Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio
Q: Did the blocked punt just kind of turn the game around. It was 14-10, then they went up 16-10, then scored on the next possession and then it was uphill from there?
Head Coach Del Rio:"Yeah, I mean, I would say in the history of the league, if you go on the road and have a punt blocked, it probably leads to a poor record. Definitely, definitely a pivotal moment of the game. We struggled to move the ball tonight. We've really kind of sputtered to finish the year. At one time we're red hot, I really feel like we kind of lost our way a little bit. Certainly, leading into the offseason there will be a lot of work done to uncover where we kind of got off the rails. We're nowhere near the productivity we expect to have. So we have to take a look at that."
Q: Do you have any reasons why that happened?
Head Coach Del Rio:"No I do not."
Q: Your pass protection, Derek Carr has taken a lot of sacks in the past couple of weeks versus earlier in the season when protection was better. Do you know why the decline?
Head Coach Del Rio:"I agree. Well, when I talk a little bit about pass rush and coverage going hand-in-hand, I think the timing of routes and the ball coming out of the quarterback's hand at the right time helps alleviate sacks. You can't stand back there and hold it. I think there were a couple cases where that was what occurred. But again, it goes hand-in-hand. When the ball comes out on time, when guys are getting open on time, the protection holds up and all that. As it gets later in the down and you're holding it and guys aren't getting open, that's when sacks occur. It's always a combination, it's not one person, it's not one group. But obviously as the head coach it's important that I get a handle on exactly where it began to kind of break down. I think tonight was the most we've had all year, if I'm not mistaken. It felt like it. I'm not sure what the numbers show, but it felt like it."
Q: When you say you lost your way offensively, you mean a lack of big plays and went too conservative?
Head Coach Del Rio:"I don't know if you'd call it that. I think we just have not been what we were early in the year. Early in the year we were able to generate some explosives (plays). We were able to run the ball better – we didn't run it very well. Go for some chunk yards. We just haven't been able to do that recently. Really tonight, tonight was it exactly – we had one explosive play on the night. That's a far cry from what we had kind of generated early in the year. We clearly have work to do."
Q: Has that made you passive at all, like on fourth downs on situations where you might normally want to go for it, but you didn't, is that kind of stuff not clicking?
Head Coach Del Rio:"No. No, I wouldn't look at it like that."
**Q: Did Derek Carr hurt his hand in the fourth quarter?
Head Coach Del Rio:"Yes."
Q: What were the x-ray results?
Head Coach Del Rio:"I don't believe we've had an x-ray."
Q: What did he do, did he hit a helmet?
Head Coach Del Rio:"Yeah."
Q: Is the team's record a little disappointing?
Head Coach Del Rio:"I think either way I would've been a little bit disappointed, honestly. It would feel better to win your last game. We accomplished a lot of things and I think that's kind of 'sum up the year talk tomorrow,' but sitting here recapping this game, I'm disappointed we didn't win this game. There's no lack of determination or grit. This team has shown that time and again – keep ourselves in games and having opportunities with 1:30 and the ball with a chance to go win it again. I mean, I really love that about how we've developed, I think we understand that – how to kind of stay in it. But obviously that's not what we're all about. That's just kind of a positive note on the side. But I set our expectations high, we didn't reach them. I'm not going to shy away from setting high expectations, I believe you live up or down to expectations and we're going to set high expectations and live up to them."
Q: Is the taunting penalty on the pick-six something that bothers you?
Head Coach Del Rio:"Yeah, certainly. He apologized right away about what he had done. Yeah, I think we responded with not giving up points coming out of that. You cause unnecessary exposure to your team and then the ball goes out of bounds and they're starting on the plus-side of the field so that was a bad turn of events. We were fortunate the defense held there and I believe forced a punt. So that was certainly a good response to a difficult set of circumstances."
Q: How far can this Chiefs team go?
Head Coach Del Rio:"We'll get a chance to find out. Whoever plays them needs to make sure they make the quarterback throw the ball and not run. He ran a little too often again tonight. He had been effective doing that this year and that's certainly one of the things that they're doing well."
Q: How would you summarize coaching Charles Woodson in his last season?
