Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton, Jr.
The Oakland Raiders defense will square off against the Houston Texans this weekend in the Wild Card round of the AFC playoffs. The Silver and Black will need to lock down Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler and Co., in order to succeed in their first playoff game since 2002.Defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr., spoke with the media Wednesday afternoon about the impending game, with the Texans and how the team will prepare.
Here are the quick hits from his time at the podium:
Norton expressed his disappointment in the tackling against the Denver Broncos, but is confident the defense will regroup.
"Well, you know, a little disappointing. We work on tackling a lot. It's been something that we really hang our hat on; tackling, turnovers and things that fundamentally are important for defense. Obviously, that's over with. It's a new season and it will certainly be better."
The Raiders defensive coordinator talked about finding a balance between trying to force turnovers and executing sound tackling.
"Well, you work on it. Obviously, turnovers, we're the league leaders in turnovers. So, there's two sides to it. You go after the ball, sometimes you're going to miss the player, but at the same time, there's certain skill to tackling the ball. There's a certain skill of putting your shoulder on the ball and same time, second man in getting the ball out. But, you know, we have to tackle. I think they understand what they have to do and that shouldn't be a problem anymore."
He shared that the defense will be ready to aid quarterback Connor Cook in his first NFL start.
"Well, our unit has the ability to do a lot of things and our defense is defense. We have to really focus on what we're doing and they're a pretty good team and a playoff team. I think that it's important for us to really focus in on our details and go from there."
**Norton spoke up about the perks of having some veteran players who have been to the playoffs in the Raiders locker room.
"Well, we hope so. We hope that experience certainly pays off and we won't find out until game day. But, they are practicing well, they're focusing well, they're all talking about ball, they understand the privilege. They understand that this is a new season, they understand a lot of teams are at home and they have the privilege of still playing and they've earned this position to play and they understand that. And, now it's time to go out and play ball."
He said Osweiler shouldn't be taken lightly and that the Texans offense can be effective.
"Well, he's a quarterback in this league and if you're in this league, you must be pretty good. We played him in Mexico and they scored on us. He moved around and we just have to play our ball. Again, focus on our details, execute well, keep down mistakes, eliminating mistakes, eliminating explosives and we just have to really do a lot of focus on ourselves."