Five Takeaways From Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton Jr.'s Wednesday Press Conference

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Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton, Jr.

After the Oakland Raiders wrapped up their ninth Organized Team Activity, defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr., addressed the media.

Here are the highlights from his press conference.

He spoke about the additions of linebacker Bruce Irvin and cornerback Sean Smith to the defense.

"They're really good football players. Anytime you add really good football players to your team, you get better. They have a way of making everybody else around them better. They've played a lot of football and had a lot of success. They are veterans and they know how to work. They know how to make the group better. They know how to study. I think those are areas that we needed to improve in. Just having them on the campus, having other players look at them, we are already better right now than we were when we finished."

**He also gave his initial thoughts about rookie safety Karl Joseph.

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"You see in the film, the guy is explosive. He loves ball. He's around the football a lot. He's a pack of dynamite. He's a really good football player. The more good football players you get on the team, the better you get. Anytime you have a first-round draft pick, you expect an impact player. We expect him to be that."

With the addition of Sean Smith and the continued development of David Amerson, the secondary is improving.

"We see a real good backfield. We're improving. We're coaching better. They're playing better. We want to make sure we add our rush, combined with our coverage. Those two are connected and they work together. They're doing a fantastic job of understanding what we have. We have guys that can cover and we have guys that can rush. That should work out to be pretty good for us."

He shared what the next step is for defensive end Khalil Mack.

"Consistency. We expect him to play at that level all the time. The really good players know how to make players around them better. It can't just be Khalil. It has to be Bruce, it has to be all the guys up front. The group, as a whole, has to take the same leap that Khalil does. Khalil has to learn how to bring everybody with him."

Norton knows he has the players to fill the leadership void left by the departures of Justin Tuck and Charles Woodson.

"We have a lot of veterans. We brought in Sean and Bruce. Khalil is older now. If you look at the group, they're all a year older, a year smarter. They're really good football players. They're all policing each other. As a group, together, they're all going to rise to that high level of competitiveness that we expect."

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