Head Coach Jack Del Rio
Wednesday afternoon, Oakland Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio spoke with the media about this week's preparation for the home opener against the Atlanta Falcons. The Silver and Black will enter Week 2 of the NFL season with a record of 1-0, and the team will make its first home appearance this Sunday at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
Let's take a look at the quick hits from Del Rio's presser:
He acknowledged right tackle Austin Howard's ankle issue, and if he'll be available this week.
"I expect him to be able to practice today. We'll see how that goes. [Senior Director of Media Relations] Will [Kiss] does a great job of giving you guys the medical stuff at the end. (laughing) No, but we do anticipate him being able to practice. We'll see how that goes."
Del Rio shared his thoughts on left guard Kelechi Osemele's presence on the team.
"Well, I think you saw examples last week of the player that we brought in here. He's going to help our run game. The big run by Jalen [Richard] was directly behind Kelechi. He really moved his guy. He's one of the big physical men that has me talking about big physical play in the trenches. That's a good sign for us."
He discussed areas he feels the team can improve on, and how he's focused on preparing for Atlanta.
"All three phases have different areas we want to tighten up. Some are more obvious than others. For us, it's just all about the work right now, really dialing in the preparation of the Atlanta Falcons. The things they do. The things they like. The things they're strong at. Where we might think there's some areas we can attack, things like that.
Del Rio conveyed the importance of special teams, and how it makes a difference.
"That's an early example of why they're here. Those guys are here because they're difference makers on special teams and they showed up. We're going to expect them to show up each and every Sunday. That was an example of it right there where 'Seabass' [Sebastian Janikowski] made a terrific kick and between those three guys, they were running really fast and they were very aggressive in getting there and getting that thing covered."
He addressed how Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones' impacts the game.
"Golly, it's a lot, right? He's big. He's fast. He's strong. He's good with the ball in his hands. He's become a much better route runner. I think when he first came in, he was a little raw in that regard, but man, [and] he's become a really good route runner as well. I think he's a heck of a football player."