Four Takeaways From Ken Norton, Jr.'s Thursday Press Conference

After the Silver and Black wrapped up their on-field work Thursday, defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr., spoke to the media.

Here are the major takeaways from his media session.

While there is definitely room for improvement with the Raiders defense, Norton spoke about some of the positives his unit has shown through two preseason games.

"A lot of things to like. No. 1 is working hard. The guys, we always want to talk about coaching effort first, so they're giving everything they have. They are really learning how to do the things that the good defenses do – stop the run, stay on top, sustain their passion throughout the game and just make it hard on offenses. So they're learning, and I really liked the direction we're going."

**He also spoke about his history with linebacker Malcolm Smith, and what the young linebacker does well.

**

"I have known Malcolm for a long time. I recruited him in high school when he was a running back, so we've been together for a while. He's really smart, an economics major in college at USC, knows the game. If you can tell, he's a guy that is always around the ball. He has a rabbit's foot in his pocket. Good things always happen to him. You want players on your team that are smart, hard-working and have good luck. Good things happen. So Malcolm is a type of guy that you want on your squad."

As the Raiders progress through the preseason, Norton spoke about the importance of "the process."

"I think it's all a process. That's the great thing about preseason, great thing about practice – you have all this time to try to build. You don't want to peak too soon. Obviously, you want to have a first game. Everything looked great, but that's what practice is for, that's what coaching is for, that's what competition is for. So it's a process and I think our direction is sound. When I compare it to the championship teams I've been on, I like the comparison. I really like the direction we're going."

Heading into the third preseason game, Norton is more focused on his team than game planning against the Cardinals.

"It's about us. I'm worried about how we play. I'm worried about how we practice. I'm worried about how we stop the run, how our pass rush is and our third-down percentage and catching the ball and getting the ball and turning it over. It's not about what Arizona is doing. It's about what the Oakland Raiders are doing."

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