Head Coach Jack Del Rio
Less than 48 hours until kickoff and the Oakland Raiders have officially departed for Houston, Texas en route to their playoff showdown. The Silver and Black will go toe-to-toe with the Texans' strong run defense and will be led by the leadership of rookie quarterback Connor Cook. Thursday afternoon, Head Coach Jack Del Rio spoke with reporters about the matchup and how Cook has progressed throughout the week.
Here are the quick hits from his media session:
Del Rio talked about what he's been looking for in the progression of his rookie quarterback.
"Really not like that. It's really just about preparing and correcting what needs to be corrected, encouraging where there needs to be encouraging. Just trying to get into the part of the plan where he's the most comfortable and make sure that we're featuring that."
He shared that the team is focused on treating this like any other game and not getting caught up in the hype.
"We have not talked about anything special about the first playoff game thus far. It's really in my experience that the more that you can understand that the hype surrounding it changes, but the game itself remains a game. We'll be ready to play as long as we just think of it that way. Take care of your business. Do your job and have fun. It's a game."
Del Rio said it's a positive to have players with playoff experience, especially to help the younger guys.
"I think, obviously, anybody that's been there before has the experience they can speak from and help the younger guys understand. Younger guys play very well in games throughout the year for us. We just want them to be themselves and do their own thing and do like they've done all year. Really, it's just be a good teammate, take care of your responsibilities."
**He stated the team will adjust accordingly to Cook's play style and what suits his strengths.
"There might be a few new plays, you never know. You never know. We'll do the things he's comfortable with. Look, it's about our team going against their team. At the end of the day, you can talk about one position over another and totally understand that quarterbacks get a lot of attention, deservedly so. It'll be the Oakland Raiders against the Houston Texans. We'll be excited to see how the game goes on Saturday."
Del Rio commended No. 8's ability to be open and communicate with the coaching staff.
"He does a good job communicating. Not quite to the level that Derek [Carr] might be at. Derek is a little more comfortable and been through it a few times, but he's done a great job. I think he's handled himself beautifully this week. Now we just need to go play."