Head Coach Jack Del Rio Speaks About Khalil Mack, Clive Walford And Preseason Roles

Following the team's league-mandated day off Monday, the Oakland Raiders returned to practice Tuesday in preparation for their preseason opener against the St. Louis Rams Friday night at O.co Coliseum.

After practice, Head coach Jack Del Rio addressed the media and spoke about the return of tight end Clive Walford as well as the first preseason game.


After a day off, energy was not an issue for the Silver and Black as they returned to the practice field Tuesday afternoon.

"Yeah they had some good work. Time you're working as a team, at camp you have ups and downs, one side and the other feeling good about themselves. All in all, it was a good day's work."


After missing the first eight practices of Training Camp 2015, rookie tight end Clive Walford returned to the field Tuesday.

Head Coach Del Rio spoke about the return of the rookie.

"I think he's a football player that had a really good spring and we look forward to getting our hands on him and getting him to work. But we'd like to avoid that yo-yo process where he's back and forth. So, hopefully we let it settle down and we can put it behind us."


Typically, starting quarterbacks don't play too heavily in a preseason opener, but as of now, Head Coach Del Rio wouldn't divulge how much his second-year quarterback would play Friday night.

"We really haven't talked about it yet. So I think we'll talk again tomorrow and have more time to visit it as a staff and discuss it. We have not really set plans yet for the week yet. So, we're busy in camp mode, kind of grinding with the players and installing and all of that. So we'll talk about specifics with play time as we go forward."


After two weeks in training camp, Head Coach Del Rio is excited to see his team finally hit the field, albeit it in a preseason setting.

"When you get to the games and start playing games, that's the fun part. So, there's work that goes in. You come into camp excited and eager but there's nothing like playing games going against other people so I think you get your best evaluation there. I think you really learn about your team there. So yeah, I'm very excited to get out there Friday night and see what our guys can do."


Head Coach Del Rio also addressed the role of second-year linebacker Khalil Mack on the Raiders defense.

"We'd like to keep him on the field. You end up – guys, no matter who you are, will typically get spelled occasionally. But he's a guy that you definitely want on the field as often as possible. He's a really good football player. He's stout against the run. He rushes the quarterback. He does a lot of different things. His conditioning will dictate that and then how hard and how many plays in a row we're playing, and all those kinds of things, will be factored in."

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