Head Coach Jack Del Rio
The Oakland Raiders were back at the team's facility in Alameda, Calif., on Monday to kickoff the final week of preseason action. Head Coach Jack Del Rio met with the media for his usual weekly recap, and spoke about what he's seen from some of the younger players through the first three games.
Here are the quick hits from his media session:
Del Rio talked about the upcoming game on Thursday, and the importance of tightening things up on a short week.
"It's a short week, there are several things that we want to clear up, and this is the time of year that the fourth preseason game is a light load for a large number of the guys. We'll get our last look at some guys we need to make decisions on, so that's really what this last game ends up being about, so that's really what we know is in front of us. Short week, want to be sharp, we understand the challenges that we'll face with this schedule that we'll have starting on the road in Tennessee, and we'll turn to that next week."
He discussed why the NFL's rule change on roster reduction will benefit the guys who haven't played as much.
"I think they get guys an opportunity to play, exactly what they get, a last chance to make an impression. I told our guys, 'You want to make the best impression you can for an opportunity here, you also have 31 other teams that are going to evaluate the game tape, and you're making an impression the league as well. So I think it's important to put your best foot forward, and we've got a good group of men."
Del Rio noted the team's development at a variety of positions, and there's plenty of tape to go over.
"The whole time has been significant for us. There's been a lot of development in a lot of different places. We've had a lot of change, in particular depth on the defensive side of the ball. A lot of guys get an opportunity, whether it be on special teams, finding a role for them on defense. We play a lot of combinations. We've had a lot of looks with a lot of different people. So a lot of good tape to evaluate for us. Now we're sorting through that and they get one last shot."
**He touched on the progression of rookie safety Shalom Luani, and how he's grown since arriving.
"He's done well. He's gotten better. I think guys like him and others have taken advantage of their opportunity and grown. We feel like we've made some strides in some key areas. He's been part of that. He's developed. He's a lot better now than the day he got here."
Del Rio shared that the starting defense has improved over the last few weeks, and believes it's headed in the right direction. "I feel really good about the work we put in. I think structure-wise and system wise and technique and fundamental-wise, I think a lot of it has really… There's been a lot of bright spots for us. I know people want to look at numbers and specific things. For us, we're looking at the development, the different packages and personnel and how we utilize them during the year. I feel like we've made significant progress over the last several months."