Running Back Latavius Murray, Tight End Clive Walford, and Tackle Donald Penn
Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio
Opening Statement:"Real proud of our performance in Prime Time tonight. I thought our team played very well in all three phases throughout the even. Not perfect by a long stretch, but really a solid physical effort. We feel like we've strengthened ourselves in the trenches. I think it should tonight against a really good football team. I'm really proud of our guys. It was good to get a big win heading into our bye week. We're a little bit passed the halfway point, but we call it the halfway point where we're getting our bye. It's nice to go into the bye with a win. Now we'll need to handle ourselves well during the bye and come out as healthy as possible and be able to take care of business in the second half. I'm really proud of our guys. We're really happy for them. A lot of hard work, a lot of effort and as I told you we have a lot of things we have to fix, but we'll do it with a smile on our face. Questions?"
Q: How can you explain the defensive turn around over the past couple of weeks?
Coach Del Rio:"A lot of things, communication, tackling. When you do it right…We've got good people and we're learning how to trust each other a little more and more. We should continue to grow. Really it's gotten better, but honestly it still has a ways to go and it will get better."
Q: How was the performance from the offensive line?
Coach Del Rio:"Yeah, it was a physical, physical night. A very talented front seven for Denver. They're tough to run against. Our guys really attacked it well. Went after them and ran the ball and ran it affectively enough to be able to stay with them. Derek [Carr] made some big throws. Allowed us to move the chains and continue to run. In the run game typically, I've told you guys before, you have to be able to convert third downs in order to run it more. Get more opportunities. I thought Derek did a real nice job with some critical moments of doing just that in the passing game. Then obviously we were very physical upfront. We had one time we let Von [Miller] run around the edge on us. I think that was the only time that maybe we didn't give him the kind of attention that we have to give him."
Q: How did you hold the Broncos to no first downs in the first quarter?
Coach Del Rio:"Certainly we're making progress. Like I said, I think we all understand, that locker room understands, we all have work to do. Things we want to be better that we need to be better at as we go through this year. Certainly tonight, a really solid performance, a big win here at home and like I said, I'm proud of the guys."
Q: How does this win impact the team's culture?
Coach Del Rio:"We're growing to expect success now. We know we're a good team. We focus really hard on the preparation throughout the week. The guys were really on point like they have been each week. The process of preparing to play well is critical. That's where we've been able to hone in and make improvements. Get some of the details down and put together good performances."
Q: What kind of statement does this win make?
Coach Del Rio:"Got win No. 7. We have to put some wins together. Stack up wins as best we can. That's a good football team. We'll see them again late in the year. Meanwhile we're going to play a bunch of other games. For us it's about continuing the process."
Q: What's your message to guys on the bye? Do you want them to switch off for a few days?
Coach Del Rio:"We'll come in and work Wednesday and Thursday and we'll have a long weekend. The league almost mandates what you do now. Anyway, we'll get a couple days of work in. We expect to be smart with the time off and come back together and be ready to roll in the second half."
Q: What did you say to the guys after the game?
Coach Del Rio:"Well, we'll get into that when we get back together on Wednesday this week because I gave them Tuesday off. We'll do what we always do. We just tell the truth when we get back together. We talk about the game, we'll review it and point out the good things, point out the things that need to be better and go forward. That's really how we do it whether we're happy, smiling after a win or whether we're down and didn't do enough to win. That's the process that I'm speaking off. It's really important that we stay with that process and continue to grow as a team. After nine weeks, you're nowhere near where you need to be toward the end of the season. We have to continue to grow and improve."
Q: How does it feel to win in this way?
Coach Del Rio:"Yeah, I think the biggest thing is to find a way to get a win. I'm certainly very proud of our front. We've invested a lot in our front. We've committed to being a physical team. That was a great opportunity to illustrate that, but not much beyond that."
Q: How big was Andre Holmes performance with the punts?
Coach Del Rio:"That's huge. That's some of that complimentary football that I've talked about up here after some of the games. Where defense goes three-and-out, gets the three-and-out, forces the punt. We get good field position there; we're right around midfield. When we're having to punt, we're pinning them deep because of execution in all three phases. That's that complimentary football and playing with that kind of field position is huge for your football team."
Q: How was the energy from the crowd tonight?
Coach Del Rio:"Reminded me of back when my dad would let me come with him every now and then. The crowd was terrific. The crowd, it was electric. The Raider Nation showed up. I'm so pleased to deliver the kind of performance they deserve. We gave them a great performance. We were well prepared and we were physical and tough and we were smart. That's what we're looking for."
Q: What did you see from Latavius Murray's performance?
Coach Del Rio:"He did a nice job. He got the hat trick, scoring three touchdowns. We narrowly missed on the one that was called back on the passing touchdown, but I know he had three running touchdowns. I thought he ran hard. I thought the line gave the backs room to run. I thought the backs ran hard."
