Head Coach Hue Jackson. Photo by Tony Gonzales
Coach Jackson: Obviously, after watching that tape, my feeling from yesterday didn't change. I was disappointed in the performance and, like I said, it starts with me. We didn't play very well on either side of the ball or special teams and I know everybody wants a candid answer about why, and sometimes you don't find out why. What you do is you look at the things you need to do. Some old issues cropped up again. We didn't stop the run on defense, couldn't run the ball very well on offense, that team made us one-dimensional and obviously we had an issue or two on special teams. Then, things started to snowball and very unfortunate because that's not what you expect from a team that was 7-4 and planning to become 8-4 and continue their run toward the AFC West title. But that's what happened, that's the way it goes, and I can sugarcoat it for you all, butI'm not going to do that because I told the football team today we've got to put our head down and work. We've got four more games left to earn a fifth to see if we can get this thing done. Our goals are still out in front of us – what we've got to do is play better and I've got to coach better, the staff's got to coach better, and the team's got to play better. So, that was a long trip to go that far and not play as well as I think this football team can play. So we'll get back to it on Wednesday and get back to doing what I think we need to do to win football games. Obviously, we've got to continue to address the issues that have been facing us all year.
Q: What's the team's psyche after a loss like that?
Coach Jackson: This team's psyche is my psyche. We're going to get ready to play football. We've got a big game coming up this week. We just lost a game and the psyche is, 'Coach, let's go' and that's kind of the way I am. We have a 24-hour rule around here. We're going to let it go, but we aren't going to forget. My point is the things that are still haunting us are haunting us and so what we've got to do is solve them. As you guys know, I don't make many excuses. I know a lot of people asked me questions yesterday, 'Well, was it because you don't have these players or that player?' At the end of the day, this is the National Football League and you've got to go play the schedule where they say you play, who you play against. So, I'm not going to sit up here and make excuses for our team. We didn't play well, I didn't coach well, and what we need to do is to get back, but the psyche of this football team is very strong. This is a team that's 7-5 and still in first place of the AFC West. Obviously we share it with somebody now, that's our doing and if we want to change that, we need to get back to winning. It's just that simple.
Q:What is the rationale when you come out and say that it's your fault; that it's on you? Because when you leave here heading into a game like that, you hop on a plane thinking you've done all that you wanted to get done heading into the game. So what does that mean?
Coach Jackson: Because I'm the leader of this football team and at the end of the day when it's good, it's somewhat them and me and when it's bad, it's me. That's the way I like for it to be because I'm the one that's going to drive these guys to get things fixed and to get it right, and we're not there yet – I've been saying that. We're going to become something. We're not becoming it yet because there's still inconsistency in what we're doing. I mean three weeks ago people thought we were having a blowout in the locker room and we went on a three game winning streak, right? So now we just lost a game and didn't play well in Miami and now all of a sudden, we're back to where we were. You're only as good as your last game, so I mean everybody's going to write and say what they want to say, and pour some dirt and all that. But let me tell you, this team will be back and with more resolve, and they'll work harder and they'll get themselves ready to play. I know that without any doubt in my mind. I have total faith in that.
Q: Hue, was the decision on [Rolando] McClain a close call? Was it like a 51 percent-49 percent call?
Coach Jackson: It was. It really was. Obviously, I mulled that thing over and talked to several people, including teammates, my council, people that I trust. At the end of the day, the league still has to investigate this thing to see it through. I know what I know and feel very comfortable with what I know. Again, does the young man understand I was disappointed by him being ever close to any situation where anybody could say anything? Yes, he was and he is. But at the end of the day when I look at it all – I think maybe, in my opinion, when this thing all comes out, I think we'll at feel different about it. Not different about him being there. I mean he was there at a place maybe for the right reason, but at the wrong time. So yeah, it was a close call for me. Very close.
Q: From what you know, do you think a suspension is justified?
Coach Jackson: A suspension by the league?
Q: By the league…
Coach Jackson: From what I know? No, I don't. I do not feel that way so, like I said, we'll see as we move forward. Obviously the league has to do their part and when they do, they'll let me know and if the league suspends him as I said yesterday, then I will definitely come down on Mr. McClain and he knows that and understands that.
