Head Coach Jack Del Rio
The Oakland Raiders wrapped up their final day at their practice facility Thursday afternoon before the bye week and Head Coach Jack Del Rio took time after practice to speak with the media. He talked about the team's preparation for the game in Mexico City against the Houston Texans, and discussed how the team has developed to this point. The Silver and Black are currently 7-2 and will head into the bye in sole possession of first place in the AFC West.
Here are the quick hits from his media session:
**Del Rio talked about the team's preparation for the game in Mexico City even though they have a bye this week.
"It's kind of a combination. We know we have to travel to play well regardless of the circumstances. We understand some of the issues that are there, potentially. That's been addressed. We'll put our plan together and go down and compete. I know it's going to be a great atmosphere. It sold out quickly. People are going to be excited to put on a good show down there. It should be a heck of a game."
The Raiders skipper shared the importance of monitoring the team's progress and fixing areas that need to be adjusted.
"Self-scouting is so valuable that we don't wait for the bye week. We do a lot of self-scouting throughout the year. We don't really pause and then evaluate ourselves and do a self-scouting analyze then; we do it weekly. We see what we've done over the last several games and how our opponents are going to look at us and see us. We want to correct mistakes right away and move on."
He discussed how the undrafted rookies have made an impact on the team and the coaching staff is focused on helping them develop.
"They have a little grit, a little chip on their shoulder, and we look for that. We look for those qualities. Once guys get here, we don't care how they got here, we're going to let them compete and immerse them in our system and look to develop them and look for the things they can do and try to do everything we can to put our guys in position to do things they do well. And, avoid as much as we can, exposure to things they don't handle well, and that's our job as coaches."
Del Rio praised center Rodney Hudson for his football IQ and athletic ability on the offensive line.
"Oh, Rodney [Hudson]'s been great. He's super bright, so handling the protections and making the calls, he's really on point. Obviously, he and Derek [Carr] work very closely with that, so I think it starts there with his brain. But, he's really athletic, he's got power, he's got the ability to pull and do some of the down-and-around stuff that we like to do and he's a really good athlete. So, he's a big piece of our success."
He acknowledged that since linebacker Perry Riley, Jr., arrived he's added a sense of toughness and grit.
"When Perry [Riley Jr.] got here, he just instantly brought a little bit of toughness, little bit of that grit I was talking about. He's done a great job fitting in. I think maybe having Bruce [Irvin] here, where he's got familiarity with somebody on the team, just really the way he's attacked it has been what a veteran linebacker should do. He's come in, he's been tough, he's been on point in his preparation and played good football for us."