Head Coach Hue Jackson. Photo by Tony Gonzales
Q: Hue, you had to play a game on Sunday. How was it coming back to the facility after what you went through with Al [Davis] over the weekend?
Coach Jackson: Today was great. We had a great meeting prior to coming out here. I think we're getting ready to play a big football game this weekend against the Cleveland Browns and that's what we're looking forward to.
Q: Did the meeting have anything to do with, 'Look, I know we've been through a lot but we've got to zero in on business here' or did you even address that?
Coach Jackson: I did a little bit really quickly because I think we're going to give respect to where it should be. Obviously, Coach – like I told them, we'll obviously miss him but we have a job to do. Here's the bottom line and I keep telling everybody this – Coach wouldn't want it any other way. He doesn't want anybody in there talking about him or going through this, that and the other. He wants this football team to play football and I can feel that coming through me; I just really do. That's my message to these guys. We've done our grieving, we've paid the respects the right way and we'll continue to do so. But, the most important thing we've got to do is play a Cleveland Browns football team that's coming in here to beat us.
Q: I mean from a distance, you can almost sit back and look at it saying you can look at this as being a real trap?
Coach Jackson: Trap? This isn't a trap; this is real. If we're going to play good, it's a trap. Bottom line – we got to go play and I expect that team to play good. I don't think – like I said, we respect this situation but we also understand what's at hand here. We're at home, we're in front of our fans, huge football game for us because it's the next one, and we're playing the Cleveland Browns; they're from the AFC North. I used to be in that division and that division is tough. They're rough and that's what they're coming here to do and we've got to get ready for it.
Q: First look at the Browns…
Coach Jackson: Good. They're a good football team. They're a .500 team, they have a really good running back; I mean, Peyton Hillis is as good as there is in the league. I mean the guy is a beast and he'll run you over. I mean there is no question about that. They've got a good offensive line, a young quarterback who is talented, some talented receivers – Josh Cribbs is a nightmare. I mean he's one of the best players in football, no doubt about it, and we've got to make sure we get that young man stopped. On defense, they're young and they're talented. I mean D'Qwell Jackson, [Ahtyba] Rubin; the defensive tackle Phil [Taylor] I mean come on, these guys are good. So, we've got to get ready for this football team and I think that's what we're going to do.
Q: Last week, you said your message was consistency. Do you kind pick up where that is as the team tries to for the first time this season really string together back-to-back victories?
Coach Jackson: No. We've got to take it to another level. It's not about consistency right now. Consistency is taking it to another level. We need to get better and we still haven't played our best football and we need to do that. We need to continue to get better and grind on this thing, get as good as we can.
Q: How is it different preparing for Hillis as opposed to [Arian] Foster?
Coach Jackson: This guy; Foster is a glider and he's got great quickness, not that Peyton Hillis doesn't, and he's more that natural flowing back. This guy right here will run you over, okay. When you get in his way, you better get ready to get bruised up and everybody needs to go get their massages and all the other little fufu stuff we need to do before we play these guys because you are going to have to come with your "A" game to get this guy down, I promise you that.
Q: Any surprise with Hillis? He was Darren McFadden's blocking back at Arkansas and now he's the feature tailback…
Coach Jackson: Yeah, that's at Arkansas and in the National Football League, he's been a nightmare. So, I'm not surprised by it. He's a really good player and we respect that but we look forward to the challenge.
Q: How much of a luxury is it having [Sebastian] Janikowski in terms of the length of the field goals he can kick?
Coach Jackson: It's really comfortable. It feels really good to know that if you go on the other side of the 50, you've got a guy that you look at him and say, 'Go kick it.' I mean that's how good he is and I don't want to jinx him. The guy's a tremendous player and I have so much confidence in him. But, we need to make sure we make some first downs so we can get the ball into this end zone. That's what we need to do on offense. We need to hold up our end of the bargain.
Q: Speaking of offense; with Terrelle Pryor's first real practice today, what does he add to the squad? What kinds of dimensions does he bring?
Coach Jackson: He's another athlete who has the ability to play quarterback. We drafted him; I think he's very talented. Today was the first day back with his teammates where he can be out there where I can really evaluate him and see him. I thought he did some good things, but we'll continue this week to do that – to get him back in the mix with his teammates so that I can see him a little bit more, evaluate that talent and see where I can put it.
Q: Do you use him as a scout quarterback or do you want him to learn your offense?