Q: Hue, when this first happened you used some strong rhetoric. You said, 'I have 52 other guys that are doing things the right way' implying that…
Coach Jackson: That was the second time, that wasn't the first time. That was after the other part came out. Yeah, that's when I made that comment because it did disturb me what was said. So, I'm like anybody else – I'm impressionable too so the things that were said, I didn't have the information that I had on Saturday. I had the information that was written, I had the information that was told to me by others. I didn't have what I knew sitting with the player face-to-face and what I've gathered; I didn't have that information. So yeah when I had first seen that, I was very disturbed. I was very tee'd off by it and if that was any way accurate, then there's no question in my mind that I would have not let him play. So, that's where that was at that time.
Q: So, you're comfortable in your mind that he's innocent?
Coach Jackson: I'm comfortable in my mind that the charges that people are saying and the things that they're saying that he did – I don't think that he did that. So if I find out differently; if I've been led down the other brick road, then I will adjust accordingly. But right now, as I've said before, I've got to stand at some point. I've got to take a stand and I'm taking a stand behind my player and this football team and the organization. So, that's where I am.
Q: Given that if you know what you know and if you think isn't guilty of all the things that you've heard but the league comes out and fines him, takes him out for a couple of games, why are you going come down hard on him?
Coach Jackson: Because that would mean that someone's not being truthful and that's the one thing that I will not deal with. I don't believe in that that way. One thing I've always said to the team – if you're going to make mistakes whether it's a play or whatever that is, then just take the hit. If you make a mistake, take the hit and then we can move forward. The faster we can move forward, the better we all are going to be and I feel very comfortable with the conversation that me and him had and, like I said, we'll see. We'll see where this thing goes.
Q: And most of your decision is based on conversation with Rolando?
Coach Jackson: No, and information gathered. Conversation with him and my own information gathered, and fact-finding and all that. I mean it takes a little bit more just to make that kind of decision for a young man.
Q: Do you think just this whole incident whether or not his presence playing this game, but just this whole incident destabilized things a little bit for this team?
Coach Jackson: I don't. I don't think so. I mean we were playing for a lot, so it wasn't – everybody said, 'was that a distraction?' I don't think so. I mean I really don't. The biggest distraction we had was the Miami Dolphins. They played better than we did yesterday and what we need to do is get back to playing ball, but I don't truly believe in my heart without any hesitation that that was a distraction to this football team at all.
Q: Coach, when you think about the pride you take in running the football and you usually do pretty successfully, two years in a row now, Miami has pretty much shut down that running game entirely. Why are they able to do that?
Coach Jackson: Mike Nolan does a great job; that's what I can tell you. Their football team, their players – they do a great against the Raiders. I mean I'm not going to – that's what it is at the end of the day. There's nothing else I can tell you; they got it done and we didn't. We have not been able to run the ball against that team for two years straight, so they provided a blueprint for everybody else so it's time for me to go back to the drawing board and we've got to get it solved. I mean that's what you have to do.
Q: Setting aside the incident with McClain, on the field having him play a different role yesterday. How much did that impact things with [Aaron] Curry moving over in that?
Coach Jackson: It didn't impact things. Curry plays linebacker, he plays linebacker, there were some nickel things that he wasn't able to practice and do because he was not here and so Curry did it. So, I don't think that impacted anything or hurt anything, or any of that. Again, I respect what you guys are all doing because there's all kinds of different storylines here. Bottom line – the Raiders didn't play good. Like I told you, that's my fault. At one time, that game was 34-0. That looked like a team that didn't come prepared, ready to play and didn't play as well as it could. For three weeks, they had just grinded out wins and I take full responsibility for that. At the end of the day, I know our players take responsibility for that. So like I said, I respect what you guys are saying and what we're doing here but the bottom line is we lost, and we didn't play good. What we need to do is get back to playing football – really good football. We're about to take a trip coming up this week, we've got to get back on a plane, pack a team and go play. I mean we're 4-2 now on the road; that's what we are and yesterday was as bad as we've played on the road this year. Again, I'll go back and relook at everything we're doing and make sure that we're doing things correctly which I think we are. I'll go back and make sure that we're eating correctly, sleeping correctly – I mean when those things happen, you go back and check it all. But at the end of the day, there's a group of men in that locker room that understand when they put the ball out there and Coach Jackson understands too that we've got to go play as well as we can play on Sunday to give yourself the best opportunity to win.
