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Raiders' Josh McDaniels Monday Recap of Loss to Titans

After watching the film of the Las Vegas Raiders 24-22 loss to the Tennessee Titans, moments ago Josh McDaniels offered his analysis after seeing the film.

HENDERSON, Nev.--The word debacle is not too strong of a word to describe the Las Vegas Raiders (0-3) 24-22 loss to the Tennesse Titans (1-2) on Sunday.

After flying back to the desert, Josh McDaniels reviewed the film of the game, and moments ago gave his analysis of the game, after having the knowledge provided by the film.

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

Head Coach Josh McDaniels

Opening Statement...

Head Coach Josh McDaniels: “Well, after seeing the film you know like most close games are, there's a handful of plays that that they made and we didn't that would sway the outcome, and unfortunately that's three weeks in a row. So, try to learn the best we can from the things we're seeing and improve. Every opportunity that we have like this is an opportunity to get better and that's we're going to take it as. Try to fix some things that we're not doing as well as we need to do, so that we can make some of those more critical plays turn our way here and start winning some games. On the injury front, the only thing I have to report is Nate [Hobbs] is in the (concussion) protocol. Other than that, I have no other information on anybody. It wasn't a big list of guys that were dinged yesterday, so we'll know more obviously we get in here today.”

Q: Yesterday, you said with the offensive line you wanted to kind of evaluate them a little before you gave a sweeping judgement. What were some of your takeaways?

Coach McDaniels: “Yeah, look, that's a good defensive front first of all, and we know what kind of players [Jeffery] Simmons is and [Denico] Autry and they have some guys that can really do a good job in the running game and in the pass rush. I thought we ran the ball effectively, albeit not as much as we would like to because the score gets flipped on us again. So, I think the ability to avoid negative runs, that was a good day. Didn't have much of that at all. The pass protection generally was decent. When you throw it 40 some times against that rush, there's going to be some pressures and we had the one sack there before half. But all in all, I thought they worked well as a unit together. I thought they passed off some things well, I thought we double teamed well. There were definitely some positives and again we got to look at that and try to build on the good things and then improve some of the things that we allowed to happen. And they got in there and had a little pressure on Derek [Carr] there in the second half when it was more of a pass, pass, pass mode. Again, part of our issue is, if we would stay out of that situation, then we wouldn't put ourselves in that issue. But overall, I thought it was a positive step for them.”

Q: Two out of the three games, that kind of situation you referenced with being down early and maybe not being able to run as much as you want to, what is sort of the key to avoiding that?

Coach McDaniels: “Starting faster. No, I mean, it's a good question. I believe we’ve scored on the first drive, but we didn't score a touchdown two of the three, but we scored a field goal. Again, just our overall ability as a football team to play complimentary football better at the beginning of the game. We did it in Arizona, that was that was not an issue against Arizona, but to play complimentary football where we start fast offensively, we can stop them on defense, play good in the kicking game and try to get ourselves out in front into a lead where balance is a lot easier to maintain as the game goes along. As a play caller, I've tried to fight the fight of maintaining balance when you're behind by two scores. I tried to do it yesterday at the beginning of the third quarter, and we had some success with it. There gets to a point every game where that becomes a lot harder to do. You know what I mean? Because you have multiple scores you need, and the time becomes a factor. And so, the more times you run it, the more time you take off the clock, the less chunk plays you make, then you put yourself in a situation where you're basically saying, ‘Alright, I'm going to take a shot that we only have one or two drives left.’ So, you're trying to, let's call it, maximize the number of drives you may have. Again, that is not the goal. The goal is we got to really good (running) back and we're doing a decent job of blocking for him. We got to maintain more balance in the game, and I have to do a better job of trying to get us to start faster as a football team.”

Q: All three games were winnable games for you, but when you have discipline mistakes, shooting yourself in the foot, how do you fix that?

Coach McDaniels: First of all, I believe in our group 100 percent. I believe in them because they've proven to me in practice and they've shown it to me over and over, that we can do those things. Winning in the NFL is hard. We know that and that's our job. We got to win. And so, there's no shortcut to it. We do believe that if we execute it out there on the practice field that we have a good chance to execute it right in the game. And just continue to build our trust, our communication, our execution, because let's face it, there's three or four plays in every game that change the outcome. And those plays may have happened in the second quarter, they may have happened in the third quarter. Everybody points to the last play, that two-point conversion or whatever it is. There are other opportunities in the game, offensively, defensively, in the kicking game, that could easily have swung the game one way or the other. We got to look at each opportunity, regardless of when it happens, as an opportunity for us to gain an advantage in the game and ultimately win. It doesn't have to come down to the last play, or the last drive, or the last series. It’s just our overall execution from the beginning to the end, that's what we're going to need to work on to try to improve and make winning plays all four quarters.”

Q: Yesterday, you started two rookies on your offensive line. Just from initial film evaluation, how did you like how they played, and have they surpassed even your expectations this early in their careers?

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Coach McDaniels: “You know, I try to avoid expectations in terms of timelines and those kinds of things because I allow those things that happen organically with each player. Every guy is different. We certainly liked both players when we drafted him, and I don't think they've let us down at all. They work hard, they're prepared. They practice hard. They've been out there every day other than when Thayer [Munford] had the issue with the (concussion) protocol in training camp. And so, they've earned the opportunity to go out there and keep playing because of what they keep doing in practice. I feel like both of them represented themselves well. Like I said, there was the one sack there in the two-minute drive that we kind of got edged on the short side with Thayer, but I mean, look, there's a lot of good players up there. They're doing a good job of blocking them for the most part. We didn't have a lot of mental errors on the offensive line yesterday relative to our overall communication, who we are going to, our assignments, and they're competing and fighting their butt off. So, I mean as a coach what else am I going to ask from them, other than to prepare hard, practice well, and go out there and compete as hard as they can on every play that they're in there for. And it was a good start for both of them to be in there together and then play the entirety of the game. And like I said, I think they gave us an opportunity to win.”

