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Transcript - Practice (Nov. 5, 2019)


Tuesday, November 5, 2019 | Hoag Performance Center | Costa Mesa, Calif.


On DT Justin Jones and NT Brandon Mebane:

"Limited. Both were limited."

On when a decision will be made about Jones and Mebane:

"It'll be a game-time decision. I don't want to get the guys out there too soon with a couple days off over the weekend for them to get well, but if they can play, they definitely will play."

On if the team will have a walk through on Wednesday:

"Yes, we will.

"We did one on Monday night, but it will be during the day."

On RB Justin Jackson:

"[The calf] fatigued on him a little bit. We want to be careful with him. He'll be a game-time decision as well.

"His versatility and what he brings to our offense is very important. I look forward to seeing him back on the field healthy."

On distractions:

"I just found out about the story last night. I know there's not anything to it. We're not going to let it be a distraction for us. We have a job to go do on Thursday night. That's what we're getting prepared for."

On LB Denzel Perryman:

"It was just something that he did in the game last week. He got banged up a little bit. He will be a game-time decision as well."

On T Sam Tevi:

"Sam Tevi will not do any work today. We'll see where he is tomorrow."

On T Russell Okung:

"He missed a lot of time, but he came back and in Chicago he played 36 snaps. Last week, he played pretty much the whole game. He's played well. I'm not surprised. I mean, Russell is a pro. He missed a lot of time, but he came back and he was prepared."

On the feeling this week:

"It's a different week because I feel like we played well in all three phases. We had a plan. We went out, we executed the plan. That always feels good when you do that.

"You know, you would like to play that way all along, no doubt about it. Every team has injuries, so we can't make excuses for injures. For whatever reason, with guys in and out of the lineup, we were never clicking right that. I think we got just enough core guys back to where we feel pretty confident right now."

On playing on Thursday:

"I think winning breeds confidence, so you want to play as soon as you can after you get one of those wins. These Thursday night games, they're tough. They're tough. It's a quick turnaround. We really practice recovery and mental preparation this week."

On the challenge of playing Thursday:

"I think it's recovery. Guys played hard Sunday. To turn around and do it again on Thursday night, you'd like to have more time to recover, but you don't."

On the team health:

"I mean, we're no different than we were last week. I like the players that we have that are going to take the field. Whoever we put on the field, we expect them to play and play well."

On DT Sylvester Williams:

"Sylvester got here [a couple weeks ago]. He's done a heck of a job. With the small amount of reps that we've given him, I think he went in the game and held his own."

On Offensive Coordinator Shane Steichen:

"Shane, he's no stranger to everyone. He's sharp. He's a good communicator with the players. They understand where he's coming from. He has a bright future in this league. That's why we made him a coordinator — to have an impact."

On preparing for a division rival:

"The preparation doesn't change. It doesn't matter who we're playing, we're going to prepare the same. We want to win every single game."

On S Derwin James Jr.:

"I'm not going to put a timetable on [Derwin] DJ [James]. When he's ready, he's ready. Hopefully, we can get him back on the field this year, but if not, we'll see him next year.

"Like I said, I can't put a timetable on it."

On Raiders RB Josh Jacobs:

"He's having a heck of a year. It wouldn't surprise me if he was rookie of the year. This guy can run, he can catch it and he has a nose for the end zone. He's a dynamic player."

On S Adrian Phillips:

"He's getting close. He still has the cast on his arm. Once he gets the cast off his arm and can move around a little bit without the cast, then we will see where he is."

On is Phillips is closer to health than James:

"I can't say that. Players heal at different [rates], so I don't know."

On S Roderic Teamer:

"Teamer, his status is up in the air as well. If he can't go, then [S] Jaylen [Watkins] will have to step back in at strong safety."

On S Jaylen Watkins:

"He knew what he was doing. I thought he played well. [Roderic] Teamer was getting better every single week. He's a young player that we like, obviously. He's on our team. Jaylen did a good job."

On the Raiders:

"They're a good football. The team is built to run the football and they're built to stop the running game. That front seven is really big and powerful. It's going to be tough to establish the run on this group, and vice versa, it's going to be tough to slow them down. They have one of the biggest offensive lines we have seen all year. They have that runner in the back in [Josh] Jacobs. [Raiders QB Derek Carr] is playing pretty damn good, too. To me, he looks more confident this year. He's making better decisions, is taking care of the football. I think he's second in the National Football League in completion percentage. They're doing a good job."

