QB Jason Campbell answers questions from the media. Photo by Tony Gonzales.
Q: Backed up to your one and you took a shot on that one. When you let go of the ball, did you think you guys had it because it looked like it for a second there?
Campbell: Yeah, when I let it go, I put a lot of air on it to try to give him an opportunity to run under it. I guess it tends to fade just a little bit and at the end we missed by what, six inches? That's tough. But I was glad Coach made the call because it means he has trust in us to make that big play. If we make it, we're at the 50-yard line and who knows what happens after that.
Q: How much easier is it for you when you're able to run the ball the way you were?
Campbell: That's going to help open the passing game and everything. There are a lot of things we had up in the passing game to do in that game, but we didn't get to it because we were running the ball so successfully. Coach said he wanted to stick with it until it was stopped. Darren [McFadden] had a great game, [Michael] Bush came in and finished the game so when you're rushing the ball like that, you're don't do anything to get away from it, especially in a game like that where it is kind of rainy and muggy.
Q: When you're going up against [Elvis] Dumervil, Von Miller, keep those guys on their heels like that, did you know going into the game that, 'okay, this could be one of those games?'
Campbell: Yeah, we definitely, you could tell by our game plan it was going to be one of those type of games. We also had other stuff just in case it wasn't. As a quarterback, I've been in games like that before, where your defense is playing so great, then you're rushing the ball really good. As a quarterback you try to maintain on 3rd down and in the red zone get us in the end zone, don't do anything to mess the vibe up because guys were playing very physical, guys were being violent out there, flying around, and making plays. There will be games where we'll have to lean on the pass so it goes hand in hand.
Q: How did you feel overall that you managed the game and having your second year with Hue [Jackson] and going through that?
Campbell: I feel really good. A lot of people like to base things off of stats, but I don't, because there are games where I've thrown for 300-plus yard and four or five times in my career we've lost. There are games, like you had the game the other night, where you just have to manage the game and you win. So I think that any quarterback if you say, 'do you want to throw for 300 or would you rather throw for whatever you throw for and win the game,' they say I'd rather win at the end of the day. That's pretty much the game that was called for us Monday night and that's how we went.
Q: What types of problems does Buffalo present defensively?
Campbell: They're a young team like us pretty much, but they can move around, they can make plays. Their defensive front is guys that get after the ball. They put up a lot of points last week against Kansas City and we all know Kansas City is a good football team and the way they went on the road and won last week defines what kind of team they have and the mentality they have going in Buffalo.
Q: Did it surprise you what they did, 4-12 last year, and open right out of the gates?
Campbell: Coach always tells us that you never know. Coach Saunders was with St. Louis a year they went 3-13 and the next year they won the Super Bowl. So you just never know because every year is so different, year in and year out. It's all about how your team comes together and who makes the biggest growth in the offseason.
Q: Looks like there is a chance that [Kevin] Boss is back this week. What would that mean for you guys and the offense?
Campbell: That'd be big, you know, finally get most of our guys back. Something we haven't been able to do quite consistently during training camp and in preseason. It would be fun if we could get everyone back completely healthy and throw all our guys out there and let them make plays for us.
Q: How'd he look out there? I know he's running patterns, catching balls.
Campbell: He looks good. I said it was probably a good thing he didn't play in Denver because he probably would have lost his air in the first quarter because he hadn't been able to run in awhile. But now he's looking good. He's fresh, he's running around out here in practice and trying to get his rhythm back. It's tough when you only have a chance to play one preseason game, like Jacoby [Ford] only played five plays in the preseason because of injury. It's kind of like trying to build a rhythm back.
Q: You guys showed a lot of different looks in the first four or five plays of the game. Is that just a small snippet? Are there a lot more you guys can show?
Campbell: We had a lot of different plays up for that game. Like I said, we didn't get to it based off how the game was going. We just stuck with what was working and we didn't try to go away from it. I thought Hue did a good job of keeping us in situations, especially when you're riding your horse like Darren, the guy is running the football the way he's running the football, the way our line was coming off the ball and making plays, you don't get away from it when it's so successful.
Q: You guys weren't able to get the ball to the wideouts as often as you usually are. How much of that is keeping in extra guys to block and how much of it was that you didn't need to take the risk?
Campbell: A lot of it was just based off the coverages they were giving sometimes. The other part of it was we didn't have to take the risk because we were running the ball really well. We were getting 19 yards a pop and you're running time off the clock because we had a lead. All that stuff plays a factor in it. At the same time, we know there's a time where our guys are going to make plays down the field on the ball. They've done it before. It's been one of those games where we've won games like this and then you win games another way next week. We play the game and see how it plays out.
Q: Darrius [Heyward-Bey] did have three or four catches, some of them clutch. That must have been nice for you guys to see that and get his confidence up.
Campbell: Yeah, the one biggest catch no one is really talking about is the one with like two minutes and something to go, 2nd and 10, and that's probably the biggest catch of the game because he catches that ball and we get an automatic first down and we were able to run a whole lot of more time off the clock. Between that catch and [Michael] Bush's run at the end of the game to get the 1st down, I thought, were the two of the biggest plays of the game to seal it.
Q: Do you see him being a better player this year, more confident?
Campbell: Oh yeah. You should have seen his practice today, the way the guy was going after the balls, making catches. His confidence is at an all-time high since I've been here that I've seen. It's exciting to see because he has so much speed and he has great size. He can make a lot of plays in the league for us and that's what we're looking for and I'm excited about the way he's playing right now with his confidence. The only thing we wish for is that we could have hit that rout on the sideline. That really would have been special.
Q: You get to see that one catch where he had yards after the catch to get the first down?
Campbell: I think two of his catches had yards after the catch. That's good because Darrius, everyone has been kind of hard on Darrius before, and I think now he has an opportunity to get his turn to show what he can really do. This is his third year and most of the time receivers usually come out into their own when they're in the third year of the league. It's exciting to see what he's doing right now.
Q: You were following Seymour knowing he was going to throw the first pitch last night [at the Oakland A's game]. He kind of bounced it.
Campbell. Yeah, I saw that and I texted him and said, 'Seymour, you have to get a warm up or something.' He said, "Yeah, that was pretty bad.'
Q: What could you hit on the [speed] gun?
Campbell: You know what? I could probably clock a 92.
Q: Any movement?
Campbell: I'd have to get a lot of warm ups though. But don't worry about it, you won't see me do that right now.