Q:Coach, did the Raiders work out a few linebackers today and if so, did that have anything to do with any potential discipline against Rolando?
Coach Jackson:No, what it had to do with is Coach Jackson is always looking for good players. I mean as I said, I'm going to continue to shake every tree and look everywhere and if a guy's out there and I think they can help us in some capacity, then that's what I'm going to do. One has nothing to do with the other. I mean I know that's what it looks like, but it doesn't.
Q:Hue, your offensive line all season long has been playing really well. They've been the strength of this team against some good defenses, but there were times yesterday when Carson [Palmer] was just getting nailed. How surprised were you to see not just you guys getting beat but how badly that line was getting beat?
Coach Jackson:Well I mean again, I understand what you're saying. We didn't play as good as we have played up front. We played against a very good defensive football team and I kept telling everybody that was a really good 3-8 football team, and people kind of laughed and said, 'Hey, but they're 3-8.' But, they're a good 3-8 team with some very good players. Our guys, there were some times when we got on the edges of guys and there were times when a guy got loose here and there but for the most part, I thought our guys fought hard. Did we finish as well as I know this team can finish? No we didn't and we can. Again, the message to both sides of the lines, offensively and defensively, we've got to come back and play with more urgency and I think we will and I know we will. That was not the football team that I know that played yesterday that way because I expect more. When I say that, I'm not saying that nobody dogged or anything - I just expect more. Just like all of you expected more, I mean that's just the bottom line. But at the end of the day, that's my job to get them able to do it and I wasn't able to get them to do it yesterday.
Q:Were there any similarities to that Kansas City game to this game early on?
Coach Jackson:No, because the Kansas City game was way different. I mean we were starting a different quarterback. Kyle Boller started that game, Carson came in; there were six interceptions. That game had a whole different feel to it, much different football game than this one. I understood the Kansas City game much more so than what I felt in this one the other day. I mean again, I know like I said I know we're digging and pushing and trying to find this answer. Here it is - we lost. You guys are going to write what you want to write and after we win, then here we go again. So, we didn't play good and we've got to get back to playing football, we got to go back to work on Wednesday and it starts in practice, it starts in meetings, and it starts in practice and then you've got to get yourself ready to go play. When they say the time of the game which they moved the game back, we've got to tear it up and play as well as we can play.
Q:Coach, you mentioned urgency. Is there some urgency to get Darren McFadden back in the lineup?
Coach Jackson:[Laughs] There's been urgency for weeks to get all of our players back as fast as we can. So again, like I said, I'm not a doctor you know I'm the coach. So when they tell me I can have these guys back is when I'll get them, but do I want them back? I wanted them back four weeks ago, five weeks ago, but I think guys are getting healthy and you guys have heard me say the term 'getting closer.' How close it is? I don't know, but I think guys are definitely getting closer to getting back out here.
Q:Is there a chance that he doesn't play for the rest of the season?
Coach Jackson:I don't think so. I think he'll be back, I really do. When that is I don't have that answer.
Q:Coach, third year in a row Richard Seymour has been thrown out of a game. I know a lot of the young defensive players look up to him as a role model. Do you think it was justified yesterday?
Coach Jackson:When I saw it and as I had seen it on videotape, no I don't. But again, they threw him out. At the end of the day, that's the call that the official made. We'll turn it in and see what the ruling is, but I thought he was really working his hands and trying to get away. Sometimes when you're using your hands, you hand might slip, might fall glancing blow off of something. Do I think he intentionally was trying to hit someone in the face? I don't, but I can understand the official's point of view if that's what he saw. Again, that's part of it and that's not something that we want to have happen. That's not something that Richard wanted to have happen.
