The Las Vegas Raiders introduced new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi and special teams coach Tom McMahon to the media Friday morning.
Below are some thoughts on each coach’s remarks:
He was extremely affable and I believe he will be much more quotable than the more guarded Josh McDaniels.
As expected, Graham downplayed the importance of playing a 4-3 or a 3-4 defense. He even called those alignments “antiquated.” He emphasized the importance of sub defenses and noted that often NFL defenses are in 4-2-5 defenses. “It’s a 4-2-5 world,” Graham quipped. He made it clear having five good defensive backs is vital.
Graham said he doesn’t necessarily need to be reunited with former players during free agency. He just wants to coach good players. “Give us good players, we’re be good to go,” Graham said. He did note that he coached Raiders’ free-agent Johnathan Hankins in the past, though.
Graham was impressed by the energy he has already felt from talking to pass-rushers Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue and he is excited to seeing them on the practice field.
#Raiders DC Patrick Graham: "You give me good players, I'm good. Whether I've worked with them before or not...I don't need a requirement of guys from the past. I just need them to buy into the concept." #RaiderNation pic.twitter.com/YvMKiCGCrT— Cassie Soto (@_CassieSoto) March 11, 2022
The first-time offensive coordinator said it is important for him to have “humility” in his new role and ask for help when needed. He also said several coaches on the Raiders’ staff have been very helpful in the transition to his new role.
Lombardi’s father, Mike, was a Raiders’ personnel executive under the late Al Davis and he said he “grew up” a Raider. He’s excited to be donning the Silver and Black.
He is excited about the luxury of having a standout specialist trio of kicker Daniel Carlson, Pro Bowl punter A.J. Cole and long snapper Trent Sieg already in place. He compared it to when he had kicker Adam Vinatieri, punter Pat McAfee and snapper Matt Overton in Indianapolis.
McMahon praised the job former Raiders’ special teams coach Rich Bisaccia did and said his unit will have the same “strain” that Bisaccia’s unit had. McMahon used the word “strain” a lot. It basically means effort.