Before the Oakland Raiders returned to the practice field Thursday afternoon to continue their preparation for the Denver Broncos, defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr., held his weekly press conference.
Here are the highlights from his remarks at the team's Alameda, Calif., facility.
He shared his thoughts about Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler.
"I'll tell you, he's been really good. A really good system he's in. A really good quarterback, strong arm, a good mind, surrounds himself with some good skill players, a good running game, good tight ends. So he's really surrounded by a lot of talented players."
The Broncos offense is different with Osweiler under center.
"A little bit different. I'm not going to get into specifics, but obviously the new quarterback, Osweiler, can do some things that Peyton [Manning] couldn't do. The run game has really turned up. They have really good runners, really good tight ends. Their receivers are outstanding, so again, he's really surrounded by really good players."
Norton also spoke about the progress of defensive end Khalil Mack.
"Just growth. Anytime you're in the league, the second year is always going to be better than the first. Hopefully, the third is always going to be better than the second. We put him in situations to rush more, to impact the quarterback more. We felt like he was an impact player and he does certain things really well, so let's have him do that more often, and he's been fantastic."
He also shared his general assessment of the Broncos offense.
"We've played some really good quarterbacks, some really good skill positions, some really good running backs, and this falls right in line of a team that's very solid in the run, really good in the pass, great receivers. They really can catch, and can really go deep, and catch the ball underneath, and the tight ends. Tight ends have always followed our defense around, so they are going to be really good in the tight end situations."
Cohesion is key.
"In all the years that I've been on successful teams, it's about the teams working and growing together, having a little cohesiveness, offseasons together, coming back in the new season being familiar with each other, understanding how to work off of each other, how to play together and really caring about each other. Those things really add up in the long run when you look at the successful teams."