RAIDERS HEAD COACH JACK DEL RIO **
Q: What was your message to the team going into these final two games?
Coach Del Rio:"I didn't really talk a whole lot about the last two games other than to refer to the short week. We need to do everything we can to heal up, get some rest. You kind of fight through your rest on a short week, get prepared for the next opportunity."
Q: After the pick six you were talking to Derek Carr in a calm manner. Is that more efficient?
Coach Del Rio:"I don't think biting his head off right there is going to help him bounce back. Obviously, that's a critical mistake, but he's our quarterback. Sometimes things are going to happen in this game, but you have to be able to play through them, keep fighting, stay in the fight. I thought it was more important for him to understand that. That was what I conveyed to him. And we did, we did fight our way back."
Q: Why weren't you able to sustain the offense after you took the lead?
Coach Del Rio:"I can't really provide that answer on why we couldn't. We didn't. We had our opportunities. We did some things that were effective, we were just not able to sustain. We didn't start out well. We got it going a little bit and then we weren't able to sustain it late when it was crunch time."
Q: Is it a different learning experience playing a contender at this time of year?
Coach Del Rio:"Well I think you learn when you go back and you're able to reflect on what was. You learn where you had opportunities that got away from you. There's that opportunity when you reflect back. For right now, we're just trying to work as hard as we can with the effort and energy to do as much as we can right now. We're expecting to come out here and play well right now. There's certainly a lot. You go back and you learn. This football team will have the opportunity to do that. Tonight, we understand we weren't good enough to beat the Packers in today's game. We put ourselves in position, had some chances, but they made more plays than we did. They did a better job. Coach Mike McCarthy did a better job than Jack Del Rio did with his team, that's just how it is. It's a business where you look to put together your best effort, go out there each week and put it on the line, and we just didn't quite get it done tonight."
Q: What happened on the James Jones touchdown?
Coach Del Rio:"We had a blown coverage."
Q: What changed with Carr? He's less accurate than he was a few games ago.
Coach Del Rio:"I can't really tell you anything there. I know when his feet are right, I think he's very accurate when he's on balance and fundamentally doing things. Whether or not that's part of it or not, I can't tell you. I can just tell you he's a good player. We have a bright future because of guys like him. We're going to continue to grow him and learn from the experiences that he's getting and as a football team, continue to grow."
Q: Why did you shy away from running the ball in the second after having success in the first half?
Coach Del Rio:"I thought we were able to do some things early. Like you said, we didn't do so well late. To sit up here and talk about play calling, I guess that's one way to look at it. We'll evaluate that, but sitting here right now, I don't have any comments about the number of runs that are called or passes that are called. I know at the end of the day, I've said this before, you get more opportunities, more turns and more opportunities when you sustain drives. Sitting here looking at the stat sheet, we can go to the drive chart and see when you go six plays and punt, five plays and punt, four downs and out, three-and-out. Those are opportunities where if you're converting and moving the ball, then you have more opportunities to do whatever you want to do, throw it or run it. I will say, any time the run game doesn't get the number of turns that you want to have, typically that is the result of not converting first downs. Moving the chains and converting first downs gives you more opportunity to do a lot things; you can be productive on offense."
Q: What do you think of the play of your defense overall?
Coach Del Rio:"I think there was some good moments. I thought we started out real stingy. They weren't able to sustain a lot. I think they ended the day with one out of five in the red zone. So continuing that theme of not letting them in down there was big. Again, had opportunities to do more. It's hard for me to reach down and really talk about a lot of the positives because it's about winning the game and we didn't do enough to win the game. There's no lack of effort or desire, commitment from this football team. I feel very good about that. It just needs to be cleaner and it wasn't clean enough."
Q: How difficult does it make it to lose Mario Edwards Jr. early with pressure on Aaron Rodgers?
Coach Del Rio:"Yeah. We had some early pressure, got him sacked a couple of times. Mario, obviously, has become a real key member of our defensive front and having him go out early like he did definitely was a blow."
Q: Do you have a prognosis on his injury?
Coach Del Rio:"I don't know a lot about it. It's something that we're making sure we take a good look and I understand exactly what's going on."
