RAIDERS HEAD COACH JOSH MCDANIELS
Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, October 15, 2023
Opening Statement: "Well, credit the fight of our team. That certainly wasn't a Picasso out there. I don't think anybody would misinterpret that. But there were definitely some good things that we did periodically throughout the game in all three phases. Give them credit, they kept fighting, we got ahead of them, and they just kept coming and kept trying to close the gap there. And I thought our football team kind of hung in there; [Brian] Hoyer went in there after Jimmy [Garoppolo] got injured and helped us move the football on a couple of drives and did his job for the most part, but they're never easy. They're never easy and we knew we'd get their best fight. We know we have a lot to clean up and a lot to do better, but proud of our team for continuing to battle and fight and put ourselves where we're at now. And now it's going to be about getting better moving forward."
Q: Any update on Jimmy Garoppolo?
Coach McDaniels: "I know he left, and everybody knows that he left. They're just doing tests and just making sure that they take care of all that stuff. So, I do not have an update on Jimmy [Garoppolo]."
Q: It's the second-straight week where the defense comes up with basically the game clinching or saving play. Can you talk about the progress on that side of the ball that you've seen?
Coach McDaniels: "Yeah, I mean, we've talked about it a lot. I think we have a lot of guys playing and we're scratching and clawing. We gave some things up today more in the middle of the game I think than anything else. But battled and when you play defense and your punter puts them back there, and then I think we had the holding penalty, that's where you want to be. You want to go ahead and close the game if you can, and I thought they did a great job of executing at the end."
Q: You guys are 3-3 after this win and obviously have an opportunity next week to get over .500. How do you kind of view that chance for this team to kind of bounce back after the losing streak early in the season?
Coach McDaniels: "Yeah, I mean, every week's a different week in our league. Every game to me, you can win them all and you can lose them all if you don't coach and play well enough. And if you coach and play well enough, you're going to be right there competing with most teams. And I thought we had a couple that didn't necessarily go our way as we started the season, but the guys never stopped working the same way. If anything, we've worked harder, we've done more, and we put more time and effort into certain things to try to improve and give ourselves an opportunity to get better and make progress. And obviously there's more progress to be made. We certainly know that we have to be able to score in the red zone more than what we did. We have to be able to do some of those things better and avoid the penalty situation. That kind of bit us at the wrong time in a critical situation. And so, we have to do a better job of that. But proud of the fight and again it is 3-3 and nobody's qualified for anything at this point in time. We're six games in and everybody else is too, and we have a long way to go."
Q: You mentioned the red zone. Can you identify what you think the issues are keeping you guys from scoring touchdowns?
Coach McDaniels: "There's not one thing. I mean, you have to do a lot of things right in there. And like I said, we had a couple holding penalties that puts you in first-and-20, or second-and-20, and that's obviously a difficult situation to be in. We missed some opportunities, and we just have to be able to capitalize whatever it is, run or pass, play penalty-free and be able to capitalize on the opportunities that we have down there. I mean, there's less space, which means your execution has to be better than it is at the 50-yard line and right now we're not doing a good enough job."
Q: Michael Mayer really displayed the player that you thought you were getting. Would you talk about his development?
Coach McDaniels: "Yeah, he's getting better every week. He works at it, man. He has a great work ethic, a great attitude and mindset. He wants to be really good at everything – blocking, running with the ball, catching, getting open in routes, pass protection. Every week is like another step forward. I think he's gaining confidence in himself. When you play a covered scheme like that, that really dictates, 'Hey, we're going double certain people.' You have to have the people that aren't getting doubled make some plays and step up and do some things in the passing game. And I thought we had -- Tre [Tucker] had a big one down the middle, Michael and Hoop [Austin Hooper] had a few that were big third down plays. And they don't make anything easy on you and we needed some contributions from those guys."
Q: You mentioned some of the frustration of not being able to cash in sometimes in the red zone. Is it more frustrating or encouraging that you are where you are in spite of the fact that maybe you haven't been able to throw your best punch yet?
Coach McDaniels: "I'm always going to be a glass half full on our team. You keep battling, scrapping, fighting and finding ways to win when you don't play perfect. I like to look at that as a positive. Like I said, it wasn't a Picasso, but you do the things necessary to win – try to take care of the football as best you can, try to play as penalty free as possible, play decent in the kicking game, win field position, and then make the plays at the end of the game you have to make if the game's a close one. And, I mean, look, nobody in this room would love for this to be more of a 20-point victory than me. I think I'm aging by the week, but it is what it is. We'll take it."
Q: Last week, you mentioned that you don't want the emotion you just want to keep playing and stick to the process. But winning breeds confidence. How big can this be from just a confidence standpoint?
Coach McDaniels: "I mean, winning in general is hard. And so, I think when you realize that there's a lot of different ways you can do it – in Denver we needed to salt the game away on offense and last week was a different type of game in general, and then today we played a little bit of field position at the end and the defense came up big. So, you have to find new ways to win every week. You're never going to win the same way and I think the resiliency of our team, the mindset that they have, the demeanor that they come into the building with, that's why you improve and that's why you have a chance in close games."