On Raiders WR Tyrell Williams:

"He's playing like a No. 1. He missed a couple games because of a foot injury, but he's playing like a No. 1. He looks good."

On the importance of communication between coaches and players:

"I think communication, relationships has always been important. That's football. That's just football."

On playing in Oakland as a player:

"I did get hit by a battery in Oakland, but I think it's a great place to play. The fans, they really get into it. They bring a lot of energy. Even though they're against you, we still have a lot of fun."

On playing in RingCentral Coliseum:

"Some of these guys, they probably couldn't care less. I've been playing in the Coliseum my whole life, coaching in the Coliseum. I'm going to miss the place.

"I wish you could [scheme around the dirt when set up for baseball]. You just ran a little faster when you were in the dirt because you were trying to get the hell out."

On facing a rookie running back:

"It's not as much about scheming for a rookie running back as much for a rookie quarterback, but we have to slow this young man down. I don't think anybody has stopped him, but we have to figure out a way to slow him down.

"You have to get hats to the ball. You have to strain in that run defense. That front seven has to be physical. We have to put them in some situations where sometimes they can't run the ball. If we can get them behind the sticks, that would be great."

On DE Joey Bosa:

"Joey is playing very unselfish and he's playing at a very high level. He's one of our better players for a reason."


Opening statement:

"[DB] Desmond [King II] did some good things in the game against Green Bay. The rush and coverage. I think with some of the injuries we had to jocky some things around. [S] Jaylen Watkins came in and did a really good job. We talked about how our defense needed to be a team that doesn't guess, doesn't over-analyze, just does their job. I think, for the most part, in that game there was some good examples of that, some good tackling. That game is in the past. We face a whole new challenge this week with a team that's very good at running the ball. I think that's what really jumps out at us, their ability to run the ball effectively. Their quarterback's playing at a high level — it's quarterback efficiency, completion percentage so they're very impressive and a different style to what we faced last week. A very committed run team that opens up their passing for them."

On who would start at strong safety:

"Yeah, right now it's Jaylen [Watkins]. [S] Roderic [Teamer] isn't back, so we're moving forward with that."

On S Jaylen Watkins:

"He's good. He's been a guy that plays nickel, corner, free, strong, dime — so there's a lot on his plate and we try to utilize him that way. That's why with [Roderic] Teamer, he locked in the strong, we still utilize Jaylen. Then when the injury occurred, we really had to focus his attention back to strong safety, so he did a nice job. He stayed up on some of the things that were going on at that position and then we game planned around it."

On tackling becoming more sure-handed:

"Yeah, it seems to be that way. You just go back to last week and I thought we did a good job in the open field. We did miss quite a few tackles in the beginning part of the season, I think that was just more leverage, understanding and things like that. I think the linebacker crew has helped that. I see [LB] Thomas Davis [Sr.] playing faster now. Just even some indicators where you see they try to challenge him on some things that usually a veteran player picks up on that's played in the system for a while. I keep watching that and I thought he did a really good job in the game of that, so it's a combination of everybody."

On Raiders WR Tyrell Williams:

"Explosive plays, just like he did here so he had a couple of them. Even on third down, he does a good job. He can really stretch the field, build the speed and can get going and get on top of you real quick. His length, he catches a lot of balls over his head, so I think because of his size it gives the quarterback a lot of wriggle room as far as throwing the ball as well."

On disguising coverages:

"We try to disguise it all the time, but we had still had some of those matchups like you said before with the linebackers. We try to do the best we can in certain down and distances and give them different looks. The calls were very similar to what we've done in the past. We always talk in terms that it's not the calls, the players bring the calls to life. That's kind of the mindset we want with our guys and they did that this past week."

On one-on-one blocking of Green Bay's offensive line:

"I think that both of their tackles are really good. We felt like going into the game, we always have a pressure package up and a four-man rush package, and we just wanted to see how it went in the game. We felt like we were getting some pressure with our four-man rush, so it gave us the ability to still use our disguises and things like that. E#very week is different how you try to attack protections."

On DEs Melvin Ingram III and Joey Bosa:

"Well, those two are very good rushers. That's a blessing for us defensively. Those guys attract a lot of attention. Again, give credit to those two and [Defensive Line Coach] Giff [Smith] and [Assistant Defensive Line Coach] La'Roi [Glover] as far as how we attack protections and the matchups that we're looking for. It's very similar when you're looking for the matchups in the secondary with the receiver. It's kind of that same mindset with the [defensive] line and the offensive line."

