Todd Wash - Thursday, December 12, 2019

(On what they've seen out of DE Josh Allen over the past two weeks) "Obviously we want to see some continued improvement. He's obviously going to get more and more reps as the season goes on and stuff like that, so we want to see the fundamentals and those kinds of things improve as we go. He's been working hard in practice and I think we will see that."

(On how to integrate the linebacker corps to the defense after all the injures to that group) "If we get too creative, we're not going to execute. So, I think you almost have to go the other way and try to calm their world down as much as they can. Figure out what they do know within our package, the guys that have been here just a short time. And when they're in there, just call those calls. So for us, we're calming it down and letting them just go out and execute what they know how to do, that's important. And the guys that are playing for us, we trust them, and hopefully the plan works out where they have some success on Sunday."

(On the injuries at the linebacker position this season) "We have [had injuries], but that's just part of the game. So, we have to be able as a coaching staff to try to get them in to our rooms as much as we can, meet with them as much as we can, and get them ready to play. Because it doesn't really matter who's in the game, we have the same expectations and the same standards regardless if it's Myles [Jack] or whoever it might be. So, for us I think we just have to calm it down so they can do what they know how to do and because they're good athletes. They can go out and hit and run, and hopefully that's what we need to do on Sunday."

(On if he's coached games in the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum) "Yes, yep."

(On if he has any stories from coaching in the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum) "They are a unique crowd obviously. But they do such a great job of supporting their team and I think as a visiting tam coming in you know it's going to be a hostile environment. They let you know that they're there. And we've talked to our players, 'Hey, we have to lock that stuff out.' I think it's going to be a very hostile environment being the last game at that Coliseum, so there's a lot of stories, but I don't think I can communicate them to you."

(On what he thinks about when reminiscing about the history of the Oakland Raiders) "They play hard. Defensively is what I obviously focus on, but they've always played hard, and I wouldn't say nasty, but boy they pushed the limits back in the day. They were great to watch. Hopefully we can carry some of that as a defense. I think we want to play nasty, we want to play within the rules, but back in the day they really took it to a whole new level. And credit to them, they beat a lot of people up."

(On if the 'nasty' style of defense would lead to a lot more penalties in today's game) "The game has changed, but I think it's changed for the best trying to keep our players healthy. But it is fun to watch those old-time times and see how physical and nasty a lot of the defenses were back then."

(On if LB Myles Jack has been in the meeting rooms since being placed in the Reserve/Injured list) "He was last week up until the surgery. Matter of fact, he was just in the training room, [I] had a great conversation with him. But he's been around trying to help to gather guys in position meetings, talking about different things that he sees to try to help out Donald [Payne] at the Mike [linebacker] spot. He's around all the time, it's just since he's had the surgery, he's been more rehab then in our meetings. 

(On the value of having Jack in and around the meeting rooms) "It's important, because then he can kind of communicate it from a players aspect. At times I think we get caught as coaches trying to coach too much, and he can kind of calm his world down, where maybe some of the verbiage that we go through with him to put it in terms that he can understand. So, I think that really helps Donald out."

(On what it means to play for pride in professional football) "We told them on Wednesday – Monday or Wednesday – It's really a job interview for them, these next three weeks. Let's be honest, it is. And Doug [Marrone] mentioned it yesterday, it's a job interview for everybody. But I think as a player they know that there's 32 other teams, or 31 other teams, watching them play and seeing how hard they go, what kind of character [there] is. Because I think in times of adversity it really tells us what kind of a man you are. And I'm not talking just to the players, I'm talking to us as coaches. You have to be able to put your head down, and grind it out, and do the best you can until they say you can't do anymore."

(On if he sees signs of the players responding to the message that the last three games are a tryout) "Oh yeah. Yesterday [Head Coach] Doug [Marrone] and I were talking even after practice. We had a spirited practice yesterday and it might have not of been like that the previous couple weeks, but yesterday they really came out. I think that the loss a couple weeks ago really got to them, and I think they're putting it behind them and they're trying to make sure that they understand that hey, they have to go out and play and put good stuff on tape just like we do."

(On if the easiest way to deal with the losing is to remember that his role is a job and he needs to continue to work) "To me, it is. I know you all write and all that kind of stuff – that is your job, but we have a job. My job is not to read [the articles]. That is the same thing we talk to our players about. You can only control what we have going on in this building, and I think our players are doing a good job of that."

(On how frustrating these last couple weeks have been) "Obviously we are not used to playing not good defense. It is very frustrating, but once again, we have to find a way to fix it. That is my job, and that is what I told the players. Everything that happened this season is on my shoulders. I have big shoulders, I'm good with that. We just have to continue to work and strive to get better so we can win a couple football games."

(On if it is easy to tune things out) "For me, it is extremely easy."

(On why it is easy to tune things out) "I do not really care about people's opinions. I know what we are doing in this building. We are doing the best we can. If that isn't good enough like we talked about before, they will find somebody else to do it. For us, we put our head down and we try to win football games. That is all we can do."

(On how much work the coaching staff puts in trying to fix things and all the extra hours) "We work as long as we have to. I am not saying we have to … to get it right, attempt to get it right. Yes, there are long hours, but when you are 13-0, there are long hours. It is the same grind. We are just trying and digging to find a way that we can play better defense and win football games."

(On his first memory of working with Jon Gruden) "I will not tell any stories, but I obviously owe a lot to him for giving me my first opportunity there and hiring me. He has done such a great job with this offense. They do a lot of things that are difficult and some of the things that we have not seen, fortunately we saw in 2007 and 2008. There are some things where we go, 'This is what is coming next because we know Gruden over time.' I owe a lot to him to get me into the league when I started in 2007. I owe a lot to him, and he is a good friend of mine, our wives [are friends]. It will be good to see him before the game. Hopefully I am smiling after the game."

(On Calais winning Walter Payton Man of the Year) "You can't ask for a better person. We all know what kind of player he is, which is an exceptional player. I have said it a million times, but he is a better person than he is player. Everything that he … Honors and accolades and everything that he gets, he deserves. It is a heck of an honor for him to be nominated for that."

(On getting Ronnie Harrison back on the field this week) "It is big. Him and J-Dub [Jarrod Wilson] do a really nice job of communicating. He is a physical presence in the run game. We have seen that. It is nice to have him back out there and see him running around and that kind of stuff at practice. It was a good feeling to see him out there yesterday."

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