HENDERSON, Nev.--The Las Vegas Raiders found themselves with their first win of the season on Sunday. But, they don't have time to enjoy it.
The Silver and Black head to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs on Monday Night Football next week, and they have already moved on.
OC Mick Lombardi reviewed the film of the game versus the Denver Broncos, he gave his analysis and looked ahead to this week's opponent, the aforementioned Kansas City Chiefs.
You can watch the entire press conference below, and read the transcript:
Offensive Coordinator Mick Lombardi
Q: What does Tyron Johnson need to do to take that next step?
Coach Lombardi: “We talked about him last week and you guys brought him up, and I think the biggest thing for him is showing consistency in practice and when he gets his opportunities. What is his role? His role at the game is he's at a reserve receiver role. Obviously, he backs up, whether it's Mack Hollins, whether that's Davante [Adams] and when he gets his opportunity, he gets to go out there and produce. As a reserve player, or a backup player, you're never really sure when that opportunity is going to come. Him and I had a great conversation walking off the practice field the other day because he has to be ready at all costs. Look, if Mack Hollins were to go down and hurt his ankle in the game, and he had to be out for a couple of series, then T. Billy, as they call him, has to go in there and execute his job and take over for Mack. That's just the way it has to go. And then show consistency in practice that he can do that. He's showing some consistency, he wouldn't be dressed for the game if he wasn't doing that, so he's obviously in there and we believe in what he can do. But when his opportunity comes, you got to make the most of it. He has a few packages in the game where he did a good job in the game and did his job, but he just has to make sure he executes when his time comes.”
Q: How close are you to feeling comfortable with the offensive line?
Coach Lombardi: “They've strung a couple weeks together that’s been pretty solid. We ran the ball very effectively this past week and they protected pretty decent against two really good edge rushers in [Randy] Gregory and [Bradley] Chubb. I think we're stacking the days together. We talked about that two week ago. Stacking the days together in terms of making sure practice is good in the run game and protection-wise and it translates over to the game. I think that’s the same mindset every single week. I'm sure all those guys and everybody on the offense, they've erased Sunday. It doesn't exist anymore. We're going to come in tomorrow morning, and say, 'Hey, this is a new day.' We're going to take the challenge ahead of us and try and stack Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday together to hopefully lead up to Monday night."
Q: Do you think it's harder to forget a loss or a win?
Coach Lombardi: “I think in the NFL you have to be ready to do both. You get so accustomed to doing both because every week is so challenging in terms of winning and losing, and it comes down to the end pretty much in every single game. What do you try and do after a win? You try and flush it and go and move on to the next opponent because that opponent's getting ready for you too. Same thing with a loss; you got to flush it, correct it, and learn from it. Now, that's a great question because there is a lot of things you can learn from both in a win and a loss. Did we do everything perfect on Sunday afternoon? Absolutely not. So, the players came in with great mindset on Monday. They wanted to get coached, they wanted to get better, and hopefully you can correct some of the mistakes so you can win by not having it come down to the fourth quarter. But it's very easy to move on because when once you turn on the tape of the next opponent, you realize you have a new challenge ahead of you.”
Q: Is that exciting or is it annoying to not play on Sunday and kind of alter the routine?
Coach Lombardi: “No, it's a great part about the NFL, you have a great platform every single week to go out there and try and showcase what we've been working on here in this organization, in this building. Whether that’s the game plan, whether that's the way we go about doing things in practice. It's our chance to go out there, this is why we put in all his hard work during the during the week. We put in this hard work on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, to go out there on Sunday or Monday night, and it just so happens to be a nationally televised game, which is a great opportunity for these guys to go out there and really play fast, play hard and have some fun."
Q: The confidence that comes with the way you guys were able to run the ball, can you carry that momentum over while still moving on to the next opponent?
Coach Lombardi: “Confidence obviously comes from practicing well. I think that's the number one thing and those guys had a really good week of practice last week and I think they went into Sunday afternoon saying, 'You know what, we're going to execute our job and we feel pretty good about getting the running game going because we executed in practice.' So, again, it goes back to flushing it and moving on. If we don't have a good practice on Wednesday and Thursday, we're going to have a lapse in confidence on Monday night. We got to make sure that we come in here on Wednesday morning and say, 'You know what, we got to really make sure we did a good job of executing the plan on the practice field', because that's really what gives us confidence for Sunday. It doesn't really matter what's happened in the game prior. It really happens on the practice field during the week."
Q: Is there a different mindset going into a game when you have to say, ‘We have to score this many points instead of this many?’