Head Coach Del Rio:"It was a real treat. To have the privilege of having a guy like that, such a storied career, such a true professional, a classy guy, great teammate, to be able to coach him and have him be around our team – I said the other day, I think guys like that, they leave a legacy for years to come based on how they did things, what they represent, some of the examples they provide for some of the younger guys."
On Raiders possible move to Los Angeles:
Head Coach Del Rio:"I'm the same place I've been the entire year, I've already pretty much said that. That's not my department and there's people that handle that who will handle that."
Raiders Quarterback Derek Carr
Q: The last few weeks the offense has lost it's way. How did it loose its way, where did it loose its way can you define that for me?
Carr:"We sputtered, is a good word for it. We looked like ourselves in phases at times. Sometimes when we needed it the most we looked like ourselves. But at other times we just looked sloppy. We looked not the way we want to look obviously. In all reality we have to grow together. We have a good group of guys that we know is going to be around now, so that is going to help us so much this offseason. Not just having a whole bunch of new guys, which I'm sure we will have a couple new guys but having a main core. Guys playing together even more. There are good offenses that you see year in and year out. I think about the Colts, when Peyton and all those guys were running down the hill, they were always together. We resigned Crabtree, we resign a few people and keeping everyone together is going to help us going forward, and keep the consistency. At times we looked great, at times we looked how we wanted to look and how we think we should look, but other times it just wasn't there."
Q:You kind of dissolved as the season went on, and certainly you took a lot more sacks, as the season went on, was that part of the reason the offense was so out of sync? Were you feeling under pressure all the time?
Carr:"It's hard because when you are behind the chains, we talk about that a lot in meetings, whether I was holding it too long or something else happened when you are behind the chains it's hard because the defenses is just so good. You have to stay on schedule. That was something that we needed to do better and we will do better because I love that this time around I'm not standing up here at a loss to tell you how we get better because I was a rookie, I didn't know. But now I can tell you we have to stay on top of the chains, first and second downs, we've got to do that better. That will make us look more consistent."
Q: How do you do that stuff better?**
Carr:"You go back and look at the film, you say what did we do in this situation, why did we lose yards here, and then try to limit those things. Obviously there are endless possibilities, I could go on and on but those are the things that we have to look at with the staff, with teammates. We will obviously be together making trips to Bakersfield and Fresno, and really just taking a look at the film with a hard eye and that is something that I will stress, because you know that I do that all the time. I am so hard on myself. I do that all the time, but that is something that we will have to do together. Which is nice that we have a group of guys that we can do that with."
Q: So you hurt your hand, did that kind of impair you today? When did it happen?
Carr:"I did hurt my hand and I guess it did kind of hurt some things but it is what it is, everyone is playing hurt this time of year."
Q: Late in the game? When did it happen?
Carr:"Just some point during the game."
Q: Did you hit a helmet?
Carr:"I don't really remember, it was a helmet or a hand one or the other. I was following through and hit it."
Q: Did you get an x-ray?
Q: Negative, positive?
Q: I know as far as the season goes you guys improved 4 wins this season. I know the goal was to make the playoffs. From your perspective, do you feel like you guys are proud of the progress you made?
Carr:"Obviously we didn't meet our expectations, we didn't meet our goals we wanted and that hurts me because I set some lofty goals and we didn't meet those this year. Now to be honest you take a look back on it, we are better this year than we were last year, we are a ton better it's not even close. Speaking just from our end, we are a lot better, we are going in the right direction and obviously everyone in here wanted it to be better, we all did but we are headed the right way. That is one thing I saw in the locker room this year was the difference of last year in that locker room it was a sad moment. In that locker room today, everyone was hurt because we didn't get the job done but at the same time we know what we are building here and it is kind of exciting."
Q: So what was it like to see Charles Woodson walk off the field for the last time?
Carr:"It was an honor. It was an honor to see it, it was an honor to be a part of it. I walked up to him after the game and just shook his hand, and he gave me a hug and said 'Man you already know.' He is someone that I will keep in contact with, he is someone that has helped me a lot. He means a lot to me. I wish I could express how much he means to me but he means a lot as a teammate, as a leader and you know he's the best."
Q: How far can that Chiefs team go in the playoffs?
