Offensive Coordinator Todd Downing & Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton, Jr.
It was a strong week for the Oakland Raiders, as the team got back in the win column for the first time since Week 7, and will head into the bye week eager to rest up. While the bye week will give the players, and coaches, some much needed time for recuperation, the team is still in Alameda, Calif., training at for the next couple days. With that being said, Wednesday afternoon, Raiders Offensive Coordinator Todd Downing and Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton, Jr., met with reporters to recap Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins.
Here are the quick hits from their media session:
Offensive Coordinator Todd Downing:
Downing discussed how the team, specifically the coaching staff, will utilize the bye week.
"Diving into a really, really extensive self-scout and looking for efficiency. What we're good at. What we're not good at. See if we need to tweak some things we're doing schematically. Also, gives us an opportunity to emphasize some of the things we're doing well or possibly even eliminate some stuff that we're not doing so well. We're definitely looking forward to diving into that and being able to come out of the week with some hard information that we can use."
He shared if he's seen any signs of growth from the offense recently.
"Certainly, it's been something I've talked to you guys about throughout the course of the year. One is to be able to develop our personality in the run game. Even when things didn't start with the most efficient or best numbers in the first half, we were able to kind of get our momentum going and hit some of those same concept runs. I was pleased to see that growth throughout the game. Some adjustments made on the sideline by [offensive line] coach [Mike] Tice and his staff and his crew. They really did a nice job of putting it to them in second half from a standpoint of staying ahead of the chains, the run game was good to see."
Downing talked about tight end Jared Cook's impressive performance on Sunday Night Football.
"Jared works really hard at doing the little things right. We knew that we could create a couple of matchups for him. That was something that we worked on in Sarasota throughout the practice week. He really did a nice job of the little things on route details, the depth of his route, the timing of his route, being able to come out of the break full speed. I just told him on the practice field, when you invest in all those things and it comes to fruition, it's great validation to do them all the time. I was really, really happy for him that he had such a productive game."
**Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton, Jr.:
Norton touched on the defense's tackling Sunday, and doesn't think it'll be an issue going forward.
"That's a good question because I asked the guys, what's the one thing you know you're going to get from our defense. They said, 'Tackling, coach.' And then they go out and miss the tackles. So I think maybe the guys are trying really hard. It was a little wet and a little slippery early with the rain. But tackling at the end of the day is about 'want to.' It's about getting the guy down. It was unfortunate but I don't think that's an example of who we are. I think the players understand the value that we put in tackling and that good tackling is a good representation of your group and I don't think that's something we'll get used to seeing."
He expressed his joy to see rookie safety Obi Melifonwu get some reps in his first official NFL game.
"We were excited just to be out there and to be available and to run and to sweat and to get knocked down and to coach him on the sideline to see how he responds to the pressure, to see how he responds to the lights and the television and the coaching under the adverse situations. It's good to see. Because you practice one way, but then you play, it's an entirely different situation. The players are different under the stress. So he's cool, he's collected. You can talk to him, he listens. It's not too big for him. So I think that as the games go, he'll get more time and he'll get more exposed to better players."