Offensive Coordinator Todd Downing
Several of the Oakland Raiders starters - including quarterback Derek Carr, running back Marshawn Lynch, and wide receiver Amari Cooper – made their preseason debuts Saturday against the Los Angeles Rams. Prior the team's practice Wednesday, Offensive Coordinator Todd Downing met with the local media to recap his unit's performance Saturday.
Here are the quick hits from his presser:
Downing commented on the improved physicality and size of Cooper, and how it's benefitted his game.
"Certainly his play strength. There's been a lot made about him being a little bit bigger, and stronger, and you certainly see that. It's harder for defenders to knock him off his route, he gets his route depth more consistently, and his play speed has been really impressive for a guy who didn't get a lot of practice. So we were pretty pleased with what we saw the other night."
He talked about the production he's seen from the team's tight end group.
"I think what you've seen from the whole tight end group is understanding their role a little bit better in the passing game. We'll create some matchups with those guys, and when we have them we'll take advantage of them, but those guys work so hard, not just in the pass game, but in the run game and in protections."
Downing expressed his confidence in Lynch, and has been pleased with veteran's work ethic.
"He works hard on the practice filed, so we know what he is as a gamer, he's got tape to prove that. He doesn't need to prove too much to me from a game standpoint. From where I think he's still putting in his work is getting comfortable in the system, and understand the offense, and set up blocks a little bit differently than he has in the past. He's getting plenty of work with that in practice."
**He praised wide receiver Michael Crabtree for his consistent level of play, and strong hands.
"I knew from watching him in college, and seeing him go as highly drafted as he was that he was a talented receiver, but man, you watch him in practice and you just think, 'I would love to have that skill.' He's pretty incredible catching the football."
Downing also broke down what he's seen from offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse.
"He's a true pro though, we saw a good amount of him in the offseason, even though we were in pajamas out there. We saw him at right tackle in the offseason, and we trust his preparation, and his ability, and his ability to transfer technique from the left to the right, so that's going to be a fluid situation until we get to Tennessee."