Q: Are the strides the team made enough to call this year a success?
Coach Del Rio:"It's hard for me to sit up here today and make that kind of proclamation. There will be a time for reflection. Right now we're just talking about this past game."
Q: How are the penalties corrected?
Coach Del Rio: **"Just play with better technique, keep your poise there. I saw a couple of examples where guys were trailing and did not play with the proper technique. That will get called every time. Really wasn't even that close."
Q: Describe this painful moment.
Coach Del Rio:"It's not the only painful moment, it won't be the last painful moment. We have a good group of men in there. We're disappointed the night didn't go the way we wanted it to. We have a good group. We have two more opportunities to go out and play real good football. I'm looking forward to it."
RAIDERS QB DEREK CARR
Q: You've shown the ability to bounce back this year and get your team back in it. Is the next step not having to bounce back?
Carr:"Yes. I'll always compete my tail off no matter the situation. We say it all the time. No matter how good it looks, how bad it looks I'm always going to keep fighting because I believe in what we do and who I am. I wish that those things didn't happen, especially again the way that they happened. I just sat there and went 'really?'. I was kind of upset after that, but you just come back out and compete your tail off, but yeah I would absolutely love for those things not to happen."
Q: Jack Del Rio called you over after the pick six. What was the tone of the conversation?
Carr: "It was just like, things are going to happen. I believe in you. You already know all these things. He said just go out there and do you. That's all it was. It was just go be yourself. He wasn't worried about trying to cheer me up or encourage me. He knows that I knew what I did. He knows that I have no problem bouncing back so he just said 'hey man, just go be you' and we were able to play some good football after that."
Q: What happened on the first interception?
Carr: "They were playing a two-man, so the guy's back was to me so I tried to sneak it in without the guy seeing and he turned his head around and caught it. He made a good play."
Q: Did the second interception just get a little high on you?
Carr:"It just got high on me. It did. I wish that if I had the play over, I'd love to bring it down obviously, but that's where I wanted to throw it. It was just high."
Q: There was a similar situation on the touchdown to Amari Cooper. Was that how you saw it but just that time it worked?
Carr:"Yeah the first time, it was two different coverages, but the first time was to Clive [Walford] down the middle. He was running a certain route and I thought that obviously with the route he was running, that the guy wouldn't get his head around and he did. And then the second one Coop got up on the safety and that's why I knew that we'd have a good chance at throwing it because Coop beat the safety down the field."
Q: You took off and ran a lot today. That's something that's been available to you a lot this year and you've chosen not to do it. Is that something you are consciously trying to take advantage of?
Carr: "Oh man. I just know they played a lot of two-man today. They played a lot of that and the way you hurt that is by hitting some plays if they're there and if not you have to take off and run. So there was a lot of times for me to try and scramble and take off and run, but also that also leads to a lot of throwaways because those guys are playing underneath, trailing those guys. Sometimes when you're scrambling there's not that many throws."
Q: What's the emotion like when you are eliminated from playoff contention?
Carr:"It hurts. It hurts. It hurt my heart. You know? To be honest, because I know how much work I put into this. I know how much work our team puts into this, our coaches. How much we sacrificed during the week. Not even just during the week, even during our offseason. Sometimes we joke around that there really is no offseason because everyone's ultimate goal is to go to the playoffs and win the Super Bowl. That's always my goal. That will never change no matter what our record is, no matter what happens. I compete because I want to be the best and I just have to keep working at it. I have to keep learning, keep growing because we have a lot of football ahead of us and we have to get better."
**Q: You've shown the ability all year to put balls in tight spots for touchdowns usually from a standing spot. As far as breaking outside the mold when a play breaks down, can you add that to your game or is that something that's just not going to be part of you?
Carr: "Yeah I can absolutely do it. On the touchdown we threw to Coop, it was a rollout where I set up and hit him. It's absolutely something I believe that I can do and all those things, but I'm always trying to throw the ball on time at certain places. There's a lot of times in this league, every quarterback could tell you, you throw the ball before the guy even breaks and you just hope that it works out your way and sometimes it doesn't, but it's absolutely something I believe that we can do."
