The Las Vegas Raiders are in a unique position when it comes to this year’s preseason in a handful of ways. Not only do they have a new head coach in Josh McDaniels, who was in the same position with another club about 10 years ago, but they also play two teams who they’ll see again in the regular season — the Jacksonville Jaguars and New England Patriots.
McDaniels and the Raiders will take on the Jaguars on Thursday and the coach was asked about how that will impact the game plan during a press conference on Sunday.
“There’s such a time gap between when we play them and this game coming up. There’s a lot that’s going to happen between now and then. I don’t think you’re going to see any triple reverses or all those kinds of things in this game on Thursday night.
“...There’s an element of fundamentals, there’s an element of evaluating your players' ability to use their techniques and play within the scheme and communicate with each other that I think is most important...I think it’s important for us to go out there and let the players play and be aggressive. So hopefully they’re going to know every call we're going to make in every phase and go out there and do their job and we’ll see who can block and who can tackle and who can cover and who can get open. It’ll be effective for us even if the scheme is minimized.”
On a similar note, McDaniels hinted that some starters might get reps in the August contests.
“None of us have coached or played in a long time. And so, this is not something where you just jump back on and it’s easy and it takes five minutes to get reacclimated to calling plays or getting in the huddle or playing third down defense against real-time, real-speed opponents. There’s a lot to be gained for us. Like I said, each guy is going to get ready to play and we’re trying to do it the right way based on what we feel like we need to get done each preseason game.”
Another unique spot that the Silver and Black are in this month is that they’ll play one more preseason game than every other team in the league, minus the Jaguars.
“I think all of it goes into it,” McDaniels responded when asked about the extra contest. “We have a little extra time at training camp. We have four preseason games, we have a couple of competitive practices down the road with another team, so you try to make decisions based on the whole body of work that you are going to be able to put together...we know there are some opportunities that are going to present themselves to further evaluate our team.
“We’ll take goods stock of where we are at from the health perspective and then what we need to see relative to the competition on our roster, which is significant, and try to do it that way on Thursday night to start.”
Finally, McDaniels was asked about how much emphasis he’ll place on winning during the preseason. While he did suggest ironing out the scheme and evaluating the roster is the most important, the beginning of his quote can be summed up in three words, “Just win baby!”
In other Raiders’ links:
- Sunday training camp takeaways: our Marcus Johnson was on-site yesterday and scribbled down a few observations.
- Micah Kiser carted off: the linebacker appeared to suffer a leg injury during practice.
- Rain, rain go away: the Las Vegas monsoon cut the Raiders’ practice short yesterday.
- Nate Hobbs’ chip on shoulder: the second-year defensive back isn’t satisfied with a quality rookie campaign.