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Quote Sheet: Raiders 18 Rams 3

Posted Aug 15, 2015

Quotes from the Oakland Raiders preseason matchup with the St. Louis Rams at O.co Coliseum.

RAIDERS QB DEREK CARR

Q: It looked like you guys clicked early.

Carr: “Yeah, we wanted to just come out and be efficient, and I thought we were except for the redzone turnover. I thought we were very efficient, I thought we moved the ball well, I thought we ran the ball extremely well and I thought we protected very well, so we’re going in the right direction.”

Q: What can you say about Amari Cooper’s debut?

Carr: “It was awesome. I knew I wanted to get him some touches, I knew I wanted to get him some. I want to get him as many as we can in the preseason, that way he just gets a feel for it and all those things, but he’s such a professional that he doesn’t need them. I know he wants them, but he doesn’t need them. I thought he looked very well, I thought he played well, mentally he’s sharp. Me and him had the miscommunication down in the redzone, which we’re very happy it happened now and not in the regular season, of course. That’s what the preseason’s for. We’ll go back and clean that up and make sure for years to happen we’ll clean that up.”

Q: What was supposed to happen on that play?

Carr: “Without giving too much away, we were just on different pages. We’ll get that cleaned up. I have to do my part and fix that. When we get down there, anything bad that happens, you put it on me. I’ll make sure I clean that up and do better next time.”

Q: You’ve seen Coach Del Rio’s demeanor in practice now for a couple weeks, but what was it like during the game?

Carr: “The same thing. It’s awesome. He’s the same, and you can tell he’s done this before. He just goes out there and he’s saying the same stuff during the games as he does in practice. It’s really cool to play for him. I think the feedback and the communication on the sideline is awesome between all the coaches. That goes unnoticed, but that’s something that was really clutch today.”

Q: If you had to give us one takeaway from the game today, what would it be?

Carr: “We’re heading the right way. We’re going the right way. Is there’s stuff to clean up, just like every game? Yes. But I’d say we’re heading in the right direction. All the hard work is paying off, but we have to continue to grind and we can’t just think one preseason game means everything. It’s a good start but we have a long way to go.”

Q: One thing I noticed is it seemed like you guys were so calm out there. Was that the sense out there?

Carr: “Absolutely. I will say, the second time around is a lot nicer than the rookie year. The game slows down, it does. Charles {Woodson] has said that to me so many times. He says, ‘just wait man, after those 16 games you start for your first time and then you come back the next year, the game slows down,’ and it really does. I really noticed it today. I’ve been noticing it in practice, but until you get into a game situation you don’t really know. He hit it on the head; it does. You just see a confidence in our players – not an arrogance or anything like that, but a confidence that the coaches have instilled in us, and we believe in each other.”

Q: Coach Del Rio kept mentioning how clean it was; there weren’t big mistakes, they were little mistakes. Did you feel that as it was going on you guys were kind of in line?

Carr: “Absolutely. For the most part, obviously not everything, but for the most part we looked how we wanted to look. There’s obviously things we want to clean up and that we need to clean up, but for the most part I felt we went out there, played confident, played with great effort, played physical, and as long as we continue to do those, we’re going the right way.”

RAIDERS RB LATAVIUS MURRAY

Q: What do you take from the first preseason game?

Murray: “I think it went really well. I think the offense was able to put together two drives there, the first-team offense. It felt good. It felt good to be able to go against another squad and I’m really looking forward to this upcoming few games and the season.”

Q: How do you think the offensive line is coming along? There are a couple new pieces there this season.

Murray: “I think we did some good things. I think everyone’s clicking right now and it was good to see that this early. Again, we have three more games left in the preseason and then we take on our first game here at home, but I think we did really well. I was really pleased with everything and how it went and just how we really bonded out there today for our first game.”

Q: Talk about the impact of Rodney Hudson in his first game as the starting center and what he brings to the table up front.

Murray: “With Rodney, he’s a very smart guy. He takes control up front at that center position and we need that, especially at that position. It makes it easier on Derek [Carr] and it makes it easier on everybody else on offense.”

Q: It looked like you guys were in midseason form at one point in that drive early on, especially with Derek throwing to Amari Cooper. How fun was that to watch?

Murray: “It was really fun. Like I said, I was definitely excited and pleased just to see what we did early on in our first game like that. That drive we put together, it just shows that we’re going to be a dangerous offense this year.”