Carr:"Oh man, they are really good. There are a lot of good teams in the playoffs. We played a lot of them and actually did fairly well against some of them so it's going to be pretty hard to watch this year. I actually don't know that I can watch it. But they are really good."
Q: What would make them a tough team?
Carr:"Well just on our end, their defense. Obviously they will probably get Justin back, Tamba will probably play more, just on the back end which we all know about. On the back and the front they are so talented. They have talent everywhere they know how to jump routs, mentally they know what they can and they cannot do things. They are going to be tough."
Q: How did you feel going in when you guys had a minute and a half or so no timeouts. What was the mindset going into that drive. There were a couple plays where they got you inbounds.
Carr:"It was so tough because I was trying to throw to the sidelines to get out of bounds but I'm trying to not let anyone pick it, and I'm trying to get it down the field but their defense is fast and they rally to it. They had the sack on the one where I was trying to extend the play and launch it down the field but at that moment we have to move the ball and take some shots. It was tough but my mindset was 'we're going to win it' and that is my mindset all the time. I love those moments too, I love the last second drives, or those last minute drives, so I was excited that we got a chance and that our defense held them. We got a touchdown to Crabtree and we held them and we had another chance to win the game but you have to give them credit that they held us."
Raiders Cornerback David Amerson
On the pick-six:
Amerson:"Just film study. I kind of knew it was coming and they ran it. I just had to jump it, I just had to."
Q: Coach said you immediately apologized for the taunting penalty. Did the moment get to you? Amerson:"Definitely in the moment. I just wasn't even thinking about it. It was just a natural reaction. It was so fast. I didn't want to put us in a bad situation. We were fortunate enough to get off the field and it didn't hurt us that bad."
Q: It was kind of odd to see three picks on three straight plays. Was it nice to get the ball back into Derek's hands?**
Amerson:"That was our mentality coming back on to the field, 'we got to get the ball back' and do it again and make an interception. Luckily, I was able to make a play."
Q: After the Chiefs first two productive drives, what adjustments did you make?
Amerson:"That's something when you play away games, they always come out pretty strong. My biggest thing is if we weather the storm for those first 15-20 plays, that's when the game kind of slows down for an away team. We were able to get in our groove a little bit and get some stops."
Q: Can you put aside today's loss and look at the overall improvement that the Raiders have made this year?
Amerson:"Yeah, it was a tough loss. I think as a team, as a defense, we've made a lot of great strides and we have a lot of great things to build on."
Q: What was it like being a part of Charles Woodson's final game?
Amerson:"I'm blessed, man. I was thinking that I'll be able to tell my kids that I played with a legend, which I think is one of the best DBs ever. I'm definitely blessed playing with him back there.
Q: Have you found a home with the Raiders?
Amerson:"I hope so. I love playing here. I love the coaches. They gave me a second chance and that's something I'll never forget. I hope this will be a home for a long time."
On his roller-coaster season:
Amerson:"It's been a journey. I'm glad I ended up here and I couldn't have ended up in a better place. We're a young, hungry team with great leadership and we can only go up from here."
Raiders Defensive End Khalil Mack
On not getting the win versus the sack title for the year:
Mack:"No, no, no. It comes to a point where you're more disappointed about not getting the win. That's what you play this game for."
On Charles Woodson's final game:
Mack:"It's still hard. I can't really fathom not playing with him right now. But at the same time, a great career. Hats off to him. It's one of those careers you envy, all of the different things he's accomplished throughout his career. Hats off to "Big Bro." We wanted to send him off with a win, but at the same time it's all good."
Q: What do you take away from the 2015 season?
Mack:"We have to take away a lot of things. We have to learn how to finish and we have to learn how to start. In this game, they came out firing with all cylinders, but we were able to adjust to what they were doing early on. We learn from our mistakes and hopefully we can build on this."
Q: Did you not have enough focus at the beginning of the game?
Mack:"No, no, no. They outsmarted us early on running the ball, passing the ball, different things schematically. We have to learn how to adjust quicker, more so than giving up 14 points in the first half. That hurt us early on."
On being a 7-9 team:
Mack:"We played a lot of close games. We're a young team and we're learning week-by-week. But you can't use that as an excuse. We have to learn how to finish ballgames."
