Initial comments …
“We have to have a great week of preparation, obviously. This game this week is with Oakland, who’s won two of their last four games. They lost a fairly close game to Kansas City and lost two other close games, so we have to be (prepared). The Raiders have obviously had a lot of people (play) throughout the season, but it seems like they’ve settled on some of the people now. The quarterback (Derek Carr) has done a nice job protecting the football all season long and doesn’t put the team at risk that way. Defensively, they’ve settled in with the guys who are playing now. I thought it was impressive what they did in the game against Pittsburgh. They just kept playing all the way through the game. They were down a little bit in the game, but they made plays, drove the ball, scored, came back, stopped them and obviously were able to drive down for the winning score at the end. They did a nice job converting two fourth-downs there late in the game, so they made big plays throughout.”
Have you received any news about how WR A.J. Green’s surgery went?
“It went well.”
Does that mean everything was successful and on track?
You have a unique circumstance on Sunday, where you’ll be coordinating the defense and the guy who was your defensive coordinator last year will be on the other sideline coordinating their defense. What kind of coach was Paul Guenther for you?
“Paul did a fine job here. Since he came here with us in 2004, he hustled, did a lot of different things here and did a good job at all of them. They’ve morphed around defensively this year with the things they’re doing, but they’ve kind of settled in. Obviously he had great experience coaching against Pittsburgh, so I thought they did a nice job of getting guys to understand, and they played well.”
The offensive line for the Raiders features some big bodies …
“They’re a big, physical group of men on the offensive front. They have the two young tackles (Kolton Miller and Brandon Parker) that are going to be really fine pros. They’re big men at 6-8. The guards are big and physical. (Rodney) Hudson is a physical player on the interior. Doug Martin is a physical runner, which is what he’s been throughout his career in the league. They have that group going. (Jared) Cook is as impressive of a tight end as you’ll find in NFL. It’s like having a big wide receiver out there at tight end.”
You’re getting some plays out of your young defensive tackles, Niles Scott and Christian Ringo. It seems like they’ve been giving you a shot in the run game …
“They’ve done a nice job of getting an opportunity. Christian has been bouncing back and forth between the 53-man rosters on clubs, and even being here with us before. Then you get an opportunity. You’ve been sitting in the back of that room waiting for your chance, and you want to prove good when you get it. Both guys have taken full advantage of those opportunities in a hurry. It’s to their credit, and to Jacob (Bengals defensive line coach Jacob Burney) and Matt’s (Bengals defensive assistant/assistant defensive line coach Matt Raich) credit for getting them ready to play and make meaningful contributions.”
Niles Scott doesn’t come from a big pedigree, but he seems to have embraced that …
“As I said, ‘Look at me! I want my shot too.’ They’ve taken full advantage of it.”
The Raiders have some players on their defense who were here previously. What kind of impact did Raiders S Reggie Nelson and CB Leon Hall have on some of the guys that are still here, as far as mentoring, when they were in this building?
“Obviously Leon and Reggie came out of the same draft. We got Reggie here in 2010, and Leon here in ’07. They had a huge impact on the Darquezes (Bengals CB Darqueze Dennard) and Dres (Bengals CB Dre Kirkpatrick) of the world. Those guys were great mentors as pros, but now they’re both on IR. Frostee (Rucker) is still playing — he came here in 2004. Emmanuel Lamur (was here) in 2012. They have some guys playing who have been here. (Justin) Murray, who was here during training camp and the end of last season. They have quite a few ex-Bengals.”
Frostee seems to just be rolling along …
“Frostee should write (former Bengals DT) John Thornton a check and say, ‘Thank you, John, for keeping me going and helping me learn how to be a pro’ (laughs). You have to give Frostee credit. I’m telling you, he’s worked his tail off to be still playing like this. You’re happy for him. We picked the right guy, obviously, for him to still be playing like he is right now. But going back to talking about mentors, John Thornton was a great mentor for Frostee.”
So when you drafted him, what were the odds that he would play 150 games in this league?
“The league was going to make it even harder. Everyone was trying to make it harder. But to his credit, he overcame it. It’s what you do once you’re here that counts. I think that’s important.”