On rushing:

"The more guys in coverage — especially when you have some injuries on the back end and you look at some matchups — it just allows you to do some different things back there. We were monitoring it pretty closely just to see the effectiveness we would have with our four-man rush. We felt like we wanted to disguise some coverages, show them some different looks and the clock goes quicker. A lot of it was dealing with the rush."

On mentally playing well:

"Sometimes as a coach you watch for that and see the mentality of the group and the unit. Sometimes when you're struggling, you really watch the psyche of them. That's why I appreciate them — I think it's because of our veteran presence. I really never saw them get to that point where they were frustrated. It showed, like the Tennessee game and the Chicago game and they just kept going and it didn't matter. It didn't matter. Goal line stops, it was really a mentality of, 'Hey, this is what were here to do.' I don't know if it was, 'Hey, we've got our backs to the wall.' I think it's hopefully every game. I hope it's not something like that, that kicks us in, but I've been pretty pleased with the overall effort. We've had some missed tackles and maybe technique or leverage tracking things that have come up, but as far as our want-to and mentality to get it right, I've pretty much felt that for the whole year."

On giving credit to the offense:

"There's no doubt. I think that's the first thing is the offense held the ball. The time of possession — I think we were out there 50, low 50s as far as total number of plays. You can't be on the field that short amount without the offense doing some great things. They did a great job when we had to get first downs or when we needed to run the ball. In must-run situations, we were running it. That was a big part of it, was [the offense]."


On the game:

"I thought it was pretty good. It was a good team effort, I mean everyone, offense, defense, special teams. Guys played hard. The [offensive] line was good, [RB] Melvin [Gordon III] ran hard, it was a good team win."

On tracking steps:

"No. I have an Apple Watch but that's about it. I don't track my steps.

"I kind of pace the sidelines a good amount, so I guess it showed up the other day."

On establishing energy and pace:

"Yeah, I think that's a game-by-game basis. I mean, the pace is good at times and then sometimes you can slow down and be fast when you need to be fast."

On the emphasis on getting to the line and giving QB Philip Rivers time:

"Yeah, it definitely helps. It definitely helps him when he can get to certain plays that we talked about during the week, absolutely."

On relying on Rivers' knowledge:

"Sure, he's got a great amount of knowledge, like you said, and we talk about it during the week. When we get to the line, he's got some stuff he can get to and he's been doing it for a long time that way, so it was good."

On calling plays on the field:

"Yeah, I think I'm going to stay down there. I just wanted to get a feel for the game, the momentum and how it was going and just the vibe for down there. You can kind of feel a little better down there and how guys are responding to certain things, so I just get a better feel down there."

On using a timeout in the second quarter:

"No, I just think we wanted to get in a good play. One of those situations where if you're in a bad play, let's not call it and let's get into something better."

On establishing an inside run based on mindset or opponent game plans:

"I think it was a little bit of both. They were giving us some looks to run the football there and so we stuck with it."

On WR Mike Williams:

"Shoot, he was good. I guess I heard he had his first 100-yard receiving game, which was awesome. He made that big play down the sidelines and he was moving. It was awesome to see that. Then, he had the big catch on the post-route to go up and get it. He's been doing that all year and the last couple of years, so it was good to see it."

On seeing more diversity in the run game:

"I think it was off looks. They are giving us certain looks, like I said earlier, if they are giving us a certain look, we are going to run a certain run. If they're giving us a different look, we'll run a different run."

On giving Rivers a couple of run plays:

"Yeah, just during the week. We can get to certain things and then sometimes it's cold runs so, it's in both hands."

On shotgun runs:

"I think it's just a mix, it's just a feel on how the game's going."

On being a fun game:

"It was just fun to see the guys. The guys all played hard, like I said. It was good energy out there and guys played hard and they made it go."

On scaling back the playbook:

"Certain things here or there. It wasn't like a huge scale back, but there are certain things that we did."

On having trust in the offensive line:

"Yeah, those guys took it upon themselves. Like I said, at the end of the day those guys take it upon themselves to play hard. They went out and did a heck of a job."


On playing in the Black Hole:

"Yeah, it's a unique place to play. My first start was there in 2006. Some memorable games there. A bunch of close games came down to the last play with a big kick or [former RB Darren] Sproles scoring on that late Monday night game. It'll be a heck of an atmosphere. You can tell on the tape against Detroit it was a heck of an atmosphere. Obviously, you know, we've played one more game than them. We're sitting there kind of in the same boat — scrapping to stay right there in the mix. It's a good team and we've been preparing like crazy. It's a short week and we'll be ready to go."

