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Quote Sheet: Cardinals 30 Raiders 23

Posted Aug 31, 2015

Quotes from the Oakland Raiders preseason matchup with the Arizona Cardinals at O.co Coliseum.

RAIDERS S CHARLES WOODSON

Q: Talk about the two picks from Nate Allen.

Woodson: “I thought defensively we flew around. That’s going to be really the key to our success this year, flying around, getting to the football and being able to harass the passer. Great job by the D-Line, they really got after the Cardinals’ offensive line. Nate was in position, being where he was supposed to be. Good things happen.”

Q: The Raiders got off the field on third downs pretty well today. What was the key on that?

Woodson: “Being where you are supposed to be. That was our problem last year, getting off the field on third downs. We had to play a lot of extra plays that you shouldn’t have to play. It was important to us to be where we were supposed to be. Gang tackle and get after guys to make sure they don’t get extra yards after the catch. If you can do that, you can be a pretty good defense.”

Q: Khalil Mack was a pretty big force tonight. What did you see from him this preseason?

Woodson: “Being a guy that came in as a rookie, was able to play 16 games, I think the game for him is already slowing down, even though it’s your second year. He’s gone through 16 games. He has some experience in this game. This guy is only going to get better. He’s only getting his feet wet right now. He’s going to be a star.”

RAIDERS OT AUSTIN HOWARD

Q: How do you feel you’ve been doing back at tackle this year?

Howard: “It’s been an adjustment, but I feel like we have the best coaching staff out there to all get as good as we need to be on the offensive line. “

Q: What kind of a blow was it to see Menelik Watson go down like that?

Howard: “You never want to see a fellow teammate go down like that. Thoughts and prayers with him and his family and everything he’s going through. We hope and pray for a quick recovery for him and just take it one day at a time.”

Q: How has it been taking second team reps, but now having to step up and be the guy?

Howard: “Fortunately that’s something I feel like I was able to do. Going on six years now, you kind of have to be used to going out there whenever you can be used. It felt good, obviously I didn’t have a 100-percent perfect game, but I’ll watch the film, make my corrections and take it one day at a time.”

RAIDERS S NATE ALLEN

Q: You guys had a great start to the game, did you focus on that?

Allen: “We did some good things and we did some bad things. We’re just going to try to improve and learn from the mistakes that we’ve made and keep moving forward. It is the preseason so we’re not going to get too bent out of shape over anything but we know what we have to work on.”

Q: On the other hand, do you not want to be too high on your performance because it’s the preseason?

Allen: “No, we know what we’re working towards and it’s the preseason at the end of the day. We’re going to keep working to get better and watch the tape, learn from it and work on the fundamentals of things.”

Q: Was it nice to have that combination of pass rush and coverage down the field?

Allen: “Oh yeah, definitely. We complimented each other pretty well. Up front, they did a heck of a job getting pressure on the quarterback and getting sacks for us. When you’re working like that and that chemistry is there, we have a good feeling about where our defense is headed.”

Q: Do you guys feel like you’ve gained confidence that this defense can be really good?

Allen: “Oh for sure. We’re fully confident in what we can do. We know what we’re working for and what we’re working towards. We’re still coming together and I thought we had a pretty good showing tonight. There’s always things we can work on and we’ll keep working on them.

RAIDERS QB DEREK CARR

Q: Would you say the offense took a step backwards this week?

Carr: “I wouldn’t say we took a step back. We were very explosive and there were some good things, but there were definitely some things we have to correct. We have some time before the Cincinnati week gets here to get those things fixed, and I know that we’re going to work to do it.”

Q: Can you speak to the chemistry you have with Amari Cooper?

Carr: “We’re taking good steps. We’re getting a lot of targets his way and a lot of balls his way this preseason. That’s something that we’ve talked about. We want to get balls his way so we can see him in live action and things like that. That way when it happens in the regular season, he’s already done it a whole bunch of times. There are still some things we have to clean up. There are still some things that are that close with the whole offense. We wanted to score a lot of points, and we felt like we left a lot [of points] out there – and we did.”

Q: How do you feel about Menelik Watson’s injury? 

