Prior to the Oakland Raiders taking the field for their Thursday practice, defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr., held his weekly press conference at the team's Alameda, Calif., facility.
Here is what we learned from his media briefing.
The Raiders defense, in particular the pass rush, is still growing.
"It's a matter of the team growing, learning. I think it's still early in the season and we're kind of learning who we are, learning what we do best, and I think as the season grows, we'll mature and get better, and we'll come into our own as the games go by."
Raiders Defensive Effort
"The guys are playing hard. It's one thing I've really talked to them about, how hard they play. You can't worry about the sacks, they come in bunches, just keep your fundamentals, keep working really hard, keep your disciple and things are going to happen."
Norton spoke about the qualities a good defense possesses.
"Good defenses make it hard on offenses. They tackle well. They play really hard. They're fundamentally sound. The gap control is sound. They make it hard on offenses, and what we're trying to do is be a good defense, so it's the small things, the little things, the studying, everybody in their gap, everybody making a tackle, a five-yard play stays a five-yard play and doesn't turn into a 25-yard play."
He also addressed the development of the Oakland secondary.
"One thing you noticed is there were a lot more plays, a lot more tipped balls; a few calls go our way, you never know what happens, but you see the guys are really playing hard. You see the growth in them. They're challenging receivers, making it hard on guys, being real sticky in our coverage, and you can tell they're working really hard at it."
As well as the keys to winning on the road in the NFL.
"Just confidence. Really understanding that the guys you go on the trip with, those are our guys, and just really believing in what we're doing. Believing in our scheme, believing in our technique, believing in what we're doing."