Take a look at what Raiders Head Coach Josh McDaniels, quarterback Derek Carr, running back Josh Jacobs and others said about the Bolts ahead of their Week 13 matchup:
Head Coach Josh McDaniels
Opening statement on the Chargers:
"Obviously onto the Chargers. Just watching them I think it's been really impressive to see how they've handled their issues relative to the injuries that they've gone through. I think Tom [Telesco] and Brandon [Staley] have done a great job of putting that team together. The depth of their roster has really been challenged and they've used a lot of people, and they've gone in there and played good football. I don't say it's a completely different team, but there's some changes from the first time we played them three months ago to now. So a lot of our focus is going to be on just getting familiar with the people that we're going to be lined up against, which is a little different than the first game. So, explosive team in all three phases, excellent in the kicking game, as good of a punter as we're going to see. They've used three kickers and don't miss any kicks. [DeAndre] Carter is a dangerous returner. Offensively, obviously where do you want to start? [Justin] Herbert, excellent, continues to do it at a high level and I'm talking about basically everything in terms of quarterback play. [Austin] Ekeler, 80 catches, leads league in yards after catch, hard to tackle, touchdown maker obviously, scores a lot of points every year he's in the league - and I know they're getting some of they're receiving weapons back, too. So, big challenge for us on defense. And then defensively, [Khalil] Mack gave us fits in the first game, Derwin James [,Jr.] all over the field, as good as safety as we see, no doubt about it - really good blitzer, good in coverage, finds the ball, gets it off of people, got it off Arizona the other day. They've played a lot of bodies on defense, which I guess is a tribute to Brandon and what he's been able to do with the depth on the roster. So, a lot of good football players. Big, big challenge in all three phases."
Check out the best photos of the Chargers Wednesday practice at Hoag Performance Center
Offensive Coordinator Mick Lombardi
On what stands out about the Chargers defensively:
"The Chargers – I mean, look, they're a well-coached, fast defense that swarm to the football. They force a lot of fumbles. Obviously, that keeps them in games. They've done a good job with that recently, forced turnovers. They really make you earn every inch. Like I said, they're coached really hard by Brandon Staley, a very strong defensive background, and I would say just overall team speed. They've got good players in all ends, whether it's Khalil Mack, Derwin James, [Drue] Tranquill at linebacker. All levels of defense, they have guys who can make plays on the football and get after, whether it's the quarterback, the pass game, or run game."
Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham
On the challenges of defending Justin Herbert:
"The run-pass option. And really, he's a quarterback, let's just say that. He could throw the ball. He can throw it to any part of the field. Great arm strength. You see the intelligence in terms of getting in and out of plays, you see that. And then obviously, once you start getting some years under you, he's seen a bunch of looks, the experience comes. You got to make sure you're disguising certain looks. Just the growth of a young quarterback with all the physical skills and the mental capability is tough. And then, on top of that, when he gets in trouble, he can make plays with his feet. It's not like he's just running just for the sake of running. He's running the throw the ball down the field or running to get first downs. So, it's a difficult challenge just because of all the things that come along with the physical, the mental, and then with the experience."
Quarterback Derek Carr
On if Week 1 comes up when he talks to Chargers OLB Khalil Mack:
"Honestly, the amount of times we talk football compared to what we talk about when we talk about life is completely different. At the end the day, we're friends. We'll be friends forever. He's one of my favorite teammates I've ever had, one of my closest friends have ever had playing football. Not this week, obviously. But we always check in on each other's families and things like that and wishing each other well, is really what it usually is."
On the Chargers defensive line:
"Well, anytime you're playing a Hall of Fame type player, it's going to be hard. He's (Khalil Mack) someone that has made plays his whole career. And not just plays, but game-wrecking, game-changing type plays. Not only him, but their whole front. They got guys all over the place, great depth all across that line, and that allows him to play freely and move around and do the things that he's best at."
Running Back Josh Jacobs
On the Chargers:
"You know it's always a good game when they come in town. Obviously, you know their quarterback, he's dynamic. I like watching him play. But, it's big-play defense too. They fly around to the ball, they got some big playmakers on that side of the ball that create havoc and you have to pay attention to. It's always fun to go against them."
Defensive Tackle Kyle Peko
On 'what makes the Chargers a good team':
"I mean obviously, they've got 30 (RB Austin Ekeler) and the QB (Justin Herbert) back there and they're that good, but that o-line is sound. I wasn't here the first time we played them, but just watching film, they look like a good unit so it'll be a good test for us."
Cornerback Nate Hobbs
On what makes the Chargers offense dangerous:
"Obviously they have an explosive offense, great quarterback, great receiving core, great running back, so that's always a challenge playing the Chargers. But, we always take the challenge. It's always a good one when we play those guys."
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