Q: What issues do the Raiders present on Sunday?
Coach Wilks: “Well, number one, they are well coached. I know those guys on that staff. I know they are going to be prepared. They are going to be ready. On the defensive side of the ball I think their front seven is pretty good. I think they do a great job disrupting timing, coming off the ball and getting to the quarterback. Offensively, they are just like us. Showing some flashes of doing some things well. A little inconsistent, but I think [Derek] Carr is a great quarterback. You look at [Jared] Cook, the tight end, and he is dynamic. You look at the running backs that they have. I went against [Doug] Martin in Tampa Bay when I was at Carolina. They have some pieces in place and we got to be well prepared and ready to play.”
Q: Have you picked Josh Rosen’s brain about Kolton Miller since they were teammates at UCLA?
Coach Wilks: “Not at all. I’m sure some of the defensive guys probably have talked to him about that and some of the things he may be susceptible to with different moves and what not, but myself per se, no.
Q: In what areas do you think Josh [Rosen] has made strides?
Coach Wilks: “I think just really his overall leadership is phenomenal. Being in tough situations, going all the way back to Minnesota last week and then Kansas City and the two-minute drive against the 49ers. I think each week he’s learning, he’s growing and he’s getting better.”
Q: How comfortable or not comfortable has Derek [Carr] looked in the offense through the first half of the season?
Coach Wilks: “I think he’s looked pretty good. Again, there is some inconsistency there just like with us, and a lot of it falls around protection. I think over the years just watching and competing against him I think he is a real good quarterback.”
Q: Do you think you have a real advantage when you look at [Arizona DE] Chandler Jones versus this offensive line?
Coach Wilks: “I don’t think there is no real advantage when you start talking about going against different NFL teams and I told my guys that, ‘you can sit here and take their record and put it out the window.’ Just like last week, we didn’t have a chance and we went up there and we gave ourselves a chance in Kansas City. It doesn’t matter about the record. The Raiders are going to come in here ready to play. They are looking for a win and we got to be ready.”
Q: Do you feel like your offense is still evolving after the change at offensive coordinator?
Coach Wilks: “I think Byron [Leftwich] is definitely putting us in the right position. You can see some of the things we have been able to do the last couple of weeks. Just spreading the ball around a little bit, trying to put guys in a position to be successful. David [Johnson] has performed well doing some things, not only from the backfield, but outside at the receiver position as well. I’m excited about the direction we are going on the offensive side of the ball.”
Q: What does a guy like Larry Fitzgerald do for the rest of your roster, as far as setting an example?
Coach Wilks: “Well, I’ll tell you what, you aren’t going to find a better pro than Larry and I’ve been around some good ones. In Chicago with [Brian] Urlacher, etc., but Larry, he’s definitely a true pro. Definitely someone that I love having in that locker room, an extending voice of the coaches. The way he comes to work each and every day. He goes 100 miles an hour, giving 100 percent, so it’s exciting to see him out there and doing the things he is doing.”
Q: What have you seen from the Raiders secondary?
Coach Wilks: “Number one, when you look at [Karl] Joseph, I liked him out of college. A West Virginia guy, physical as you know what. Those are my kind of players. Good tackler. And of course, I know [Daryl] Worley, coached him and I think he is definitely a smart guy. You look at [Gareon] Conley. Those guys have been doing some good things back there, but it always goes hand-in-hand. The front half will complement the secondary, as well as, the secondary has to compliment the front. I think they are doing some good things.”
Q: Having spent time together, how close are you and [Daryl] Worley?
Coach Wilks: “I would say we have a pretty close relationship. I’m real big on getting to know my guys outside football and it was great to see him get another opportunity because he definitely is a good person. I know some of the things he may have been subject to recently, but that is not indicative to who he is as a person.”
Q: He is still a fairly young player, but does Worley seem mature beyond his years, in just a football sense?
Coach Wilks: “I would say yes. You got to understand he came out early, so from an age standpoint yes, but maturity wise he is extremely smart. He understands the game. I think he really puts himself in a position because he studies, and he carries that to the field, and from the practice field to the game. I can see what they are saying in regard to that, but he is still a young player.”