Head Coach Hue Jackson. Photo by Tony Gonzales
Coach Jackson: Alright, how's everybody doing? Obviously from this medical report, the only thing that's different is [Sebastian] Janikowski – left hamstring. Other than that, it was the same as yesterday so I don't have to go back through it again for everybody.
Q: With Janikowski, it was something where he was hurt a couple of weeks ago, but it wasn't an issue in the game?
Coach Jackson: Yeah, kind of flared up. Flared up a little bit, so we'll see where we are.
Q: With [Rolando] McClain now being two days without practice, is that a concern for this weekend?
Coach Jackson: I don't think so. We'll see. Again, we have another day of practice so we'll see if we can get him out there tomorrow. But again, we have big games so I'm worried about all the other guys that are out there working and getting better. That's what I have to do and that's what we're doing.
Q: Coach, what have you seen from Carson [Palmer] that shows he can be effective throwing the deep ball after these first couple of practices?
Coach Jackson: He can throw it [laughs]. He can throw it; I've always known he can throw it, so all that stuff about his arm strength and all that other stuff people talk about – I don't subscribe to any of that. I mean I go by what I see, I go by what I've witneseds, the guy can throw the ball as well as he's ever thrown it and he's doing well.
Q: How did he come back his second day?
Coach Jackson: His body feels better. I mean I think his body's fine. Obviously, I'll get another day to get a chance to see him move around with this football team and get more reps but I think we're on course to where we need to go. Again, there's no decision. Again, everybody's wondering about who's going to start, whose going to do this and whose going to do that. As you guys know, I don't have to make that decision, I don't have to anytime soon. Sometime maybe tomorrow evening, I'll figure it out. But right now, I'm not in a rush. There's no reason to rush.
Q: Is the biggest factor just how he feels?
Coach Jackson: No, there are a lot of factors. It's how he feels, it's how the team responds, it's how the offense responds; there's so many things to consider and work through. So I mean, it's not like overnight you make that decision. This is different. I know everybody compares the Aaron Curry situation, but this is different for me personally. I mean this is – that was a linebacker who had put in a game and I think somebody said it best; he had been practicing. This is – I mean we brought a guy in that I've got to make sure that everything's right and again, this is about our team. Putting our team in the best situation to win and at the end of the day, that's what this is going to be about. I just laugh at all the reports that, 'He's starting.' Somebody has made all those decisions for me. Thank you, I appreciate it. Some people might get their feelings hurt, some people might not get their feelings hurt. We'll see, okay? And we'll go from there.
Q: What do you see from the Chiefs?
Coach Jackson: I see a really good football team.
Q: They've had some significant injuries earlier in the season…
Coach Jackson: They don't have them now. I'll tell you that much. They're playing good and as I keep saying, this is a division game and these guys are going to come in here and they're going to be ready to play. We've got to be ready to play also and this is a big game for our football team, this organization, this city, for everybody and I hope everybody is out there at the game screaming and yelling in the O because we need you all. I mean this is a huge, huge game for our season and this team needs everybody there for them.
Q: Who had the most snaps with the first team offense?
Coach Jackson: Wouldn't you love to know that. Oh wow! You need to know. You know what – I've got more friends right now than I've ever had in my life. There's more media here than ever. My phone will not quit buzzing. I've got people saying I'm your friend from way back when, like I'm going to tell somebody something. I ain't telling anybody anything, so you guys can all stop now. I mean I'm just telling you right now, I don't have to. That's the good part.
Q: Are you going to wait until game time?
Coach Jackson: I may and I may not. I mean I'm being honest with you; I may and I may not because obviously, I've got to make sure that our team and that these players know exactly what's going on. But today – today's Thursday. We've got several hours before we get ready to play. I love that you guys keep trying though. I mean you guys are good at it, but no.
Q: So we call you tomorrow night?
Coach Jackson: Yeah, if you have my number. I know you don't have my number, so everything will be cool. If you guys can get my number, please tell me. I keep telling everybody, 'How did are they getting my number?' I mean it's amazing but no, the truth of this whole situation is that I still need to evaluate this young man and give him an opportunity to feel comfortable with our football team, with himself, where he is, from the whole standpoint of this whole thing. I mean it's been two days and like you said, he's been sitting on the couch. So, what I want to do is make sure that at the end of the day that I'm making the right decision for our football team, for the organization, for him, for everybody, and that's what you have to do.
Q: Is using Kyle [Boller] and Carson both an option in the game?
Coach Jackson: He just did it with a different spin to it. I like the way you did it though [laughs]. You didn't mention Terrelle [Pryor]? Come on! I mean everybody's an option. I mean I could use Jacoby Ford back there if I have to. I mean we have all kinds of different packages we could use. Anything and everything is up and available right now. Just let me tell you that.
Q: Has Carson Palmer made progress since yesterday?
Coach Jackson: Yes he has, oh yeah. I think understanding what we're trying to do, calling the plays, understanding the snap count. I think the team is getting more comfortable with how he says it. Obviously, you've had different voices out here for quite a few days since training camp and now all of a sudden, here's a different voice. So, the team has to get used to that too. That's what I'm saying – there's several factors that we weigh in here and we'll continue to do so.
Q: Hue, no matter who it is, it's not Jason. You gave Jason some freedom to work at the line of scrimmage and check in and out of plays. Whoever goes, will they have that same kind of freedom or do you have to reign it in a little bit more?
Coach Jackson: No, they will because that's how we play. If it's Kyle, he'll go do a great job. If it's Carson, he'll do a great job. If it's Terrelle, he'll do a great job because they understand that's kind of how we play on offense.
