Veteran QB Jason Campbell gets set to take the snap from rookie C Stefen Wisniewski. Photo by Tony Gonzales.
Q: How much more comfortable do you feel out here this year than last; is it all the experience?
Campbell: I feel a lot more comfortable. I don't have to relocate cross-country within a small amount of time, get ready for a season and try to learn the guys. This season, I know the guys and we're pretty much doing the same system. So, that gives you the opportunity to elevate your game a little more because you know what you're doing and you have a feel for the guys around you. It definitely feels a lot more comfortable, even during the lockout we got a chance to work with the guys and it didn't feel like our first day.
Q: Is this is a first year you have had the same system considering every year it seems like you have a new system?
Campbell: Yes, like going to a back-to-back year as a starter. I remember when I came in when I first got drafted, my second year in the league and started the last 6 games. I remember when I was with Coach Saunders the next year and I missed the last 5 games of the regular season. So, it feels great.
Q: I know you didn't want the lockout, but was it beneficial as a leader and the quarterback to be in control of the offense working with them in Atlanta and DC?
Campbell: I think it gave the guys the opportunity to show leadership. I mean that you have to do things on your own and coaches don't have to design something to work together. We have to design it as a team and show how bad you want to be a good football team. I think we had some guys that did something very well and competed at a high level. Hopefully, we can get some guys in free agency and we'll move forward. But overall, I'm excited about what I saw out of today's first practice.
Q: So did it feel like an OTA or a first day's practice [at training camp]?
Campbell: No, it felt like a first day's practice. It was all out and that's how pretty much how it's going to be. That's Coach Jackson's mentality; practice hard, work hard, play hard. It's what we have to do day-in and day-out and of course the body is going to be sore. We have a short time frame to get ready, but everybody is doing it around the league. We just have to take pride in what we do and do it hard.
Q: How were the guys doing that came to workout [during the lockout]? I know Jacoby [Ford], Louis [Murphy], and Darrius [Heyward-Bey] where there and how did that work out?
Campbell: The Raiders owe me some money. It cost me a lot of money to feed those guys [laughs]. Louis, being cheap, you have to pay for his flights sometimes [laughs] and it's a lockout. But, we enjoyed it and gave me some time to work with those guys. We formed a brotherhood and a relationship; that's how it should be. When we're up on that field, we're all brothers.
Q: Where did they stay and was it at your house?
Campbell: One was in the basement, one was upstairs. Darrious lives close to the area so he spent a couple nights on the couch. I'm the oldest and I'm trying to keep up with the young guys. I'm still in my twenties but they were making me feel old. But, it was fun and I enjoyed it.
Q: Darrius said you looked better now that you're getting married?
Campbell: [Laughs]. I guess he means I'm settling down, I'm not sure what he means. Do I look better than I did last year [Laughs]?
Q: You look a little more at ease at the podium. Do you feel a little different now?
Campbell: I feel good and that I'm in great shape. I was excited because I could tell guys were working extremely hard wherever they were. We got together in Atlanta and you could tell that the guys were in shape and doing something. That is definitely a good sign to know guys were keeping their bodies in shape.
Q: Could you recognize your offensive line?
Campbell: I can name quite few of them [laughs]. Right now, you just have the guys you have and you go out there and compete. It's a bonus for the guys now because they get extra reps. When we get other guys in here and continue to build our team, it'll be better. Those guys can help the guys that get here to learn the plays because they're a couple days ahead of them. At the same time, it gives them a chance to get experience especially the young guys and rookies. The chance to get reps before the other guys get here is important.
Q: Does it seem strange instead of coming in with your 90 guys and then going out as a team but then there are a couple of additions to build your team on the fly?
Campbell: It feels like you are building on the move. Guys just come in as we go and you keep moving forward. I think that's they weirdest thing right now with practicing without all the guys and guys will be plugging in as we move forward.
Q: You have the backing of Hue [Jackson] and you're the man now. What's it feel like?
Campbell: It feels like you've earned something. When I got traded, it was like you have to earn it. When guys see you've been given it, they may not respect you as much but when they see you earn it, they respect you more.
Q: You have a lot of success last year. Did developing camaraderie with players like Darren McFadden and Jacoby Ford help during the offseason?
Campbell: It definitely helps. We're going into the same system pretty much and helps quarterback, running backs, and receivers. You are able to do more things and we can use backs in different sets, which is something you probably wouldn't be able to do if you were running a new offense. Everything may be basic and we can stick things in there and this is our second year doing this.
Q: Is the next step for this team to be able to put points on the board when you're not running the ball well?
Campbell: Definitely. I remember last year against Jacksonville, we had a great run game and pass game. At the end of the day, the guys came together and wondered what we can do to be better to get one more touchdown to win that game. Around the 5th game of the year, we won three in a row and we hit our stride. We had a setback in Pittsburgh after the bye week, but once we got past the Miami game and hit the San Diego game, things came back together for us. Guys started to learn each other since we had a new football team and guys were new in a lot of different places. But once we started to gel, you could see some of the talent we have.
Q: How would you describe Coach Saunders and have you picked up where you left off?
Campbell: Coach Saunders is very detailed and I remember when I was in Washington, he does a lot of different things and he wants things done right and to help us grow to get better.
Q: He [Coach Saunders] is known for the size of his playbook. Has his playbook expanded since he got here?
Campbell: We still go to college as quarterbacks. I have my degree and I feel like I'm going to get my Master's [laughs]. But, right now we put in a lot of different information but in season, it gets smaller because you do certain things for different games. Since we didn't have OTAs and mini-camps, we are trying to get in as much as we can so that guys haven't seen or heard a play for the first time.