On the fans heckling at RingCentral Coliseum:

"It's just always — a lot of personalities, obviously. Shoot, it's an in-state rival, best way to describe it. I think about — the best way I can describe it is think about the team you played in high school that was kind of that cross-town team that you always looked forward to. I mean, it's that kind of old-school rivalry. It'll be awesome. The fact that it's a night game, too. Again, division game, both teams right there in the mix. It'll be cranked up pretty good."

On the short week:

"I think what's crazy about it, is you get prepared and you get to Thursday and you don't feel like you're less prepared. You find a way to get it done. Whether that means simplifying the game plan or, obviously, cramming in how you go about studying the film and those things. With it being a division opponent, and for the most part the same systems, there is some familiarity – I'm sure for them with us and us with them. We'll feel well-prepared come 5 pm on Thursday."

On the fans heckling in Oakland:

"That's kind of a repeat [question from earlier]. I don't know what else to tell you. Again, it's a place you go often, but I've been to Kansas City a bunch, Denver a bunch, so, played a lot of games in there. Played a lot of games in there — more than most of their players played in that stadium. Again, it's a tough place to play and what's going to be tough about this Thursday is the team across the ball from us. It's a good defense and a good team."

*On his thoughts during the game versus Green Bay: *

"I think we just executed better, at a higher level, more consistently in that game. I think we've shown that we've been that way in spurts. I think back to Detroit, we were up and down the field in Detroit, and we scored ten points. We just didn't finish in those games. If we'd have scored like we should have in Detroit, probably 28, we'd probably would've felt that way then. Against Houston, we had some stretches that were that way. Pittsburgh and Denver, we didn't play very good at all. Tennessee, I feel like we played that way in the first half, had a lull in third quarter, and then played that way again in the fourth quarter. I think that we were just more consistent, really, in all three phases Sunday. Again, that's why I always tell you, that's why you play the game and that's why there's an opponent over there. I don't think it's something like, 'Oh we figured it out,' so we're going to look like that for the rest of the year. It's not that easy. The challenge is how can we play better this week or duplicate that again and get a little bit better each and every week, is that challenge. Obviously, the other team is trying to do that same thing, which is what makes it tough to do. It's tough to be consistent in this league. The teams that are, we know where they end up late in December and January, so we're striving to get there."

On how to go about being consistent:

"I think the first thing is really being critical on where we could've been better. I feel like we had some things, certainly we weren't great. We have to finish in the end zone. We know, we talked about that, having nine points at the half when it could've been 17 at the half or more. So, I think it's being critical of areas where to still improve and not saying, 'Oh man we were great Sunday, we'll just — let's just trot out there and do that again.' We know it took a lot of work, effort, detail and attention to detail and executing. We just have to continue to do [that] and continue to get better. I think we've always kind of done that mid- to late-season and, unfortunately, it's happened in years where we've stumbled around and been at .500 or less rather than being at 5-2 and rolling. We are where we are, we can't go back, and we only have what's in front of us."

*On if beating a good team helps reinforce how good the team is: *

"I don't know that because I think we beat a good team Week 1. I think we've shown that and seen what that team has done. Obviously, we've fallen short, again, some other games that we didn't finish and — taking away nothing from those opponents — we didn't finish and they may feel like they did finish. Every team is saying the same things. We, obviously, can control what we have here, in ways we can get better, but we all have to acknowledge the other teams trying to do their best to hinder us from doing that. That's why you never know what's going to happen until you kick it off and three hours later you look up and see who's on top."

On feeling like the team is at full strength with injured players returning:

"Yeah. We're maybe a little bit more of what we thought we were going to look like going into the season, but you say that and there's no [C Mike] Pouncey out there. Obviously, [WR] Travis [Benjamin] and [WR] Dontrelle [Inman] aren't out there so we still have some — [T] Sam's [Tevi] out and [T] Trent [Scott] is moving to right so there's still some shuffling going. I think that's just the National Football League. Those things, these injuries that have occurred this year, we've dealt with over the years — teams all over the league are doing with them. You feel more like it's, 'Oh look at this,' when you're dealing with it but other teams probably feel the same way that they're dealing with their injuries. I don't think those are the reasons we haven't won some of the games we didn't win. I think we had every opportunity to and just didn't get it done. I feel confident with the guys we'll have suited up on Thursday."

