The Raiders are nearing the end of their offseason program with only two practices left in Organized Team Activities and one week of Mandatory Mini-Camp. Head Coach Jack Del Rio has used his time with the players to bring his vision for the Silver and Black to light. He spoke with the media following Tuesday's practice – here are the highlights.
Feeling Janikowski's Veteran Presence
K Sebastian Janikowski has been a daily staple on the field heading into his 15th NFL season.
"He's been a great teammate, showed up here and been here, participating 100 percent, done everything we've asked and he's been great. I think he's ready to have a big year for us."
Focused on Productive, Healthy Players
LB Khalil Mack has apparently put on some weight this offseason. Head Coach Jack Del Rio isn't concerned so much with a number as a player's ability to play hard and fast.
"We asked our guys to come in and eat right and train hard, and then I really trust [head strength and conditioning coach] Joe Gomes and his staff to help us establish healthy, productive weights for our guys. So you know, he doesn't carry a lot of body fat. He's added some lean mass and he's put on good weight. We feel good about where he is."
Armstrong Making Most of Opportunity**
"Very athletic. He's really bought in to the idea of maturing and being more disciplined in his play. I think that if you bring some of the playmaking and some of the natural athletic ability that we like, some of the aggressiveness that we like. We're just wanting to make sure that the maturity is there and the responsibleness is there, the accountability is there. I think he's made great strides over this offseason in developing himself along those lines. That's going to be important for us and important for him."
Impressed with the Offensive Line
The Raiders added several pieces to the offensive line puzzle this offseason, but are anchored on the left side by two returning members of the Silver and Black – T Donald Penn and G Gabe Jackson.
"Donald has had a good offseason. We feel good about the O-line group, feel good about the work they're putting in. He's certainly a good player for us. That left side, with he and Gabe [Jackson] and then Rodney [Hudson], that left side is very strong. I think the right side is going to be pretty good, too. I think he's done a nice job so far."
The Defensive Staff is Not Quiet
Between Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton, Jr., linebackers coach Sal Sunseri and defensive line coach Jethro Franklin, the players receive an earful on the field.
"We ask our guys to express themselves and be themselves and have fun, but put in the work and understand what it takes, and we're getting all that. Ken and [defensive line coach] Jethro [Franklin] and [linebackers coach] Sal [Sunseri], all those guys are vocal. So no, we like the way we're working. We're working with a lot of energy. We're developing players and developing the mentality we want to have. I think it's gone great."
Upholding and Relaying a Positive Vision
"I want to paint the picture for how we want it to look and what we want it to be and where we're going and how we can get there, and focus more on the doing and the positive and how we can get there, and less on making contrasts or pointing out something that was in the past. That's not a part of who we are right now. We're going forward. We understand the work that needs to be put in, and so we're full speed ahead."
Using Remaining Time to Finish the Work
The Raiders only have a handful of practices left before a long summer break before training camp.
"We want to finish our work. Now, we've had a very productive offseason, a very productive four, little over four and a half months since I took over. A lot of work has gone into that and we still have a lot of work to do, so it's to continue and carry on. It's been an excellent start to the offseason. We want to finish strong."