Naturally, the questions are raised.
After two poor showings on defense, are the Oakland Raiders ready for a signal-calling change on that side of the ball? Will coach Jack Del Rio, a former defensive coordinator, assume the duties.
‘We have a really tight staff’
Pat Kirwan posed the question to Del Rio on Movin’ The Chains, and his answer left the situation open for speculation.
“As a staff, we have a really tight staff, good people that work well together,” Del Rio told Kirwan and co-host Jim Miller. “It’s a collective effort and we will be ready to roll come Sunday. And that really is the topic that needs to be discussed. It’s just playing better. And so questions like that come up when you invite them by not playing the way you feel you’re capable.
‘We’re together and putting forth great effort’
“We’re going to go out there, we’re united, we’re close, we’re together and putting forth great effort and really looking for answers, not alibis. We’re not in the blame game. We’re more in the answers and the intensity and the effort in what we’re doing and that’s where we’ll keep our focus.”
Vincent: NFL wants to ensure protesting players aren’t perceived as being hostile to nation
The NFL is not opposed to demonstrations during the national anthem, which is happening increasingly since Colin Kaepernick began the trend during the preseason.
However, as the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations explained to Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan on Movin the Chains, what the league is keeping an eye on is the public’s perception of the message.
‘Be hostile to the social injustices’
“And one of the things that we want to continue monitor and I think is very important, especially as a former player, a husband, a father of two young African-American males — one in college, one in high school — and it’s important we ensure that our players are not perceived as being hostile to the nation, but rather hostile to the social injustices,” Vincent said.
“… Through it all, we love the men and women that have served our country, that continue to serve our country, the men and women that serve our communities on a daily basis, that wear the blue. And the conversations have been all over the place and we should never be taking a side, whether it’s black, white or blue.”
‘Players want to speak out’
The NFL will not stand in the way of the demonstrations, Vincent stressed. The league wants the players to have a voice.
“And the players want a voice,” he said. “The players want to speak out and when asked, we just want to make sure that we’re giving the player the opportunity to find solutions in his community.”
Jets’ Marcus Williams not worried about Darrelle Revis
Marcus Williams isn’t worried about Darrelle Revis.
Sure, the New York Jets’ cornerback hasn’t looked like his dominant self the past two games, being toasted repeatedly by Cincinnati’s A.J. Green and then giving up a long touchdown against Buffalo speedster Marquise Goodwin on Thursday Night Football. Sure, there has been plenty of talk that he is over the hill and has lost a step or two.
‘There’s nothing lacking from him, same guy from last year’
But Williams, the Jets’ other cornerback, insists Revis is going to be just fine.
“It’s just playing against guys who are great as well,” Williams told Bob Papa and Solomon Wilcots on the Opening Drive. “But there’s nothing lacking from him. He’s still the same guy from last year. I mean, if you’re with him all training camp, you would have seen he’s doing well. He just had some missed plays that I’m sure that he wished he could have back. But other than that, I’m sure he’ll be fine. He’s still the Darrelle Revis that we all know. I’m sure he’ll be just fine.”
‘Just a miscommunication in the back end’
“Just communication, really. A few of those plays in some of those games that he gave up really wasn’t his fault. It was just a miscommunication in the back end that made it seem like it was all on him, which is basically the whole group as a whole. But since it was his man that caught the ball, it was like it was his fault. We just communicate and talking things out pre-snap are some things that we as a group have to continue to work on so that we don’t give up those big plays.”
Jackson: Texans’ challenge is figuring out who Patriots will start at QB
Trying to figure out which New England Patriots quarterback they’ll face Thursday night isn’t easy for the Houston Texans.
Jimmy Garoppolo, who suffered a shoulder injury against Miami Sunday, or rookie Jacoby Brissett?
‘Just have to prepare the same way, regardless’
“It’s definitely challenging,” Texans cornerback Kareem Jackson told Alex Marvez and Bill Polian on Late Hits. “Just trying to look at it these last couple of days and see who’s actually going to get the start with Garoppolo getting hurt. And then you kind of see some things saying that he still might play, but for us as a defense we just have to prepare the same way, regardless of who’s going to be in there. We have to go out and execute the game plan and get ready to go on Thursday.
“Just watching their game from last week and also Week One, they’re definitely going to try to establish the run game and they’ll try to impose their will up front. So we have to be good in the run game, first and foremost. If we do that and we control the line of scrimmage, we’re going to have a great chance of being successful.”
Bennett, Hogan ‘two more guys that can get open’
Besides the quarterback question, the Texans’ defense, like the previous two that have faced the Patriots, also must deal with a passing attack that has been enhanced by the additions of tight end Martellus Bennett and wide receiver Chris Hogan.
“Those two guys have added another aspect to the Patriots’ game and elevated their group,” Jackson said. “I can say (Danny) Amendola and (Julian) Edelman and (Rob) Gronkowski, those guys are explosive. But now you add Hogan, you add Bennett, that’s two more guys that can definitely stretch the field, can get open — intermediate routes, underneath — however they need to get open and make their offense even more explosive.
“So it’s one of those things where we have to be aware who’s out there at all times and definitely have to try to get hands on those guys and slow ’em up.”