Head Coach Jack Del Rio
As the Oakland Raiders get ready to embark on their journey to Dallas on Friday, the team concluded it’s final day of practice Thursday before their matchup against the Cowboys on Saturday. Following practice, Head Coach Jack Del Rio wrapped up the day with a presser.
Head Coach Jack Del Rio
Opening Statement: “Fast Friday type approach. On our way traveling down to Dallas tomorrow to play a good football team at their place. Really, this is a critical time in the evaluation stage, so really important looks for us to get as we round into the final kind of chapter of the preseason, or leading up to it. A lot of important work ahead of us, but excited to go down there and compete. Looking forward to it.”
**Q: What does Donald Penn being back mean to the team right now?
Coach Del Rio: “It means we have more depth and it’s good to have him back.”
Q: Will he play with the first unit on Saturday?
Coach Del Rio: “He may get a few reps.”
Q: Will most of his work this week come with the second, third units?
Coach Del Rio: “We’ll get him a few reps. We’re not going to play him long, but we’ll probably get him a few reps in the game.”
Q: What kind of shape did he come back in?
Coach Del Rio: “There’s a difference between game conditioning and football conditioning and being in shape. He’s in shape. He’s a veteran guy. He understands what he needs to do. So physically, he’s in condition now. It’s a matter of him going through the timing of getting his body in-sync with the demands of what we do. We’ll ease him in, give him a little bit this weekend. We gave him a little bit through the week of practice and we’ll be ready to roll.”
Q: Has Marshall Newhouse started working on the right side?
Coach Del Rio: “Yeah, he’s worked on the right, really, the whole time – left and right. So, [offensive line coach] Mike [Tice] continues to mix that. The focus went from mostly right to mostly left, but throughout the offseason he’s done both.”
Coach Del Rio: “Good young players. We’re excited about both of them and they’re working at it, so that’s what we’re asking.”
Q: Will we see Obi Melifonwu play on Saturday? His activity level seemed to increase this week.
Coach Del Rio: “I thought Obi had a good week of practice and we look forward to seeing him Saturday.”
Q: Is the plan to have the starters play into the third quarter?
Coach Del Rio: “We’ll see how it goes. The plan is to get a good, solid amount of work in. How long we have to go to get that done, we’ll determine that.”
Q: Is it awkward at all to play the Cowboys in the preseason and play them in the regular season? You did the same thing last year against Tennessee.
Coach Del Rio: “Yeah, a little different that by the time we play them toward the end of the year, the last month of the year, that we will have seen a lot of each other on tape, so I don’t know that that’s as big of an issue as it was maybe against Tennessee where we played them early. Obviously, it is an opponent. It’s a good, talented team, a couple of physical teams that go after each other, will have a little fun going at it.”
Q: Is it kind of a sigh of relief to get Donald Penn back now as opposed to a couple weeks into the regular season?
Coach Del Rio: “To me, it kind of is what it is. I don’t get too emotionally wrapped up in that kind of stuff. I just coach the guys that are here. He’s back. Glad to have him back and going to work.”
Q: What’s your philosophy on the value of joint practices? Do you think there is value in it? Was there thought about doing some this camp?
Coach Del Rio: “We did not want to have it this year. There is value. When it’s the appropriate time, then we’ll do it.”
Q: What dictated this year not being a good year for you guys to do a joint practice?
Coach Del Rio: “Just really nothing that I care to talk about publicly, but it’s our choice.”