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

Following the Raiders Thursday practice at their Alameda, Calif., facility, defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr., held his weekly press conference.

Here are the highlights from his time behind the microphone.

Norton stressed the importance of improvement.

"We have to continue to get better. I think we have to continue to work hard and work our technique. I think that it's all a growing process. You know our team is very young. Sometimes certain plays are brand new for them. So it's a matter of us preparing really well, putting ourselves in position to make the play and then go make the play."

He knows that the defensive unit in Oakland has a deep desire to get better.

"The guys have been working really hard. They've been studying hard, they're making the sacrifices that the good defenses have to make, they've been studying. The staff has been working together to put out a really good product. We have some really good football players, it's just a matter of us preparing them and have them play the best on Sunday. And they've really stepped up."

Norton has been impressed with rookies Mario Edwards Jr. and Neiron Ball.

"We've had our eyes on them since the day that they walked in here. We've always talked about practice being the place that we continue to compete, practice being the place where you earn your position, a chance to play. What they both have done, worked and competed on the practice field, they've earned the opportunity, the chance to play. When they've had that chance, they've really shown up."

He also shared his thoughts on cornerback David Amerson.

"Really impressed by his work ethic, by the way he's come in and wanting to win and to understand how we do things. It's always tough for a new guy coming into a new environment with new situations. But he's really come in well and the guys really put their arms around him."

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