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Todd Downing And John Pagano Get Ready For Dallas Cowboys

Posted Dec 14, 2017

Here are the quick hits from Oakland Raiders Offensive Coordinator Todd Downing and Assistant Head Coach - Defense John Pagano's press conference.

Offensive Coordinator Todd Downing & Assistant Head Coach - Defense John Pagano

Oakland Raiders Offensive Coordinator Todd Downing and Assistant Head Coach – Defense John Pagano were back at the podium Thursday, and similar to how Head Coach Jack Del Rio felt on Monday, the pair voiced their frustration with Sunday’s game. The offense struggled a majority of the day to produce points, and the defense had its hands full with running back Kareem Hunt; however, what’s done is done, and all the team can do now is focus on moving forward.

This Sunday, the Silver and Black will play host to the Dallas Cowboys at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum; here’s what Downing and Pagano had to say regarding the matchup.

Offensive Coordinator Todd Downing:

He was concise in his evaluation of why the team lost Sunday to the Chiefs.

“We weren’t efficient on first and second down and we didn’t convert on third down. So, we weren’t on the field very much.”

Downing talked about establishing a culture that emphasizes attention to detail.

“You hope that you can create it as a culture and Coach Del Rio has done a great job setting the culture in this building to be a group of people that do the little things right. As far as refining the details and getting us to a more consistent standpoint in that regard, I think you have to have a certain amount of desire to find those little ways to get better. I think our guys do and will. But, it’s certainly an ongoing process for us. We hope that the younger guys and the less experienced guys can emulate the Rodney Hudsons and Derek Carrs of the world and prepare as they prepare and be on the details on Sunday.”

He provided a unique analogy when asked about what it means to “let it rip.”

“I’ll give you a golf analogy, as I’ve given you guys a couple times, I love to play golf and sometimes that driver gets a little squirrelly on me and I’ll spray one out of bounds. I think letting it rip is stepping up on that next tee box, pulling the driver back out of the bag, not choking down and hitting three-wood, but just swinging away. And the little details are setting my stance properly, having good balance, making sure I close my back wrist, things of that nature. I think that let it rip mentality is something that’s going to come easy to us, because we got a lot of fight in us and a lot of pride in us. So, we want to do things the right way and get back on a winning track.”

Assistant Head Coach – Defense John Pagano

He shared what he’s seen from the Cowboys offense without running back Ezekiel Elliott.

“Explosive all across the board. They have great wide receivers. The running backs have really stepped up. I know Ezekiel is something special. Watching the film with him on it. Big, physical offensive line that moves people out and they have great skill guys. They’re top 10 in every category you can think offensively. I haven’t seen the deep of how, if they ever said they were struggling because I haven’t seen it on tape. They’re a high explosive, powerful offense and coach [Scott] Linehan does a great job there with that.”

Pagano also broke down why he thinks linebacker Bruce Irvin has been so effective the last few weeks.

“I think any time you’re just growing. All these guys have been more focused. The identity that we’re trying to create. The listening to the plan of how we’re going to attack these things in the rush game. That’s been good for us. Bruce and Denico [Autry] and Khalil [Mack] and getting those guys going throughout the four-man rush of truly changing it up. Getting them moving is better for us. But Bruce is doing what we’re asking him to do and he’s doing it at a high level right now.”