Carr: “First of all that sucks for him. I love him as a man, football aside. I love that guy and I know that he’s going to be very encouraged. He’s not going to let this get him down or anything like that. I’ll be praying for him and a speedy recovery but it’s always next man up in this league. Austin [Howard] came in and he’s going to do a great job.”

Q: How much of the offensive results out there do you put on yourself, and how much do you credit the Cardinals?”

Carr: “I always put it on me. Everyone will tell you, you can always put it on me as the quarterback. We want more points. We want more touchdowns. Without Carson [Palmer] getting hurt last year, they’re the No. 1 seeded [team] in the NFC so they’re a good football team, give them credit. Our mindset is different, our mindset is something that we control how we want to do things and it’s got to be better.

Q: What can you say about the defense giving you a short field with turnovers tonight?

Carr: “It is awesome. When defense can get turnovers or big sacks that lead to longer punts and get short fields, when that stuff happens it makes our job so easy. Depending on where the field is, it’s almost guaranteed points. Points in this league are hard to come by, so we’re very thankful to get any. Our goals are a lot higher. We’ve got to finish better in the red zone. I’m going to fix that. I’ll get that fixed; you can put it on me. We’ll get it right. 

RAIDERS DE KHALIL MACK

Q: How does it feel to be back out there?

Mack: “It felt good to get back out there and try to work on some things to get better as a team.”

Q: You were unblockable out there, how did you feel?

Mack: “It was cool, it was cool. We did some things that we wanted to do and it worked. Now, onto the next game.”

Q: What play were you happiest about tonight?

Mack: “I was happy about Matt McGloin throwing it to Bryce and tying up the game. I thought we were going to finish. I was just talking to Matt and I told him to seal the deal. And he did it.”

Q: How was the team’s performance in third quarter?

Mack: “That’s the thing, you have to look at the film and understand what we did wrong. We have to get better, that’s what we have to do now. So I can talk about it on the field. We have to hold that standard.”

Q: What do you think about the team’s potential?

Mack: “We have a special group of guys. We have a solid group of guys. Once we get together, once we put it all on display, it’s going to be a special thing. You will see.”

Q: Talk about your spin move.

Mack: It’s something I’ve been working on. I told you, I’m a hard worker. So I’ve been working on that a little bit.”

Q: Do you feel comfortable playing down?

Mack: “Yeah- I mean, its football. This is what I love to do. I actually get paid to do it. It’s been very fun.”

Q: What happened on the third down play, where you got through the line and forced the fumble?

Mack: “The wide receiver came down and I didn’t know what the play was going to be. I don’t know why they tried to run it, but I blew the tight end back and I didn’t see the running back. Then I reached in, grabbed a foot and that was it. That’s what happened. It was ball.”

Q: How much more comfortable do you feel now than you did last August?

Mack: “The game has slowed down a lot. I was talking to Derek [Carr] about that, it has slowed down a lot. You can see a lot of things before the snap. There are a lot of things you can do- read, especially watch film. So we’re trying to capitalize on everything. Things are looking up and we’re getting better as a team. That’s something we’re excited about, but we still have to get better.”  

RAIDERS WR AMARI COOPER

Q: How did you feel about the offense tonight, even though I’m sure you kicked more field goals than you would have liked?

Cooper: “I feel exactly how you said. We attempted way too many field goals. I think we should have capitalized more and scored touchdowns.”

Q: The comeback route that you ran against Patrick Peterson for a big play, what can you say about how that developed?

Cooper: “It was just a play that we’ve repped a lot in practice. It’s just a regular play.”

Q: How do you put that play into perspective for you in terms of the game situation?

Cooper: “It was just one play. I think it was a big play to help us get in great field position, but I still think we should have finished it off with a touchdown.”

Q: Do you feel like the offense took some steps back this week?

Cooper: “We just need to stay at it, practice hard, get our reps in. Just when we get to the games, we need to capitalize on good field position.”

Q: Derek Carr must have been upset with how his day ended with the pick-six. Did you talk to him after that?

Cooper: “Yeah, I talked to him. It was just a mistake, I guess, but we’re going to get better.”