**Raiders QB Derek Carr
Q: What does it mean to beat a rival team on a national stage this week?
Carr: "It means that we got to do what we set out to do. That's what we expected was to go out and win. That's not just this game. That's every game. You go out and prepare. We're creating a culture where we don't get caught up in what the game is on the outside looking in. We just get focused on our job, our responsibilities, the defensive, the offense, and we just go from there. There's so much to worry about – personnel and scheme alone, but we can't think about outside things."
Q: Are you excited for bye week?
Carr: "It's awesome. Bye week is awesome. I can't wait to hang out with my wife, my kids, and play with my dogs all week. It's much needed. I give them a shout out because wives, wives—they put up with ridiculous hours. I'm so thankful for her and putting up with me. She gets up before my alarm goes off. I'm so thankful for that."
Q: How did you feel about Coach Del Rio's decision to run the ball so much today?
Carr:"That is something I love. You guys know me. I don't get caught up in numbers. I don't get caught up in stats. I care about winning. The way that those guys run plays against one of the best defenses this league has seen in the last however many years they've been together. It was a fun thing to watch. I'm the biggest fan of that. A game like that, I don't care if we run it 58 times or if I throw the ball 8 times. When you get called upon, you have to hit your shots. But, when you run the ball like that, it's just fun to watch."
Q: What was different about your pre-game attitude today?
Carr: "I'm just trying to grow and find the little things I can grow with to motivate my teammates. Whether I think about it or not, they're looking at me all the time. So, anything I can do to get them going, make them laugh, if I hit them with a dance, or something like that. A lot of them still don't know I can dance. So it's always fun to shock them because they love it. I had fun with that."
Q: How do you feel about being 7-2 going into the Bye week?
Carr: "It means that we're getting better. That's exactly what it means. It's going to sound old; it's going to sound whatever. We have so much to get better at, we have so much to work on. Me and Coop [Amari Cooper] talk all the time, just about our connection. We have so much we can do and we see that we can do it. We can't work on it all at once. We have to just build, but we're trying. The way that things are going, the guys we have in that huddle—I can only speak offensively actually, but the guys we have in that huddle, we're keeping everyone together, playing together. The more we grow, we can get better. We can play a lot better football. It's an exciting time, to answer in a long-winded way."
Q: Can you speak to RB Latavius Murray's performance today?
Carr: "He's amazing. He went to the Pro Bowl for a reason. I think he was second in the AFC for rushing last year. We all know it's tough to run the ball against these teams. He's invaluable. I always say running the ball is tough, but the way he picks up, the way he protects me. If he doesn't pick up those blitzes, all that money we pay up front, it's not going to matter. You have to have someone, they're going to put match-ups on where he has to pick someone up, and he does. Time in and time out, there's no me looking down to make sure the running back gets it. Some guys have to worry about that. With him, I don't worry about it one bit and that's invaluable.
**Q: Does Latavius Murray care about so many touches he gets throughout the game?
Carr: "Tay [Murray] doesn't care about that at all. He's the same way I am, he just wants to win. Sometimes he will have 7-8 carries and we win. He's the happiest guy in the locker room. That's why I love this team so much. That's why I love this organization, it's because all of our guys are like that. Everyone in there is just like man we won. That's the ultimate goal. It doesn't matter if you have 100 yards rushing or 300 yards passing. The things we're doing right now, we're heading the right way. I can't say enough about Latavius. He is invaluable to this team, this organization, and to me personally."
Q: What does it say about the way you physically beat the Broncos today?
Carr: "It shows us that we should be able to run the ball against anybody. They are the best. They are. If not one or two, they are. Let's just put that out there. They got one of the best players this league has ever seen on the offense and on the other edge. On the secondary, they're loaded. They can hit. They've got guys everywhere. I don't want to take away from them, I just want to give credit to our O line for doing such a good job. They still made tackles for us, they made plays but going against their team, you know they're going to make plays. The way that we continue to trust and believe in our system is cool."
Q: What did you think of Khalil Mack's ability to recover his own play today?
Carr: "It was huge. I think we were up 10 at that point and to do that, especially where the clock was, I'm still learning this game but I'm thinking situational now. If you asked me that question my rookie year, I would not have been able to say that to you. You get guys that know how to make plays at the right time. Khalil is top five pick for a reason. He's the franchise for a reason. He'll get mad at me for saying that, we fight about that. He made a big play for us."
Q: How did the holding and PI calls impact you today?
Carr: "They stole something from me today because we had some big plays out there, but if they're going to get held, they won't be touchdowns. There's things still out there. If teams are going to hold us, we just got to play through it. That's what we were talking about on the sidelines. Me and Crab [Michael Crabtree], me and Coop [Amari Cooper], we talk about it a lot. Especially with how dynamic Coop is, and we say you're going to get held but we just got to get through it and overcome it. I think they stole a couple from me today, but it's alright, we won."