Q: Is it important to get off on the right foot in the preseason even though these games don’t count?

Murray: “Without a doubt. You want to come out here and you want to win, that’s first off, but also, you want to come out here and put some drives together, put series together, put plays together and just show what you can do.”

RAIDERS WR AMARI COOPER

Q: How did it feel to put on an NFL uniform for the first time and play in a real game?

Cooper: “It felt good. It felt really good to go out there and play.”

Q: You had a couple of nice catches early on that first drive and showed some aggressiveness out there. What was your mindset entering the game?

Cooper: “I just wanted to go out there and play football. I thought it would be different than all of the other levels I played at, but it’s just football at the end of the day.”

Q: Did this game help improve chemistry between yourself and Derek Carr?

Cooper: “Yes, sir. I caught a couple of balls early, one on a crucial second down. I think we can continue to build, have great practices and continue to keep this thing going.” 

RAIDERS LB KHALIL MACK

Q: How did it feel out there?

Mack: “It felt good to get in there and go at somebody different and actually get some good work in. It was pretty good, man. We started out kind of slow, but we started to get it back.”

Q: What were your takeaways from this game? 

Mack: “We’ve just got to get better, man, on all cylinders – offense, defense, special teams. If we can get better as a team, then we can do something special.” 

Q: You guys only committed a couple of penalties, not many. What are you most proud of from this game?

Mack: “Exactly what you said, playing disciplined football and playing the way that the coaches ask, the way they are coaching us to play and that’s playing with discipline, playing fundamentally sound and playing with technique.”

Q: Last year, the Rams were able to run all over you guys. Was there a little bit of a desire to get those guys back?

Mack: “You always can think about what happened last season and relay it to now and know that we want to get better as a team, want to go out and show that you’re working on all cylinders and that which happened in the past is not something that you’re going to have to reenact.” 

Q: Was there something in this game you know you’re going to have to work on to get better?

Mack: “Exactly, there are a lot of things you can work on to get better, especially defensively for us. We gave up some big plays early in the game, so I had to calm myself down and really get back to what we know we can do.”

Q: What is Coach Del Rio’s game-day demeanor?

Mack: “He just looks like a player, man. He looks like a player. He’s just chilling, going through the stretches. He’s relaxed, man. That’s what you really want to see in your head coach, a relaxed, confident guy. He has the swagger of a player.”

Q: What was it like watching the Derek Carr to Amari Cooper connection?

Mack: “That was amazing, man. What do they call that? AC/DC? Yeah, AC/DC. That was special, man. Something we’re looking forward to seeing for many games to come.”

RAIDERS LB BEN HEENEY

Q: You felt pretty comfortable out there?

Heeney: “Definitely, very comfortable. It was a little nerve-wracking at first, but once I got out there and got settled in, it was a lot easier.”

Q: When did the nerves go away?

Heeney: “That first play. I was out there for the first play on kickoff, so after that I was good.”

Q: Coach says you’ve been doing it all through camp, using your speed and flying around. Is that your mentality out there?

Heeney: “Definitely. I’m just trying to make plays. I made a couple tonight, so just keep doing that.”

Q: You got the quarterback sack chasing him out of bounds?

Heeney: “Yeah, I didn’t even know I had that until after the game, somebody told me that counted as a sack, so I’ll take it.”

Q: Do you feel like you got comfortable pretty quickly given how much is on your plate playing MIKE?

Heeney: “Yeah, it’s a lot different than college, just the calls, adjustments. Stuff like that is a lot different. There is a lot more to it in the NFL, but I’ve got guys like Curtis Lofton and Malcolm Smith helping me out. Those guys definitely brought me along.”

Q: You did a good job shedding blockers in college and you are still doing a pretty good job of that, so do you think you made that transition well?

Heeney: “Yeah, a couple of times I got held up, but just something I need to work on a little bit more. For the most part, I thought I did pretty good. A couple of plays I wish I could have done a little something different, but we’ll see it on film and get coached up.”

Q: How beneficial has it been having former linebackers on the coaching staff in defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. and Jack Del Rio?

Heeney: “I feel like everybody on the defensive staff is a former player, so just being able to get their knowledge from a player’s standpoint and a coach’s standpoint has definitely helped me out a lot.”