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John Pagano And Todd Downing Talk Christmas Night Showdown


Assistant Head Coach - Defense John Pagano & Offensive Coordinator Todd Downing

The holidays are loaded with cheer and festivities, but it wouldn't be complete without some competitive football. This Christmas, the Oakland Raiders will square off against the Philadelphia Eagles in a Monday Night Football showdown in the bitter cold at Lincoln Financial Field. Friday, Raiders Offensive Coordinator Todd Downing and Assistant Head Coach – Defense John Pagano took the podium to speak about the matchup.

Here are the quick hits from their media session:

Assistant Head Coach – Defense John Pagano

Pagano praised veteran quarterback Nick Foles for what he brings to the game.

"He threw four touchdown passes last week. He did a great job. You know, offensively, probably the biggest thing is you saw Carson [Wentz] really moving around, how they run – probably different type of quarterbacks. Still, Nick can run. Their offense really didn't lose a lot from the standpoint of him being able to throw touchdown passes. Watching those earlier films, Carson Wentz, he's a hell of a player. I mean, unbelievable talent – sad for the injuries – but, you know Foles stepped right in and threw touchdown passes. So, it's going to be a tough challenge for us."

He shared why the pass rush has been so productive recently.

"You know, I think the effort the last four games has been outstanding. I think having an understanding of the pass rush of how we want to attack teams has been outstanding and those guys are great edge rushers that help us on the edge. You got to get the guys inside pushing that pocket. I think there's been some timely things that have helped us defensively with the rush and it's just keep growing, keep getting better off that. I think it's having a true understanding going into the game how we're attacking them. And I think the guys have done a great job of focusing in on those things."

Offensive Coordinator Todd Downing

Downing talked about what challenges the Eagles defense presents.

"They're very, very sound. They don't do a lot schematically, but they do it well and they're where they're supposed to be when they're supposed to be there. They're certainly talented. They have a lot of good players on that defense and they're going to make sure that they're fitting their gaps and stopping it from being an easy access to their linebacker level. They're a challenge."

He discussed how quarterback Derek Carr has played this year.

"I think he's had some really good football this year. In a tough year, there can be a lot of critiques, and I think that sometimes it can get lost in the mix that there are some good things in there too. Certainly, Derek showed great toughness on Sunday and stood in there and made some throws. That was pleasing to see, but I think he's done a nice job with a lot of things this year. We just need to be consistent all around, the whole offense, up and down from me all the way down to practice squad guys, we've got to look for ways to be more consistent and be reliable."

Downing is hopeful wide receiver Amari Cooper can get rolling these final two weeks.

"Hopefully he can get rolling. He's been working hard in the training room and trying to get back. We'll see how all of that goes and shakes out. I know he wants to finish the season strong as we all do. I'd like to see him out there flying around if we can get him."

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