Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton, Jr.
The battle for first place in the AFC West will occur Thursday night at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The Oakland Raiders will travel east to take on the Chiefs in what should be a physical match. Tuesday afternoon, Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr. spoke with reporters about the showdown and what the team's preparation has been like. This game has serious playoff implications for both sides and will serve as a good test for both teams.
Here are the quick hits from his time at the podium:
**Norton spoke about preparing for the Thursday night game on a short week and the challenge it presents.
"It's crazy, but they're always crazy. We've done this before. Again, it helps that we've played them before. There's some familiarity. The same with them. We're excited. You wouldn't want to be any place else or play anywhere else or be in this type of position. I think just the excitement and the fact that the guys love playing ball so much, it's going to be a heck of a display of football."
The second-year defensive coordinator noted that the defense has improved, but hasn't accomplished its goal.
"Yeah, I think that we've done some really good things. That's the great thing about these games that you're always improving. You're always trying to get better and I think that we've started off really well. We've shown last week that we can finish really well. We've done really well on third down. We've done really well in situational ball and getting the ball. Now it's a matter of… I think it's important that we have a complete game. Start it, come out of halftime really fast and then finish strong like we did last week."
He talked about veteran safety Nate Allen and how he provides a lot of depth for the team.
"That says a lot for our depth. Nate is really, like you said, has been professional. He understands his role. He's a guy that has always made us aware that he's available and ready to play. Now, next man up. Now he has an opportunity to really show what he can do."
**Norton acknowledged the talent level of Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and his importance to their team.
"No question. He's a premier player in this league. You see he's high targeted. He's a guy that's really hungry for the ball. We're going to have to deal with him."
He broke down what makes the Chiefs such a strong group and is expecting a tightly contested battle.
"They're good at a lot of things. They wouldn't be in this position if they weren't. They have a lot of weapons. The quarterback is really good. The running back is running really hard. The skill players, the defense is outstanding. They do a lot of things well. That's why we're here practicing, getting ready for them."