Coach Jackson July 29 Transcript

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Coach Jackson:I am good, what another beautiful day out here in Napa at the Marriott with a very good football team that is working very hard. Ok what do you guys have today?

Q: So have you signed Jared Gaither?

Coach Jackson: No, no he is here visiting me, right now. No, he is here and we are checking him out. Obviously, we brought him in and want to make sure that any guy is healthy before we decide to sign anybody. It was a period after three o'clock that you can start to bring guys in and get a chance to see guys and do a physical and we will get a chance to see that later on today. Once I get a chance to take a shower and clear my head, get with our doctors and see what we can do.

Q: How did Jason Campbell look today?

Coach Jackson: He looked really good. I mean again as I say day by day Jason has taken this team over. He is definitely the leader of the offense and I think he knows what his role is. He understands exactly what we need to accomplish. Al Saunders has done a great job with our offense and I think all of our coaches have.

Q: With Gaither he is accustomed to playing on the left, if he were to sign will he be playing on the left side or is he open to both?

Coach Jackson: I think what we will do is, we will make that decision after we find out we are going to sign him. We will put the best five linemen out there and put them where we need to put them. Obviously, I have been around Jared and I know exactly what he is and if he is a part of our team we are going to put him where he will best fit for us.

Q:What kind of player is he?

Coach Jackson: He is a tremendous player. He is one of the better left tackles in the league with extremely long arms, very tall, very long. He is a good football player but again there is a question of health and were going to do everything to make sure we know exactly where he is.

Q: Nnamdi signed with the Eagles today, what was your reaction?

Coach Jackson: Oh my gosh, well I am happy for him but that's the decision he made and that is what he wanted to do and I am very happy for him and we wish him well, but as I always said it is the next man up for us. We have some very good players here and again happy for him but I have to really concentrate on this football team and try to get them to be the the best that they can be.

Q: Had you moved on after Stanford agreed to that extension and when he wasn't the guy to sign prior to the lockout had the Raiders moved on at that point?

Coach Jackson: No, as I said to you guys we have worked every scenario and we are going to continue to do so. This thing called free agency is an ongoing process. It just started today where guys can sign. It's still ongoing and we will still continue to work at it the best we can to improve our football team and that's the name of the game. We will just keep plugging away and keep doing what we are doing out here, doing what we are doing in the personnel department to find better players for our team and that's what we're going to do.

Q: Is Chris Johnson that next guy right now and how do you feel about him?

Coach Jackson: I feel good; he made some plays out there today. He is competing for the ball and it's time for guys to rise up and be players and Chris is. He has played in some big plays for us and he knows how to play. We are very comfortable and confident in his abilities and we have some good young players behind those guys and on we go. That is part of it, I feel very confident and very good about the players that we have here. I have said that all along that we have very good players here at the Raiders and it is just a matter of us coaching them and those guys playing as a unit and as a very good football team.

Q: Tempo seemed good yesterday, but you wanted to push them even harder. Did you see that today?

Coach Jackson: Oh yes I did, I was even harder, I was faster so I know that the tempo was much faster today. I think Tommy Kelly will tell you guys today "Hue you going to get it out of us" and no doubt that I am. That is the name of it; we are going to go fast all the time and I think our players expect it and I think they're excited about it because as you see practice goes a little faster. That is the process, you know we are going to take care of our bodies but we are going to practice with a purpose every day.

Q: You took a lot of shots down field and I know that is what the Raiders want to do and you want to see them do… The percentage of shots you took down field was really high and it seemed like a lot of them were dropped or just to the left. Is that just the early part of practice of you want all of them caught now?

Coach Jackson: Absolutely, I expect them to be thrown and caught now. That is what you want. You don't want a ball to be on the ground as a coach but I also understand it is day two of a process of being around a bunch of men that we haven't been around in a long time. I think we are getting where we need to get to be and understanding the concept of what we are trying to do. Now it is just a matter of executing it better so that we get the result that we want.

Q: Hue, last year we saw the emergence of Jacoby out there, what do you expect as he continues to grow on offense?

Coach Jackson: As I said it earlier this offseason, Jacoby Ford is a tremendous football player and he has some special talent. He can catch the ball; he can run with the ball, he is very good route runner, he is tough as you remember the guy is unbelievably tough for a guy of his stature. I think the sky is the limit for him and he is going to continue to grow on offense and were going to continue to design ways to get him the ball along with Louis Murphy and Chaz Schilens. We're going to take those guys and create an environment for them to be special and it's time for those guys to step up and be good players and they are.

Q: We understand none of the free agents even if they signed can practice until Sunday, although they could be here for meetings, and would be expected to attend meetings if they had signed, did you have any other guys sign, (Michael) Bush or Jarvis Moss ?

Coach Jackson: Well obviously we started practice at 3:00 p.m. so I was here at the time that they could sign. I won't know exactly about some of those guys until I get in, but I expect guys to start trickling in and signing contracts and being out here and being available and ready to go.

Q: But they briefed you when you came off the field?

Coach Jackson: No, they didn't brief me about that, they were briefing me about you know, keeping me ready, not ready for that but obviously I'd like to find out on my own. I think it's important that I have an opportunity to go in and look and see exactly what is going on with our football team, and I will do that here shortly.

Q: Injury free today?

Coach Jackson: We had a couple guys who went down with nicks here and there, we had a corner (Joe) Porter who didn't finish, and we had another young man early in individuals, one of our rookie offensive linemen who just tweaked something a little bit, I think we've been fairly injury free for the past couple of days. Nothing major just a little bit here and there but that's expected, but we are going to get their legs back but we'll get them back here soon and get them going.

Q: Is this process for you everything you thought it would be or even better?

Coach Jackson: Oh, it's better, this is unbelievable, this is a lot of fun. I'm coaching a group of men who are hungry and starving to win, and they are willing to do whatever I ask, and obviously there have only been two days in the process but there is going to be a day where they don't feel like it and we are going to have to push through that too. That's what it's all about, we just have to keep building really good blocks. You know this foundation that we are trying to build as a football team is starting and we are just going to keep working harder each and every day.

Q: How much is it your psychology working with them and keeping them going, keeping them up?

Coach Jackson: Every day, to me that's what great leadership is, I'm not calling myself a great leader, I think all of our coaches, we all believe that's what it's going to take. That we all have to buy in to doing it one way and that's the way that we see it, and the players understand that, and it's nothing easy to accomplish, it's hard, but it's supposed to be hard. If you are going to win championships, it has to be hard. Nobody is going to hand us anything and we understand that and are willing to work for it.

Q: What kind of expectations do you have for Darren McFadden this year?

Coach Jackson: People laugh at me when I say this and I'm going to say it now and I mean it with my whole heart. Darren McFadden to me is one of the most complete and elite runners in this league. I mean, obviously he had a very good season last year 1,157 yards and 10 touchdowns, and he's going to build on that and I see a young man who is ahead of the curve of where he was last year, seeing his reads, sticking the ball in the right spots, accelerating and knowing when to decelerate. He's a tremendous talent and I'm expecting big things out of him, but again in order for him to continue what he does, we need to continue this offensive line how we need to build it and he's a part of the process because the backs can't run without a line and the lines have to block for that back. So we are going to make this thing happen.

Q: Bruce Campbell on PUP or anybody else gone?

Coach Jackson: Nobody else that I know of and we'll get him off of there when he's ready and again I don't think it's anything major, but again we are going to be very cautious with those guys until we can be sure they can come out and practice. Those are two pretty physical practices that we had. It's in shorts but we are not shying away from each other that's for sure.  So you have to be ready to come out here full strength with everything you got and that's what we are doing.

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