Q: How relieving is it to have a guy like Daniel Carlson, who had an uncharacteristic game last week, come out today and be called on time and time again when drives stalled?
Coach McDaniels: "I mean, I think we have the best kicker in the NFL. And so, to have that feeling week in and week out at practice and you watch him do his job and you come to the stadium on game day and you know that if you need a big kick or something else – nobody talks about his placement of the ball on the kickoffs, or what he does in that regard to try to limit returners and all the rest of it. But Daniel is an elite player at his position, and I have tremendous confidence in him regardless of the situation or what has happened in the recent past. We'd give him the ball 100 out of 100 times if it was the game on the line."
Q: You're almost halfway through your second season. How would you assess your performance at reshaping this team at this point?
Coach McDaniels: "I mean, I don't really think it's fair for me to do that. At this point, we know where we're at, our record is what it is. We've kind of battled and scraped and clawed and tried to win without scoring 20-plus points, which is crazy. So, I mean, we can do a lot of things and make life a little easier on ourselves, and that's what we're going to work on going forward. But I don't think right now is the time to kind of measure what we are and where we're going to be. I hope our best football is way out in front of us, clearly. And I think I have a group of guys in the locker room that work hard every week and that gives us a chance to get better."
Q: I know it's early, but Brian Hoyer was brought in to do what he did today. But does anything change if Jimmy Garoppolo can't go next week in terms of how you might rotate?
Coach McDaniels: "It is early. Like I said, I think there's a lot of balls up in the air right now relative to Jimmy [Garoppolo] and that whole situation. And we'll just see. Have a little patience here for ourselves and just kind of see what the report is going to be. And I'm hoping for the best obviously, like we all are. So, I don't know exactly where it's at. We'll find out more and then obviously try to make the best decision we can for the team."
Q: Jimmy Garoppolo has had a couple of injuries so far. You've gotten to see all three quarterbacks play, so if you do have to make a decision, how helpful is that to kind of be able to evaluate how each have performed this season?
Coach McDaniels: "I think in any situation, at any position, I think it would be helpful if you not only saw them in preseason, but you've actually seen them in live action and in a game and in a close game. Brian today and obviously Aidan [O'Connell] in LA, so that's helpful. Certainly, I'm hoping for a healthy quarterback room in general and I thought Jimmy was doing some good things before he got twisted or hit there towards the end of the second quarter. So, we'll just patiently see kind of what this is going to be and then we'll make the best decision we can."
RAIDERS QUARTERBACK BRIAN HOYER
Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, October 15, 2023
Q: To come in and to watch how this defense has won you the last two games, would you talk about the grittiness approach of your defense?
Hoyer: "Well, I think for me, obviously, I didn't play the first half, but I sat there and watched them play. And when I knew that I was going in I thought, 'Okay, just complete the balls that you see out there, the defense is doing a great job.' So, they gave me that confidence to go out there and not try to force anything, not trying to do anything outside of my abilities. Playing quarterback, when you have that, that gives you a lot of confidence. They did a great job."
Q: Josh McDaniels offense traditionally thrives in the red zone and it's struggling a little bit. Is there something you can put your finger on, or is it just maybe a multiplicity of things?
Hoyer: "I mean, I could've made a better throw to Davante [Adams] down there and definitely let him touch the ball. Same thing with Jakobi [Meyers]. But like I said, knowing the situation, the way our defense is playing, I wasn't going to let them touch the ball. And that was the mentality I had and unfortunately it got a little closer at the end, but they came up big again. And it's something that we can keep building on, that is complimentary football. We've been talking about that. Look, the defense is playing good, don't put them on a short field, don't put them in a bad situation. And especially coming into a game like that with the emotions that I had, obviously going against a team that I've been a part of for a lot of years, it gave me the confidence to just be smart and take the throws that were there, and they came up big at the end."
Q: You guys found out that Jimmy Garoppolo wasn't going to come back in at halftime. Did that make it any easier for you to get ready to go out there and kind of have that halftime period and not in the flow of the game?
Hoyer: "I mean, it gives you some chances to take some snaps with the center. I mean, I haven't taken a snap with Andre James in probably three weeks. So, it gives you a little bit of time to refocus, get some snaps, get some throws. So, obviously, a little more time than happening in the flow of the game, but it is what it is, that's part of the job. We've talked about this a lot of times with the media asking me, 'What is it?' Well, you always got to be ready, you never know."
Q: You have obviously been in this situation before, but how was that when you got the call to go in?
Hoyer: "Yeah, I mean, look it's my 15th year, I've pretty much seen all the situations and really what it comes down to is playing football, regardless of the situation. Obviously, I've played in this offense for a long time, and like I said, the defense was playing great which gave me the confidence to go out there and just make sure that I'm making good throws, making good decisions. And the offensive line did an incredible job. I mean, blocked really well in the run game, pass game, and that gives you a lot of confidence too."
Q: On the long pass to Tre Tucker, what did you see that made you believe you could make that play?
