Here's what Joe Lombardi and Renaldo Hill had to say ahead of the Bolts' Week 4 game vs. Las Vegas.
DC Renaldo Hill on the Raiders' deep-field passing attack
"I always thought they were an explosive team. I recall last year looking at them from a Denver lens, they were connecting deep with [Raiders WR Nelson] Agholor, [Raiders WR Henry] Ruggs [III], [Raiders TE Darren] Waller. All those guys were coming alive and it's not different this year. They have [WR Bryan] Edwards in there, and he's picking up. He's rolling. He's an explosive guy, he can stretch the field, he's big bodied. And then you still have Ruggs and Waller to go with it. You also have [Raiders WR Hunter] Renfrow. They're a loaded group. We'll have our hands full."
OC Joe Lombardi on the Raiders' defensive front
"[They have] a big, strong nose guard that you're going to have to battle in the run game. Two edge rushers — really three, because [Raiders DE Carl] Nassib's always been a guy that's been effective against us, at least when I was in New Orleans. Their three ends are all guys that you have to pay attention to, from a pass-blocking perspective. [Raiders Defensive Line Coach Rod] Marinelli has always been a defensive coach that we've had such great respect for. His guys play so hard — they're disruptive and technically sound, all of those things. It's going to be an all-day affair for our O-line."
Hill on what he's seen from Derek Carr in 2021
"He's been poised. Another year in that system, I think the comfort level is there. You can tell he has complete control of it. He's making it happen, he's the quarterback. He's directing everyone where they need to go, and the guys have a comfort level for him. It shows up when the players understand what he wants to do. They're playing fast, they're playing at a high level."
Lombardi on Raiders S Johnathan Abram
"Very talented. He's down near the ball a lot. Just a guy that's physical and supports the run. He's athletic. A lot of times when I hear, 'box safety,' I think that the guy is a liability in the passing game, but he's an all-around player. Someone that you're going to have to keep your eye on and know where he is."
Hill on the importance of AFC West matchups
"Everybody wants to be sitting in a place where they're competing for the playoffs and win the division. They're all important, we have a lot of tough opponents in this division. It matters, and it matters to those guys. We want to do our best job of putting them in position so we can go out there and get wins against our conference opponents."
Lombardi on Raiders DC Gus Bradley's defense & having offensive players who have formerly gone against it in practice
"I think that he always does a good job of game-planning for the opponent. I do expect a few wrinkles, specifically, maybe, on third down. This defense has been around for a long time, it's been proven. I don't think that they're ever really trying to trick you. They're just trying to out-execute you. They often do a really good job of that. You're always trying to be ready for the unknowns, but I think that he's going to lean on what they do well.
"I think that [players like Mike Williams and Keenan Allen] have a good feel. When you're describing the defense and you're saying, 'With this player, this is his responsibility,' they've heard that a million times at this point. They have a good familiarity with some of the players on the other side that came from here. This defense has been around the NFL for a while. Atlanta ran a version of it. Gus, I don't know if he was the founder, the Godfather of this defense, but I've always felt like he was one of the best at coaching it, certainly. It's not complicated, but they execute so well. It can be challenging to attack."
Check out the best photos from the Bolts Thursday practice at Hoag Performance Center.
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