Q: Short practice today?
Coach Jackson: Yeah, just wanted to get the guys back, get them running around, let them meet their teammates. This is the 2011 Raiders, have an opportunity to spend a little time with each other, do a little weight work, do a little running, and come out and do a little football.
Q: Was there a little meeting that takes place?
Coach Jackson: Absolutely. I welcomed them, congratulations. But now it's time to do what we do. Obviously smaller room, less guys, now the focus is to winning. Everything we do now is about winning football games. Not that it wasn't before, but everything we do from here on in is about winning football games.
Q: Offensive line set?
Coach Jackson: Set baby, set! You got it.
Q: So those five?
Coach Jackson: Absolutely.
Q: Are you happy with those guys?
Coach Jackson: Very. I am. I am very happy with those guys from left to right. Happy with the guys that we kept here to back up that group. I feel very comfortable and confident with the men that we have to play on the offensive line.
Q: You saw them get better?
Coach Jackson: Yes, I did. I've seen from the start of training camp a group of men start to battle, start to take coaching, and continue to get better. It was unfortunate Bruce [Campbell] was injured early, but he came on and kept competing and obviously he's here. He has a chance to be a good player. Stephon Heyer, obviously he got injured a little bit. So those guys obviously they were in the mix, not that we didn't take them out of the mix, but I wanted to keep seeing them compete. But those other five guys, they just kept battling, getting better, kept taking care of the quarterback. That's the name of the game – you have to make sure you keep your quarterback clean.
Q: Was it pretty clear that Stefen Wisniewski was going to be a starter at either center or guard early on?
Coach Jackson: It was pretty clear to me that he was one of our better football players. As I told you guys before, my job is to make sure we play our best guys. He was going to be one of the best. It didn't matter to me where he ended up being. Obviously when Sammy [Samson Satele] came back, as I told you guys, at first he was going to be center and he probably could have been at center, it all depended on how Sammy came back. And Sammy came back ready to play and got himself ready. And now you put Stefen in the next situation where he can help this football team and he's at left guard.
Q: Do you think your team is done going through the waiver wire?
Coach Jackson: We're never done. Obviously, we're going to keep trying to find ways to get this team better. That's not going to change as long as I'm here as long as Coach allows me to keep scurrying around to see what's out there so we can get our team as good as we can get it.
Q: Are you going with two quarterbacks or do you need a third guy brought in?
Coach Jackson: I feel comfortable with where we are right now. I really do. Obviously, this is all about our team. Making sure we have enough good players to go play. I think we do. I'm very happy with the two quarterbacks that we have and that was a tough call. Trent [Edwards] did some good things. He really did. That was a hard call. He's a good player and he deserves an opportunity in this league. But at this time, this is kind of where we are.
Q: How about going with the four tight ends? Is that an indication that [Kevin] Boss might not be ready?
Coach Jackson: No, what it is is that there are some talented men in that group. Not that it's an indication he wouldn't be ready. Obviously, he's not out here yet. But I think what we're doing is making sure that if he's not, that we're capable of doing what we need to do. All those guys are deserving. They're on our team. It's not like they didn't earn the right to be here. You're not giving anybody anything. I'm glad they're here and we'll go from there.
Q: Guys like [Richard] Gordon and [Joe] Porter both kind of flashed in the last preseason game. Did that force your hand in the way they played that game?
Coach Jackson: I'm not going to say forced our hand, but obviously opened our eyes that these guys were working. Again, it's about giving guys opportunities to make plays and Porter made those plays in the game, and Gordon made those plays in the game. We drafted Richard with the thought that he could do what he showed the other night. And Porter has been here and knows how to play. Again, some guys just need an opportunity to let their abilities shine and those guys did the other night.
Q: Tough to get rid of all the young DBs you had?
Coach Jackson: That's always hard, but that's part of this business. We had some young talented guys here and those guys I wish them all luck. Hopefully some of those guys get picked up other places because they're deserving. But we kept the guys we think that can help us win.
Q: Were you kind of forced to do that because you're heavily weighted at wide receiver, running back and tight end?
Coach Jackson: They say I'm an offensive coach right? There are defensive coaches and there are offensive coaches. I'm probably an offensive coach, there's no doubt. Obviously, some of the decisions probably could have gone the other way, but at this time we did what we think is truly best for our football team right now.
Q: Ricky Brown back. Did he step in like he never left?
Coach Jackson: Absolutely. We hugged this morning. 'Hey Ricky, how you doing?' 'Hey Coach, good to see you, let's go to practice.' That's basically what it was. I'm glad Ricky is back. Ricky is a veteran player, knows the lay of the land here, knows our coaches, knows me, so he's very comfortable and I'm glad he's back.
Q: How are you going to handle the practices this week late in the night? Are you going to bring in lights?
Coach Jackson: Absolutely. We're going right here at our facility getting ready for a big football game Monday night versus the Denver Broncos.
Q: So will you keep the one field or will you keep the whole place lit up?
