Oakland Raiders: Tony Sparano Chiefs Postgame Transcript


Dec 14, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Oakland Raiders head coach Tony Sparano watches play on the sidelines during the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 31-13. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Failing to earn a season sweep over their AFC West rivals in the Kansas City Chiefs thanks to a second half meltdown at Arrowhead Stadium, the Oakland Raiders record on the road felt to a woeful 0-7 with one game left outside of the Coliseum as interim head coach Tony Sparano has failed to address the team’s road problems since taking over from Dennis Allen earlier this season.

A Derek Carr turnover and settling for field goals allowed the Chiefs to keep their season alive on Sunday with Alex Smith having one of his best games of the season, earning revenge over the Raiders upset win at home in a game that was all Kansas City for much of the second half. It would also serve as the Raiders second straight loss following a win, something that will serve as a disappointment for a young team that needs to learn how to win on a consistent basis even if it helped the team’s draft positioning.

After the game Tony Sparano talked to the media, discussing keeping Derek Carr in the blowout game during garbage time, making mental mistakes and Sio Moore’s injury status following his absence against the Chiefs. Following is a transcript of Sparano’s press conference courtesy of the Raiders official team website:

On the game

“Obviously, had the game to a one-score game there at the end of the half. I thought the guys did a good job of driving the ball down the field there and being able to kick a field goal there just before the end of the half. Came in here at halftime, made some adjustments, and then we went out there and got to give Kansas City credit, obviously. There’s some clear situations there where we had a little bit of Oakland beating Oakland. We had a situation there where we forced the fumble and C.J. [Wilson] made a good play on the ball and we got it down there. Need to score touchdowns when you’re on the road. We didn’t punch it in there. We came right back and I believe they had a good kickoff return or a good drive…they had a drive and we stopped them. We were off the field. We had a couple of penalties in there that aided that thing which led to a score. We got the ball back and I believe we fumbled the center-quarterback exchange, which obviously cannot happen. And then they hit us on a big play. I thought third down defense, I thought we did a good job that way. I thought we were running the ball pretty well on them at times. Obviously, when the game got out of hand, we couldn’t do that. Bottom line is, you have to score touchdowns when we get in the red area. We can’t do the things that we did in the second half of this football game to win a game like this on the road against a good team.”

On Oakland beating Oakland being a problem again

“Yeah, a little bit surprised, to be honest with you. I felt like some of those things…I’m not saying you’re completely by it; you’re never completely by it at this point, but I felt like we were way in front of it that’s for sure. That sequence there led to a bunch of points. It led to several scores and we can’t give them the ball down in that end of the field, whether it’s three points they get or a touchdown they get. I believe they scored a touchdown there. I think when you have the center-quarterback exchange, you can’t do the things – and I applaud our guys’ effort – but you can’t do the things that keep drives alive when you are playing real good on third down. At the same time, big plays. I think we stopped them on third down, but I think we gave up five plays in this game, it could be four or five, that were over 20 yards and that’s something that we have to eliminate. It’s not something, quite honestly, that Kansas City had done before this.”

On if Kansas City defensive line beat up on Oakland offensive line

“I don’t know about beat up. I’ll have to watch the film, but obviously there was pressure there. The two edge rushers caused some problems there. I think any time you get in a game where you’re behind in scores and you’re playing against those kind of edge rushers, you’re going to have a situation where you’re kind of feeding their ego a little bit. They can get after the passer that way and we have to throw the ball to get back in the game.”

On winning the special teams battle

“No question about it. Field position was critical. We started in our end of the field quite a bit and on the flip side of that, again, if it wasn’t a kickoff where there might have been a flag or those type of things happening, I think twice today, on kickoff return. They did a good job of returning the ball and we didn’t do a good job of covering it. We knew that was a key to the game was their return game. I said it during the week back home that that was an advantage for them on paper. It was an advantage today.”

On if Chiefs long TD was on an all-out blitz:

“We pressured them and we had them in man coverage, and they beat us.”

On if Derek Carr convinced Coach to let him stay in the game

“The dialogue was fine on the sideline.”

On concern for him getting hurt

“Always a concern about the quarterback getting hurt, yes, always a concern.”

On working with a banged up secondary

“I thought they held up well for awhile. Again, I don’t think a lot of that was a result of necessarily of them in the back end. I’ll have to look at the tape. There’s a couple plays that came out of there, some things in the middle of the field, one or two things that way. We had to piece a few things together. We had a couple guys who were down. Obviously, we didn’t have Sio [Moore] today and we had to do some different things that way. But I thought early in the game, I felt Ray-Ray a little bit in there. But that’s not an excuse.”

On Sio Moore’s injury

“We were worried during the week watching him move around. It wasn’t good enough.”

On if Carr’s struggles were due to lack of time or receivers not being open

“I think it’s a combination of everything, I really do. It’s a combination of all those things. We had a couple of scenarios out there where we weren’t able to separate. We didn’t do some things that way. We had a couple of scenarios where Derek didn’t necessarily throw it great and he was under some pressure. No question about it.”

On the first play after Wilson’s fumble recovery

“I thought we had some time on that play. They were rushing five guys most of the day. They covered us up in there and rushed five guys most of the day, that’s where you have to win one-on-one match-ups. We knew that coming into the game. We knew that’s what they were going to do. We talked about it all week, winning those match-ups. We won some of those match-ups last week and they did a good job here. On that particular play – I’m not positive, I’ll have to look at it – but I think there was a little bit of a miscommunication on that particular route.”

Quotes from Raiders.com