By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 at 2:47 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell did interviews with SiriusXM Radio (Adam Schein and Rich Gannon) as well as Profooballtalk Live (Mike Florio) Tuesday, with the biggest news being that he and defensive tackle Richard Seymour are organizing a week long series of workouts. In both interviews, Campbell declined to disclose the site or time.
The PFT Live session included still photos of Campbell working out on a field with wide receivers Louis Murphy and Darrius Heyward-Bey.
Some highlights from Campbell’s interviews:
“It’s like being locked out of your own house. You can’t get in and use your own equipment, but at the same time, we’re making the most of it. I train with two trainers pretty much four days a week. Some of our receivers have come to town. We’re throwing passes to each other, then they go back to their workouts.”
The scheduled workouts
“Seymour and myself, we’re organizing a team workout for a whole week. I was able to get my playbook and everything. That gave me an opportunity to get guys on the field, we’re going to be able to run plays, and guys are excited about it . . . workout is cool, but at th same time, it will be god for the guys to get together and see each other, actually run some plays, do things as a team. We’re going to do it at a neutral site. We haven’t told people where we’re going to do it. We want it to be about the team, guys being together, able to talk and work together.”
“Seymour and myself have found a complex to use. The guys don’t really want us to tell where it’s going to be. We want it to be about us and our time to build our unity and continue to do the things we’re doing . . . we’ve called guys, making sure everybody is getting their flights on time and everybody can be at this certain location.”
On a good turnout of players
“I get that sense. The ones that can. When you talk to guys they’re getting excited about being a unit again. It’s kind of like you’re glad when school let out, but now you’re ready for school to be back in.”
Note: When asked to name players who would attend, Campbell said those expected to attend include running back Darren McFadden, wide receivers Heyward-Bey, Murphy and Jacoby Ford, defensive lineman Tommy Kelly and linebacker Quentin Groves. Campbell said he did not expect players not under contract _ a list which numbers more than 20 players _ to attend.
Talking to offensive coordinator Al Saunders
“Right before the lockout happened I flew to California and had an opportunity to go to the facility and talk with him . . . and get an insight of what direction we’re going in. The positive thing is I’ve had an opportunity to be with Al two years in Washington and now in Oakland. To have coach Jackson from last year, it’s refreshing because you’re not starting from scratch.”
On his level of security being the Raiders starting quarterback
“I think it’s more deserving when when you feel like you earned it and something wasn’t just given to you. Last year started off rough. Things happened you don’t expect to happen, but you’ve got to work through it, push through it, continue to pray to God and he’ll lead you in the right direction. My main focus has been to get better and not just be a good quarterback in the NFL, but one day to be a great quarterback.”
The development of Heyward-Bey
“I expect him to make that next stride. He made a dramatic improvement from Year 1 to Year 2, and I think a lot of that had to do with Hue Jackson, his mindset when he got here of pushing him to get to that next level. Darrius is a hard-working guy, and he runs all his routes full speed every day in practice. He wants to catch a lot of balls. He stays after practice, goes to the JUGS machine and catches balls. He’s bulkier, as far as the weight room, but like I told him, man, keep that speed.”
On Jackson being the guy to take the Raiders to the playoffs
“If you ever saw us practice in training camp or even during the season, you always hear his voice, because he’s always a high-energy guy. He doesn’t take anything for granted. He doesn’t like things to be done in slow motion . . . he doesn’t like complacency and he’s going to push everyone on the offense, and now everyone on the team because he’s the head coach. I like his energy and the way he goes about things as far as making guys compete.”
His relationship with Al Davis
“In training camp, you know when that golf cart pulls on the practice field, everyone just turns around. The energy goes to another level. My relationship with him is good. He’s called me in the office before, he’s talked to me, and it’s not always about football. He askes me sometimes how I’m doing in my life, if there’s anything the Raiders can do to help. Last season, I went out to Oakland for the first time for OTAs, I come back home, and he calls when I got off my flight, just to make sure I made it safely, to make sure things are going good. That’s something that goes a long way with a player.”
The selection of Steffen Wisniewski in the draft
“I was excited. He’s a big guy, he’s athletic. The good thing is he’s coming to a young team that will put its hands on him and make him feel real comfortable with all the players and the offense. It’s always good to see we’re doing things in a positive direction.”
Winning the AFC West
“We look at it as being one game away from the playoffs last year because if we were able to pull one of those games out, the Jacksonville game maybe, it would have put us in a position to go to Kansas City and play for a playoff spot for the AFC West championship. I feel we have the team to compete. It’s going to depend on how many guys we lose in free agency . . . what guys do we pick up? What guys do we hold on to? And then get into camp, get going, and start building that chemistry.”
Retaining Nnamdi Asomugha
“I think there’s always a chance. He’s been here seven, eight years. He played his college ball right down the street at the University of Cal. It’s pretty much going to come down to the contract offer and what are other teams going to offer, and how does he feel about moving forward. That’s a decision that Nnamdi has to make. He’s one of the best guys to play the position in the game and he’s a tremendous asset. In this game that we play, it’s a business, and at the end of the day there are going to be business decisions to be made before guys get on the field. He’s a great teammate. We’ll see what happens.”