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Five Takeaways From Bill Musgrave's Thursday Press Conference

Before the Silver and Black returned to the practice field Thursday afternoon, offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave held his weekly press conference at the team's Alameda, Calif., facility.

Here are the highlights from his media session.

He spoke about the challenges of the Lions defense.

"They played very well on Sunday, and they've had other games in which they played well this season. Of course, we know what this group did last year and just being the cream of the crop in terms of defense in the whole NFL. It'll be a challenge."

Musgrave also praised the development of fullback Jamize Olawale.

"Catch the ball out of the back field, can be a lead blocker and also ball carrier. He's healthy now. I think he's feeling more and more healthy as we proceed through the season. That's helped us evaluate and assess his talents more. And you're right, he got a good number of touches the other day. Did a nice job with, was it just one carry he had there in Pittsburgh, so he's growing into the position."

Quarterbacks coach Todd Downing has been a good addition to the Raiders coaching staff.

"It's been working out great. [Quarterbacks coach] Todd [Downing] has a ton of experience. He's going back to one of his former employers this weekend where he was with Matthew Stafford. Lot of experience, really been trained under [offensive line] coach [Mike] Tice and Scott Linehan over the years. So got a wealth of experience and knowledge. I've enjoyed it."

He also applauded Tony Bergstrom's play in relief of starting center Rodney Hudson.

"He did a terrific job. He called a good game. Very pleased with Tony's level of play."

It's crucial to start fast, especially on the road.

"It's important in terms of hopefully taking the crowd out of it a little bit. But we just want to start fast and stay on the gas. Be able to sustain it. We all look forward to the games. Practice is a necessary evil. Sometimes it's drudgery, but our guys really come out here and work hard every day. They get amped up and start to crescendo up on Friday, Saturday and get ready to go for post time on Sunday."

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