Head Coach Jack Del Rio Continues Prep For Philadelphia

Here's the transcript from Oakland Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio's press conference Saturday afternoon.

*Opening statement: *“Alright, ready to travel back East, take on the Eagles on Monday night, Christmas night. So, Merry Christmas, everybody. Looking forward to a good game. Questions?”

Q: How has Amari Cooper looked this week in practice?

*Coach Del Rio: *“He’s done pretty well. Yeah done pretty well. There’s a good chance we’ll have him.”

**Q: Do you feel pretty good about Rodney Hudson going?

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*Coach Del Rio: *“Yeah, it remains a question. He’s a pretty tough guy. I think he’s already shown that.”

Q: Based on what he already did?

*Coach Del Rio: *“Right.”

Q: What did David Sharpe show you this week?

*Coach Del Rio: *“It was a good week. We rotated those guys, Vadal [Alexander] and David. We’re ready to roll.”

Q: Have you seen Khalil Mack grow into more of a vocal leader in the locker room?

*Coach Del Rio: *“Yeah, I think it’s been him being himself. So, he’s not going to talk a lot, but he asserts himself when he feels like he needs to. I think he’s done a great job. I think it’s been a real natural progression. It all started when Wood [Charles Woodson] left because those guys in that locker room deferred to Charles Woodson. I think him leaving elevated it a little bit. I think you’ve seen kind of gradual growth there. I think he’s outstanding. I think he’s a really good football player, a really good person.”

Q: When someone has that kind of ability, is being themselves the most important thing?

*Coach Del Rio: *“You have to be authentic. You have to be true to who you are. The locker room sees through anybody who’s trying to be someone they’re not. I think you have to be true to who you are and he is true to who he is. Like I said, he asserts himself when he needs to. I’ve heard it more. I know his teammates have heard it more, but it’s been a natural progression. He just understands the need for somebody to step up and he does step up when he needs to.”

Q: There’s some heavy wind in the forecast Monday during the day, it seems to lighten up in the evening.

*Coach Del Rio: *“You have the weather for me. Good. Any snow?”

Q: No, that looks OK right now. Wind, is that something that can affect the passing game?

*Coach Del Rio: *“Yeah, wind really affects, I think, things more than anything else. Wet, obviously can, but wind, field position, punts, field goals, whether you do them or not, the passing game. It’s a lot of different things that are affected by the wind. To me as a football team, part of what we do is look at that and prepare as we go through the week. Having contingency plans if certain things come up to be prepare to adjust and make sure we’re taking full advantage of whatever we can to be in the best position.”

Q: There are a lot of things on your plate pregame. How much will you be mindful of the conditions?

*Coach Del Rio: *“That’s always. That’s not like new this week going to Philly. That’s been something I’ve done as a head coach the whole time. It’s just part of what we do. You’re talking with your staff, you’re talking with your players. You want to make sure you’re prepared for the conditions to be able to do that right things.”

**Q: You guys activated Pharaoh Brown this morning. What have you seen from him?

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*Coach Del Rio: *“Working hard. The guys like Brady Sheldon and Pharaoh and some of these guys that are getting a chance late in the season to come up, they all have been working hard. Pharaoh, in particular you’re asking about, I think he’s worked hard and continued to develop himself. So, we’re pleased with the way those guys have worked at and earned a spot on the roster now.”

Q: What kind of transition is it going to be to go for him going from and offense like he was a part of at Oregon to an NFL player?

*Coach Del Rio: *“Yeah, it’s a lot of developing, a lot of work. I think he’s really grown throughout the year and taken full advantage of that opportunity. Those guys, they bust it and we talk about it. This year has kind of been light. There were very few injuries until the last couple of weeks. Those guys understand that we’re constantly preparing them and developing them. We want them to really work at it and embrace that because at some point we may need you. You may create that opportunity to get active by putting your best foot forward every day.”

Q: Is it hard for some guys to grasp that concept of showing improvement when they don’t play in games?

*Coach Del Rio: *“Yeah, I think we push and we’re talking about how you do everything. How you conduct yourself in the meetings. Are you really in the plan each week. Do you really know what the team is doing at your position, what you would be responsible for. That’s all part of it. What they do with Joe [Gomes] in the weight room, the work ethic in there is important. So, all of that is part of the development of these guys. We feel like we work at that as well as anybody.”

Q: Has TJ Carrie done well this year in your opinion?

*Coach Del Rio: *“He’s had a good year. He’s had a good year. I think he’s been very dependable. I think he’s had a good year.”

Q: Has David Amerson progressed to a point where you think he’ll return this season?

*Coach Del Rio: *“I don’t know what to say on that one. I have to trust the trainers and the doctors to do their thing with him. Honestly, I feel like I’ve been waiting forever. It’s been a while. Little bit frustrating because he’s one of our better corners. To not have him, a little bit frustrating.”

Q: What was Thursday’s practice like having mostly James Stone at center?

*Coach Del Rio: *“Got a lot of work. I think [offensive line coach] Mike [Tice] has done a good job with our guys. We’re going to see Monday night. I think Mike has done a good job with our group. The teaching, the adjusting where we need to and those types of things. Like I said, we’ll find out Monday night. Hopefully, Rodney is able to go and you don’t end up going to him. But if we do go to him, I think he’ll be prepared to help us.”

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