Five Takeaways from Bill Musgrave's Thursday Press Conference

Following the Oakland Raiders Thursday practice, offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave addressed the media.

Here are the highlights from his weekly press conference.

Musgrave spoke of the challenges of the Bengals defense.

"They've got a veteran group, a long-time staff. They have been in the same system for a lot of number of years, so I think they know how to fix anything they see. They know those quarter-turn adjustments that are required during the game, during the season, at halftimes. It will be a real challenge for us."

He is also pleased with how the offensive line is developing with Austin Howard inserted at right tackle.

"It's worked well up to this point. Austin has jumped right in there and he's really had a good couple of training sessions the last two days. We've noticed that, so I think he's peaking and getting ready for Sunday."

While Musgrave admitted to not getting a lot from the ground game in the final two preseason games, he's confident the issues can be remedied in time for Sunday's matchup.

"We've got to block and run better. We've got to make sure we're putting our guys in the right positions coaching-wise. We're always all in it together and we're looking for big improvement in the running game from the last two preseason games, like you said."

It's time to ramp up for "tourney time."

"Everyone is ramping up and kind of peaking for tourney time. There are a number of different speeds I think in the National Football League. You have your preseason speed, regular season speed, playoff speed and then Super Bowl speed. Our rookies will be exposed to a new element of physicality and quickness and reaction time when we get to Sunday versus Cincinnati. We're all just ramping up and trying to peak at tourney time."

Musgrave is also very confident in rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper heading into his first regular season game.

"He's been very consistent since he got here. We can count on Amari giving us a full day's work every day. We've got to remember how young he is, just three years out of high school, and he's mature beyond his years. He's just done a fantastic job for us. We've got a significant role planned for him."

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