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Raiders defense prioritizes 'effort, communication and discipline' against 49ers in preseason action

It all starts up front.

Football games are won and lost inside the trenches, with the Raiders defensive line winning the battle over the San Francisco 49ers offensive line. It was made clear that the big boys for the Silver and Black defense were ready to play from the jump, with John Jenkins sacking Trey Lance on the first play. Two plays later, Jordan Willis and Isaac Rochell combined for another sack.

"I think every player than plays on defense and every coach in our organization that's working on that side of the ball is doing everything they can every day to try to improve and get better," Head Coach Josh McDaniels said following the 34-7 victory. "That process started as soon as the season ended. Where it will ultimately lead to, I don't know but I like our effort. Our attitude every day is the right type of attitude if you want to improve and get better."

Another two sacks were contributed by Adam Butler and rookie linebacker Amari Burney. Butler celebrated his first sack in Las Vegas with a Super Saiyan celebration dance mimicking Vegeta from "Dragon Ball Z," as Butler is a self-proclaimed "huge anime guy."

"That's kind of how you feel. When you get a sack, it's an electric feeling," said Butler. "You feel like you ascend to another level of yourself, so that's why I do that celebration."

"In a preseason game, regular season, whatever – if you can affect the quarterback, that's a huge factor within a game," continued Butler. "If you can consistently affect the quarterback, that's huge. And I think we did that today."

The defense played complimentary football, with the pressure upfront leading to success in the secondary and creating turnovers. UDFA cornerback Azizi Hearn recovered a fumble that was forced by linebacker Curtis Bolton.

Cornerback Sam Webb accounted for the other turnover, catching an interception in the second-half before getting caught from behind at the two-yard line. Sincere McCormick then capitalized off Webb's interception with a two-yard touchdown catch.

"We really focused on effort, communication and discipline," said Webb. "As long as we keep those [traits] in our head going into the game and situations, then everything else takes care of itself."

If the Raiders defense continues to key in on those three traits, they'll put themselves in an advantageous position against the Los Angeles Rams offense later this week.

View photos from the Raiders' preseason matchup against the San Francisco 49ers at Allegiant Stadium.

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