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Head Coach Jack Del Rio: "Their Defensive Front Is As Talented As Any That We'll Face"


Head Coach Jack Del Rio

Week 2 is officially underway, and the Oakland Raiders were back at the team's facility in Alameda, Calif., to get things going Wednesday. After coming away with a road win against the Tennessee Titans, the Silver and Black will try to protect their turf at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum this Sunday when they host the New York Jets. To speak about the matchup, Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio met with the local media Wednesday afternoon.

Here are the quick hits from his presser:

Del Rio praised the Jets for having one of the better defensive lines in the league.

"I think they probably have one of the better fronts in the league. Their defensive front is as talented as any that we'll face. They're very aggressive in their scheme. The two safeties they drafted, we think, are really good football players. I know I liked them both, grading them coming out of the draft. Good players. Offensively, they have two backs that are very good, very capable. Have a history of doing good things in this league."

He discussed the strong Week 1 performance from kicker Giorgio Tavecchio, as well as him being named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.

"He got the award today. We're happy for him. I think you see those individual awards, they tend to show up when the team wins. Really proud of him for the grit and the perseverance and staying the course and continuing to believe. Of course he's really developed himself and is now getting a great opportunity. I'm super proud of him. I told him, 'Great job. OK, now we're going forward, next game.'"

Del Rio touched on the progression of rookie cornerback Gareon Conley.

"He's been chomping at the bit, so to speak. Last week he was a little disappointed that we weren't going to play him, but I assured him that I thought it was imperative for us to do the right thing by him, and that when I felt he was ready, we'll play him. Until then, I want him to just do what he can, practice as hard as he can and prepare accordingly. We'll make the call when we think he's right."

Even at 23 years old, wide receiver Amari Cooper is one of the best at his position, but Del Rio knows he can get better.

"Well, I think he's been pretty good the last couple of years, alright? The biggest thing for him is just to continue growing. He's a young player. Like I mention all the time, we have you players that are really driven, that want to be special. They got to work at it. They have the work ethic. That's the biggest thing. Then it's just time. Time performing and playing at a high level."

Del Rio talked about what he believes will make Todd Downing a good offensive coordinator.

"He has a good skill set. I think he has leadership qualities and he has organization. He has a good presence. I think he's done a nice job. He's had a nice start. He won against a real legend of the game with [Titans defensive coordinator Dick] LeBeau last week. It doesn't slow down. This week with [Jets Head Coach Todd] Bowles and what they do. A lot of stuff coming at you. There are challenges every week. As a staff and as a team we're just looking to prepare the best we can."

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