Q: You went boom, boom, boom down the field on that touchdown pass to Amari Cooper. Can you explain why you weren't able to sustain that sort of thing after that?
Carr:"Yeah it's hard. You have to give them a lot of credit. Man, they're really good. They're a really good team. There were spurts where we were able to move the ball really well and get some points, which that's what this league's about, is getting points. They happened to stop us a few times. We happened to go down a few times, but I guess a team like this, a playoff team, a team fighting to win their division, all those things it's not always going to be pretty. You just have to weather the storm and just try and go out and compete against them. Try and get some points the next time."
Q: Amari Cooper eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark this season, and he told us it wasn't that big of a deal to him. What's your take on him doing that?
Carr: "He is the ultimate team guy so that doesn't surprise me that he said that. We have a lot of those guys that will have the same answer. Anytime you can do that in this league against the defensive backs of today that is no small feat, that means you're a really good wide receiver, one of the best in the world obviously. He deserves a lot of credit. He works his tail off. I know he'd rather win than have any stats but he deserves a lot of credit, that guy works his tail off."
Q: How encouraging are the accolades the team has accomplished this season for the long term?
Carr: "When you look at it as a whole, it's cool, all that stuff means we get good players. We know that. Coach tells us that all the time, he believes in us and he believes how good we are but obviously we just weren't good enough today but when you hear things like that it means we're heading the right way. Reggie McKenzie has done a great job with helping both sides of the ball and helping us out, I'm just blessed to be a part of it to be honest. I'm happy that I'm here and that I get to be a part of this because it's not always going to be these kinds of feelings, I know that."
Q: What was it like seeing Davante Adams after the game?
Carr: "It's crazy, he's one of my best friends and he always will be. We were texting back and forth all week and having fun with it because obviously we're both going to stop playing this game at some time and we're just going to be friends that don't play football. It was cool to see him, I wish him the best, obviously not today, but it was really good to see him. He's one of my best friends."
Q: Is there any way you can explain the long returns on interceptions?
Carr: "No, I feel like it's so unfortunate because I've thrown so many interceptions in my life playing quarterback, it's going to happen but I've never had that many returns like that so I guess I don't want to practice going and knocking people out. It's not something I want to think about. I don't know why, especially in that situation that you don't want to do that but I wish I knew but I really don't."
Q: Latavius Murray had a lot of success running in the first half. Did they take that away from you guys?
Carr: **"I'm not sure, I just think 'oh we're moving the ball' and when I sit back and think about it now I think wow, he was running it really well and I don't know I'd have to sit down and see. They are so many things going through my head like changes in the game, game plan adjustments all those things that I'm like 'when did that happen?' But right now, I'm not sure but I knew we were moving the ball well and he was running really well."
RAIDERS WR AMARI COOPER
Q: It's been 10 years since the Raiders have had a 1,000-yard receiver and the last to do it was Randy Moss. What does that mean to you?
Cooper:"I guess it's a good thing to do, but people go for 1,000 yards every year, so it's not really a big thing."
Q: What was Green Bay's defense able to do to stop you in the fourth quarter?
Cooper:"They were just able to make more plays than we did. That's pretty much it."
Q: What happened on your first touchdown?
Cooper:"[Offensive coordinator] Coach [Bill Musgrave] just called a good play, kind of like a double move. I ran it off the safety and the safety bit on the route, so I came wide open."
Q: On the second one, you had him beat the whole way?
Cooper:"The second one, I just had to go up and make a play. The guy was in good position to make a play himself."
Q: You were limited in practice this week. Did you feel fresh coming into today's game?
Cooper:"I don't think anyone feels fresh this late in the season, but I definitely felt better than I felt last week."
Q: How would you assess the team's confidence at 6-8?
Cooper:"I feel like we still have our confidence, because we know that every team we've played, we were in the game and had a good chance at winning. Our confidence is there still."
Q: Both teams had a lot of drops today. Was the weather a large factor in that?
Cooper:"Anytime in the rain, the ball is slippery, it's harder to catch the ball, but that's no excuse."