On preparing mentally when the team's back is against the wall:

"Yeah, I don't know. I stand by that, saying that [I wish we played better when we were the favorites], but I don't know that that's a mental thing that we deal with. It just seems to kind of be the case. You know, when we're a little bit, kind of, forgotten about, we tend to come alive. When we're a little bit, 'Hey this is one of the best teams in the AFC,' we kind of start stumbling out of the blocks. I don't really know if there's anything to that, it just seems to be the case. The one thing, I do think it says about us, is there are teams that get to 2-5 and kind of shut it down and they go 3-13. This team, over the years, we're going to keep going no matter what. Even the years we finished 4-12 and 5-11, we were fighting like crazy in those games, late, trying to, you know, knock Denver out of being the top seed and I think a lot of credit goes to [Head] Coach [Anthony] Lynn. His steadiness, his not-flinch and his belief really filters down to the others. We'll get this thing turned and — you know, you go to Chicago and win and play at home against Green Bay and win back-to-back — those are two too tough ones. I know Chicago may not be playing as well as everyone thought they were going to, but it's still tough to go in there against that team and find a way to win."

On if the win over Green Bay can serve as a catalyst:

"Yeah, we'll find out. We'll find out here shortly, 48 hours, I guess. It's a big, division game for us. We know, obviously, we started off slow in the division losing against Denver and digging ourselves a hole record-wise, so, it's a big game for both teams. It can get us to .500 with what will become a bigger game the following Monday. So, it's a huge game for both teams."

On fighting through rough starts to a game:

"I think a little bit. I think, maybe the shock factor wasn't there this past Sunday, but I think too, a lot of it had to do with the way we started the game. You turn it over early twice, and to get down 21 to nothing and it's at night and it's against Pittsburgh, that just kind of snowballed a little bit. We fought our way back and almost had a chance in that one. I think getting off to a better start — already expecting there to be a lot of green in the stadium — but getting off to a better start. Watching some of the clips, Coach [Lynn] showed up some of the big clips from the game, the catch by Mike [Williams]. You still hear some of the roars of Charger fans there so you did that. I think us being in control of the game the whole game we kind of made that a non-factor."

On starting fast on Thursday:

"Yeah, I just think starting fast is going to be huge. I just think, I think, that kind of trickles through the whole deal whether we're on defense first or offense first. If you get a three-and-out, defensively, or if you can — we went eight minutes, we didn't score, but we went eight minutes. When you look up and when [Packers QB] Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have five plays in the first quarter, that's always a good thing. Whatever the score says, it's not going to be 21-0 them, usually. So, that was a good start. Obviously, we want touchdowns down there, but that was certainly a good start to the game."

On meeting Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden when he was a broadcaster:

"Yeah, I got to visit with him a little more, obviously in the production meetings and things like that. Yeah, he's doing a heck of a job there. His personality, demeanor, everything kind of filters through that. Obviously, he's been there, in Oakland, before and it seems like they've really taken to that pride and that organization and all that it means. You can tell that it means something to him. He's got those guys playing hard, tough and physical. I mean, they're flying around defensively, and I know they've been playing well on offense as well. You look up and they scored, whatever it was, 31 points against Detroit and the defense came up huge there at the end. It'll be a heck of a challenge."

On being the team's final game in Oakland:

"It'll be awesome. That was where I had my first start in 2006. A night game as well, Monday Night game. I think it was the second game of the double-header on a Monday night when they had just started those, or maybe it was just regular. Anyway, it was a fun night. Obviously, I can remember that one, only threw it 11 times. I think I can talk [Offensive Coordinator] Shane [Steichen] into more than 11 attempts on Thursday. It'll be awesome. I think any time you go to these division places you've been to a lot there's a lot of familiarity there and it is special because of so many times you've been in there. I'm excited. I think our guys will be excited. I think the energy and the fact that it is a night game, that fact that it's a big game for both of the teams it'll be kind of — the aura of what that place has meant over the years will be alive on Thursday night."

On warming up at the Black Hole and hearing the fans:

"I think what's so interesting is just seeing the wide array of ages and personalities and everything and they're almost in character form so it's a — they kind of take on a whole new character for four hours. It's definitely a unique place to trot out for quarterback-center exchange unlike many places we go."

On the persona at the black hole:

"I mean, I love playing there. I think, again, there's certain places you go — I mean, Kansas City, I can picture the guys that sit behind our bench that have been sitting there for 15 years. Same thing in Oakland and same thing in Denver so I think you just — It's almost a little bit like you have this relationship with the atmosphere and the fans that are there because you've been there so many times."

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