Head Coach Jack Del Rio
Jack Del Rio was noticeably upset Sunday evening, and Monday afternoon during his press conferences because of some of the things that transpired against the Dallas Cowboys, but what’s done is done. The Oakland Raiders Head Coach is focused on moving forward, and this week they’ll go toe-to-toe with one of the NFL’s powerhouses in the Philadelphia Eagles. Thursday the team kicked off its preparation for the Christmas night battle in Philly, but prior to practice, Del Rio met with the media to discuss the week at hand.
Here are the quick hits from his press conference:
Del Rio addressed wide receiver Amari Cooper’s health.
“Yeah, we hope to get him back to practice and have a good week of practice and be ready to go Monday night.”
He praised cornerback Sean Smith’s recent production.
“I think he’s been much, much more productive, obviously. Much more on point. I felt like he was assigned last week to shadow Dez [Bryant] most of the night and did a pretty solid job of that and competing there. So yeah, I think it’s obvious. I think his play has improved over the last month. It’s coincided with all the coverage getting a little tighter. The rush getting a little better. Kind of hand in hand the overall production of our defense has improved over the last month.”
Del Rio shared what the team’s strength has been this season, which also coincides with the team’s four Pro Bowlers.
“I think in the trenches, that’s the strength of our football team. I think it was represented in the voting. Khalil Mack has once again been tremendous. All those guys on offense. K.O. [Kelechi Osemele] is a dominant player. Rodney really, really good. And Donald [Penn] got recognized. I think that’s a little bit about the pass blocking. We don’t give up a lot of sacks. We maybe haven’t run it as much as we’ve expect to, but I think it’s a good group, a good group of guys that represent us. Proud of them.”
Even though Carr hasn’t had his best season, his head coach believes he’s growing.
“There’s no question he’s growing. The experience he’s getting, he’s definitely growing. Even the very best. Even the very elite quarterbacks of all time weren’t perfect every year. Derek is good football player. We’re going to win a lot of games together here.”
Del Rio touched on why the Eagles offense has been so efficient this season.
“They’ve been very explosive. [Eagles Head Coach] Doug [Pederson] has done a great job of going in there. They have over 30 points a game. I think they’re in the positive turnover ratio, plus-9, plus-10, right in that area, which is what you want to be. It helps you be explosive like that. They have a good football team. They’re good in all three phases.”