Head Coach Jack Del Rio
The Oakland Raiders accomplished a difficult task Sunday night, defeateing the reigning Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos 3-20 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The win over the Broncos solidified the Raiders as the first place team in the AFC West, and Head Coach Jack Del Rio was back at the team's facility on Monday to discuss the win.
Here are the quick hits from his press conference.
**Del Rio thought all three phases of the team made a significant contribution in the game, but thinks it can be better.
"I think all three phases certainly contributed in the game. I think they had really good moments, all three. We see a lot of things that can be better. That's what we're going to keep working at. I don't know if you ever reach that perfect performance you're striving for anyway, but there are things that we need to clean up that we need to be better at. There were some things that we did really well. I think there were phases, in all three phases were contributors in the effort last night for sure."
He shared that the team's communication defensively has enabled the group to progress and get better.
"I think probably, defensively, the overall communication has been better and better. I think they're beginning to play with a little more confidence because of that. We have a good group of guys. I've said it all along. They really care. We have some talent and as we gain that confidence and that belief in each other, I think we'll play faster and faster and more effectively."
Del Rio praised guard Denver Kirkland for stepping up when needed over the last few weeks.
"Denver's [Kirkland] been a big, physical guy, tough guy. We were drawn to him in camp, thought there were some things that were with developing and that development, obviously, has been accelerated a little bit with him being on the field as much as he is now. When you look at the number of guys that we have that are rookies that are playing or undrafted's that are playing and that's encouraging, because they're getting a lot of coaching, they're developing and they're building belief. Guys like Jalen Richard, great stories, some of these undrafted men are coming in here and doing a nice job for us."
**With cornerback Sean Smith not participating in Sunday's game, Del Rio thought TJ Carrie and DJ Hayden played nicely in his stead.
"They battled tough. I thought they did a really nice job for the most part. Couple things we can clean up, technique-wise but the effort was great and the intensity was great. I thought DJ was really solid. TJ did a heck of a job filling in in a tough situation, you know? People talked a lot about Aqib [Talib] being out but heck, we had Sean Smith out. He's one of our good players. I think for our backups to step in and play well like they did, that was big for us."
Del Rio talked about the competitive race in the AFC West, and shared that the team has all the pieces in place to be successful.
"The process is in place and there's a good, healthy process here. Recovering from the last game, and in this case, we get a bye week to help in that recovery and then dialing in our preparation and really putting pedal down each and every day trying to get everything we can out of that day and learning as much as we can about the team we're playing and the things they like to do and our game plan. That's a healthy process. All the things we do with the training, the strength and conditioning, the sleep, all the things that we're doing, the soft tissue work. We do a lot of different things leading up to these ball games. We're going to continue that process and then go compete and give it everything we have."