Q:When you get on the plane after a loss like that, what do you want to see from the guys? I mean do you want to see guys who are upset, what do you want to see?
Coach Jackson:What would you like to see? What do you want? You want to see people not eat? You want to see people cry? What do I want to see? I want to see a football team that understands they just got whipped and I want to see a football team that as fast as they can get back to socializing and talking about what they need to do to win. I sit in the front of the plane, but I do walk around the plane and I understand that our football team understands the position that we're in. This is not college football or pop-warner football - these are grown men and they get paid to play; we get paid to win. We didn't do it yesterday, but I'm not taking notes on behavioral things that they do if they don't look right, or act right, or sound right. I mean come on now, let's not go there. I mean guys we're in first place in the AFC West and we act like all of a sudden the sun's down, we're about to go the other way. This team isn't doing that - those days are over, we're not doing that. We're going to get ready to play. We've got a huge game in Green Bay and we're going to go back there, and we're going to pack a good team and we're going to play as well as we can. So it isn't about the plane, it isn't about the food, it isn't about the six hour flight. The Miami Dolphins played better than the Raiders did yesterday. They did a heck of a job. Tony Sparano is a heck of a football coach, Mike Nolan and their staff beat our staff and our football team, period.
Q:How do you evaluate how Carson played and where do you think he is back to being one hundred percent Carson Palmer?
Coach Jackson:I think he's close. Again, he's going to always have things that he wishes he could do better as he continues to learn. He hasn't had really, truly a consistent line up yet. I think we all know that and that's something I want for him so much, is to have a group of guys. Now the line has been very consistent, but whether it's a moving part here or with a receiver or there things have changed for him. But I think he's getting very close. I think he's working extremely hard at it. He's throwing the ball really well, but obviously there's some throws every now and then that he wishes he had back and I understand that the timing is still getting there for him, but he's playing good. He gives us a chance to win and what we have to do is make sure that every game that we all go out there with that purpose, with that feeling of 'here we go' because he brings it and everyone else got to bring it too.
Q:How much time have you spent today on Green Bay and without just looking at their record? What have you seen on tape, how good really are they?
Coach Jackson:Oh boy, they're good. They're really good. I mean obviously they have one of the best quarterbacks in all of football and they're playing really good on defense, not as good as people would expect them to be, but they're playing good. Any time you're 12-0 you're playing really good. I have not watched much of them yet, I will here soon. They are the team in the league right now; I mean they're the team to beat. They've done a great job and Coach [Mike] McCarthy, he does a good job. So again it's going to be a great challenge but that's what the NFL is all about as I tell you. I mean these challenges don't get any easier, they get harder and the teams you play are better and that's what why we need to make sure we become better and accept these challenges and go play well.
Q:Did you think the Dolphins had added focus on slowing down the way you use Marcel Reece or was that a case of other things didn't work so you couldn't really give him the ball?
Coach Jackson:I think, no because we tried to get him involved early. We shifted him out there and they played one way and we shifted him out there again and they played another way. I mean obviously they wanted to take him out of the game and then we moved him back in the backfield and then all of a sudden you look up and the game has changed so then you have to do other things. But look, we like to have Marcel Reece on the field every play if we could but sometimes games dictate otherwise and sometimes there's things you need to do. But no, we were not trying to not showcase Marcel, sometimes people are going to do everything they can to take him away.
Q:Any update on the guys that got hurt during the game from yesterday?
Coach Jackson:I think Chaz [Schilens] probably day to day as we move forward, but I think he'll be okay. I think [Kevin] Boss will be okay as we continue to move forward. Big John [Henderson], I think with Jon we're just checking him to make sure where he is and again he'll probably be day to day also. We came out of it not too bad, but again we have some guys that we have to check and make sure they're going to be okay for this week.
Q:Any Raiders go to the Chester McGlockton services?
Coach Jackson:Yes, I'm sure that Steve Wisniewski went and Greg Biekert went. I wish I could've been there, but I needed to be here today.