Raider HC Jon Gruden (11.1.20)

Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden:

On controlling time of possession and the lines, especially in the elements:

“I am really proud. We talked and made a big deal about the weather. We knew the weather was going to be really harsh today, and we kept talking about how we struggled playing on the road last year in bad weather against the Jets and the Chiefs. We really made a big deal out of it, but we kind of enjoyed it. I think our guys looked forward to the challenge of the weather more than anything. We ran the ball a lot of different ways – from a single-back set, from a two-back set a double tight end set. (Raiders QB) Derek Carr even got involved. It was a great job of protecting the football, running the ball, and possessing the ball, which was a key ingredient in winning.”

On the impact of the wind today:

“You can’t imagine it. I can’t explain it. You thought when you were going one direction, you were with the wind and then maybe you were against the wind, but the wind was against everybody – Cleveland and Las Vegas all day today. Credit to (Raiders K Daniel) Carlson for being able to kick the ball and make some field goals. I thought Derek threw the ball intermediately pretty good. It was real obstacle for the kickers and the quarterbacks, for sure.”

On adjusting the Raiders OL on the fly and Raiders T Brandon Parker’s performance:

“When Brandon Parker woke up today, he was inactive. He was not going to be active. (Raiders T) Trent Brown was the right tackle, (Raiders T) Sam Young was the swing tackle and Brandon Parker was eating breakfast thinking he was inactive. Then wouldn’t you know, he is pressed into service early in the game. We are fortunate to have him. You have to give the offensive line, and (Raiders offensive line coach) Tom Cable and (Raiders offensive coordinator) Greg Olson a great amount of credit. What they have been through the last two weeks is incomprehensible, but I think football people understand what we have been through up front in the last couple ball games is bizarre.”

On Raiders RB Josh Jacobs’ performance and if his comparison to Pro Football Hall of Fame RB Walter Payton earlier in the year rings truer after today’s game:

“I shouldn’t have said that because you remember it. That puts a lot of pressure on people. That is what I remember growing up as a kid. I remember horrible weather, and I remember everybody in the stadium knowing that No. 34 (Payton) was going to get the ball and he made yards and got it done anyhow. That is what Jacobs and his level of talent is. He is a great runner. We just need him to break one long one to satisfy a lot of the statisticians. That was an impressive performance, he and (Raiders RB Devonte) Booker today.”

On the long touchdown drive at the end of the third quarter and into the fourth quarter and its importance in these conditions:

“It is obvious, we had back-to-back drives and we didn’t have that at the 1-yard line and we would have had two 15-16 play drives in a row. It is a credit to the quarterback for being able to recognize some things and get us in the right play. The guys up front, you have to really tip your hat to them. I don’t want to underscore how important our defense was today. We made some changes, and they responded beautifully. It was a big win for us.”

On Brown’s status:

“We are just going to say that he got ill here in the locker room. He is being evaluated right now, and we will update you as soon as we know something. I am told that everything is OK. We were expecting Trent to play today. He had a great practice on Friday. We will update you when we know something more extensive.”

On what he wanted to see from the Raiders defense:

“Turnovers. We got the early turnover. We wanted to be able to get more hats to the ball, knock out the big plays. We can’t keep giving up the big plays. Eliminate the big plays, certainly. Try to create some turnovers. Those were priorities. Really just playing more consistently. That is what we are after. We still have a long way to go. We are hoping (Raiders CB) Damon Arnette can return soon. We did make some strides today. I thought we had a lot of contributors. We didn’t have as many mental errors. We just have to stay onside. Three offside in the first quarter were ridiculous, but after that, I think we settled down and played OK.”

On Raiders S Lamarcus Joyner’s pass breakup in the fourth quarter:

“I am glad he has a good vertical. That was a touchdown. He got up and made a great play to deflect that pass. They were in an empty backfield set. We ran a three-man rush, and Joyner really timed that jump perfectly. Fortunately for us, he made that play.”

On today being one of Carr’s better managed games:

“Yeah, it really was. Statistically probably not, but I thought he had a touchdown called back. I thought that was a touchdown in the end zone earlier in the first half. I thought he played a really good game. We went back in time a little bit to an old school attack. That is something that we have been trying to put together here, the ingredients, to allow us to play three-receiver sets. When we have to, we can get into some old school double tight end sets and run the ball like teams used to in this league. I am really proud of the job that our guys did and responded to our third tackle plan there in the first quarter.”

On the importance of Carr’s runs today:

“That is what we have all been asking for. We have all been saying, ‘Hey, extend a couple plays. Why don’t you extend a couple plays?’ Today, he extended a couple plays. Those were, I think, the plays that were the secret sauce in the win today. One was a second-and-long call. Believe it or not, we ran a zone read, and he kept it and got a key first down. I’m really proud of Derek. It is unfortunate you guys don’t get to see him every day with his teammates because of this virus, but he has showcased a lot of leadership and poise for us during this tough time.”

On if he reminds Carr to slide after lowering his shoulder on a run or gives him an ‘atta boy’:

“I don’t say, ‘Atta boy.’ I say, ‘Are you out of your mind? Don’t get carried away.’ He is a great competitor. I am just proud that he is finding all kinds of ways to move the team. We have had receivers come and go. We have had linemen come and go. He has hung in there, and he is finding ways to move the team. We are 4-3, and we have to get ready for the Chargers. I don’t know if we are going to get out of here tonight. It is really windy here.”

On whether he likes scores like this game or prefers higher scores:

“To all the people back in Las Vegas, we haven’t seen a drop of rain in 193 days. It was raining here. It was snowing here. It was hailing here. All three in the same day. It was 38-45 mph winds. We will take any win we can get. We are just excited to get on a plane together and head home to Vegas.”

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