Head Coach Hue Jackson
Q: Is Sebastian [Janikowski] looking better?
Coach Jackson: I think he's going to be back and ready to go. He's not totally back yet, but I think he's making his way back.
Q: I saw Carson [Palmer] there – He was throwing the balls out and he looked like he was getting them there. They had something behind them and he was accurate on all of them. I heard you out there. It seemed like you liked what you were seeing?
Coach Jackson: [Laughs] Well obviously, we're in week two and I think things will pick up as I said before. I think things from that prospective, from the quarterback's prospective, will pick up as we continue to practice and everybody gets used to a voice, the speed of the ball, where they should be and how they should be there. I think all of that will just happen here naturally.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish for these couple of days in this week?
Coach Jackson: Just to create some continuity with now a new quarterback with his offensive teammates. Those guys get to learn him and him get to learn them under the coaches' watchful eye for a couple of days and then let them go do what they do for three or four days as we start to continue to get back and get ready for Denver. Clean up some fundamental things offensively and defensively that I think we needed to address during the bye and keep getting better.
Q: Did it feel like a training camp practice or is this like a regular season practice?
Coach Jackson: Oh no, this was a regular season practice. Yeah no, it was, but we always have the ability to do what we call 10-10-10. We have 10 plays and 10 plays and 10 plays and it is up-tempo and it's fast and we go. But, there's still a lot of fundamental and technique things that we're working through and working on.
Q: Are you limited through the CBA on what you can do on even the practices during this bye week? I know you have to have the four days off…
Coach Jackson: No, you're not limited. It's kind of like the practices during the week, so that didn't change. So, you can still do that. The only difference is you just get them for two days and they have to have four consecutive days off.
Q: Coach, Darrius Heyward-Bey is now leading the team in receiving. How has he developed and it seems like he's taken his game to another level?
Coach Jackson: Yeah, I said before the year started it's time and he's done that. He's risen to the occasion; 27 catches, I think over 400 yards. He's doing well and he needs to continue to get better. I think the light's on; I think it's been on. Darrius has always been a hard worker. I just think more opportunities are coming his way, he's making more plays, and I think his confidence is up and he's doing well.
Q: Do you have a firm grasp on how many players are turning this into a 'stay-cation' – a learning opportunity during the bye week as opposed to going off to a beach in Bimini?
Coach Jackson: Nobody is going off to beach in Bimini. This is Coach Jackson – this is Coach Jackson's two days of physical exercise; whatever you want to call it. We're going to practice for two days. I don't think anybody has checked out. We can't; we're not in a position to check out. We're a 4-3 football team that needs to get better, so I don't get that feeling at all. As a matter in fact, there's still guys sitting there working. There's no question in my mind that this team understands what we need to do and they're working at it.
Q: Is [Richard] Seymour here this week?
Coach Jackson: No, he's here. He's here working. Obviously last week, he had some things – he was doubtful one day and I just want to make sure that I take care of his body. But, no, he's here and working. Trust me when I tell you that.
Q: John Henderson – what's his deal?
Coach Jackson: John got poked in the eye. So, we went to go make sure that that got check out but I think he's going to be fine.
Q: Is there a definite to-do list for getting Carson Palmer up to speed in terms of film, practice work. What is the to-do list?
Coach Jackson: I think the to-do list is this – one; come out to practice, get in the first huddle with the first group, call the plays the right way, make sure that your teammates understand the snap count, get the ball, make sure you can hand it to the proper person, make sure that you're seeing the defense again because you're now totally back into that mode of seeing defense and defenses are going to change on you. People are going to blitz you, some people are going to play zone, and it's going in and watching that tape. Growing from that practice and seeing – getting a feel for the receiver, getting the feel for the runners, and you start to apply that stuff to your next opponent. We're probably a couple of days away from that, but I think that's the process for him over the next several days.
Q: What are you going to do at the end of the week? Are you going to get away for a day or so?
Coach Jackson: No, I will not [laughs]. I'm not going to get away. I'll be right here. I have too much work to do as far as making sure we cross all the T's, dot all the I's. We've had some injuries that we need to continue to work through and again, try to strengthen this football team as much as we can and that's what we'll do.
