Programming note: Watch Raiders Press Conference Live today at 3pm on CSN California, and streaming live right here.
OAKLAND – Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio spent the preamble of his postgame press conference outlining things his team planned on doing, and then what actually happened.
There was a discrepancy between the two, never in a positive way. Concept was rarely executed well in Sunday’s 33-13 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, a difficult outcome considering the positivity surrounding Del Rio’s team all preseason long.
Raider Nation ate it up during the preseason, buying in to Del Rio’s vision and Reggie McKenzie’s talent upgrades in free agency and the draft. It turned O.co Coliseum into a cauldron of optimism on Sunday afternoon, a venue brimming with electricity moments before the season truly began.
What came after was an untenable disappointment for coach and fans alike.
“I’m disappointed that the effort to open the season wasn’t better,” Del Rio said. “Our fans were excited, fired up. We get an opportunity at home to open up the season and we didn’t play well. That’s disappointing to me. Look, I know what works still. Getting back to work and taking ownership of the things that went wrong is where it starts.”
Del Rio took full responsibility for the result, for which coaches and players played a part. There were times, especially on defense, where the Raiders got outcoached. There were plenty of examples where the Raiders got outplayed in basic, fundamental ways. Del Rio always talks about leverage and tackling. His charges didn’t do either consistently well.
“We had a little trouble finding ourselves,” Del Rio said. “I believe that we’ll settle down and understand the basic fundamentals that we have to be able to execute to play good football. There’s some basic things that you have to do. You have to leverage and tackle if you’re going to be any good on defense. It doesn’t matter what your scheme is. If you’re not leveraging and tackling, you’re going to have a hard time. I believe in that.
"I believe in blocking up front, being able to throw the football and catch it, and just execute good football. I’ve seen enough examples of what it looks like to know that we are capable, and we will be better.”
The Raiders can’t be much worse. They got beat in every phase. They got pushed around and exploited in one-on-one matchups. The frustrating part for Del Rio is that his team had a good week’s work leading up to Sunday’s game and then laid an egg.
“I thought really we came out in great shape, ready to play, looking to kick off our season the right way,” he said. "We all felt really good about the preparation, but it didn’t look that way today. The bottom line is we’re paid for production on game day, and it wasn’t near good enough today.”