Head Coach Jack Del Rio
Following the Oakland Raiders fourth of 10 Organized Team Activities [OTAs], Head Coach Jack Del Rio held his weekly press conference Tuesday at the team's Alameda, Calif., facility.
Here are the highlights from his time at the podium.
After several dustups on the field Tuesday, Raiders Head Coach Del Rio believes that the spats provide a great teaching opportunity for his team.
"I think there was a great opportunity to teach for us today with some of the spats that were going on. They're really not part of what we do. You guys watched us all last year in camp, it's not a big part of what happens with the way we work, and the way we have respect for each other. In just about every case it was a new guy – I pretty much take in on myself. I say, 'Okay, these guys have not been told, now is a great opportunity', so I laid it out for them, what it looks like here, how we treat each other, what the Raider way looks like. Hopefully we won't waste our time doing things like that. Raiders want to take care of Raiders."
Fighting aside, he wasn't particularly enthused with the execution during Tuesday's practice session.
"I thought we were a little sloppy today, but it wasn't for a lack of desire. Things like that are kind of indicative of how the day went, in my estimation. Hey, we'll be better tomorrow."
As the team enters Year 2 in their current system, it provides the players a greater sense of familiarity with the playbook.
"We feel really good about what we were able to do as a staff in the offseason and really looking at what our guys were best at. Maybe some of the things that we liked, but we weren't very good at, so we were able to kind of tailor the offense that way, design it that way. I think for the guys, the system not changing, them understanding some of the nuances now, some of the combination blocks some of the route combinations for the quarterback, the familiarity with the reps that he's had with some of those concept – we should be much crisper executing those things."
**He also spoke about guard Gabe Jackson's transition from the left to the right side of the offensive line.
* *"From our standpoint, we're looking for the best combination. We feel like he's got the power that's really a covet for a right guard, in particular. Both of those guys are really talented. That was the decision we made, to try that way first with Gabe. I've seen nothing that would suggest anything other than he's going to be just fine and we'll be a much stronger unit with that group that'll end up being in there and we'll be stout."
Since he arrived in the Bay Area, rookie defensive lineman Jihad Ward has impressed Del Rio.
"He's probably a little quicker than I anticipated. He's a serious kid, so he really studies hard and works at it, takes great pride in it. I see him flash a little more than I anticipated, in terms of having quickness and the ability to find the football. Some defensive linemen are stuck on blocks and they're wrestling the block all the time. Guys will run right by them and they don't have the awareness to see them. You can coach them through that, but really that's been pretty natural. He's pretty natural when it comes to wanting to find the ball carrier and wanting to find the quarterback. That's been a pleasant surprise."