*RAIDERS HEAD COACH JACK DEL RIO
*– Conference Call with Baltimore Media –
What is the process like getting QB EJ Manuel up to speed to be able to start Sunday? (Jeff Zrebiec)"He has been preparing as the backup, so he has been in the gameplan. He has been getting limited reps. I think the biggest thing is his reps will increase, and the attention to detail will continue as it always does with all of our players preparing for their respective spots and roles during a game. It is just his role increases a little."
Do you have to change the offense at all with QB EJ Manuel in there? (Kevin Richardson)"Well, it is natural for us to want to do things that he is comfortable with, but we have been working with him for the entire offseason and all of camp, and obviously as a backup getting ready for all of these ballgames. We will have a plan together."
The Ravens gave up four sacks on Sunday. Is that an area where you might be able to take advantage? (Ed Lee)"We gave up a few, too, so I'm sure both teams want to protect the quarterback and both teams want to get after the other quarterback."
What is it like having a pass rush that includes DE Khalil Mack and DE Mario Edwards? (Ed Lee)"It has been good to get Mario back. He is playing well this year. Obviously, Khalil has been impactful, but having some additional players make their presence felt has been good for us."
All the talk in Baltimore is about the struggles of QB Joe Flacco and the offense. When you watch film on them, do you still see a pretty dangerous group that you are going to have to face? (Jeff Zrebiec)"Of course. We are getting the same kind of discussions here in our town. That is just part of what happens when things don't go the way you want. There are going to be questions. For us, we are worried about getting ourselves ready to go. We have a lot of respect for this group. For the last two years, we have played them in really tight ballgames in both cases. We have a lot of respect for their football team, the way they prepare and the battle we know we are going to have on gameday."
**When T Austin Howard was there, what were your impressions of his contributions to the team? *(Ed Lee) *"Austin did a nice job for us while he was here. He was the starting right tackle for a large portion of the time we were together, and he did a solid job for us."
Was it difficult to let T Austin Howard go in the offseason? (Ed Lee)"Yes, there are decisions that have to be made for the team, and [general manager] Reggie [McKenzie] and I work closely on it. And ultimately, the decisions that we make are what we think are the best for us. Certainly, we wish him [Howard] the best."
You went from the West Coast to the East Coast to play the Redskins, and of course, the Ravens are traveling to Oakland to play you. Is that a problem for teams, and do you feel that teams feel tired during that time, or is that just a myth? (Kevin Richardson) "I don't know. I think you have to deal with the travel. We travel as much as anybody in the league, and when you travel well and win, you don't really mind as much. We didn't get that done ourselves last week. We all have to do it, and it is their turn this week."
We asked you last year about OL Kelechi Osemele. What has his play meant in your quest to build such a good offensive line? (Jeff Zrebiec)"He has been a great addition for us. That was one of the decisions they had to make on whether they could keep him or not, and as you put your team together, you have to decide what you want to do. We were certainly happy to be able to acquire him. He was a good football player on tape when we watched him competing there. We are glad to have him. He has been a really good football player for us."
The Ravens have three running backs who have rushed for over 100 yards each. Going into this week, how do you prepare for them? Do you focus on one guy? (Ed Lee)"We just make ourselves aware of the different abilities and styles of each of the runners. We know last year that [Terrance] West went for over 100 on us in the ball game. We know that they are all capable. We know that it starts up front – good design and good blocking. They have done a nice job of that."