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Quote Sheet: Raiders 31 Cardinals 10



Opening statement:

Coach Del Rio:"Always nice to win. Couple of things stood out to me: I thought our kickoff coverage was good, flying down the field especially early in the game. I thought DeAndre Washington showed up on a couple nice runs. I thought George Atkinson III had a couple big touchdown runs and was part of that early kickoff coverage that looked really good. Good to see Sebastian Janikowski nail a field goal for us. I thought Connor (Cook) played good for us at quarterback, especially for his first live action as an NFL quarterback. There's a lot of things we've got to do better. Penalties overall, offensively we had two on the first drive that put us in a hole. We didn't tackle very well, especially in the run game. I thought we battled well against the pass. We have to tackle much better, I was a little disappointed to not see the tackling a little crisper even though it was our first game. It'll get better; it has to. Good first day out, looking forward to getting better in practice"* *

On defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. injury:

Coach Del Rio:"No. Nothing to update. We don't talk about injuries. I've got a policy about discussing injuries this early in the year, we will update in a couple of weeks, for now it will stay in-house."

**On running back George Atkinson III's progress:


Coach Del Rio:"He is very good and very hungry to be a part of the team. He has improved. There is no question about his speed and his eagerness to help on (special) teams. I think where we need to see growth with him will be in pass protection. We will give him more opportunities to grow in areas like that. George is a great young man and working his tail off. It's important for him to get a feel for the speed, but we don't want to expose him too much. We'll get him a little action."


On if it felt good to get his feet wet and make some throws:

Carr:"Yes. It felt good to just throw against someone else. It felt good to play real football, not with a red jersey on. It's always good to get out there, and obviously, we need to be cleaner. This is year three for me and there is no excuse for those kinds of things. I take that stuff personal. We have to make sure we are cleaner on the pre-snap stuff. That stuff can't happen. We are too good of a football team and we have worked too hard to let things like that kill a drive."

On what he thought of Connor Cook getting extended reps:

Carr:"I was talking to him the whole time and just telling him everything I thought I would want someone to tell me before my first game. Ever since last night just leading up to it, right before he went in, I just gave him a little 'Hey man take a deep breath, see the safeties, see the flat, just start going through things slowly in your head and that is what slows the game down for you.' I thought he went out there and did a great job today."

On if he enjoys taking shots down the sideline like they did tonight:

Carr:"Oh yeah, especially in the preseason you can get away with a few more than normal, but it is good to take those shots and get real live reps. Practice is one thing, but when they really count, when the lights are on and those kinds of things, it is good to take those shots and see what can happen. It is good to figure some things out during the preseason and try those things but I thought everything looked good so far."


On Andre Holmes having a nice catch and a fumble and if he is still trying to work out the ups and downs:**

Carr:"It is the same with everybody. There is probably a play out there where I was like 'Man.' Like the last go ball I threw to Coop (Amari Cooper), I was trying to be too cute with it; just give him a chance to make a play. Same with me, that is the same thing with everybody. That is the beautiful thing about the preseason is that you can go out there and say 'Dang you don't want to do that,' but I'm glad it's now and not Week 1 in New Orleans. That goes with everyone in this room. They will turn the tape on and go 'Man, I wish I didn't do that.' Or whatever. That is the cool thing is that we can get better from what we did today."


On if it felt good to have two touchdowns in the game:

Atkinson III:"No doubt. The O-line did a great job today. The coaching staff put me and the O-line in great position to make big plays. That last one we were just thinking about finishing the drive and finishing the game strong."

On what he saw on his first touchdown run:

Atkinson III:"I saw the defense kind of flow to the right a little bit so I went that way and I saw Joe (Hansley) made a great block. Cut the crap out that guy on the outside and kind of sprung me to go to the outside and use my speed."

On his second touchdown and showing his ability to be shifty:

Atkinson III:"Yeah it's something I've been working on in my game this whole offseason. I was just happy I was able to display it on the field today."

On his special teams coverage in the game and if it was a special night for him:

Atkinson III:"Yeah, all prayers go to God. Hard work, it pays off, and I still have a lot of work to do. This one is in the bag. We're done with this game. We're going to get corrections made and go on to Green Bay."

On how he is better this year than last year:

Atkinson III:"My patience. Coach Bernie (Parmalee) really emphasized in the offseason reading the defense and knowing the blocks before they happen and trusting in the line. They are going to make those blocks. That's all I did tonight and it was a great night."

**On if this game gives him confidence moving forward:


Atkinson III:"Yeah, you want to have confidence, but you also need to know that you need to work on things that didn't go right, to continue to get better and continue to display I'm still trying to make the team."

On if he had heard from his dad yet:

Atkinson III:"I haven't opened my phone yet. The first thing I'm going to do is call my dad before we get on the flight for sure. I'm sure he's going to get on me for some runs I should've made a little better, some decisions. There's always room to get better."* *

On if his dad gives him pep talks to keep going:

Atkinson III:"He's definitely been in my ear, especially this year being my third year. Last two years practice squad; I didn't make the squad. So, this year, he's like, you have to buckle down now. As soon as you get the opportunity you need to let the coaches know you can make the squad."


On what playing time he was expecting coming in:

Cook:"They said Derek (Carr) was going to start. He was going to get a couple series. (Matt) McGloin was going to play the rest of the first half. He was going to start, take one drive in the second half and then the rest was mine. I knew what I was getting myself into. It was just a great overall effort by the ones, twos and threes offensively and defensively."* *

On if he had butterflies before his first pro game:


Cook: **"Oh for sure. Ever since I was at Michigan State, every time I started a game, I was always nervous. The same goes for today, even though I wasn't starting. Even though I didn't play the whole game, there are always butterflies, especially when you're playing against the top guys in the world. There are always butterflies."

On if he was able to get into a rhythm:

Cook:"Yeah. I thought it was good. Coach Musgrave was calling a lot of quick gain stuff, so I could get the ball out of my hands really quickly. Guys were open. It wasn't like there was super, super tight coverage. Guys were making plays after the catch too. DeAndre (Washington) had the one run after the catch. The screens that I was chucking out there, those guys were getting some positive yardage. Coach Musgrave was calling some great plays."

On what his first pro completion felt like:

Cook:"It was obviously a relief. Being able to get out there and your first pass is a completion. It just felt good."

On how much progress he has made:

Cook:"Going back to OTA's and mini camp, I was still learning. Everything was brand new. Then we had a month-long break. I really studied my plays, got in the playbook a lot. Then we reported for training camp. Everything slowed down a little bit. I started out a little slow, but I was getting better and more comfortable. It's totally different being a quarterback. Obviously, you have to know the verbiage. You have to know the checks. You have to know what the O-line is doing. You have to know that this route converts to this in this coverage. There are so many things that go into it, so there's always a learning curve. It's a gradual improvement for me and I just hope that it continues to go like that."

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