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Las Vegas Raiders OC Mick Lombardi Week 3 Update

The Las Vegas Raiders Offensive Coordinator Mick Lombardi gave his state of the Las Vegas Raiders address for Week 3.

HENDERSON, Nev.--The Las Vegas Raiders have gotten off to a disappointing 0-2 start, but while you can't ignore the implications of that, you also need to be careful to make it bigger than it is.

Over a 17-game season, each team will face adversity.  The Silver and Black are no different. 

OC Mick Lombardi reflected on the collapse versus the Arizona Cardinals and looked ahead to the Tennessee Titans this weekend.

You can watch his entire press conference below, and read the transcript.

Offensive Coordinator Mick Lombardi

Q: What kind of leeway does Derek Carr have when it comes to making adjustments at the line of scrimmage?

Coach Lombardi: “I think when you go into installing the offense, there are certain rules that will come into play with certain things that you can do, whether it's the run game or pass game. And then you go into each game plan each week saying, 'Hey, we're going to try and do some things versus certain looks and alert plays out of this, check plays to that.' We try and get on the same page as coaches and players on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and then obviously, Saturday, we sit down, really iron out -- cross the t's and dot the i's and make sure they're all on the same page ready to go. And then by Sunday morning, Sunday during the game, we're all on the same page and understand that we're going to try and do this if we get this and try and do that if we get that."

Q: When Derek gets to the line of scrimmage, he can check into something based on the look he has gotten?

Coach Lombardi: “Yeah, Derek plays quarterback and he runs our offense on the field. So, he's running our offense and whatever the game plan is for that specific Sunday, he's going to try and do that."

Q: You guys had the same offensive line for 72 percent of the snaps this week. I know Thayer and Jermaine rotated. Is that closer to finding the right combination of guys on the offensive line? Or was that a result of Andre being out?

Coach Lombardi: "Andre [James] was out with an injury, so obviously Dylan [Parham] had to step up and play center for most of the game, rather than playing just guard. But he did a very good job. Dylan came in there and did a very good job because center involves communicating, getting guys on the same page, getting calls out, making sure we're all on the same page. Almost similar to the quarterback, like was asked about earlier, and he did a very good job of that. So, in terms of the rotation, in terms of guys playing, you saw Thayer [Munford Jr.] and Jermaine [Eluemunor] both play right tackle, and the guards kind of stayed the same because Dylan was at center. Again, all those guys are competing every single day in practice, and I think you will continue to see the same type of thing moving forward."

Q: Is it fair to say that ideally you want five guys to emerge?

Coach Lombardi: "No, I think we want to play guys who give us the best chance to win. I think if we have seven guys, or eight guys, or nine guys that give us the best chance to win and can get them in there, I think that's what we're going to try and do. Whether that's receiver, whether that's offensive line, or running back."

Q: How important is it for this Raider team to reach their expectations to get that running game going?

Coach Lombardi: “I think penalties and turnovers are things we preach from a fundamental standpoint from day one of the phase two of the offseason. Those are big things that we try and preach, and you can't really get a drive going if you fall behind. Obviously, in the first drive of the game, we overcame some of those things. But as the game goes on, you can't do that. And those are fundamental things that we can hopefully correct from a week-to-week basis and continue to talk about. As an offense, you want to try and be as balanced as possible; whether it's run game, pass game – you want to try and establish the run, establish an efficiently timed passing game, and stay ahead of down distance. We're going to have a difficult time of being in third and 10-plus a number of times. So, if we're able to do that and stay ahead of the down and distance – whether that's making sure we get the ball out on time or getting a hat on the hat in the running game, that's what we're going to try and do so we're not in third and long for most of the game.”

Q: Is it easier to explain to players when you have film to show what happens when you behind in the down and distance?

Coach Lombardi: "That's the beauty of coaching. Obviously, if you get more sample size, you can coach off of more things. You go back to phase two, we had no examples, and then you go you go to training camp, and you build it and build it and build it and keep coaching the finer points of things, and that helps. That helps guys learn and that helps guys really take things into I would say next level of understanding."

Q: What were the Cardinals doing with Davante Adam that may have given you some trouble?

Coach Lombardi: "I mean, the Cardinals did a very good job. Vance [Joseph] did a good job. We had got him involved a little early and then later in the game. But they were playing their defense, they played a little more split-safety and obviously Derek [Carr] was doing a good job of finding the guys that dictated the coverage. We talked about it last week – what’s the quarterback's job of going to certain things versus certain coverage. Based on the coverage, if the Cardinals were able to take something away, then we were able to execute a different part of our game plan. So, the Cardinals did a good job. Look, they fought hard for 60 minutes. They obviously did a good job in the second half. We didn't do a good enough job offensively of doing our job and doing things right there. And hats off to them because they played really hard for 60 minutes."

Q: When you watch the film, do you get the sense that the team is a play or so away from winning?

Coach Lombardi: “It's the NFL. We talked about it last week, every game is hard. You got to fight for 60 minutes. You have to understand that when you fight and strain for that long, it may not be enough because it isn't. Because every team is good, every team you play is talented. Tennessee we're going to play this week is coached very well. Coach [Mike] Vrabel does a great job. They have very good players –

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[Jeffrey] Simmons, [Kevin] Byard – they're very good and it's going to be a battle this week. It's going to be a tough test that's going to come down to the end. We're going to have to execute in the later portion of the game to make sure we win the game."

