Offensive Coordinator Todd Downing & Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton, Jr.
In his debut as the Oakland Raiders Offensive Coordinator, Todd Downing’s game plan was fruitful. The Silver and Black spread the ball around to a variety of targets, and got the running game in the mix as well. While the offense put up 26 points, Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton, Jr.’s, group was able to limit the Tennessee Titans offensive unit to just 16 points, which helped lead to a victory. With Week 1 behind them, and the home opener this weekend against the New York Jets next on the docket, both Downing and Norton met with the media individually to talk about this week’s preparation.
Here are the quick hits from their pressers:
Offensive Coordinator Todd Downing:
Downing talked about the advantage of having three capable backs on the roster.
“We’re really fortunate to have three talented backs, NFL starting caliber running backs. For us, it’s just a matter of keeping those guys fresh. There’s no real plan where we’re on a rep count or anything like that. It’s just a matter of rotating them enough to feel like we’re getting the best version of those guys when we play.”
He discussed the line of communication when calling plays and relaying them to the offense.
“You know, [Head] Coach [Jack] Del Rio does such a great job of setting up practice to be a game like environment. So I call the plays in to Derek with the walkie-talkie at practice and get plenty of reps at that. At this point, it’s second nature, our commination via headset. Always looking for ways to improve that, but I was certainly comfortable with the way it went.”
Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton, Jr.:
No matter the years of experience, Norton believes confidence is essential in order to be successful.
“Younger players, older players, players that are in the middle, confidence is really important for all ages. That’s what the preparation, that’s what practice, that’s what film study, the coaching, the teaching, all those things during the week, they are connected to your confidence on Sunday. You can’t have confidence at the end of the week if you aren’t handling your business in your practice, in your preparation during the week. It’s all connected.”
He recapped rookie linebacker Marquel Lee’s performance last Sunday.
“Marquel did an excellent, solid job. He was making all the solid calls, getting everybody lined up, always in the right spot, tackling really solid, tough tackles. Playing middle linebacker on a team like this with some really good football players, that’s a really challenging position to be in, especially a team and from the leadership on down, there are some high-profile former linebackers on this team, so he has a lot of expectations, but really, really pleased with his development and we have always been a developmental staff.”
Norton stressed that for the team to have success, they have to focus on their preparation.
“I think for us to understand our idea is to always worry about us. I mean, the Jets throw the ball well, they run the ball well. They have really good skilled players, the offensive line is very physical. But, it all comes down to our execution, our ability to show up, our ability to really play well and tackle the way that we’re supposed to tackle. So, our execution and our importance is, it’s about us.”