Raiders C Rodney Hudson
Q: Running the ball was obviously a focus today.
Rodney Hudson:"We ran the ball well. That's a tribute to the tight ends, everybody pitched in. The receivers blocked well. Everybody pitched in."
Q: You guys controlled the ball for 40-plus minutes. What does that say about the offense?
Hudson:"We were focused. We played well. They are a good group of guys, a lot of great players. We stood out there and we executed."
**Raiders S Reggie Nelson
Q: What did the atmosphere, the crowd mean to you guys?
Reggie Nelson:"The atmosphere was great. Our fans did a great job here in the stands with us, cheering us on. It was more important for us to get this win on our home field and we did that. It was big tonight."
Q: Starting that game with three straight three-and-outs, how much of a momentum builder was that?
Nelson:"You always want to open the game fast. We did that as a defense holding them. We have to continue to do that. It was a good start for us. We came out in the second half and started fast which we've been slow to do in the last couple games. IT was all-around good football for the defense."
Q: With the defense over the last couple weeks, what's been the difference?
Nelson:"It's just us out there. We're just playing, playing football. Playing solid football and just doing your job and nobody else's job."
Q: You've had to win dramatically in the fourth quarter several times. To come out and get that early lead then hold it, it must have been nice to do it the old fashioned way.
Nelson:"As a defensive player you want to win games. We don't want to depend on the offense. They've been carrying us for a while. It was big for our defense. It was nice to get out there and win."
Raiders T Donald Penn
Q: What would you say about the team after tonight?
Penn:"It was a great victory. We still got a long way to go. We still working, but are working together and it is starting to show."
Q: How did you punch them in the mouth so well in the running game tonight?
Penn:"When they have three, four great pass rushers, you got to get the running game going. As an offensive line, you got to keep those guys away and slow them down. They were all about stopping the run, but we knew we had to run the ball well to be effective today. Tay [RB Latavius Murray] and those young running backs did a great job."
Q: How would you describe Latavius' performance tonight?
Penn:"Man, he was running so well. He is our number one running back. He is a leader. You should see how he is helping these two young running backs out. Sometime he wants them to go in and get them a rep. Some guys all want it for themselves, but he takes a step back and likes to see the rotation. Some guys would be made about that, but Latavius is grasping that role. It is doing a lot of good for us."
Q: Would you say there is a changing of the guard in the AFC West?
Penn:"It is a long season. They did a lot of talking all week, but I said we don't talk with the media. We talk with our play. With our pads on and we showed that today."
Q: How important was it to not have those negative yardage plays in the running game?
Penn:"That is big. If you look at our efficiency, we have been top in the league. That is something we know we got to do. If we get Derek Carr into second and short, third and short, offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave can open the playbook wide open."
Raiders RB Latavius Murray
Q: What was it like to dominate in the running game tonight?
Murray: "It felt really good. We wanted to run the ball coming in. We knew they had given up a lot of rushing yards, so we knew we had to run the ball to go out there and be successful and we were able to do that really well. Not just me, the other backs too. It starts up front. Those guys create a new line of scrimmage for me and it makes it easy."
Q: How does this compare to last week?
Murray: "Last week we were able to overcome a lot of penalties, but this is a completely different game. We just knew that we had to go out there and run the ball. We knew we needed to make plays when we needed to make plays. Defense played great and we were able to get the win."
Q: What kind of statement does this win make?
Murray: "I think it's a good win for us. Really I just think it's the start. We have a lot of games left. We're in a tough division, so this thing can go anyway and we know that. We know we can't look at this game as something that's going to define us or define the season. We have to continue to go out there and work hard and we're going to have to earn every game we play, starting when we get back from the bye."
Q: How do you feel after having missed time?
Murray: "I feel really good. We mix and match. We're going to get those other guys in there. They're going to run at you and they're going to run really well. I think we're capable of doing that as we've shown throughout the season. We can run the ball and we want to do that. We know we have to to win games."
Q: How did it feel to score three times tonight?
Murray: "It felt really good. I know they were on the goal line. They got me some cheap ones there, but it felt really good. Anytime you get in the endzone, I'm not going to complain whatsoever. Again that's why I give credit to the guys up front because them making the push and I'm just trying to finish off what they started. They also had some big gains down field to set up our run on the goal line."
Q: Why did you give the ball to Austin Howard after your third score?
Murray: "He had asked me, once they called our big personnel, we figured we were going to run the ball. [He said,] 'Hey, if you score just give me the ball.' He said, 'I got you.' He didn't really think I was going to do it. I said, 'I don't care.' The O-line has a little fun."
Q: How does it feel to beat Denver so physically?
