Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio met with the media on Tuesday. While it wasn’t great on Saturday, he has seen improvements on tape in the secondary.
Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio took a few minutes of his time to meet with the media on Tuesday after practice. He was brief with his introduction, citing it was a “good sharp practice today.”
Del Rio has had time to look over the film from the Raiders’ 20-10 preseason loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday night. While Raider Nation wasn’t pleased with how the secondary, or the defense in general, looked, Del Rio says that positive things stood out on tape from the Raiders defense.
He cited that there were only two big plays that were surrendered defensively the entire game, one pass and one run play. Minimizing the big, explosive play defensively will be key for the Raiders. What really hurt the team on Saturday night versus Arizona was third-down defense. Oakland simply couldn’t get the Cardinals’ aerial attack off the field.
Del Rio likes what he has in his tight end corps, seeing it as an “athletic group”. He mentioned that newcomer Jared Cook and veteran Lee Smith are one and two on the depth chart. However, he really liked what he saw out of Clive Walford all-around on Saturday.
“He’s one of those young players you’re excited about developing. It’s a good start for him.” – HC Jack Del Rio on rookie S Shalom Luani
While Del Rio pointed out path offensive lineman Denver Kirkland and special teamer Keith McGill will be out the rest of camp due to injuries, he has been very impressed with rookie safety Shalom Luani.
Del Rio calls him a “ball magnet”, citing “he’s one of those young players you’re excited about developing. It’s a good start for him.”
When asked why his other seventh-round rookie running back Elijah Hood didn’t play in the preseason opener, Del Rio said it was a coaching decision. From the way he phrased his response, maybe Hood isn’t 100 percent physically.
There was some good news on the rookie front though, as Del Rio said second-round safety Obi Melifonwu is “doing a little bit of light drills”. Melifonwu may not play this weekend against the Los Angeles Rams, but it seems like he’ll suit up at some point in this preseason.
Shortly before he exited the podium, Del Rio gave a lot of credit to interior offensive lineman Ian Silberman for his ability to play the entire preseason game. Hats off to the hard work Silberman is getting in with outstanding offensive line coach Mike Tice.
Having Tice on this staff has been so huge for the Raiders these last few years. Overall, Del Rio seems to be in good spirits after practice on Tuesday. Getting ready for the Rams on Saturday night has helped this team turn the page on the bad showing against Arizona in Glendale last week.