The 2019 NFL season kicks off Monday night for the Oakland Raiders, when they begin the year against a division rival, the Denver Broncos. Despite all the drama and distractions brought upon from Antonio Brown the other 52 men on the roster have been preparing for a game this week.
Both the Raiders and Broncos look much different from a year ago when they last met. Denver has a new head coach in long time defensive coordinator, Vic Fangio and a new quarterback at the helm, Joe Flacco.
One thing that hasn’t changed is that stingy Denver defense lead by sack artist, Von Miller. Along with Miller are standouts Chris Harris Jr. and second year defensive end Bradley Chubb.
The Raiders tackles Kolton Miller and Trent Brown will have their hands full all night. How well the Raiders offensive line handles Denver’s pass rush will be a major key to the game.
Now let’s see what players and coaches from both teams are saying ahead of their week one match up.
Defensive Coordinator, Paul Guenther on facing a team with a new scheme and new quarterback
“You know, you just go off preseason games, what the lineage is, the coordinator came from the San Francisco 49ers. So it’s one of those games where you have to trust your preparation, trust your techniques, and all the stuff you’ve been doing all training camp, all spring, playing sound.”
Derek Carr on what makes Miller and Chubb so good
“I think they contrast each other really well. Von, I say it every time is a walking Hall of Famer. I really hope the fans in Denver, I really just hope NFL fans in general enjoy watching him play. He does freaky stuff on the field and you have to respect it. And then with Chubb, he’s obviously going into his second year. He’s a power rush kind of guy. He wants to get his hands on people and like I said they compliment each other really well. It reminds me of when they had Von and DeMarcus (Ware). They complimented each so well at their rush patterns and things like that. I see a lot of similarities with these guys.”
Broncos Head Coach, Vic Fangio on preparing for teams that haven’t shown much in the preseason
“Yea, and I think this game is a little bit more than usual in the fact that the Raiders, especially on offense, even though they didn’t change offense, change coaches or change the offense. They have a lot of players they picked up in the offseason via the draft or free agents or trade. Really good players that we don’t have tape of those guys in Raiders uniforms, so that adds a little bit more of a challenge to it.”
Broncos star Von Miller, on facing a new look Raiders team.
“They have four good rookies in there, they drafted four good rookies. They got Trent Brown, one of the best right tackles in the league. Kolton Miller is going to be a whole lot better on the left side. They have a really talented running back. And you know Derek Carr. We all know how Derek Carr is when you can protect him, he can go through the reads and he feels comfortable back there. He’s one of the best quarterbacks in the league if he can do that.”