Head Coach Jack Del Rio
The Oakland Raiders began this week's preparation for the game this Sunday, as they take on a division rival in the Denver Broncos. Head Coach Jack Del Rio addressed the media on Wednesday to break down the week ahead, and quarterback Derek Carr's stellar performance last Sunday. The Raiders are currently tied with the Broncos atop the AFC West, both with a record of 6-2, and should be a good test for each team.
Here are the quick hits from Del Rio's media session:
**The Raiders skipper talked about the amount of praise Carr has received lately, but noted the team's signal-caller remains focused on getting better.
"We're on to the next game. I think for Derek, he's had a tremendous start to the season, led our football team. He's really all about his preparation and the way he's gone about his business and been a good leader for us, done things not only on the field, but off the field, in the locker room and what not. For us it's about continuing our process. We have a good process. Recover from the last one, prepare during the week and then go out and compete. He's been excellent at that."
Del Rio broke down how he thinks Carr has matured and grown this season, and praised the offensive line.
"I think it's a collection of things really. For him, the maturing process, the time in our system, the time with the same set of skill people that he's throwing to and being on the same page, and I think the offensive line. It always starts up front. The big guys open holes and they give the quarterback time. He's not been sacked a lot, not been hit a lot. That's a credit to the offensive line, [offensive line] coach [Mike] Tice and the backs and tight ends and all that we're doing to protect him. Obviously, you get a big test going against the number one pass defense this week. It'll be a great opportunity for us to show who we are."
He shared his thoughts on defensive end Khalil Mack's development in his third-year in the NFL.
"When we got here, we really sought to bring him forward more often. We feel like he's going to be at his best going forward, not that he won't drop occasionally. Previously, I think he was spending a lot of time in drops. He would be in skelly. He'd be dropping. He wasn't working one-on-one pass rush, wasn't developing that skill level. You can have all the talent in the world, but it takes skill to rush a quarterback along with that talent. We've just been working at that skill level. He's growing and growing and getting better and better. He's a good football player."
**Del Rio talked about the team's penalties against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but is keeping the team focused on its next opponent.
"No, we're just going to go onto next and play. Corrections have been made. Each week we address that on Tuesday and then we're all about our preparation going forward for the next opponent. That's been discussed. All that needs to be taught has been taught. We're moving on for our next opportunity."
He discussed what it will be like to play in a primetime game on Sunday Night Football, but made it clear the team is honed in on just playing football.
"For us, we put ourselves on display each week. I get it'll be more hyped this week, but it won't be any different in terms of preparing for it and then going out and playing good football. I think what we recognize as an organization is as you become relevant, as you play good football, you're going to have more of these opportunities. This is the natural progression in building a good football team. We should expect to be in these games. We're going to expect to win these games. Then we're going to move forward and have more of these kinds of games."