Q: When teams are purposely trying to take away Davante Adams, do you have to be a little bit more creative because you got to get the ball in his hands at some point?

Coach Lombardi: " I think we have to just run our offense. Again, to your point earlier, really it wasn't things we were doing; we were trying to stay aggressive and win the game. We had too many negative plays, we had too many penalties and we had too many pre snap errors. We have to eliminate those first as a unit to worry about everything else."

Q: Can you talk about the challenges Jeffery Simmons and Kevin Byard pose?

Coach Lombardi: “[Jeffery] Simmons is an elite player. He obviously has great size, great length, great explosiveness, can play the run and the pass. There's a reason he was an All-Pro player. He just has a high motor. For a guy that big, who's that strong and explosive, he plays every snap to the end. You have to be competitive and fight hard for the whole entire game against him because he's productive first, second, third down and in the red area. And then [Kevin] Byard, he's all over the place. They use him in very different ways, whether it's coverage, whether that's in the deep portion of the field. He reads the quarterback fairly well. They use him as a blitzer. So, you have to be ready for him in terms of every scenario and every situation. Where do those guys make their plays? They make them on early downs, but they also make them on third down and in the red area. We have to make sure that if they create negative plays in the game, we have to try and eliminate those. But, again, they're coached very well –

Mike Vrabel does a great job with those guys. They have a high motor, and they compete hard. They're a tough team, so we have to be ready to go on Sunday."

Q: Where do you think the offensive line is in terms of their communication and working together?

Coach Lombardi: “Communication is a key focus on the offensive line. Every single different look on defense presents a different communication tool they have to use. What is the core of the problem sometimes on the offensive line or any position is the communication factor and not understanding what their job is on that specific play. Those are going to happen on certain plays. And what you do on Monday morning as a coach, is you try and go back and coach that up and say, 'If we get this look and we get this coverage, we're going to try and make sure we do this and do that and communicate this a little bit better.'"

Q: How do you think Thayer Munford Jr. performed?

Coach Lombardi: "Again, the two penalties were killer in terms of when you're trying to evaluate the game because those are obviously things we're trying to eliminate. But Thayer's doing a very good job. He's working really hard. Obviously, playing right tackle is a little different than playing a receiver position as a rookie. Things happen faster, you have to be physical, you have to be ready to go. And then I would say just from a preparation standpoint, it's probably different than in terms of college. You're taking that all on as a rookie. We talked about it before with young guys who are trying to figure themselves out; how are they going to prepare? How are they going get their body right? How are they going to come in and get treatment? All those things are combined into one. I think Thayer's doing a good job and I think the best thing Thayer's doing is he's competing and working really hard to try and get better every single day."

Q: Last week, Josh McDaniels mentioned on the interceptions that there were some mechanical issues. Is that something that you and Derek Carr go over? And what have you seen from him as far as the mechanics the first two weeks?

Coach Lombardi: "I think Derek did a good job on Sunday. He got the ball out on time. He was moving in the pocket. We had the one sack on the first series, and that really wasn't his issue, that was more of a protection issue. But I thought Derek threw the ball well, he got the ball out on time, he was active in the pocket. And in terms of just every tiny little critique, I have nothing really to complain about with Derek in terms of that sense. I thought he threw the ball great on Sunday."

Q: What's the next step you want to see from Derek in terms of understanding the overall concept of what you're trying to do?

Coach Lombardi: "I think the next step, overall, is the whole entire offense. I think we want to try and be consistent on a play-to-play basis. At the end of the day, I think that’s what we have to try to do. Do the fundamentals right, do your job 100 percent of the time, and the rest takes care of itself. You can't do that for one half of the game, you can't do that for a quarter. You got to try and do it the entirety of the game. We're going to try and stay aggressive and try and score some points, that's our job on offense. We have to score points. That's what we're trying to do, we're trying to play the game from an offensive standpoint. It's our duty as a team to try and put points on the board."

Q: How has the team responded to the recent loss?

Coach Lombardi: "I think the response from these guys, just from a week-to-week basis, whether that was in phase two or training camp, they want to get better. They want to be coached. I really appreciate that from them. They're not going to hang their heads, nor is anybody. They want to try and improve and learn that as a tool and say, 'Hey, what can we do next time to really kind of make sure we get this right and get a ‘W’ in the win column?'"

Q: When the team you're playing next plays on Monday night, do you watch the game?

Coach Lombardi: “If you're asking me if I had it on my office while I was watching tape, I did. For sure. I had it on there. You sit there and you wait on it. Joe Harrington is our video guy; he does a great job. He already had half the game in the system as it was going on, the TV copy, in case we wanted to watch it. He's the best in the business in terms of that standpoint. But yes, you watch it on TV and you kind of go through it and you think something is on tape, and you're like, 'Oh, I think that was this on the TV copy.' Then you go and watch it on tape like, 'Oh, no, it was that.' You kind of wait until the tape really comes in to fully watch it. But I did have it on my office if that's what you're asking."

The Raiders (0-2) will kickoff next Sunday at 10 a.m. PDT in Nashville, Tenn., against the Tennessee Titans. You can watch the game on FOX.

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