On looking ahead to the offseason and following season:
Mack:"We're encouraged by who's here. Derek is in his second year. This is my second year. We have a lot of young players here and we have to keep building."
Raiders Tackle Donald Penn
On today's game:
Penn:"We've been in every game all year, except for [the] Cincinnati [game]. We felt we had a chance [to win] when we scored that last touchdown. We thought we had a good chance. One of the things that have hurt us the last couple of weeks is that we've started a little slow on offense. I wish we didn't have the offseason coming up. I wish we were still playing. But, the good thing is we can sit down – new coaching staff, new offense – and be able to fix everything, look at everything this off season."
Q: How close do you feel you guys are to being a playoff contending team?
Penn:"We're very close. It's crazy when you look back at the season a play here, a play there, make a big difference. A play here, a play there is why we're not in the playoffs. That's part of the game. We've got to find a way to eliminate those plays."
Q: What do you think is the problem with the pass protection?
Penn:"I've got to watch the film. I really can't tell you. It's hard to see when you're blocking. I know I got pushed back on a sprint. Stuff happens. He couldn't get outside. So he had to stop. We're going to work at it. I can't give you a clear answer."
Q: The offensive line was so good early on and now there's been a lot of sacks in the last couple of weeks. Do you think the offensive line is wearing down?
Penn:"A lot of stuff goes into sacks. It's a whole team sport. It's not just on the offensive line. But, it mainly is on us to be honest. We've got to find a way to get better. We've got to get Derek [Carr] more protection because when he does have it, he picks people a part."
Q: You are going to be a free agent. Your thoughts on Oakland:
Penn:"I'm not going to answer that today because it's all about team right now. It's all about everybody else. It's really about Wood [Charles Woodson]. It's a big send off to him. On the second part, everybody knows I love Oakland. I grew up a Raider fan. We'll leave it at that."
Q: You grew up a L.A. Raiders fan, didn't you?
Penn:"Yeah, I did grow up a L.A. Raiders fan. I was in college and they played in the Super Bowl, I was going for the Oakland Raiders."
Q: You were able to play with Charles Woodson for his final two seasons. What has he meant to you? What has he meant to this team?
Penn:"It's great. He's such a mentor. One thing about Woodson that you guys never see – he's a vocal leader – he leads by example too. This is his 18th season and he goes out to practice all of the time, [he] plays hurt with all of his injuries. I hope these young guys see that and learn from that. It's a great accomplishment what he's done in the league. I wish we could've sent him out with a win. He's had a great career."
Wide Receiver Michael Crabtree
On the offense:**
Crabtree:"Today, was the last game. We gave it all we had – the good and the bad. It was the last game. I don't think there's too much critiquing on the last game. We aren't going to the playoffs. It was about giving our all and that's what we did."
Is there anything you can take away from this season that you can build on for next season?
Crabtree:"Yes, all 16 games. You can take all of the stuff from the 16 games and try to better yourself."
On the touchdown:
Crabtree:"I was just tired of the No. 22 [Marcus Peters] talking noise like he was that great. So, we just went deep on him for six. He was mad after that. He's a good football player – competition."
Q: Do you like where this team is going heading into next year?
Crabtree:"Oh yeah. Of course. We have no choice. We're going to have to grind it out and work hard this summer. [We will] come back next year, clean up some stuff and be ready to go."
Safety Charles Woodson
Woodson:"It didn't end like you wanted it to end, but the great thing about the team is they fought all the way to the end. We were not able to come out with the win but that is how it goes sometimes."
Q: How would you describe your emotions today, up to this point?
Woodson:"Actually, I woke up this morning and was ready to get it on, ready to get the game going and hopefully come out with the win. Ready to get it going and get it over with, to be honest with you. Everything was pretty calm for the most part. You hear everybody about the last game and everything being the last of what it is. The moment was upon me and now it is officially over."
Q: What do you want your legacy to say about you?
