Head Coach Jack Del Rio
The Oakland Raiders are nearing their Monday night game with the Houston Texans and have continued their preparation all week. Thursday afternoon, Head Coach Jack Del Rio addressed the media for the first time since the bye week and shared his thoughts on the upcoming game. The matchup in Mexico City will be the first regular season Monday Night Football appearance south of the border, and Del Rio expressed his excitement for the bout.
Here are the quick hits from his time with the media:
**Del Rio shared his thoughts on how the team has been able to control possession in the last few outings.
"I think they go hand in hand. It's the ultimate team game. All three phases contribute to something like time of possession. The defense goes three-and-out, they didn't get much time. We're able to possess the ball with good field position created by special teams. I think those three factors all working together are all a part of it."
He commended the Texans defense for being productive, even without defensive end J.J. Watt.
"Yeah, they're doing a nice job. [Texans defensive coordinator] Romeo [Crennel] is an experienced defensive coordinator, former head coach. One of the really good coaches in the league. He does a great job with his guys, and they have talent. They have talent throughout that defense. They have a lot of talent still, even with J.J. [out]. They have a lot of talent in their front. They have a lot of talent in their back end. I think they have six or seven former first-rounders in that group, and they're well coached."
The Raiders skipper talked about the team's preparation and leadership whenever they get ready for a game.
"We've been very purposeful in approaching each game one at a time, really understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each opponent. We have a healthy respect for every team we go against, but we're not fearing anybody. So, it's all about us and our preparation leading up to the game. Whether it's here at home in front of our great fans or whether it's down somewhere else on the road. Even an international setting like Mexico City, which we know will be awesome, but it still comes down to our preparation leading up to playing a good game."
**Del Rio talked about when a few players went down during the offseason for the draft and what he told them before departing.
"I didn't really ask them for a scouting report. (laughing) I just asked them to be good ambassadors, repent us with class and come back having conducted themselves properly. That's all. I think in each case where we've had players go down or people go down from our organization, I think they represented us the right way. The common theme really is that it's going to be loud. There's a lot of people and it's going to be very exciting."
He discussed the importance of defensive end Khalil Mack and what he provides each and every week.
"I've said it, the group that's been here on a daily basis hears me say it, he's been terrific from Day 1. His work ethic is really strong. He's very purposeful. There's been no problem from our standpoint with what he's doing. His numbers are going to come. Teams are going to do different things to try to slow him down just like we'll do offensively against people that we know we have to account for. He's one of those kind of guys that you have to account for. He's giving great effort."