Coach Lombardi: “I don't really see it that way. I think we see it as we play offense and we're going to try and play complimentary football. We're going to try and take care of the football. I think that's the biggest thing we can do. If we don't turn the ball over, if we convert some third downs and we do better in the red area, those are the things we can control. And obviously I have great faith in our defense to do their job. They're saying the same thing about us. And if we do that, we'll just be fine, and the game will take care of itself. We have to worry about what we can control first and that's ball security, that's field position, that's converting third downs, converting short yardage and scoring when we get in the red area instead of the 10-yard line. That's really at the end day what we have to do, and if we do that, I'm sure the game will take care of itself."
Q: What does it mean to execute better in the red zone?
Coach Lombardi: “When you come into a certain situation in the game plan, whether it's red zone or third down, or short yardage, there are certain things you're trying to attack and certain things you're trying to do. And in the red area it's a little bit different because the field shrinks. It becomes a lot smaller, targets become a little bit finer tuned, there's more room for error in terms of route running, more room for error in terms of protection, things happen quicker. And a lot of the times when you get down there, it's a nine-play drive. It's play 11 of the drive, play ten of the drive. You really have to dig deep and think to yourself, 'Okay, I might be a little tired, or I might have to push through here a little bit to really execute my job because it's going to happen a lot faster and it's already after a certain number of plays that we've already produced on.' So, we make we do that in how we simulate that in practice, we move the ball down the field, get the ball in the red area and try to execute our job down there in that area of the field. We just got to make sure that we we're locked in and ready to go because at the end of the day that area of the field is really unique because it just happens so much faster, it's so much smaller. There's a lot less room for error."
Q: Davante Adams had a lot of success on the stat sheet after a couple weeks where teams defended him really well. Did he do something different, did the team do something different, or did the Broncos attack you guys differently?
Coach Lombardi: “No, I mean, I think we justhad a certain game plan and obviously we got the run game going. Got control of the game a little bit in terms of that sense and didn't turn the ball over. We weren't playing from behind. If you look at the Tennessee game and the LA (Chargers) game, we turned the ball over and didn't convert third downs. We couldn't sustain drives and we couldn't really play offense. We hurt ourselves from that standpoint. So, you go out there in the Denver game, look at the stat sheet, sure Davante had nine catches or whatever it was, but really, we had no turnovers. We were 50 percent on third down. We got to try and stay there, and again, we got to try to do better in the red area. But once you do those things, we were three-for-three in short yardage, and stay on the field that way, you can play a little bit more offense and kind of use the tools you have and stay on track in terms your game plan.”
Q: With you having had concussions yourself in high school, how does has that shaped your coaching in the way that you handle players or what you think about the changes they may make to the protocols?
Coach Lombardi: “In terms of the concussion protocols, you're right, I did have a couple of concussions in high school and stuff like that. The concussion protocols, I know the league has the best interests of the players and the Raiders organization does a tremendous job in terms of making sure that they go through all the protocols and then also making sure the player is ready to go in terms of his ability to play. Not only performance level, but just being able to navigate just the game plans, pay attention and making sure he's ready to go. And really as a coach you really have no other control over that other than just making sure the player is 100 percent healthy and ready to go. So, if the player is missing a game because of the concussion protocol, it is what it is. Just like another injury, we want to make sure the player is 100 percent when he comes out to the field. Just like it would be with a knee injury, just like it would be with a shoulder injury. If they're not 100 percent, we don't want him out there because we don't risk them getting hurt any further."
Q: What have you learned most from Josh McDaniels over the years of working with him?
Coach Lombardi: “I coached with Josh back in the day when I was a young assistant, 2011-2012 era out New England. And obviously I came back in the 2019 season and worked with him a little more closely as an older assistant. I think the biggest thing that Josh has taught me, just like Coach [Bill] Belichick has taught him, is playing complimentary football and trying to do week in and week out what's best for the team to win the game. Going into each week saying, 'Hey, if we do X, Y and Z, we're going to have a great chance to win.' And I think going into that mindset from an offense perspective, that's really what he's taught me. To look at the game from an entire thing, as opposed to just a short-sighted menu of just plays. How can we win the game offensively? By taking care of the football, playing complimentary football and doing things from that standpoint. Those are really the things he's taught me, and I'm really thankful for that."
That Las Vegas Raiders travel to Arrowhead Stadium to take on the Kansas City Chiefs next. That game is on Monday, Oct. 10, and it can be seen on ESPN. The game starts at 8:15 p.m. EDT/5:15 p.m. PDT.
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