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Raider Nation, Stand Up - View Schedule - Presented by Allegiant

Michael Huff Media Session

Q: Do you feel older now?

Huff: A lot older. I have a lot of gray hairs already.

Q: Have you gotten to sleep?

Huff: I've got about four hours the last two days. It's all worth it though.

Q: You have to come back to camp to rest?

Huff: Yeah, she didn't like that, but I've got to work.

Q: Game three is traditionally the dress rehearsal for the season. To what degree have you guys stepped up your preparation?

Huff: It hasn't been much different, because every week we prepare like it's a real game, like it's a big game. Obviously we're not showing all of our defense until the season, but we're trying to still keep it vanilla and focus on fundamentals and master what we do.

Q: We saw there is an 81 jersey out there though for Calvin Johnson…

Huff: They're scheming him now, to know where he's at at all times. He's obviously their best offensive threat and one of the best, if not the best, receivers in the League. So, you have to always know where he's at.

Q: Do you just take it as just another preseason game, or since it's the third week and you're playing the Lions, a team that was tough last year, can you measure yourself from this game?

Huff: I think we can. They have one of the best passing threats in the League. We're going to go out there and treat it like a real game. We're not going to have all of our scheme in, but as far as like a real game and our fundamental defense, we'll treat it like a real game.

Q: As well as they pass the ball, do you have to guard yourself against thinking pass all the time, and honor the run as well?

Huff: Oh yeah, because if you can't stop the run, it's going to be a longer day. We still want to go out there and stop the run, that's our first goal to stop the run every week and make them one-dimensional, then let our front four get after them and hold them on the back end.

Q: You've got Miles Burris starting at linebacker, you've got a new guy coming into the scheme in Philip Wheeler. As the defensive backfield, do you guys feel the need to help them along, compensate in some way?

Huff: Not really. From day one, they threw him into the fire. It's obviously a whole new scheme, a whole defense, for everybody. We've all been learning on the fly so we don't really treat it like that.

Q: Camp almost ready to break, there's a lot of talk at the beginning how different it was as far as the organization. Now that you've been here a few weeks with this new staff, what jumps out at you about this coaching staff?

Huff: Just knowing where you need to be at every moment. Everything is lined out with what you need to do. What everyone expects of you. If anybody strays away from that, you know you can't argue with it because it's been lined up for you since day one. That's really the structure of the organization.

Q: You were pretty excited about this defense when camp opened from the off-season. You were out there, now what do you think that you get to put it into use?

Huff: Still love it. Especially since we're putting more and more into it each day. We're not bringing it out yet, but we're still installing things, different things to attack things in different ways.

Q: You're not installing all of it, but we've seen more blitzes in the preseason games than we did all of the regular season games. I don't know if you watched the last game, but there was one sack I think by Houston and there was a safety and a line backer both there to make it to.

Huff: That's the one thing with this defense. You never know what you're going to get. [The defense] kind of plays to the strength of the d-line, line backers, and secondary. It puts people in position to make plays. And it is up to us to make the play.

Q: A couple of the veteran linemen talk about how they think this could be a top five defense, which would be a pretty stark improvement from last year. Do you feel the same way? If so, is it because you're trying to make sure offences don't know what they are going to get?

Huff: We definitely can be a top-five defense. The main thing is staying healthy and playing Raider football. The coaches obviously put in the scheme to be a top five defense. So at the end of the day it's going to come down to the players. So it all depends on how well we execute. But we can definitely be a top five defense.

Q: What have you noticed about your new corners, [CB Shawtae] Spencer and [RB Ron] Bartell? What do they bring? You've played with certain guys for a while. [Now] you've got two brand new guys. What are your impressions of them so far?

Huff: They are complete corners. They're physical and will come up and hit you. And they will still obviously cover like corners. That's really the main thing in this defense is our corners have to tackle. It's not just man-to-man all the time and running people off, so we have to make the tackles. They're the kind to set the edge and make the tackle. They talk.  They are smart. They know schemes. They know kind of what the offense is doing. It's good to talking to them.

Q: What's the new Huff? What's the name?

Huff: Madeline Rae Huff

Q: Weight?

Huff: She was 6 [pounds]-2 [ounces]

Q: Six foot two (laughs)?

Huff: (Laughs) She was born on 4:24. Great number, that 24. I made sure I pulled her out right at 24. I was looking at the clock (laughs).

Q: You couldn't get a longhorn in there somewhere?

Huff: Not yet.

Q: She's already registered isn't she?

Huff: She's ready to go.

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