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Q&A with Jason Campbell


QB Jason Campbell. Photo by Tony Gonzales.

Q:So on Thursday, I know we talked right after the game, but now you've had a day to watch some film.  What are you thinking about Thursday's performance?

Jason Campbell: Actually, I was excited to see it on film with the short amount of time that guys have had to practice, three or four days, but if you look at it on tape guys were going pretty much in the right area. That's hard to do after just a couple days of practice, but I was glad to see that.

Q: What about your protection? No sacks, and last year it was a little rough early.

Jason Campbell: Our protection was real good. We had an opportunity to set our feet, make some decisions, and get the ball out and get some completions. Anytime you can do that, you give your playmakers on the outside a chance to catch and run and make big plays. I thought the offensive line did a great job of protecting them. Obviously we have some things we need to keep working on. Like Coach Jackson said with our penalties, we can't go backwards, we have to keep moving forward.

Q: How tough is it when Jacoby's been out, Louis has been out, and now Chaz is out?

Jason Campbell: You don't want that because you want to build chemistry and have everything down and by the time we hit game one you want to be rolling on all cylinders. But injuries do happen in this game, so you have to continue to move forward and one thing you have to wish for is that they get back healthy and get back healthy fast. Outside of that, other guys are getting the opportunity to get reps that they probably wouldn't get if it was a regular season week because starters take all the reps. So right now, it's an opportunity for them to learn what to do early in camp.

Q: Other than Denarius, are any of those guys standing out?

Jason Campbell: Nick Miller has been coming to practice every day and working his butt off. Bodiford has been out here every day working his butt off. We just brought in (Derek) Hagan and Chad Jackson and they picked up on the system really quick so there's an opportunity for a lot of young guys to get their work in. Sometimes you feel for them because they run so many routes and they're the only ones out here right now because so many guys are injured, but they don't give up, they keep fighting.

Q: Before the game you said you wanted to see [number] 17 in a game, what did you think?

Jason Campbell: I thought he was a special player. He made a big third down play and got yards after the catch, that was big. Then on the punt return he ended up almost taking one to the house and then it got called back, but you can see flashes of his talent and ability.

Q: Going back to the penalties, right after the game that was the first words out of your mouth; you were upset about those penalties out there and the mistakes. How much of that do you chalk up to it being the first game and how much is it a serious problem that you guys need to adjust?

Jason Campbell: We take everything seriously. Penalties hurt us last year in a lot of areas and one thing we don't want to do is make that a habit. We want to try to cut it out now and get rid of the penalties early in camp, especially the illegal procedures, the off sides and the encroachments. Those are things where we don't want to give a team five yards, but we also don't want to take five yards away. We all understand that we can get better at that as a whole group, and we will. The first game, it happened, so we just put it behind us and we'll keep doing it so we improve.

Q: Coach also pointed out the penalties and the other area he wanted to see improvement in is red zone scoring. What will be the focus in the next couple weeks in just pulling the trigger in that situation?

Jason Campbell: Anytime you get down to the red zone you want to keep moving forward and keep getting points, that's the main thing. If you can't get seven [points], get three, but we'd rather have seven. We want to try to find a way to get more touchdowns. The one thing that hurt us was those penalties, but we'll get better in that area. It was the first preseason game and we just have to move forward.

Q: Coach Jackson joked that that was a 'vanilla' game as far as play calling, that he hasn't brought it all out. What can people expect to see from the Raiders moving forward?

Jason Campbell: You know how coach is. You've seen some of our games from last season so you know that definitely wasn't our A playbook we threw out there in the game. It was just something to get on film and see guys able to move from spot to spot and work on technique things. When you look at the first game in preseason, it's pretty much like you're scrimmaging against another team in a live atmosphere in front of fans with an opportunity to get better. At the end of the day, you still want to win the game because you want to create winning as a habit, but guys did play hard and of course there's going to be  mistakes made and we understand that early on in preseason and that's what we'll build on. 

Q: Rolando McClain has a reputation for being a big film guy, he studies a lot, he's really into the film and trying to get tendencies and stuff. As a guy who lines up across from him, when your eyes meet can you see his mind working?

Jason Campbell: It's always a competition between him and me, we're always battling. It's fun, that's what you want in practice. You want guys to battle. Sometimes defense wins, sometimes offense wins, and that's part of training camp, but we're here to make each other better and make each other work.  It's good to see that because you can see how he breaks on balls and you know he has to have an understanding of the game, and he definitely has that.

Q: Will you guys talk at dinner or on the side about what you were thinking or what he was thinking? Or do you stick to defense mostly?

Jason Campbell:We actually talk to each other. Sometimes I ask him what gives a route away or how the quarterbacks looking, or if we're keeping them honest with our eyes. Sometimes they come up and ask us if they're rotating in coverage quick enough to jump spots or if it's too late. It's those things that we communicate to each other about. Out here we compete, but on Sunday's we're all together and we want to help each other.    

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