Q: What do you think was the biggest issue for the lack of touchdowns in the red zone?

Coach McDaniels: “Yeah. There's really never one thing. We did have a few opportunities. I look at a couple opportunities in the running game we had to potentially put it into the running game before it got to a third down and goal, or those kinds of situations. We were very close a couple of times to getting it in, in the run game. And then it comes down to those, we call them four-point plays. Third down and goal in the red zone, it's a critical play no matter when it happens because it usually is a four-point swing. And yesterday, we had one that actually turned into a seven-point swing because it ended up in a turnover. We work on it a lot. We practice it a lot. At the end of the day, they executed a little bit better than we did in that situation. But, again, there's no shortcut to it. We have to do a good job of executing down there, got to have a good plan, give the players an opportunity to be successful. And then, when we get our opportunities, which I'm happy with the number of opportunities we're getting, we just got to do a better job of actually finishing the drives and getting it in when we're down there. We'd love for a five-for-six game. We get a five-for-six game and we're talking about a different outcome.”

Q: You talked about communication a lot so far throughout the preseason, training camp and everything, and there was that play in the endzone where Darren Waller and Davante Adams seemed like they were in the same spot. It felt like that play wasn’t designed to be like that?

Coach McDaniels: “We were moving the pocket a little bit and Davante kind of got caught inside the guy, and really, he was going to the corner, but the guy was making life a little difficult for him. And then Darren was screaming across the backline like he was supposed to. So, yeah, the design ultimately wasn't for them to be kind of close but again, they had a say in that too the way they played it and defended it decent. I thought Derek [Carr] made a good effort to try to still give us an opportunity to score, but no, the design, we don't ever really want spacing to be that way.”

Q: Yesterday, Derek Carr didn’t specifically say what he was referring to, but he said during practice, there was maybe some issues or miscues that he thought might have carried over to the game. Do you know what he might be referring to?

Coach McDaniels: “I don't know specifically what he was referring to, but I will say this, practice is never going to be perfect. That’s just the nature of our sport. We have 11 guys out there and there's 1,000 variables on every play. We try to get it as is perfect as we can make it. I never fault our effort or attitude about any of those things. But, I mean, there's certain times where you may have issue with something in practice or what have you and then it shows up in the game. And you certainly can attribute it say, ‘Hey, if we can do it a little bit better in practice, we'll probably make a difference in the game.’ And, again, there's a million of those things that we could talk about, whether it's punt coverage, or kickoff return, or offensive line protection on third down, or routes, or coverages, or blitzes, or whatever. We're always trying to get it as well done as we can in practice. I don't know specifically what he was referring to, but ultimately, I think if you go out there and you feel like you did a lot of things really well in practice, your confidence level and you're trust in what you're doing on the scheme and with your teammates that are out there, it just naturally goes up. So, what we're working towards is (having a) really good Wednesday, really good Thursday, really good Friday, really good Sunday. And if we can do that, then I think we have an opportunity to start taking some of these games and putting them in our favor.”

Q: When you're 0-3, do you just stick to the plan, do you turn up the urgency? What do you do?

Coach McDaniels: “Yeah, I think consistency. Look, you believe in your approach, and you believe in your players. Those are two things that I would say I do wholeheartedly believe in. So, we know we can make better progress here as we go forward. And we know we need to do it quickly. We don't want to lose sight of the guys that are in front of us in our division. We have two great opportunities coming up here against two division opponents. Let's just start with week one with Denver here. and really do a good job of preparing this week. I've never felt like going up and down is really the right thing to do. As a leader, being consistent with your message and what you believe in and trying to provide solutions is my job. So, that's what I'm going to try to do. I'm going to try to provide some solutions. If we need to adjust a few things, we will. If we need to practice something a little bit more, then we will. If we need to do something less, then will do that, too. So, I think at this this time, and it happens to every team, we handled some adversity with consistency and grace. And look, it is what it is, let's not feel sorry for ourselves. Let’s try to go out there and have a good day on Wednesday and then try to follow it up Thursday and Friday.

Q: Yesterday, you said that the team has to play the full 60 minutes and there's been times where this team has looked really good. Just not for the entire game. As a leader, how do you preach consistency to a locker room?

Coach McDaniels: “Yeah, there's no shortcuts to it. You can't just say, ‘Hey, put this player out there on the field and all of a sudden, we’ll magically be consistent.’ I think consistency is really the responsibility of every man, starting with the coaching staff going to the players. It starts with our approach starts, it starts with our mindset on the day, it starts with our preparation. And if we do a good job with those things, and then we go out there and practice and we work as hard as we can to try to get it right in the practice field, then I think we give ourselves an opportunity to do more things well during the course of a 60-minute game. Again, there's no there's no pill we can take to solve that. We have the answers. We are the answers. We just need to go out there and do it with one another, and for one another, and that's the attitude we're going to have and that's the way we're going to work. I have no issues with the way we work and the way we compete. I mean, that's clear. I mean, you guys can see that every Sunday. We're battling right to the very end and for that they need to be commended for their effort and their attitude and their competitive spirit. We just need to make a few more plays as we go along throughout the course of the game, so that we can start turning some W's.”

The Las Vegas Raiders return to action next Sunday, as they play host at Allegiant Stadium to their AFC rivals the Denver Broncos. That game kicks off at 4:25 PM PT and can be seen on CBS.

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