Q:What have you seen from the Patriots so far?
DA:I've seen a good football team. When I look at the Patriots, and I look at they're 11-1 in openers at Gillette Stadium, and Tom Brady is 49-3 in his last 52 starts at Gillette Stadium, I understand that this is a good football team. They're well coached, they're good on offense, they're good on defense, they're very sound in what they do special teams-wise, and they've been that way for a long, long time. So, we understand that it's a great challenge going up there.
Q:What have you seen from your team?
DA:I've seen a team that at times can do some good things, but we've got to be more consistent in what we do. We've been working real hard in practice, and it needs to transfer over on game day.
Q:How much of a problem has the running game been through two games?
DA:Well, we haven't stopped the run. We haven't done a good enough job of stopping the run, so we've got to do a better job of that, and we get another opportunity on Sunday.
Q:How does a guy like Stevan Ridley look on tape?
DA:I think he plays really well. I think they've got a good stable of backs back there. Ridley is a strong, powerful runner that really can cut and move and runs with power. And then obviously Shane Vereen is very explosive coming out of the backfield, so they present some real challenges with the backs that they have because they both bring a little bit something different to the table.
Q:Tough start to the season for Maurice Jones-Drew. Where is he at?
DA:He's still dealing with the hand a little bit. He didn't practice today, but he's getting better, he's improving every day, and hopefully we'll be able to get him back out there soon because he's a big part of what we're trying to do.
Q:What did you see over the last four months or so that made you believe Derek Carr was the right guy?
DA:Just watching him from the time that he got here. We did a lot of work on him prior to the draft. We really liked him as a quarterback. He's very smart, he's very mature for his age, he sees the field really well as a quarterback and really can handle a lot of information and handle a lot of volume of things that we can ask him to do. He's still a rookie, he's still seeing a lot of things for the first time, but every day I continue to see improvement out of him.
Q:Where was Jimmy Garoppolo on your draft board?
DA:Well, we liked Jimmy, too. Jimmy is a good quarterback, good player, and he was obviously a guy that we liked.
Q:Was Jimmy Garoppolo somebody that you looked at that might need a little more time to develop?
DA:Well, listen, I think all rookies need time to develop. He's obviously a good player, and I'm sure the Patriots are glad they got him.
Q:Bill Belichick has sung the praises of some of your veteran defensive players, like Lamar Woodley and Justin Tuck. How have they adapted and how have you seen them perform through the first two weeks?
DA:I think they've adapted well. I think anytime you add that many new pieces, it takes a little bit of time for all of them to kind of jell together. I think we're still working through that, but they've done a great job of working every day, working to get better and continuing to try to help lead this football team.
Q:How have you been able to rotate the reps of all of your new additions on the edge of the defense?
DA:I think when you face the offenses of the NFL today and a lot of the up-tempo type of stuff and getting in a lot of spread formations and kind of run-pass options and those kinds of things, you've got to be able to rotate guys and keep them fresh throughout the game. That's something that we haven't really had the opportunity to do very much here, but I think now with a little bit more depth along the defensive line, we've been able to establish a little bit more of a rotation.
Q:Obviously, it's a results-oriented league, and you guys haven't had the best results the past couple years, but it seems from afar that there is some stability in Oakland. Can you speak to how things appear to be headed in the right direction?
DA:Hey, listen, I think they are, but we need to begin to get the results on the field, and that's what really matters. You said it – it's a results-oriented business, and we need to get some better results.
Q:What have you seen from Charles Woodson this season, and how remarkable is it that he's still going?
DA:I think he's been outstanding. I think he's gotten better at playing the safety position. He's a real passionate player, he loves the game, he loves to come out and compete, and I think he's done a good job for us.
Q:You have a man who has played his college ball up this way – Scott Simonson – who is on your practice squad. Can you speak to what you've seen from him so far?
DA:Yeah, Scott has done a nice job for us. Scott was a guy that we got as a free agent after the draft, and a lot of times you're not sure exactly what you're getting when you get those guys, but he has continued to come in and work every day. He's a fierce competitor, and I think he's going to continue to get better and hopefully someday he'll work his way in to being a player on a 53-man roster.
Q:How have you seen the Patriots offensive line improve from Week One to Week Two?
DA:Obviously, I thought they did a great job against Minnesota of protecting Tom [Brady] and giving him an opportunity to throw the ball. They did a good job in the run game in creating some holes and being able to rush for as many yards as they were able to against Minnesota. I think that's a unit that plays really well together. New England has always had a really good offensive line, and I think they're no different this year.
Q:What are your impressions of working with Ras-I Dowling?
DA:Ras-I has done a nice job for us. Again, here is a guy that we just got in a couple weeks ago, and he's been working on our practice squad, and he's been a guy that we've kind of double-trained a little bit at safety and corner, and he's done a nice job of coming in and working every day.
Q:Does having to travel across the country to play a game make a difference?
DA:Listen, the schedule is what the schedule is, and our job is to show up and try to win a football game, and that's really what we're focused on doing. We're not really focused on the travel.
Q:When will you guys come this way?
DA:We'll leave on Friday.
Q:Do you guys do anything to alter the schedule to prepare for a game that is essentially starting at 10 a.m. for you?
DA:We don't change a whole lot as far as what we do. We start pretty early here anyways, so we kind of keep the schedule as normal as possible.
Q:One of your assistants there, Tony Sparano, is very familiar with the Patriots. Will you lean on him more this week?
DA:Tony has been a great addition to this staff, and he does a great job for us coaching our offensive line, doing a lot of work in the run game, helping me as the assistant head coach. He's been a real benefit to our football team, I lean on him a lot every week, and I don't think this week is any different.