Head Coach Jack Del Rio
The Oakland Raiders traveled back from Mexico City last night and endured a tiresome trip home, but Head Coach Jack Del Rio was back at the team's Alameda, Calif. practice facility Tuesday to recap the win over the Houston Texans. He shared his thoughts on the team's confidence and that it remains focused on the future. The Raiders are eager to win and want to continue improving each and every week. Del Rio expressed his satisfaction to be 8-2, but knows there's a lot of work to be done.
Here are the quick hits from his press conference:
**Del Rio talked about what his expectations were when he was named the Raiders Head Coach and how the team is looking to achieve its goal.
"I laid it out last year. The expectation is to win the division. You start there. We didn't get that done last year. There were a lot of positive things to build off of from last year. We've kind of carried forward this year, but it still begins with win your division. That's the surest way to get a spot in that playoff tournament. That will always be goal number one."
The Raiders skipper discussed the team's determination to keep fighting and not give up.
"I think our guys have embraced the idea of competing for the full 60 minutes, regardless of the circumstances, to keep coming and keep believing and keep playing hard. Beyond that, I think obviously we've found ways to win and it's been different ways each week. That's a credit to the players, a credit to the coaching staff and everybody kind of pulling together and it all being about any way we can. Whatever it takes, by whatever means necessary, let's find a way to get a 'W.'"
He shared that the team has already shifted its focus towards the Carolina Panthers and its preparation for the competition.
"Well, what we talk about is the next opportunity to go compete. So right now, we're talking about recovering from the trip and then we'll be busy with our preparation. It'll be all about the Carolina Panthers. The way we've approached it each week, we've taken each opponent, been very respectful in trying to understand what they're good at, what their weaknesses are and put together a good plan, have a great week of preparation leading up to the game, then go compete. That's really part of the process that we've been about and the guys have really embraced."
**Aside from the stadium, Del Rio acknowledged the fans in attendance at Estadio Azteca and expressed it felt like a home game.
"It did not feel like a home game, especially walking up from the field to the locker room, which was a pretty good haul. What did feel like a home crowd was the support. The people there were tremendous. They were really excited to have us play in front of them. They were loud throughout. That part felt like a home crowd."
He reflected on the Raiders final drive and that the play calling was executed well.
"Excellent. It's what we ask for. We wanted to be aggressive. We went into the last drive wanting to play to win, not be afraid to throw the ball and Derek made a great play with Jalen [Richard] on our sideline. It was an opportunity there at the end on the fourth down… I think we need to punt this, but hold on. Let's grab a timeout here and think this through. You're going to possibly punt it in the end zone, give them a 19-yard difference, or take a shot at icing it right there. Put it in the hands of the offensive line and let's go get this done."