders that they have given the different type of player that they're blocking for?
Coach Jackson: No sir, block. I mean that's what we need to do. I mean this game's about blocking and tackling and taking care of the ball and getting turnovers. So, what we're going to do is block and Michael Bush is a fine runner. We're not going to do something totally off the chart for Michael Bush that we didn't do for Darren McFadden. Now, they are different types of runners but we're going to hand this guy the ball and let him eat.