Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton, Jr.
Monday afternoon, the Oakland Raiders hit the field for their first day of practice in pads. When the pads come on, the competition and intensity level gets kicked up another notch. The Silver and Black didn't hold back today, as they showed their physicality in the trenches, the secondary, and on offense. Following practice, Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton, Jr., spoke with the media about another day at the office.
Here are the quick hits from his presser:
Norton described what the first day of padded practice is like for him personally.
"I'll tell you, the first day of pads is always the most exciting. Everybody gets the pads back on, you get out of the shorts. A lot of the time personality's change when you put the pads on, you start running into each other full speed. There's a little bit of difference."
The Raiders defensive coordinator shared what the coaching staff has observed from the rookies thus far.
"We really like what we see so far. I think today in pads was really important for us to see how physical they can be. How they can react from getting hit a few times. If they can with the pads and extra weight on their backs, can they play tired, can they think tired? So many different things of the growth and a lot of information we get from the film that we watch."
He praised defensive lineman Denico Autry for his toughness, and always coming ready to work.
"That's the plan, again like you said, he was playing with one arm the whole season. He's got that club off now, and it's a lot easier to play with two hands than it is one, because there's a lot of big men you've got to line up against. Denico is really tough, and he kind of is the guy who shows how tough we really are on this defense. He's hard working, showing up every day, and I think he's only going to continue to get better."
Norton expressed how he feels being able to help develop and mold the minds of these young men.
Oakland Raiders players and coaches on the field for the second day of training camp.
"That's what we do. We love coaching and I've been around a lot of really good football players, and they all start somewhere. They're all rookies at some point, they all don't have any experience at some point, and that's when you get a chance to put your hands on them, coach them, teach them, and really help them through the developmental process. The great ones all start somewhere, they don't just show up great."
He talked about second-year safety Karl Joseph and how he looks more confident headed into the 2017 season.
"I think if you watch him, you see Karl making checks, he's disguising, he's blitzing, he's covering, he's hitting. I saw a couple times he used his shoulder today, put his body on people, he's explosive. Everything you saw earlier in his career, and the reason he's here is because he's got all of that. I think he's really eager to get this thing going."