Q: Status quo – [Darren] McFadden from yesterday? No check of structural damage yet?
Coach Jackson: Right. I think that part of it is fine.
Q: He has been checked for structural damage?
Coach Jackson: Yeah. I think all that is fine and I think what we'll do is just continue to move forward and see exactly where he is as far as can he run, can he not run, what's going to be the diagnosis for what it is – mid-foot sprain and we'll go from there.
Q: How are you doing with the learning curve of all the responsibilities you have? Not only as coach, but all the other stuff that you have going on? I mean it's got to be something you haven't faced before and it's got to be something that it comes to you and you grow…
Coach Jackson: Oh no, you grow. You hit speed bumps; you hit a speed bump here or there, but one thing that I know about myself is that pushes me even harder. I love challenges and opportunities and sometimes, that's what life is all about. So, I have a total faith in myself, this organization and what we're trying to do. Everybody keeps talking about I'm doing so much more; I don't see it that way. I'm being honest, I don't. I know right now I've got to get this offense back to where it needs to be and that starts with making sure the quarterback is prepared to play and ready to play at a high level.
Q: Has there been a biggest lesson learned so far as you've taken on this challenge?
Coach Jackson: Probably my biggest lesson learned is keep the faith. I have a lot of faith in a higher power than all this, so I don't get worried and down and upside down like most people do. I just get up, put my feet on the ground, pray and keep moving forward. So, it's a tremendous challenge, but I love it. There's no other place I would rather be than this right now. I would rather have a better record than 4-3, but other than that, there's nothing that's all of a sudden, 'Oh my gosh, what have I gotten myself into.' This has been fun. This is a tremendous opportunity, it's an unbelievable responsibility, but I truly believe without any shadow of a doubt that we're going to get to where we need to be.
Q: There were some high hopes for Bruce Campbell coming into this year. What's held him back?
Coach Jackson: I don't know that – I think the injury coming into training camp, not being able to compete right away. It's just like several of our guys, even Louis Murphy. You don't get a chance to get in training camp and get caught up, so you're behind. So, you find yourself always trying to catch up to a guy that's taking every rep, trying to compete with that guy and you get into the season and here we go. You've got to play the guys that know what to do, how to do it, and how to do it well. I still think for Bruce, the sky is the limit. We're going to play him at probably a bit more tackle and see if he's more of a tackle than a guard but I think he's got a bright future ahead of himself.
Q: Will you be able to use these two practices for some of these guys that haven't been able to get the reps?
Coach Jackson: Absolutely and that's part of it too. The guys who need to improve fundamentally and those decisions you need to make of moving a guy here, moving a guy there. You get to do that now and get a good look at them.
Q: Usually with division opponents, you get to play them twice a year and you get familiar with them. You get to know them and understand them. How different is this Broncos game going to be? The Raiders have a new quarterback and Broncos have a new quarterback. How different is that game going to be from week one?
Coach Jackson: I think from that standpoint, it'll be a little different, but the structure of what they've been on defense and still the structure of what they've been on offense – running the ball, trying to throw the ball the way they throw it; I don't think that's changed. When I looked at them the other day, they looked faster on defense than what they looked the first time we played them and they were really good on defense. So they're a good football team; I know they've got a big game this week and we'll get a chance to watch that. But, we're looking forward to getting back on the field. We wish we were playing this week, we're not, so we've got to temper down a little bit, get ourselves healthy, and get ready to come back and play next week.
Q: Do you seem to be able to get [Kevin] Boss integrated in the passing game more as you're going passed the bye? He started off with an injury, the last couple of games there's been quarterback issues; I think that's had something to do with it. I think he's had three passes thrown to him the last couple of games and one was from the holder…
Coach Jackson: [Laughs] For a touchdown. No, we'll try. As I told you, we'll do anything we can to score points. If he's the guy that can make plays for us and give us that spark, give us an opportunity to make some huge plays, we'll do that. I mean we're not going to omit anybody that can make a play for us.
Q: You mentioned Campbell as more of a tackle. Do you see [Joseph] Barksdale as more of a guard then?
