Skip to main content

D.J. Turner Making His Case to Stay a Las Vegas Raider

D.J. Turner helped his case to make the Las Vegas Raiders with a super performance versus the Minnesota Vikings, and he keeps grinding to show more.

HENDERSON, Nev.-D.J. Turner made a strong case to Josh McDaniels to make the roster of the Las Vegas Raiders.

Turner knows that he can do more and he is looking forward to showing that off.

You can watch the entire interview below, and read the transcript:

Wide Receiver DJ Turner

Q: After the game against the Vikings you were obviously happy with your performance. After watching the film, were you still happy with the way you played?

DJ Turner: "A little bit kind of even keel because there were still some small things that I had to clean up. The coaches made sure they kind of let me know about those things. I mean it's always never as good as you think it is, but it's always never as bad as you think it is either. That was kind of emphasis that they get out, clean up those little, small things and have a better game next week."

Q: How have you improved as a returner even though it’s something you did well in college - kind of translating that to the NFL and making it something to add to your skill set as you're trying to make this roster?

Turner: "Just trying to take as much from all the special teams coaches as I can. I feel like there's always room for improvement no matter how good you think you are at something. Even last year with Rich [Bissacia], he taught me a lot about the return game, and then this year with Coach Tom [McMahon] and those guys, they've always got something positive to say and always got something to kind of help you and coach you up a little bit more too. So I'm just trying to soak in and take everything in every day."

Q: Particularly with working in the slot, how much have you learned from Hunter Renfrow and Coach [Josh] McDaniels, who has a long history of working well with the slot receiver?

Turner: "I've learned a lot from both, definitely Hunter [Renfrow]. Like even coming in last year, every time I take a rep, I kind of nervously will ask him like, 'What did you think about that,' or, 'What can I do to improve on that,' and he will always have something to say positively trying to bring me up a little bit more because he's a very unselfish guy. He wants everybody to be great. There's not really a competition between anybody, it's just trying to help everybody get better. He's helped me out a lot and even with Coach McDaniels and Mick [Lombardi] and EB [Edgar Bennett] as well, they always have something to kind of go in throw in there. Like even if it's a good route, there's always a small little detail they'll kind of try to coach everybody up on and it helps us out a lot."

Q: You mentioned last year being on the practice squad. Usually you practice and the reward is playing. Last year, you didn't get the reward of playing, so what became sort of the victories for you and the payoff for you during the season?

Turner: "Just trying to lock in as much as I can. It was kind of tough not playing, but at the same time, it's still a blessing to be here. So kind of taking that mindset every week and approaching every day in practice like, 'Alright let's find a way to get better.' No matter what it was servicing the team, just do what I can to not only help them but help myself out as much too. I kind of took my victories from that as well, you know what I mean, just trying to develop myself and just taking the blessing to be an NFL player in general."

Q: When it's football 24/7 like it was, how much learning did you end up doing about the game, about your position?
Turner: "It's a lot of learning, especially in your first year in the league, whether it's practice squad or on the roster. It's a lot of development that you've got to do, just becoming a pro in general it takes a lot. I feel like last year kind of helped me develop into - well I'm still developing clearly, but getting closer to where I want to be as a professional."

Q: What are some of the pros that you find within this new offensive scheme that cater towards your skill set?

Turner: "There's a lot of a lot of option stuff, a lot of 'you can't be wrong' if you kind of read the defense the right way or read the leverage the right away. I feel like that helps out everybody. I mean any receiver if you kind of get a two-way go on a route or you can do this versus this coverage, do that versus that coverage, you can't be wrong unless you complete the bust the play. So I feel like that helps everybody."

Q: Tyron [Johnson] on Sunday said he predicted you were going to have a big game. He said he told you that you're going to score. Do have a good rapport with each other? What's it been like working with him?

Turner: "Yeah, I mean we try to bring each other up as much as we can. He kind of comes from a similar background, being undrafted, being on the practice squad for a couple of years and he helps me out a lot. Like we (were) literally in the team meeting the night before game and he came up to me and was like, 'Man, I feel like you're about to score.' I'm like, 'Thank you, I need you to kind of bring that good energy to me,' because it's always an emotional roller coaster going through camp competing and things like that. So just to have older guys kind of have faith in you and bring that to you, it feels good."

