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What players and coaches are saying ahead of Raiders versus Chargers in Week 16

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Jacksonville Jaguars v Oakland Raiders Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

Raiders

Jon Gruden on the toll the injuries have taken on the team:

“Yea, we lost three linebackers pretty much for the whole year, two safeties, our receiving corps took a lot of hits, tight end, running back, and offensive line, so yea it has been. Special teams, our punt returner, it’s been pretty tough but it’s been a great opportunity for other guys to get a chance and in the long run I think it will help our team.”

Paul Guenther on facing Phillip Rivers throughout the years:

“He’s just a great competitor. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone up against him both here and in Cincinnati. You know he does a lot of stuff at the line of scrimmage getting in and out of plays. He’s a competitive guy, he’ll still try to stick the ball in there and it’s always fun to go against him for sure.”

Chargers

Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley on the Raiders offense:

“I think with the Raiders, they have the potential to score a lot of points and I know they’ve got some guys injured, the back is out, the tackle is out. Those guys didn’t play against Tennessee and they had 21 points right away in that game. They’ve got enough players, very talented, they’ve got some guys that always pose a big play ability and we are very familiar with that. We’ve got to keep our eye on multiple players on their team and offense just because they have those capabilities. What we’re going to get is a little bit of uncertainty with the new guys they have, going to have to rely on some of our fundamental principles. And I think really every game comes back to that, how you tackle in space, how you play your fundamentals and things like that. So it will be a big test for us.”

Quarterback Phillip Rivers on the Raiders defense:

“It hasn’t been that long since we played them, similar scheme to Minnesota, the D coordinator was with Zimmer for many years, so very similar in that regard. In the first game we did a lot of good things against them, we spotted them 10 points with the two turnovers, then we battled back, and we finished terribly with those 7 or 8 plays and didn’t gain a yard. I imagine it will be another hard fought game, we know with that team and that coaching staff, and the veterans they have, it’s going to be two teams fighting, it won’t look like two teams that are out of it, disinterested. It will be a spirited divisional contest.”