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Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton, Jr.: "It's Important That The Team Cohesion Continues"

Posted Aug 23, 2017

Oakland Raiders Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton, Jr., recaps the team's performance on defense Saturday against the Los Angeles Rams.

Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton, Jr.

The Oakland Raiders might have lost to the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday, but it’s preseason, and there’s still time for improvement. Striving to improve is something Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton, Jr., and Assistant Head Coach – Defense John Pagano stressed all throughout training camp, as well as having a better line of communication. Following morning walk thru Wednesday, Norton met with the media to discuss the defense’s performance Saturday.

Here are the quick hits from his presser:

Norton talked about the defense’s transition from Week 1 of the preseason to Week 2.

“The improvement is there. We were certainly better than the Cardinal game coming into it. We feel good about our process and our ones played a little bit longer, and this week, they should play a little bit more. As far as improvement is concerned, I think we’re better than we were the week before.”

He shared what he’s seen from rookie linebacker Marquel Lee.

“He’s really young. He’s in a process. Anytime you start young in the process of any job, especially in the pros, the best athletes in the world, it’s going to be some work. He’s all for it. He’s a big, strong, really smart, really passionate player and I really like where he is right now.”

Norton also touched on linebacker Nicholas Morrow, who’s impressed after coming from a Division III school.

“A lot of speed, a lot of passion. The guy shows up when the lights come on. Nothing is too big for him. Really good on special teams, so we like where he is and again, the evaluation process still continues.”

He discussed the line of communication between him and Pagano.

“We work together every day, every day since he’s come aboard. The process of communication, the process of making things clear, the process of getting the secondary tight, he’s really been a really big help. I’m really glad he’s on our team.”

Norton emphasized why it’s important for players to play in preseason, even reigning Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack.

“It’s just a team building. It’s getting the rust out. I think that it’s important that you stay at a high level. You just don’t get good and stay good by not playing. You have to play ball. The only place you have to get better is on the field, so it’s important for your good players to stay sharp and to play with the other players and it’s important that the team cohesion continues.”