Q: Coach Josh McDaniels has a unique style, a lot of teaching. He does a lot of that. You've seemed to have responded well. What do you think the feel is of the team where he teaches you the "Why" where he's so intricate in his instruction?

Turner: "I think the biggest thing is to take as coaching more than like him trying to be down on you when he actually tries to fix something or actually tries to coach you and teach you something and try to get better with everything he tells you. I feel like mostly the whole team, especially the offense, has kind of taken that in the right way. I feel like we all kind of respond correctly to the things he teaches us."

Q: So what was your reaction yesterday when you found out Demarcus [Robinson] was gone?

Turner: " It kind of caught me by surprise because Demarcus is a seasoned vet. I think this is going into his seventh year, he played on a very good team, Super Bowl winner. He actually helped me out a lot too as well as other guys. So to kind of see him go, it kind of shocked me. I wish him the best, I hope he bounces back and plays somewhere else this year and gets it done wherever he is at."

Q: How big was that moment for you on Sunday being able to get into the end zone and to have your family and in the stands celebrating?

Turner: "It was great feeling man. Like I said, it's always a dream come true just to be here in general, just to have the opportunity to be in this building. Everybody wants to make plays and score touchdowns, so it was kind of surreal once I actually got in the end zone. I mean you can kind of tell by my emotions in the end zone. I kind of lost control of myself and just screamed as loud as I could. That was the only thing I could kind of do at the moment. So it was a great feeling."

Q: You have a teammate in Davante Adams who's arguably the best player at his position - at your position too. So when you get a chance to watch him up close and personal like that, what stands out about somebody that is the best at what he does?

Turner: "He's just very consistent. Everything he does, he does the right way, especially like getting in and out of his breaks. I feel like that's basically what separates him from everybody else is he's so fluid in his routes, fluid getting out of the break and catching the ball. Just sitting there watching him without even having to ask him, 'How do you do this or how did you do that,' just watching him in general helps you out. That kind of started in the offseason when we were here in the spring just looking at how he approaches every day. He's the best for a reason, and we all try to kind of emulate that and take that as far as we can go."

Q: Tyron [Johnson] says he [Davante Adams] does it without using a lot of speed, it's more sort of deception. Do you see that, and is that something that other receivers can implement into their game?

Turner: "100 percent. That's pretty much his whole game is selling you one way and going the other way. He's kind of like a basketball player playing football, and he's great at what he does. If you can kind of get that down, you can always be open, and he does a great job of that."

Q: After the game, Coach McDaniels credited you for not just your speed, but also the strength you play with and your physique. How did you develop that blend of having speed and power in your game?

Turner: "It's just kind of the way I've always been built. I've always been kind of fast, and I've always been strong as well. (I) just try to work on both of those in the offseason, try to work on my speed and stay in the best shape I possibly can. That's pretty much it basically."

Q: How big are these next two preseason games for you?

Turner: "They're really big. You've kind of got to take it day by day and just try to make the most of every opportunity you get. Last week is over, yeah it was great to get a win, it was great to have a big game, but this week is even more important. Got to have one more good day of practice, go to Miami and have another good game. So that's the plan so far."

Q: How much are you looking forward to the joint practices coming up against the Patriots?

Turner: "I'd say for right now we're just worried about Miami, and then once we get to that then we'll worry about that. But I am looking forward to it. It's always good to go out and compete against people who aren't your teammates. I know some of those guys over there too, so it'll be good to see them and practice against them as well."

Please make sure you tell us your thoughts when you like our Facebook Page WHEN YOU CLICK RIGHT HERE.

Want to talk about this? Want to air your opinion about all things Las Vegas Raiders? Maybe you like to talk about other sports that aren't Silver and Black related? We got your back. Join our 100% FREE message board, a brand new option, when you CLICK RIGHT HERE.

Want the latest breaking Las Vegas Raiders news delivered straight to you? CLICK THE FOLLOW button at the top of the page. Don't miss any of the latest up-to-the-second updates for your Las Vegas Raiders when you follow on Twitter @HondoCarpenter