Woodson:"It is very simple for me. I want people to say that I left it all out on the field, nothing more and nothing less. I gave the game everything I had. Every Sunday that I went out and played the game I gave it 100 percent effort. That is all you can ask for anybody. I feel like I played at the top of my game for 18 years. I am very, very proud of that. Like I said, we didn't get the win today. I would have loved to get on this plane ride home and celebrate with my teammates after a win. Never the less, the fight the guys had, today, and taking it down to the end was fun. It is always fun being on the football field but I wish we could have won."
Q: Last week you said, "The Raiders are back", what have you seen to show that?
Woodson:"Well, exactly what I mentioned, about our fight. At the same time, this year we were in a lot of games, close games. They were games we could have won. We could have put ourselves in a position to be playing in the postseason. Some of those tough games you have got to win and pull out. We were not able to do it. What I see in the team is a lot of young players, young players with talent. This team will continue to build. We have the draft coming up as well as free agency. I mentioned last week about the leadership and the direction of the team. I think that is going to be fine for this group of guys. I am excited to see the growth."
Q: Does this game remind you of your first game in the NFL, which was here at Arrowhead Stadium? Woodson:"No flashbacks from that standpoint. In that first game is was all about the one guy. It was Derrick Thomas who had all of them (sacks). The one thing is, Arrowhead is a place I've always enjoyed playing. I love the atmosphere here. The crowd is always loud. Our games, it seems like one team always got out front in these games and the other team had to claw back. It always made it an exciting game. This game was no different. Hats off to them for coming up with the win."
Q: What were you thinking as you departed the field?
Woodson:"Mainly that we lost the game. I would have loved to of walked off with the win. That was the last time you walk off as a player. There are a few players from the other team who come up you and say a few things to you. You congratulate them and wish them well going forward in the playoffs. You listen to the crowd. The crowd is yelling your name. You see a lot people out there with your jersey on. You just take in those last few moments, walking off of the field."
Q: What will you miss the most?
Woodson:"Just the game itself. Just being out on the field. To me, of course I am biased because I play, this is the greatest sport in the world. There is nothing like going out there, between the white lines, every Sunday afternoon. I have had such a great time doing it, playing with all the teammates I've had over the years. It is a lot of fun going out there and preparing to play this game."
Q: When will it set in that your playing career is over?
Woodson:"It has set in. September will roll around and, of course, for the last 18 years when that times comes around, your body gets ready. Mentally, I know it's over. Finally I can just breathe. I'm good"
Running Back Latavius Murray
On the way the season ended:
Murray:"We weren't quite able to finish this game the way we wanted to. We didn't finish the season the way we wanted to. We have a great group of guys. We know we have to put the work in, in the offseason and do what we need to do so we are not going home at this point next year."
Did getting down early put pressure on the offense?
Murray:"There was no pressure on us. We just knew we had to put some drives together. We had to convert on third down, so we could stay on the field and put some points on the board. I don't think it set us back. We had an opportunity at the end to go ahead and win the game. I don't think it set us back."
Q: Was the offense's biggest problem not being able to convert on third down?
Murray:"I think so. We weren't able to stay on the field. On first and second down we didn't move the chains. We have to sustain drives and keep our defense off of the field so we can stay on the field and score points."
Q: Were you disappointed to not send Charles Woodson off with a win?
Murray:"I think everybody on the team is disappointed for him. I am sure this is not the way he wanted to go out. I feel bad for him. We have just got to learn from this and do what we do so we are not going home, next year, at this time."
Q: What can you take away from this season?
Murray:"I think we were able to do some good things. There were times when we didn't. If we are able to sustain a little more complimentary football, from both offense and defense, we could finish. Once we get that down we won't be going home early and we will be happy with the outcome."
Raiders Defensive Tackle Justin Ellis
On the Raiders defensive performance:
Ellis:"Overall we ended up battling back and playing like we know how. Early on, they got a good start on us. It, kind of, affected us early on but I think we ended well."
Q: Is there regret not getting a win in Charles Woodson's last game?
Ellis:"We most definitely wanted to get the win for him. A lot of us left it all out there. Unfortunately, we still didn't get the win."
Q: What are your thoughts on the season?
Ellis:"I think it has been a good season for us. We still have a lot of building to do. I think we have a good head start. We have great men, throughout the building and organization. We just laid down one stone and will try to build from there."