Murray: "It feels great. Just to pound on those guys, again we're capable of doing that. We have a physical front. We have physical backs, physical receivers and so that's the way we need to play. That's the way we're capable of playing. I think it showed from when we do that."
Q: Given the rivalry, does that make this win more special?
Murray: "We know that it's a big rivalry. We know the division rivalry, but this game is important because they stand in the way of our goal and that's win the division. That's how we've looked at it throughout the week and that's how we'll continue to look at games that we need. We need to win the division."
Q: What was the crowd like?
Murray: "They were great. They were into it the whole game and that's special. Helps us out a lot, helps the defense out a lot I'm sure. Those first few drives that they had, the offense was able to do much. I know they had a lot of three-and-outs."
Q: Is it dangerous to leap into the endzone?
Murray: "Yeah, they're dangerous. Especially when you're reaching that ball across the goal line, but I don't know, I think you have to have a nose for the endzone. You have to do whatever is going to get that refree to put his hands up. I'll continue to do what I have to do to obviously to protect the ball, but make sure I get in there in those situations. That's what is most important because we need six."
**Raiders LB Malcolm Smith
Q: What does this win say about the football team?
Smith:"That we are taking steps into the right direction. Just got to continue to keep this high level."
Q: You forced Denver into four straight three-and-outs. How did that set the tone?
Smith:"I think we just gave our offense the chance. When they are on the field, I like our chances."
Q: The defense has come around the past couple of weeks. What has been the difference with this unity?
Smith:"I think just keeping it simple for us. We know what we are supposed to do. Where we are supposed to be. All about how we are communicating. The past couple of weeks have prepared us for today and gave us a chance to get our communication going and get into the rhythm."
Q: What is the potential for this football team?
Smith:"Just go out and compete every week. The sky is the limit for us."
Q: Going into the bye week, what have you learned about the Oakland Raiders?
Smith:"That we are resilient. We are going to continue to fight no matter what the stats say. It is all about us and our group."
Raiders DE Khalil Mack
Q: What were the adjustments on defense that helped you guys start and finish strong?
Mack:"Preparation all week. All the defensive coaches prepared us well. We knew what they wanted to do and we were prepared for it."
**Q: What were some of the main things that were made?
Mack:"We knew they would stretch, run boot legs, and all those different things they would use to help their quarterback gain confidence. We just tried to put a little pressure on them."
Q: You and Derek [Carr] have talked about the culture here since you've got here. Is this what you thought of in your vision?
Mack:"For sure. We talk about winning ball games because that is what it is. That is how you change the culture, by winning. Doing all the things it takes to win, and that is the preparation. Everybody working on their specialties."
Q: Was this really just another game?
Mack:"They are all the same, even if this one is national, you still go out and try to win the game."
Q: Can you talk us through your two sacks today?
Mack:"I was getting overstepped on the backside and came underneath on the lineman to the inside. On the next one, I stabbed inside because I knew he was going to bite on it, and then came outside and tried to get the ball out."
Q: What kind of a statement do you feel like you made tonight?
Mack:"You talk about statements but we are still playing. It is going to be another one we have to play against over at Mile-High so we just got to take it week-by-week and continue to get better."
Q: How do you guys maintain the momentum with the week off?
Mack:"Make sure to just stay focused. Come in to work and focus on the preparation during the bye week. Use the free time to get guys healthy. That is what the process is, to make sure guys get healthy during the bye week and get ready for Monday night."
Raiders T Austin Howard
Q: What does it mean for you guys to be in first place alone atop the AFC West?
Howard:"It will mean a lot more after the season when we're still number one."
Q: There was a sack for zero yards on your quarterback. You guys have given up the fewest sacks in the league. Is it frustrating that it's still considered a sack when it's for zero yards and your quarterback runs out of bounds?
Howard:"Maybe the league will change that rule. It is what it is. We just focus on keeping [Derek Carr] safe back there."
Q: Did you guys try to tell him to run a quarter yard more? He put the ball forward, he was trying.
Howard:"It is what it is. Hopefully they change that one soon."
**Raiders P Marquette King
Q: What would you say about your dance earlier?
King:"Just riding a bronco and having a little fun. I don't do it to taunt, I just do it out of fun. Everybody is having fun. Everybody is picking things up. It is a huge family and that is something I've noticed since I came in 2012. It has been pretty cool."
Q: How big do you think that is for you to pin the Denver Broncos deep down there with the crowd all into the game?
King:"I mean this is what I do. I practice hard every day, I got the best special teams coach in the league. One of the best long-snappers to make my job easy and I mean this is something I got to do."
Q: How big was it to have Andre Holmes stop the ball from going into the endzone?
King:"Andre was a beast, man. He made a nice play. He made a nice top-10 one handed catch. I've never ever seen something like that. The whole special teams made plays out there."