Head Coach Jack Del Rio
The Oakland Raiders kicked off their ninth day of training camp practice Tuesday afternoon, and the pads were cracking per usual. Following practice, Head Coach Jack Del Rio met with the media to break down another successful day at camp.
Here are the quick hits from his media session:
Del Rio commented on the current backup quarterback battle, as well as the battles at other positions.
"I think we're having healthy competition at several spots on the roster, and I think we haven't even played one down in a game yet. Really, it would be unwise to jump to conclusions about anything at this point with who's repping where. We want to give a lot of exposure, a lot of opportunity for guys to express who they are, and how they can help us. Then we'll sort through that information and make good decisions. So, there's no rush on it. We're sharing the work."
He talked about what he expects to see from the secondary on Saturday against the Arizona Cardinals.
"Well, really when we start playing games we want to be putting it all together. The biggest thing is to keep making progress, keep growing. We're getting a lot of reps out here, getting a lot of exposure, different concepts. Our system is being installed as we're in camp, and we're getting close to where we're done installing and then we'll start refining. We just want to continue to improve. Looking for consistency, and applying the techniques, and be on top of things, and minimizing the big plays."
Del Rio shared why it's important for the guys behind defensive end Khalil Mack to get reps, specifically linebacker/defensive end James Cowser.
"There are opportunities for the guys behind them. They're going to get reps, they're going to get opportunities, and I think James Cowser's had a real nice camp. He's done a nice job so far. That's part of the benefit, that's part of the positive spin there if you look at it that way; when one guy's had something happen that's misfortune, another guy gets an opportunity that might not have been there."
He expressed why it's important for players to be versatile and adjust to new positions, like offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse.
"Well, you know, the shuffle that takes place whenever somebody's down, whether it be from injury or whether it be from contract squabbles, I think those are just realities of football. I think that guys that are capable of swinging like Marshall, will be asked to swing. Then working other guys as well, you know, that will be cross trained to make sure that we can take full advantage of the versatility."
Del Rio emphasized that communication is a key to success, and has seen more of it from second-year safety Karl Joseph.
"Well, it is a big part. That's where it starts. The safety needs to be able to communicate to his corner on his side of the field and with the other safety. Some of those things I think are growing pains, maybe, with a younger guy. I think him having his health in being able to get full, complemental reps is definitely helping him. He's gaining confidence. You can just see it."