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Press Conference Takeaways: Coach Del Rio Talks Team Health And Leadership


Head Coach Jack Del Rio

After the Oakland Raiders wrapped up their final day of Minicamp Thursday at their Alameda, Calif., facility, Head Coach Jack Del Rio spoke to the assembled media.

Here are the highlights from his final press conference of the Offseason Workout Program.

Players are stepping up and filling the leadership void created by the retirements of Justin Tuck and Charles Woodson.

"I think the veterans have done a great job of stepping up with that leadership part. It's one of the questions we had coming into this offseason, right? Who is going to replace 'C-Wood' [Charles Woodson]? Who is going to replace Justin Tuck? We had guys stepping forward. Khalil Mack and Derek [Carr], obviously, two guys that are stepping forward, but guys like Bruce Irvin, guys like Sean Smith, Rodney [Hudson], those guys have been filling that void and doing a great job."

Cornerbacks David Amerson and Sean Smith have impressed Del Rio this offseason, but so has DJ Hayden.

"I think they've done a nice job of developing and working and sharpening their skill level. We're really pleased with those guys. Really, DJ Hayden had a really good spring. He really did. He got a little tweak yesterday, but nothing major. He has terrific foot quickness. He's intelligent. Those things are definitely factors that help you in that slot."

Del Rio still expects rookie safety Karl Joseph to be ready for the start of training camp.

"Yeah, yeah. I think we feel good about the whole team coming into camp being ready to work. Obviously, we'll see when we get there, but that's the anticipation, that we'd have a healthy team going into camp."

He also shared his initial thoughts on safety Jimmy Hall.

"Jimmy's done a nice job, obviously, being out there and healthy and being able to work again. He's a big, physical guy. Seems to be picking up the system well. I agree with you, I think he had a nice spring and I look forward to getting him in pads in training camp."

Del Rio was pleased that there was full attendance during the team's three-day minicamp.

"We did, yeah. Guys were locked in, doing a great job. I feel like, again I speak to the leadership part, because up until this week it's all been voluntary, but we've had tremendous participation. Really, everybody's been here and they don't have to. It's a situation, where, we ask them to be here and the commitment level is there. That's a good thing for our football team."

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