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Quick Hits: Oakland Raiders Coordinators Gear Up For Tennessee


Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton, Jr., & Offensive Coordinator Todd Downing

The Tennessee Titans finished the 2016 season with the 11th ranked offense in the NFL, while the Oakland Raiders finished with the sixth best offense. In the offseason, both teams added talented players to their offensive groups, and will be looking to build on solid seasons a year ago. At the helm of the Raiders offense is Offensive Coordinator Todd Downing, and in charge of stopping the Titans offense is Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton, Jr. Prior to practice Thursday, both took the podium separately to discuss their preparation for their Week 1 opponent.

Here are the quick hits from their media session:

The Raiders Offensive Coordinator shared how running back Marshawn Lynch excels in gaining yards after contact.

Downing:"It's a huge part of his game. It's the yards after contact. As coaches, those are the bonus yards for you. You can scheme or you can teach or technique up to a certain point and then there comes a time where the runner has got to make you right or get you that extra little bit, and that's what Marshawn does."

He also discussed what challenges the Titans defense presents.

Downing:"They are obviously well coached. Not a lot of mental errors, very sound defense. They're a unit that you can bank on being where they're supposed to be. For us, it's a challenge offensively to make sure that we attack them in the right way and make sure that we're on our details as well."

Downing touched on the return of left tackle Donald Penn, and his leadership in the locker room.

Downing:"Donald is a part of the fabric of this offense. We consider ourselves a family and so when Donald came back, it was just having that string added back to the quilt. He's a pivotal part of what we do. He has a great personality. He's infectious as a worker and a leader, so it was a pretty seamless transition for him."

**Norton is confident in the Raiders interior pass rush, and their ability to compete.


Norton: "How hard they've been working, the studying they've been doing, the ability to try to improve and everybody really working together. It's a lot of talk, it's a lot of work, it's a lot of putting games and diagrams together and finding ways to work together as a team. Really excited about our challenge. The guys are really taking it in and taking it personal. They're very prideful about it. I really feel good about where we are."

As a former linebacker, Norton is eager to watch rookie linebacker Marquel Lee get to work. Norton:"Marquel, he's very talented. Big body, really smart, cares a lot and when you combine the care with the passion and the talent, and a guy who really wants to learn, my experience you get a lot of good things from the players."

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