Hoyer: "Yeah, I mean, having been there for the last seven years, I know a lot of times on third downs they want to take away your best players, and for us that would be Davante [Adams] and Jakobi [Meyers]. And that was something we were keyed in on. So, I'm just waiting to see where they are going to do that because you never know when it's going to come up. It's usually sometimes in the red area, sometimes in the field. And Tre's [Tucker] worked his butt off. I think everybody in that room has a lot of confidence in him. You see his speed and that's a play that we've kind of had in our pocket for a while and it's just a matter of the right coverage and he executed it perfectly. So, he's a guy that puts in a lot of hard work for a rookie, same thing with Michael Mayer. And those guys are coming along and obviously it breeds confidence in them and the rest of the offense."
PLAYERS IN THE LOCKER ROOM
Running Back Josh Jacobs
Q: Obviously, you have got a two-game winning streak now. What are you trying to build off from this?
Jacobs: "It's always good to win in this league. We are just trying to stack the days. Gritty win this week, gritty win last week. A win is a win though, I love it."
Q: The defensive line really stepped up and put a lot of pressure on QB Mac Jones today. What does that say about this defense?
Jacobs: "I think the defense in general, if you look at them these last two weeks, I feel like they are starting to have an identity. They have been carrying us a little bit and hopefully the offense can catch up to where they are right now."
Q: How does it feel to reach the 5,000 career rushing yards mark?
Jacobs: "I didn't even know about it until like five minutes before the game when they had told me what I needed. I think it's cool, man. Obviously, we are going to see how it goes, but I think it's a good stat to have for sure."
Q: Do you feel like the run game is starting to get going these last two games?
Jacobs: "Yeah, it's definitely been a little bit more movement. I feel like a lot of them was very close to being real big. So, I told them that if we can continue to do that, we are going to hit something here or there, and hopefully we can keep stacking."
Wide Receiver Jakobi Meyers
Q: Can you walk us through the touchdown?
Meyers: "I think they might have busted on that one. I ended up getting a one-on-one with outside leverage, I knew what he was trying to defend, and I tried to send him that way."
Q: The emotional state going into the game, was it a little higher or lower or just kind of right in the middle of what you wanted it to be?
Meyers: "More so in the middle, but it did creep up a little bit as game time came. I was just excited. I definitely was excited just for all of it. To see everybody, to play them, because I've been in practice against them a lot. So, all of it man, but I tried to stay in the middle the best I can."
Q: What's been your impression of Michael Mayer this season, today especially?
Meyers: "He did his thing, man. He's getting better and better every day. He has soft hands and can run with the ball. He works hard every day. He comes in and is the same guy every day, so I'm proud of him."
Defensive End Maxx Crosby
Q: As you were turning that corner to help out on that safety, what do you see? Are you seeing anything, or is it all just a blur?
Crosby: "No, I see everything. I was very calm. The play before I came through clean, and they blew the whistle. So, I was like 'Alright, I got to get this shit.' 'Like, I got to get home.' And I seen [Mike] Gesicki come over to chip, so I knew I had to beat him clean and then it would have given me a chance to win on the edge. So, yeah, we work it every single day. It's just a regular routine – working my technique, getting off the ball and finishing, and that's what happened. And Bilal [Nichols] had a great rush as well. So, yeah, there's no better feeling closing the game out. We talked about it last week and the week before. Our defense is improving, and I think we're seeing that every single week. So, it's good to see."
Q: Is that your first safety in your career, like ever?
Crosby: "Yeah, first one. Felt great."
Q: Is that like a dream scenario for a defensive end to clinch a game with a safety?
Crosby: "Yeah, that was an out-of-body experience. It was incredible. Every time I go out on the field, I want to be at the best I possibly could be at. And I was battling some things and banged up, but it doesn't matter. My guys stuck next to me, we fought through it, and we found a way, and no better feeling than getting a win especially back-to-back. Now we're back to .500, so we got to go and get another one next week."
Q: Two straight wins and you guys probably haven't come close to throwing your best punch. How encouraging is it that there's still a ceiling for this team to get to in terms of putting together a great game?
Crosby: "Yeah, no matter win or loss, you've never got it. That's something I got from Gus Bradley, and it's the absolute truth. The second you think you got it in this league, that's when you're going backwards. So, yeah, it's huge to get a win. We're super fired up about it, but we got to enjoy this and then tomorrow we're right back to it. I know myself; I will start watching tonight and get right back to it. Recovery already started and I got in the tubs already. It's every single day and that's what is required. I just try to get my guys with me and keep improving. Super exciting to get the win, especially at home again. I know the fans love it, so we just got to keep going."
Q: Last year, so much of the conversation about this team was just not getting it done in one-score games. Now you guys have the evidence in back-to-back weeks. Do you feel a tangible shift in those clutch moments?
Crosby: "Yeah, I just feel we're bonded closer. When you have guys all on the same page and on the same mission, we don't panic. I got the penalty, and they ended up scoring the next play. I felt like I let my team down, even though I thought whatever I thought about the call. I told the guys, every single one, like I got y'all and just watch this. It was as simple as that. They were like, 'Bro, don't worry about it and go get it next play." That's what it's all about. I got great teammates, we got great dudes in this locker room, and that's all you can ask for."