Head Coach Hue Jackson's post practice press conference. Photo by Tony Gonzales
Q: Is Huff – does that mean he had a setback?
Coach Jackson: Well, we'll see. We're going to still take it day by day to see where we get him at.
Q: But he passed everything, right?
Coach Jackson: Yeah, I think everything's passed. Now, it's just a matter of making sure he's up and ready to go. But that's the only change in the medical report.
Q: How has Marcel Reece progressed and how is he looking for this weekend?
Coach Jackson: We'll see. Obviously, he hasn't been out here in the last couple of days and he's got one more day for me. I like to make sure guys run around and do something before we put them out there. We'll see where he is tomorrow. That's all I can do when I go in; go check on him, get a feel for it and if not, we'll go from there.
Q: Jacoby [Ford] and Darren [McFadden] looking good?
Coach Jackson: Oh yeah. I think those guys are fine; I really do. They've been out there practicing, so I think they'll be fine.
Q: Mike Mitchell?
Coach Jackson: He looks really well. Again, obviously he was there today so it was great because everything is going on schedule. So again, we'll just see where he is tomorrow. You've got to be smart and we'll go from there.
Q: Mitchell did such a great job against tight ends last year. How important will it be to get him back?
Coach Jackson: Oh, he's very important – just the fact that he can be back out there playing. I think it's great because we need him. He's a good football player, one of the better players on our team, and he brings a lot of energy. If he's able to go, we'll stick him out there. That's for sure.
Q: A lot of people have been talking about how New England hasn't been running the ball. How do you game plan against them? You can't just go pass-heavy, right?
Coach Jackson: Well, I think Tom Brady is the focus of their offense and they go as he goes. He throws it really well. I know everybody talks about their running game but, I don't know that it's ever been about the running game. I think it's really about how he's playing and obviously he's one of the best players in this league. They tend to mix up the run after they decide they don't want to pass it. I'm sure they'll do whatever they feel they need to do to win a football game. Whether it's running or throwing, that's what they're going to do.
Q: Michael Huff not practicing on a Thursday, usually a big day. Is that a bad sign for him on Sunday?
Coach Jackson: I'm not going to say it's a bad sign. I'm going to say that obviously we're being overly cautious to make sure that he's where he needs to be. We've got to put healthy players out there. I told the team that from day one. I mean if you can't help us from a physical standpoint, then we don't want to stick you out there for one, you, most importantly, for the player but also for our team because we want to make sure healthy guys out there playing. We've got another couple of days and a ton of hours to get to where we need to be with him and see where he is.
Q: How many reps had [Richard] Gordon got at full back prior to this week?
Coach Jackson: The game [laughs]. No, he's had a few. He's a very smart, bright, young man and so I feel very comfortable with him. He does a lot of things well and he'll go back there if that's what we need to do. He'll go back there and do well. I really believe that and he's doing a good job.
Q: Coach Wylie – how did you find him?
Coach Jackson: We have some mutual friends and I know some people that he knows real well. I was looking for a guy that can teach in my vision and a guy who I thought would drive the men to be what we need an offensive line to be. He came well-recommended to me by several people and after sitting down and talking with him at the Senior Bowl, we spent several hours there talking – me, him, and Coach Saunders - and I was impressed. He has the characteristics that I'm looking for and then you combine him with Coach Wisniewski and then you get a really good tandem there teaching. So, that's where that came from but he's everything I thought he would be and more. I'm really glad he's here and he's done a sensational job, but we've got a long way to go and I think he understands that.
Q: A lot of people have seen the block that Samson [Satele] delivered on Denarius' [Moore] reverse, but how is he playing overall? Is he playing better than he did a year ago?
Coach Jackson: I think the whole group is. I just think year two in a system that they understand and know and making calls, I think all those guys from a year ago are playing better. He's done a very good job and that was a tremendous block the other day. I keep seeing how people are talking about how people blocked us, but trust me when I tell you we blocked some people too. No doubt about that.
Q: You mentioned your respect for Coach Belichick from the Patriots. How excited are you to match wits with him, staff for staff, player for player?
Coach Jackson: Great. I'm excited about it; I have to be every week. This is the test every week. This is the best of the best – best players, best coaches in the world. That's what pro football is; it's the best of the best week in and week out. He's a tremendous coach and we all know that and he has a very good football team, but we feel like we have a pretty good staff too and we have a very good football team. So, we're looking forward to it and plus, I know that stadium, Raider Nation, and the 'O' will be rocking so that's our other coach – that's our 12th man. They'll show up and we will too.
Q: What does it mean to get a back-to-back sellout?
Coach Jackson: It's tremendous. It truly means that the fans are beginning to truly like and understand what we're doing here and I thank them for that. Our players do and organization does, now we need to go out and play Raider football the way we know we can play and give them something to keep screaming about.