Q: Are you like ramping up and accelerating the learning curve for Palmer this week?
Coach Jackson: Yeah. I mean I threw him in there yesterday. That's what you expect a pro to do. Prepare at night time, come out to practice and be ready to go. That's what he gets paid to do and that's what he's doing. Kyle's done it, Terrelle's done it and now he has to do it and again, I'm not going to scale back this week what our offense needs to be to give us the best chance to win. What he needs to do is learn it. He's been around me, he knows what to do and he'll get better at it.
Q: How similar is this system to what he ran before?
Coach Jackson: Very. There are some things that are a little different, but there's a lot of carryover for him too. There are things – I can say things to him because I've been around him and relate it to something and then he got it. So, that's the beautiful part about me and his relationship. There's certain things I can pull from the past with him and say, 'That's this' and he goes, 'Okay, got it.'
Q: Even back to the USC days?
Coach Jackson: Oh, we can do that too. You can ask him about the old brown shoe. He'll tell you about that. He'll make you laugh.
Q: [Todd] Haley and Matt Cassel in our conference call said the biggest difference that they've seen in the Raiders is they're bringing more pressure the past couple of weeks than they've ever seen the Raiders bring. Is that something that's come about because you've stopped the run and you're able to bring pressure? Is it just trying to put guys you think are good pass rushers in positions to do those things?
Coach Jackson: I think it's a combination of all of the above. I think we're putting our players in great situations to make plays, I think we can be a very good pressure team. I think it assists us in sometimes getting people off the field; I think it's a combination of everything. But we still are a man team and we play a little zone every now and then, but I want to mix it up. I don't want to play the same thing all the time. It's been pretty vanilla here in the past and I think guys have kind of known how to attack us. Not that people beat us that way but I think we need to get better, do things differently, and give these players more opportunity to have success.
Q: Richard Seymour's so soft-spoken when we talk to him off the field. He seems so even-keeled. When does he flip the switch?
Coach Jackson: Oh boy! [Laughs] He flips that switch when he walks in that locker room. When it's time to play, he is a big time football player. I love coaching him and again, he's been a great sounding board for me with everything that's gone on because he's been through it. He knows what it takes to win, he prepares, knows how to help prepare his teammates and that's all you can ask. He's pro.
Q: Is he playing some of the best football he's played?
Coach Jackson: I think he is; I truly believe he is. He's somebody I can really truly count on. I mean our players – the number one thing I tell them is one, you can't get hurt, you can't. The guy fights through so much for this football team, so he's one of the most accountable players on this team. I can depend on him being out there practicing; depend on him showing up at the game and playing as well as he can play.
Q: Is blitzing more something you want to do coming into the season?
Coach Jackson: It's something I think teams have a hard time with. It's just something I truly believe in. I think you have to get after people. If I want to go down, I want to go down bombing everything; it's just the way I feel about it. I don't want to be sitting back, watching and having people go get us. We've done a good job, Chuck's done a great job; our personality here is changing a little bit that way and deservingly so. I think our players enjoy it, but we also have to be smart when we do it too. We don't want to be – just do whatever for the sake of doing it. We've got to do it and be smart about doing it.
Q: Last year you played two very different games against the Chiefs. You have the overtime game here and then it was a bit of a blowout at Kansas City. How different are the Chiefs from last year and how much can you draw from those two games a year ago?
Coach Jackson: They're different because there is a little bit different personnel. Obviously, last year was last year. As I told our players – what happened last year doesn't matter. We've got to do it this year. They're a good football team, I think we're a good football team and the team that wants it the most will be the team that wins the game. It's going to be a really rough, physical, tough football game but I truly believe we're just the men for the job. I think we're ready to play and we'll be ready. We have one more great day of practice to iron out some things, but I think we're getting there.
Q: It's a rivalry and the Chiefs have had some success even in Oakland recently. I know you weren't here but what do you think…?
Coach Jackson: I don't know. They've just come here and won. They've come here and beat our football team. I can't give you why or anything like that. I know this – when you play games like this and there's a rivalry, all that other stuff that's gone on in the past you can throw out the window. I think they understand who we are, we understand who they are, and the team that lines up and makes the fewest mistakes and plays the hardest is going to win the game. That's what I expect my football team to do. I expect us to go play the way the Raiders play and go win a game.
Q: How have you guys overcome the loss of [Matt] Shaughnessy the past couple of weeks and how has [Desmond] Bryant done in that respect and going forward?
Coach Jackson: They've done a great job; next man up. Again, you guys have never heard me complain about injuries. You never will hear me complain about injuries; I don't believe in that. I think we have a really good football team. I think we have some players that don't have the opportunity sometimes because they're not starters but when something happens to a guy who's a starter, it's the next guy's opportunity and that's how we go about it. That's what we talk about. We don't blink when it comes to nothing; we just show up, the next guy goes in there and you play as well as you can play. If we have an opportunity to get better and get a better player on our team, then that's what we do but you don't have that opportunity all the time. The next guy's got to step up and play. That's what we do.
Q: Coach, is Carson's biggest hurdle physical or mental?
Coach Jackson: I think it's both. The physical has to be a huge part of the mental too and the mental has to be a part of the physical. I think they kind of work hand in hand because if your body is really tired, mentally, it's going to take away from you and if mentally, you're trying to learn it all, then physically you might not be on top of it. But I think again, he has some physical capacity that he's already worked towards and now, I think he's shaping the mental part of it of learning the system, learning his teammates and all the things that go with that. I think he's doing a great job, personally. I mean I think the guy is doing exactly what I thought he could do and that's why he's here. So, we'll continue to move forward as we go.