Raiders Head Coach Hue Jackson addresses the media. Photo by Tony Gonzales.
Coach Jackson: How we doing today? I am sure you guys have lots of questions and that means I have lots of answers. How are we doing?
Q: How do you like the tempo out there, it seem like it was going pretty quick for day one?
Coach Jackson: It wasn't too bad but I told them, I apologized to them because I don't think we were going fast enough. Truth be told I am being honest and you can ask the guys, I told them. I keep telling them we are going to go really fast. I think our guys and I was excited that there wasn't a bunch of busts; you know that everybody was there and I think they understood exactly what we are trying to accomplish. So I think we hit the ground running like I anticipated we would so I thought it was a good start but again I am going to keep raising the level here, each and every day that's what I told them and that is what were going to do.
Q: So what you did this morning, you had a walk out this morning to rehearse what you did in the second practice, basically?
Coach Jackson: Somewhat, we did have a walk through early this morning and we tried to cover different situations and then you know it leads you into practice. There were some things that were practiced this morning prior to going on the field but not a ton. I thought it was a great recall by our football team from last night meetings which were tremendous you know to coming out on the field. We are not exactly where I want us to be but you know nobody is right now but we are working towards it.
Q: Did it feel like a first practice Hue, or did it feel like a continuation to what you were doing last year?
Coach Jackson: You know I know it was a first practice for me as a head coach because I was a little bit of everywhere but I felt like you said I think it was a continuation. I felt some things and the way they should feel with the running game. I felt some things in the way they should feel in the passing game but by no stretch are we were we need to be from an execution on either side of the ball, but the thing that is exciting is that the players want to get there. I mean there is a better communication, a better communication among the players and that is something I have stressed, the player stressed and you know we're working on it.
Q: Draft class all in camp today?
Coach Jackson: Every last guy is signed and here. Obviously there is one young man that wasn't out there is Barksdale, but he is here, he is signed and he is a Raider. We are excited to get him out there. That is the only guy to miss practice of our draft picks but he's here.
Q: Impressions on the first day?
Coach Jackson: My eyes were everywhere but I like Wisniewski, he was in there at center and I thought he handled it well. I like D.V.D. (DeMarcus Van Dyke) and the way he moved his hips. That was pretty impressive; I mean the guy can run. Ausberry is playing tight end for us and again that was new for him to move around and do those things. I think we all saw Taiwan Jones flash a couple of times running up through there. Denarius Moore making catches. Again our group is a very good group. I am very excited about the whole group. Again day by day they will continue to grow and understand how to play the game of pro football, but I think it is a very good class. I think it is a very talented young group of athletes there and we are glad that they are here.
Q: You had Stefen Wisniewski at center is that his job and has he inherited it already?
Coach Jackson: He has to earn it. There is no question but you know we drafted him for a reason as I said before I drafted this guy to play center and we are going to give him every opportunity until something shows that he can't but he showed that he can and we are going to keep pushing him. He has a way to go and we have a ways to go but I was impressed with his first day in getting out there and competing. You have Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly standing on the other side growling at you; that can be a tough battle but he handled it well for the first day.
Q: How was Jason a different quarterback now than he was a year ago?
Coach Jackson: I just think being in this being in this environment and understanding his teammates, understanding me, knowing exactly what is expected of him. I think he is starting to raise the bar. We just have to get everybody back in sync as you guys know offense is probably the toughest thing to really get going because it is so detailed but boy I thought for a first day he did good. You know we didn't have a lot of balls on the ground and no turnovers by him and that's what the quarterback has to do. He has the drive the train and I think he understands that and I think tomorrow we will keep growing with him and getting better and better and better.
Q: I know that you like to go fast, with your coaching style, but who and what determines the pace?
Coach Jackson: This inner guy inside of me, his name is Hubert, and I talk to him every now and then and he tells me hey, Hue you need to be cool here and slow down. I do, I mean it's a feel, I have been around this game for quite awhile and been around some great football coaches and they kind of taught me that there is a time to push and there is a time to understand your team. I look to our leaders on this team, when I know that Richard Seymour is going, going, going then I know that we are going to be okay. When I know that Richard Seymour and those guys are slowing down, I know that I need to take a quick peek. Because that is what it is all about, it is about the players we have to make sure we get these players to the games, and I understand that. I have a pretty good feeling for it. I will trust our coaches no question, but my whole thing is that this is my job and my job is to make sure that this team stays healthy, but it is also my job to make sure that we practice with a purpose every day.
Q: Are you looking at Tyvon Branch as the possibility of playing free safety?
Coach Jackson: I mean yeah, those guys are kind of interchangeable, we put them all over the place. I know that everybody says strong safety, free safety, I mean for us those guys are safeties and they can play either one. I think both of those guys back there him and (Mike) Mitchell, have done it they know how to do it. They are getting coached well by coach Kevin Ross who does a great job. And again we just need to keep seeing different looks in different situations that happen in practice and continue to get better.
Q: You're only out there with less than you normally would, how important is it for the undrafted guys before the other players start trickling in?
Coach Jackson: Again, like I said in our team meeting and I think I even told you guys. Every practice has a purpose and especially for the young guys, because pretty soon all of the reps that you get my get cut down as we continue to move forward. I think that some guys flashed today, some guys showed up. Some undrafted guys were battling in there today and that is what it is all about. Come into work every day with a purpose and come in here and try to get better and that is what I think that these guys are doing.
Q: Were you nervous at all, this being your first practice as a head coach?
Coach Jackson: Me? Nervous? I don't get nervous about much. But what I was probably most nervous about was just making sure that I was out here on time. There is so much stuff going on around the league, I was checking this and checking that, that's about it. I mean this is fun, this is the day I have always dreamed of, so there wasn't any nerves or anything like that it was just exciting and it was fun, and now we go on to day two and as this thing goes we need to continue to push and get better.
Q: Has your personality changed at all?
Coach Jackson: No, and it won't, I am not going to change. I know one way and that is full speed and to go hard and I expect our players to go full speed and to go hard. I don't know anything else, and as long as I am here as the head coach, that is all I know and I don't know any other way and I think that it is the best way for our football team. Q: What about the way that you handle guys?
Coach Jackson: I am always going to handle them with a firm hand, I truly demand an expectation, and I think that they know it. I think that there is a way to do it with each player that you care about. I care about each and every one of my players but here is the deal, I care as long as you can perform. This is a performance based business, which is what it is all about.