Coach Jackson: He needs to do both. He needs to learn our offense, no question, but he also needs to play and it's hard to do. Jason [Campbell] is our starter, obviously, Kyle [Boller] is our backup, and right now, he's getting the opportunities that he gets and he is going to earn what he gets. He's talented and I'm looking forward in continuing to work with him.
Q: What was he like as he was going to meetings the last five weeks?
Coach Jackson: Very attentive, takes a lot of notes, asks a lot of questions just like you would like a young quarterback to be. I mean he's spent a lot of time out here preparing himself and getting ready. I could not be a part of it as part of this coaching staff, but the young man worked. I could tell that he did a lot of work prior to today. I mean it shows that he's gotten better.
Q: Did you know immediately on Sunday that you had 10 men on the field on that last play?
Coach Jackson: No, I did not know immediately. I knew after I had taken a shower, so it made me truly understand that there is somebody upstairs and Coach Davis watching over this football team. But, that's over with; we're beyond that now. We've got to get ready for the Cleveland Browns. That's all that's on my mind right now; I'm being very honest when I tell you guys that. This team is a very resilient team, very hardworking team, but we know we've got a big football game this week that we've got to get ready for.
Q: Do you think you'll have [Louis] Murphy?
Coach Jackson: There's a chance. He did a little bit more today than he did last week and I don't want to push it. Again, he hasn't done anything and I don't want to put a guy out there where we can take a chance with us having a setback or something like that. But, we'll see where we are as we move forward in the week.
Q: He's not limited, is that a good sign?
Coach Jackson: Absolutely, that's a really good sign. But again, it's how you feel the next day after having a grueling practice. You come back the next day and it's how your body responds to practice.
Q: How about Cleveland's defense?
Coach Jackson: They're good. They're really good. As I said earlier, those two inside tackles they have, the middle linebacker I think is playing exceptional, Chris Gocong is playing unbelievable for them at will backer. Joe Haden's a corner; I know he's been nicked a little bit but he's a really fine player and they've got this guy, number 43 [T.J. Ward]. Oh my gosh, he's good! I mean they're a good defensive football team. It's a heck of a challenge for our offense, but that's the way it is in the National Football League. We're not seeing anything we haven't seen, but I have great respect for their football team.
Q: With what Darrius [Heyward-Bey] was able to do in that game last week, was that something you guys saw you could take advantage of against the Texans or did you see Jason gaining more confidence in Darrius?
Coach Jackson: I think Jason's always had confidence in him. I think Darrius, obviously, put two good weeks back-to-back together and I don't know if that it is confidence more so its that's where when I call the play, that's where it should go and the execution was really crisp and really good. But, I think they're in sync with each other right now and I think they're doing some good things.
Q: How much has he progressed?
Coach Jackson: I only hear all the stories I've heard and just like with all these guys – when I first got here, the slate was clean and we started to build these men on how they need to be built in my opinion. It's a process to everything we do and I just think he's in the middle of that process and he's getting better and better every day. If he continues to work like he has, he'll continue to get better.
Q: The outpouring of fan support has been tremendous. To see them here Sunday night was spectacular. What do you expect on Sunday?
Coach Jackson: A full house. Everybody's going to be there supporting this team, remembering our great leader, Coach Davis, and cheering us on to victory hopefully. I mean that's what we're all about; that's the way it should be every week. I hope it's not just because of what happened with Coach. I hope it's truly because people want to get behind this football team because – I've always said it, but the time is now.
Q: Any chance [Matt] Shaughnessy and Reece are back this week?
Coach Jackson: We'll see. We'll find out more as we go through the week and I'll most definitely let you guys know.
Q: Jason got hit more this last game than he had been. Was there something or just credit to Houston?
Coach Jackson: Yeah, they're good. They're a good football team. We got on the edge on some guys. I didn't think we played like we could play; I truly didn't, but I thought what our team did was handle the adversity and kept working and eventually things started to work out for us. That's pro football as you guys all know. To me, that's the start, the makeup of a good football team when it doesn't go as good as you want it to but you just keep playing. You find a way to win the game and you find a way to make yards and you just keep grinding through it. To me, that's when you know you're becoming something.
Q: Who was taking reps in Rolando's [McClain] place today?
Coach Jackson: [Darryl] Blackstock.
Q: Are you guys moving [Nic] Grigsby to DB?
Coach Jackson: I probably will take a look at him over there. I'll look at him in both places, just kind of see where he is, give him an opportunity. The young man's here; why not? See what the guy's got.