Head Coach Hue Jackson. Photo by Tony Gonzales
Coach Jackson: So, not much has changed on the medical front and we'll keep continuing to move forward. Had a good, spirited practice, getting ready to get on the football plane, head down to Miami and play a big football game.
Q: Are you confident that [Darryl] Blackstock can step up if need-be?
Coach Jackson: I'm confident that whatever we decide to do that this football team will rally and play as well as it's ever played.
Q: How would you characterize the Dolphins defensive scheme? We talked a lot about their players and their playmakers the last few days, but how would you describe their scheme?
Coach Jackson: Mike Nolan comes from that old Baltimore 34 defense; Rex Ryan – those guys were all together. Marvin Lewis; those guys all spent a lot of time together so he has that style of 34 defense, linebackers on the edge, really tough, really physical and they play good but they get to the football. They do a great job of getting off blocks. Guys up front really do a great job of using there hands, so what we've got to do to combat that is play Raider football. We've got to block these guys; we've got to get after these guys because they are a very, very stout defensive football team.
Q: And offensively, how would you describe what they like to do? They play-action, they zone block?
Coach Jackson:They'll mix up everything. I think Brian Daboll's done a really good job. They're a team that's throwing the ball better than what they did earlier and obviously, we know they can run the ball - that's Tony's [Sparano] personality. But they also have some trick plays in there. They kind of wing it and they're doing everything they can to create opportunities for their playmakers to make plays too, so they've done a good job. But they're going to run the ball at you, they're going to throw the ball down the field, they have Brandon Marshall but they're also going to mix in some razzle-dazzle to create some opportunities for themselves.
Q: Practice squad players - it's got to be an unstable lifestyle with guys coming and going from the roster. Talk about the role you see them playing and, I guess, the empathy in some way that you must have for the guys and the hard road they have to go…
Coach Jackson: Oh, I think it's a tough road, but I think it's also a fun road for them. They are part of a football team and no they don't get to do a lot of the things that the traveling squad get to do but they're as important to this football team as anybody. I mean they help prepare us for games, they help in meetings, they help every way you can think of but some of those guys get elevated as the season goes. So, there's tremendous opportunity for them too, but obviously I think sometimes when you're in that situation, you're always looking to see when am I going to get that opportunity to become one of the elevated players. But, those guys work hard. I'm very glad for the guys we have. They work hard each and every day. They're here but there's chances for teams to take them off of our rosters. We've been fortunate thus far that nobody's done that because I think we have a very good group of guys and I'd love to keep them here as long as I can.