Coach Sparano, Raiders Turn Attention to Denver

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Q: Derek Carr didn't practice today?**

Coach Sparano:"Derek Carr didn't practice. He came in a little sick today, so I sent him home."

Q: Were you impressed at how well Keith McGill did despite not having much experience?

Coach Sparano:"Yeah, any time one of those young guys goes in a game like that and is called on to play that many plays, which we knew that the play count would be high, we didn't know it would be that high at the end of the game. Obviously we were winning the game and they got into a little bit more of sub-sub, but in that situation, I was impressed with what Keith did. Again, it's kind of like Ray-Ray [Armstrong]. When you put a young guy in a game like that, they don't get the reps, they don't see the pictures, you're wondering how they are mentally. It tells you that they're paying attention in the meetings, it tells you that their coaches are doing a good job with them that way, but I was impressed with what Keith did that way."

Q: That first game against the Broncos, your defense did a nice job against Peyton Manning in the beginning getting him off balance. Can you do some of those same things or now that he's seen it you have to start from scratch and do something different?

Coach Sparano:"I think there are some things that you could take from that ball game. I think watching the film from that game, some other people have taken a few of those things and kind of stuck them in their plan a little bit and put their own spin on things. We'd have to change some things obviously. He's too good of a player to just go out there and continue to do the same things, but some of the things that we felt like maybe caused some problems I think you'd see again. They might look a little different, but we might see again."

Q: How much have you found in your experience that being able to run the ball on the road is vital to being able to win on the road?

Coach Sparano:"It's been important. I think any time that you can go on the road in that environment, in any environment, and be able to run the football, first of all it can settle your team down a little bit, second of all it settles the crowd down a little bit. I think if you can keep thing in the manageables in ball games like that or get ahead of the chains a little bit by running the football, that's always a good thing when you're out there on the run. We know we have to be able to run it, it's not obviously an easy thing to do against this team. They had some yards run on them last night, but there was a big run that came out of there and a couple reverses that came out of there that made a few yards. The quarterback ran a few times as well. But, they're a stingy, tough defense and we'll have our hands full that way."

Q: How would you describe Latavius Murray's running style inside?

Coach Sparano:"His feet in the hole, I think are really impressive. I think you can see he can get his feet up and down in the hole, kind of walk over tackles in the hole at times. Really quick that way, so it kind of looks like he's gliding a little bit, but he's running with some power. I mean, he's a big guy that falls forward and those are the kind of guys that you want to find. Obviously there are some things with Latavius, we always harp on him about lowering his pads and those kind of things, but he runs – he is by nature a big guy. A tall guy and I think he runs with a good pad level and he's just really quick in the hole and he has good vision."

Q: Did you see what you wanted to see out there at practice today given that you don't normally practice on Tuesdays?

Coach Sparano:"Yeah. We prepped them last week that this would happen and it's part of the week this week. I wanted to make sure that they understood what the schedule was. A lot of teams will do it this way, a lot of teams will kind of bring them in and kind of quick practice it and get them out of there. I felt like put the emphasis on us as coaches to get the work done during the week and get the players out here. They were great about it, they understood it. I'm sure they're excited about it because they'll get to spend some time with their family on Christmas and we'll be able to get right back to work on Friday. We'll have a good day out there tomorrow again and be back at work on Friday."

Q: Was today like a normal Wednesday practice?

Coach Sparano:"Yeah, it was normal. Everything that you would do on Wednesday we did today. We might have geared a period or two down a little bit that way for the players, but at this point there are some things that they need to see more than they need to run to and then there are some things that we need to run to, so we did that."

Q: Do you expect Derek Carr back tomorrow?

Coach Sparano:"I would expect. We'll see how it goes."

Q: What do you make of Coach Tarver's eye black during games?

Coach Sparano:"As long as we keep getting them off the field on third down right now, I'm good with it. I don't even notice it to be honest with you."

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