Head Coach Jack Del Rio Talks About Finishing Strong In Napa, Impact of Christian Ponder

Following the team's off day Monday, the Oakland Raiders returned to the practice field Tuesday afternoon at their Napa Valley Training Complex.

Tuesday was the first of three consecutive days of on-field work leading up the team's second preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings Saturday, and following practice, Head Coach Jack Del Rio spoke to the media.

During his time at the podium Head Coach Del Rio addressed finishing camp in Napa strong, as well as the addition of wide receiver Devon Wylie.


The Raiders are nearing the end of their time in Napa, and while the team still has a few days left before returning to their Alameda, Calif., facility, Head Coach Del Rio is intent on having the team finish their remote work with purpose.

"I think this has been a really productive time up here in Napa. It's a beautiful place to hold camp. It's great to have our fans out. We've got terrific fans out here supporting us every day. It's been good. It's been a good, productive time. We just want to finish strong."


Veteran quarterback Christian Ponder signed with the Raiders in March, and Head Coach Jack Del Rio spoke about what the Florida State-product brings to the table.

"He's got a lot of starts in the league. He's got a lot of experience. He's got a knowledge having been with [offensive coordinator Bill] Musgrave before. He understands Bill's system a little bit, some of the terminology. He brings experience and quarterback ability. He knows Bill real well. With that combination of things, he was attractive to us in terms of bringing him in as a free agent."


After a players' day off, focus and execution can be a concern, but that was not case for the Silver and Black Tuesday afternoon.

"I thought we came back from time off today as well as we have in camp, better than we have in camp. Coming back with focus. The quality of the work was stronger following a day off. That's what we're looking for."


The reserve defensive linemen impressed during Friday's win over the St. Louis Rams, and as the team prepares for their next preseason opponent, Head Coach Del Rio is looking forward to seeing the defensive line's progress.

"I think there are some good battles there for roles, for positions on the team. Whether we're talking about starting roles, backup roles, we play a couple of different defensive groupings so guys have a chance to fight their way into different groupings. I think the depth is pretty good. I think we're working at it and competing and challenging each other."


The Raiders signed wide receiver Devon Wylie Tuesday afternoon, and after practice, Head Coach Del Rio talked about the newest addition to the roster.

"He'll have a chance to compete, slot receiver, punt returner, those types of things. He's got some quickness. He was a guy that, a few years back, had a decent draft grade. He's been around a little bit. We'll give him a chance to compete."

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