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Jack Del Rio: 2015 season "Good beginning" for Raiders, restored "Pride and poise"

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Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio took to the podium Monday for his season ending press conference. In the week leading up to the final game of the season, he had been saying it was not time yet for reflection. Monday was that day. So, what DOES Del Rio think about how the Raiders performed in his first season as head coach?

"It was a good beginning," said Del Rio. "Definitely we can build upon. Didn't quite meet the goals that I had established. I think it was productive on many fronts and definitely a year that we feel we can build upon going forward."

"If you were a coach looking at this team the way it's situated now. Look at what we did here in terms of changing this work environment, establishing some things in terms of how we work and what our structure looks like, what our process looks like and then seeing the results of going on the road and winning half our division games and being competitive really in every game other than the opener.

"A lot of individual things that occurred as well that were really solid. Khalil Mack had an outstanding season. Who woulda thought they'd get that kind of year out of Charles Woodson in his 18th year, having a great finish to his storied career. Derek Carr took a step forward. So a lot of really positive things and there are some areas we need to get better at and that we absolutely will be better at. It's not what we all want, it's not what I'd like it to be as soon as possible, but it is a real solid beginning."

"I think we're very close. You get a chance to earn that. The teams that are in, all twelve teams, they earned their way in and it's our goal to make sure that we're one of those teams next year."

"You saw reasons to be optimistic with all three units doing some really good things throughout the year. In terms of offense and defense, on offense there was a stretch there really hot, playing really outstanding football against good defenses. The Jets defense was one of our better days offensively. That's a heck of a defense.

"And then for us defensively, I think we closed the season defensively, I think the numbers bear this out, we finished much stronger over the last seven, eight games. So, you saw flashes from each side, so clearly you put those efforts together, and you're on the next rung."

Before speaking with the media, Del Rio addressed his team for the final time before they go their separate ways for a few months. He shared that message.

"I was proud of the effort," said Del Rio. "Us restoring the pride and poise is what we're about and I thought we showed great pride and we established... we began to take pride in wearing the Silver & Black and representing the way we did. And I told them that, that I appreciated the effort and I appreciated the commitment that they had to the process of getting better and being a good football team. And so I shared that.

"I said 'It doesn't always end the way you want it to, but I appreciate and respect the way we attacked it'. There's a natural turnover of 20-25 percent so this is the last time this group of guys is going to be together. But that we were building something special here and look forward to getting started April 18th when we get back together and we're on a mission."