Earlier today, new Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio sat down with local beat writers to discuss a number of topics. Here’s a look at some of the highlights, courtesy of Raiders.com:
What’s your biggest need right now?
I think the biggest thing is for us as a football team to develop the mentality. I don’t know if I would get into a specific position that you would say, ‘Hey we need to address this position.’ We’ll clearly increase the talent level, look to add to the talent level, but I think it’s important we develop the players that are here. We want to create a competitive environment where guys enjoy coming to work, coming to work with great energy and compete their tails off every day. I think with that, the mentality that we’re looking for will be developed and built and this football team will change, will transform.
On whether old friend Maurice Jones-Drew still has something left in the tank:
He thinks he does. We talked about it. We need to find that out. It’s something we need to find out. If he feels healthy – I think the first thing would be to make sure that he keeps his weight where it needs to be. He understands that, so he can be explosive again. We need to find out if he can be explosive again.
On getting a veteran quarterback to mentor Derek Carr:
It’s ideal to have that, and if works and that is the case then that would be good. It’s not something that has to be. It’s something that would be ideal for a young player to have, to have a veteran guy there that can help him as he prepares as a younger player, and really it’s good to have a room that’s strong and understands what it is to prepare every day. Everyone in the room approaches it like they’re the guy and everybody works really hard at the process.
On the idea of having to go out-of-house to get a No.1 receiver for Carr:
I quit trying to ‘number’ the receivers quite a while ago. We’re going to have good players. I talked about when I was in Dallas in ’89, Kenny [Norton] and I were together, and the offensive line was just ridiculed all the time. They can’t block anybody, this and that, and then when you look at who won the Super Bowl a couple of years later, a lot of those same guys were playing on the offensive line, so we’ll see. We’re going to work to develop our guys, the receivers, everybody that we have here, we’re going to work to develop them to their fullest. We will add talent. We will create competition and we’ll see, there might be a surprise or two where somebody becomes maybe more than people outside of our building feel he could be.