Q: Do you let yourself think about what you can accomplish once you get more experience in the league? Cooper:"I'm just taking it day by day, trying to get better, trying to stay healthy, trying to do all the little things right so I can be a better player for my team."
Q: You are the first Raiders rookie with 1,000 receiving yards. What does that mean to you? Cooper:"I guess it's a good thing."
RAIDERS CB DAVID AMERSON
Q: You guys did some things to frustrate and confuse Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. What was it that made it so tough on him?
Amerson:"Our biggest thing was we wanted to come out here and challenge the receivers. With a great quarterback like Aaron Rodgers, we didn't want to show too much zone. We wanted to come out here and have sticky coverage so once they ball got there we'd have a chance to make a play."
Q: There was one play where it looked like you and the other corner both let your receivers go, thinking you had help over the top. Was that just a miscommunication?
Amerson:"It really wasn't a miscommunication. It was about personnel. The guys got confused – we had guys moving from nickel to safety to corner and everything. It was a guy in the wrong spot. He forgot he was supposed to be at safety and we didn't have a half-field play. It didn't help that they were going hurry-up, so guys really weren't on the same page. That's all it takes for one play."
Q: The rest of the day, I think that's the only touchdown they got. The way you shut them down in the redzone…
Amerson:"I think the whole defense wishes we could have that play back, definitely. We had them on the ropes."
Q: From the defense you walked into to the defense that's on the field now, how much have you guys grown and gotten better?
Amerson:"A lot. I was just telling someone, we've made tremendous strides. I think early in this season we took some bumps. Sometimes it was a whole bunch of passing yards, sometimes a whole bunch of rushing yards, but guys really locked in to preparation and everything. I think we've grown over the season and it's shown. We can only get better."
**Q: Do you feel like if a couple things had gone different this season you would still be chasing the playoffs?
Amerson:"Definitely. There are a couple of games I wish we could have back or play again that I know we should have won. If we would have won some of the games at home, we'd be in a whole different situation right now. I think that's the biggest thing – we have to understand how we have to protect our home field and win these close games at home."
Q: What did you see on that interception?
Amerson:"They ran the same play that I broke up earlier in the end zone. It was kind of the same thing, just more room for him to run. I knew it was coming and I was kind of behind him, trying to bait Aaron to throw it, which he did."
Q: Did you feel S Charles Woodson trying to take that away from you?
Amerson:"Yeah. I told 'Wood' it was tunnel vision. I just saw the ball and the next thing I know, I feel someone tugging at it. Then I saw it was him, but he was nice enough to let it go."* *
RAIDERS RB LATAVIUS MURRAY
Q: You are now eliminated from playoff contention. What do you take out of this season?
Murray:"It's still disappointing. Like I just said, we wanted to win the division, that was our goal and we didn't do that. We wanted to play in the postseason and we came up short. We're not happy with that. We're not satisfied at all."
Q: For a team with the upside you have, can you guys learn from a game like this, late in the season with so much at stake?
Murray:"I think we just need to finish, find a way to win against good teams. We've got two more games left to improve and get better as group. We'll worry about next year when it comes."
Q: Did it feel like a different level of play while still being eligible for the playoffs?**
Murray:"It's a different group and obviously we have a lot of talent, we have all the ability in the world, but it doesn't mean anything when you don't go out there and win a game. I love this group. I'm excited to finish off the season right and go from there."
Q: What do you think of Amari Cooper going over 1,000 receiving yards for the season?
Murray:"Real happy for him. He's been playing some great ball for us, so I'm very happy for him. That's another guy I'm going to be excited to watch his career."
Q: Do you guys have the sense that you can play with any other team in the league?
Murray:"Yeah, we believe that every day, week in and week out. We believe. Again, we just need to find ways to finish and win."
RAIDERS DE KHALIL MACK
Q: You guys held them in the first half, but what was the difference in the second half?
Mack:"The difference in the second half, we allowed them to make some big plays on us and the penalties hurt us, too. We tried to hold them strong. They're a great team, man. You've got to give credit to them."
Q: Was the field giving you any footing problems?
Mack:"I was slipping a few times, but no excuses, man. They played great, Aaron Rodgers held his own against us. They finished the game and they won the game."