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Raiders Look To Turn Page, Hone In On Matchup With Cowboys

Posted Dec 13, 2017

With the frustration of last week's game behind them, the Silver and Black have now moved on to focusing on the Dallas Cowboys.

Head Coach Jack Del Rio was upset Monday afternoon; he made that abundantly clear when he addressed the media the day following the Oakland Raiders Week 14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

“Alright, here’s what I know: As players and coaches, we’re are as frustrated and pissed off about what occurred yesterday as you can be, as anybody out there is,” said Del Rio. “Losing a game like that hurts. There are no words that I can say here today that are going to take away that pain or make those that care about the Raiders feel better. I’m really not going to try. We have to coach it better. We have to execute it better.”

Fast forward 48 hours, and Del Rio’s tone was different during his Wednesday press conference; instead of frustration, the Head Coach of the Silver and Black had moved his attention – and the collective attention of the coaching staff and players – onto the Dallas Cowboys.

“Alright, got Sunday night game,” Del Rio opened. “Cowboys. Should be a lot of fun. It’ll be an exciting game. Glad to be at home. Looking forward to it. Ready to have a good week of prep.”

“We have Dallas coming in, they’re a good football team especially on defense and we have our work cut out for us,” added quarterback Derek Carr.

While the frustration and upset certainly hasn’t completely subsided, with a return to the postseason hanging in the balance, the focus has to be supremely on the primetime clash at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

Not only that, the Raiders have structured their work week in such a way, that by Wednesday, the previous week’s result is squarely behind them. Monday is the players’ allotted day off, and Tuesday, a day that has been dubbed “Tell The Truth Tuesday,” is a day to do just that, both good and bad, reflecting back on the game previous.

And come Wednesday, by the time the players and coaches report to work in the morning, it’s time to move on; such is the nature of the game.

“Look, you have to own up,” Del Rio explained. “Tuesday is that day of the week for us to kind of own up and move forward. We’ve done that. For us, it’s about getting ready for the next one. Whether we’re being praised or we’re being attacked, that doesn’t matter. That’s just the noise on the outside, but inside the building we’re being very purposeful of getting back to work.”

Part of that work – this week in particular – will be finding a sense of rhythm offensively, and while that requires all 11 guys to be on the same page, according to Carr, a lot of that future success comes down to execution – execution and precision.

“We have to be precise,” Carr said. “People just have to understand that if we need an extra rep, we need an extra. If we need to get things, we need to get things. But I think precision is key, especially in the passing game. Footwork, timing up with timing of routes. Consistency is something you want to see also. As long as we can go out there on the practice field and be consistent in the timing of things and how all that stuff goes. We know how to throw the ball. We know how to catch it. We know how to run the ball. We know how to block. Now we just have to do those things better and more consistent.”

Although the Raiders are currently a game under .500, they’re still in the hunt as far as the playoff picture is concerned, although their margin for error is now practically non-existent. And while that could be a bit of a daunting scenario for some, Carr thinks that it’s times like these where the true character of a team is revealed.

“You know, for me, the best thing when times are hard, you don’t really have to say much,” Carr said. “True character reveals itself. When times are hard or it doesn’t go your way or you think something else should have happened. Again, pointing fingers and all those things, true character reveals itself. That kind of stuff has a way of working itself out.”