Before his team took to the field field Wednesday afternoon to begin preparations for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Head Coach Jack Del Rio held his pre-practice press conference at the team's Alameda, Calif., practice facility.
Here are the highlights from his time behind the podium.
Head Coach Del Rio shared his thoughts about the Steelers defense.
"It's an aggressive, athletic front. They have 22 sacks on the year. They have a bunch of different guys involved in getting to the quarterback. It's a really good defense. They're doing a lot of things they've always done. It seems like names change, but the attacking defense remains the same."
He also spoke about the success of the Raiders run defense.
"It's a combination of things. First of all, it's a week-to-week league, right? We need to make sure that this week we're good against the run and this is one of the teams that runs it as well as anybody. It comes down to shedding blocks and tackling, and I think if you tackle well, it gives you a chance to be good on defense, period. You've got to be able to shed blocks and do some of the basic fundamentals, some of the dirty work, some of the tough in-the-trenches kind of work in order to have a chance."* *
Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown creates challenges for the Silver and Black's defense.
"He's explosive. He's explosive to the ball. Once he gets the ball in his hands, he can score from anywhere. He's a good route runner. He really attacks the football. He's a really good football player. Not only on offense is he a threat, but he's the punt returner and he does a heck of a job there. Again, he's a guy we've got to know where he is on the football field."
Each week in the NFL is its own entity.
"Each week you start over and you start with your preparation. They bring a lot of different looks. They have a lot of good, talented people. This is that time of week where we're really immersing ourselves in the film and in studying the tape and really getting to know these guys as well as possible and putting together a plan that we need to go out and execute."
He also spoke about the support of Raider Nation.
"I think our fans are tremendous. I grew up a fan. I know about the Raider Nation. Our support is incredible, so for me, it really hasn't changed. Every day I come to work filled with purpose, wanting to attack my job and just squeeze everything I can out of each day, and that's how I approach it. As a team, that's the way we have to continue to approach it."