Coach Jackson: I don't know if it's going to light up like Christmas, but I know one thing, we're going to be able to see each other, I promise you that. Our organization is willing to do whatever we need to, whatever I think we need to do, to help us win a football game. And thanks to them, that's what we're going to do this week.
Q: What's the genesis of that? Have you done that with any other organizations?
Coach Jackson: Oh yeah, the places I've been you do whatever you think it takes to put your team in the best environment to prepare to play a game. We play at night, Monday night, in Denver and I want our guys to have a feel for what that's going to be like. And that's what we're going to do. We're going to practice around that time and get ourselves ready to play.
Q: So where else have you done that with?
Coach Jackson: I've done that with Cincinnati, we've done it in Atlanta, we put ourselves in situations where if we're going to play at a different time zone a little bit, or if we're playing at night and we haven't played a ton of night games, that we make sure we're ready.
Q: Who's your punt returner?
Coach Jackson: Who's my punt returner? I'll tell you that later on in the week. Obviously, when we get an opportunity to look at special teams more, we had more of a walk-through today, but we'll know exactly who that is as we enter the end of the week.
Q: Coach, do you care at all that Terrelle Pryor is going to appeal this decision after originally saying that he wasn't?
Coach Jackson: No. If he appeals it and it works, great. If he doesn't, no big deal. Again, I'm glad he's a part of our football team, but right now the focus is not that. It is our team getting ready to play the Denver Broncos.
Q: If he doesn't appeal it or it's not successful, who will be the emergency quarterback?
Coach Jackson: His name is Shane Lechler and he's pretty good at it. I had him last year, he was my number three quarterback a year ago so I trust him. He takes snaps, he's played quarterback, and I know he can get it done in a pinch if we need him to.
Q: When you look at your practice squad guys, are you looking more as just a developmental thing or more to get your team prepared to play that week?
Coach Jackson: I think it's both because as you know, I can't tell you what else we've tried to do. You just never know, so that's what you have to do. Bring back the guys that you can have on your football team. And I'm glad those guys are here, know our system, know me, know exactly what to do. Some of it, I'm not going to tell you all of it, is not developmental. Some of these guys know how to practice, know exactly what to expect until you can get better. As you mentioned earlier, this process is going to be ongoing. I'm glad we have those guys back here because they know exactly what we're trying to do.
Q: How do access preseason? The last time the Raiders went 0-4, they finished 8-8 during the regular season. The Lions went 4-0 and lost every single game they played.
Coach Jackson: I don't like losing every single game. I'll be the first to tell you that. That was part of it, that was part of my first process, but it's behind me now. When I look at the board, it's zero-zero. That 0-4, you guys aren't going to write about that much more. This is zero-zero, and now we start the push toward playing the AFC West and it starts Monday night in Denver.
Q: You have three guys on your line, including Jared [Veldheer] who have all played center. Have you been in a situation like that where you have three starting linemen that have all had center experience at this level? And what's the benefit knowing that those three guys from a mental standpoint can all make the calls?
Coach Jackson: I've never had three guys. I've had two but never three. I think what it gives you is, it shows you the versatility of the offensive line. That those guys can play in different spots and if you go through every guy, they can do more than one thing.
Q: Is it a benefit, not just that they can play center, but knowing that they are comfortable from a knowledge standpoint?
Coach Jackson: Absolutely, that they can communicate. That they can talk about different strategy as a play is evolving and happening because they've all been there in the pit having to make a call at some point. That's a great point. Obviously, we've thought through that but I think the versatility and also that those guys can do different things among themselves and it makes them so valuable to the organization as you start to put together a team.
Q: Chaz was out there today. Is he close or could he play possibly this weekend?
Coach Jackson: Absolutely he can. I think so. I'm excited because all of our players are there today. I see guys that haven't been out running around for weeks out there playing and preparing and getting themselves ready. I feel very comfortable about where we are health-wise.
Q: Mike Mitchell was there today?
Coach Jackson: Mitchell wasn't.
Q: How comfortable are you with the depth that you have with the defensive backs?
Coach Jackson: I'm good. I'm good right now. I mean, obviously we have what we have so we've got to go play. I feel very good about the guys that are back there. Again, as I said, it's a process so we're going to keep shaking the trees and be as good as we can be and if we say 'that's all we have,' then that's all we have.
Q: The way Tyvon Branch played the ball on the interception the other night, we haven't seen a ton of that here. Are you pleased in that regard? Has Rod Woodson talked about getting those guys aggressive about going after the ball opposed to just guarding your man. Can we see more of that?
Coach Jackson: I am, I think it's coming. It's a process, our guys are working at it. It was exciting to see. Our guy made a huge play, backed up in our territory, to prevent a touchdown and all of a sudden we get the ball. We need turnover, it's something we preach through Chuck [Bresnahan], through Kevin Ross, through Rod Woodson, they've done a great job of emphasizing that. We just need to get more. That's what we talk about and that's what we hope that will happen.
Q: Was [Louis] Murphy out here? Everybody but Mitchell and Murphy?