Coach Jackson: I see Barksdale as still with the ability to play both because he's played both in games for us. In our jumbo packages, he goes into the goal line and plays guard. In our heavy packages, he goes in and plays tackle. So, I think he can do them both. He's done them both and done them both pretty well.
Q: Talk about what the interaction has been between you and Carson.
Coach Jackson: Oh yeah well, he's veteran player and he knows some of that has to be waters off a duck's back. I put him in a very tough situation, but it was a situation that he was willing to go in and compete in. So, I understood what the situation was. I knew that those things could happen. I knew it could go really well, I knew it could go really bad and obviously, it went the latter part. But, I think me and him both know why that was and we understand that and we don't want that to happen again. That's why we're out here practicing like we're practicing. We're going to get ourselves ready to play big-time football the way we know how to play.
Q: Are you saying you asked him whether or not he wanted to go in?
Coach Jackson: Oh yes I did. I didn't just throw him in the game. I mean to me – when a guy comes off the couch, I go back to what I said before, I never said I was playing Carson Palmer. What I said is I'm going to make sure this guy's ready to go. My plan was to put him in late in the game and let him hand the ball off so he can get the feel of the game. As the game started to go and I had a sense that it was going the other way, here was an opportunity to put him in and let him get his feet wet because he's not going to get a preseason game. I think it's hard to go play your first game against Denver and have no snaps, no nothing and here these guys are coming at you at 1000 miles per hour. Well I mean obviously, the game got away from us here. I put him in, I was looking for a spark, but I was also giving him an opportunity to get in the game. We had a competitive environment and have an opportunity to play before we really truly put him in and say, 'Carson, you need to go win a game.' So I think I put him in a really tough spot, he was willing to go in and do it, and I think he did a remarkable job under the circumstances. So here we sit today, we've got some practice time, he'll get some practice time with his teammates. I expect a whole different Carson Palmer when we get ready to play Denver.
Q: Do you see progress in [Aaron] Curry from his first game to his second?
Coach Jackson: I've seen tremendous progress in him. I think this guy's been one of the brighter spots on our defense. He's done a good job. He brings the energy, a passion, he's making plays, he's around the ball and I think he loves playing football.
Q: Besides [DeMarcus] Van Dyke's speed, what convinced you about him that he could do this? That he could step in and start?
Coach Jackson: When we drafted him, like you said, he had tremendous speed, but he also had suddenness and quickness and he has that ability to close. The question was he going to be physical enough because of his stature to go play and that's hard. We've seen it in special teams and we've seen it in the way he played at Miami, so I didn't have that question. It was just how fast could he get used to this speed of the game at this level and obviously, he took his lumps early in the preseason. People went after him and I think people are finding out that he's very resilient, that he keeps working at it, he's not going to back down, and now he's starting to make some plays. He's made an interception here or there and I think people are starting to see this guy's got ability and talent and I think his confidence is growing because of it.
Q: Coming off a 28-0 loss is not something any team wants to do going into a bye week, but does the quarterback situation mitigate that circumstance at all? Does the team seem to understand that, 'Well hey, we had this thing going on?'
Coach Jackson: Well here's the deal – we don't make any excuses. We lost. We lost 28-0. I'm not going to blame it on the quarterback situation, I'm not going to blame it on anything. I'm not going to blame it on what everybody else wants to blame it on; we lost. That's the nature of the business in the National Football League. Sometimes you're going to have to get another quarterback if somebody gets hurt, or a runner, or a linemen or whatever that is. I didn't get it done and that's what I said and I'm going to stand on that; my team knows that. I was disappointed that we didn't play as well as I think we could. We practiced extremely well last week and the way we practiced didn't match the performance in the game, so I take full responsibility for that.
Q: Facing [Tim] Tebow this week, does Terrelle Pryor help you prepare for a guy like Tebow?
Coach Jackson:Oh, I think he can. I think he can because he can run around and make those kinds of plays. I mean we'll use him over there when that time comes, most definitely. I think having a guy – he's not Tebow by any stretch of imagination, but I think he has ability that can run around and show our defense a different face during the week, no question.