Head Coach Jack Del Rio
The Oakland Raiders were back at practice on Wednesday and have officially begun their preparation for Sunday, as they play host to the Carolina Panthers for their Week 12 matchup. Prior to practice, Head Coach Jack Del Rio addressed the media to break down facing a tough Panthers team. Carolina's 4-6 record isn't indicative of what this team is capable of and Del Rio is more than aware it will be a physical battle come game day. The Raiders commander-in-chief shared his thoughts on facing last year's MVP in quarterback Cam Newton and the overall matchup.
Here are the quick hits from his time at the podium:
**Del Rio broke down what makes Newton such an offensive threat and his impact on the game.
"He's as fast as most everybody out there. He has tremendous size. He has really developed as a passer. He was the MVP last year for a reason. The guy is a really good football player and he's a threat not only to throw it but to run it as well. They do a great job with design with him. He's a good football player."
He talked about helping the team prepare and recover through the strength and conditioning.
"We work hard at putting our plan together. It's really just about maximizing the ability of our players to compete and be at their best. That's what he's here to do, to help us strength and condition and have our football team recover and prepare at the highest level. Everything that we're doing is geared that way."
Del Rio shared that the team is aware it can perform at a higher level and expressed its determination to improve.
"I think that's been pretty consistent for us throughout the year. I think the guys have a healthy respect for the need to continue to develop and grow. We're playing a lot of younger guys. They're getting better as they go. Some of the older guys that we need to be smart with, we're trying to do that. So there's a delicate balance that we're going through each week. The team's continuing to work hard. That's what we need to do to give ourselves a chance to continue to grow."
He discussed the play right tackle and what he's seen from a production standpoint.
"Don't forget about Vadal [Alexander]. We have a good group there. They've all played. We came out of camp thinking it'd go a certain way and then injuries kind of came. We've gone with the healthiest and the guy who is playing the best at that time. [Offensive line coach] Mike [Tice] has done a great job of working the whole group. It's been fairly fluid."