Coach Del Rio: Oakland Raiders need to get ‘mojo’ back

Imperial Valley Press - - SPORTS -

SARA­SOTA, Fla. (AP) — Com­ing off a lop­sided loss to the Buf­falo Bills, Oakland Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said his team needs to re­gain its en­ergy and start play­ing ag­gres­sive foot­ball again start­ing with next Sun­day night’s game against the Mi­ami Dol­phins.

“As I said yes­ter­day, I feel like we’ve earned this 3-5 through the first half of the year,” Del Rio said. “No­body is real happy about that. I think we all take re­spon­si­bil­ity and are ac­count­able for that. We’re go­ing to go into the sec­ond half and look to make it a whole lot bet­ter in the sec­ond half. We need to kind of get our mojo back a lit­tle bit.” Del Rio be­lieves the Raiders (3-5) need to get back to be­ing the phys­i­cal team they were when the sea­son be­gan.

Quar­ter­back Derek Carr sug­gested the in­ten­sity in prac­tice needs to be greater but Del Rio said that while poor ex­e­cu­tion re­mains a big is­sue, the Raiders just need to play hard and “let it rip.”

“I know what a Raiders foot­ball team that I en­vi­sioned hav­ing,” Del Rio said. “We’re not play­ing like that — what my vi­sion is. We’re not play­ing like that right now. We need to be more phys­i­cal up front of­fen­sively and de­fen­sively. We need to be play­mak­ers ag­gres­sively go­ing for the ball, com­pet­ing. That’s what I’m look­ing for. That’s what we’re look­ing to get this sec­ond half.”

Of­fen­sively, the Raiders failed to fol­low up on their last-sec­ond come­back vic­tory over the Kan­sas City Chiefs. With Mar­shawn Lynch serv­ing a one-game sus­pen­sion for shov­ing an of­fi­cial, the Raiders ran the ball just 14 times for 54 yards in their 34-14 loss to the Bills on Sun­day. Carr threw for 313 yards but had two in­ter­cep­tions while run­ning backs DeAn­dre Wash­ing­ton and Jalen Richard lost fum­bles to put the Raiders at a mi­nus-6 turnover dif­fer­en­tial this year. Shalom Luani, who made his first NFL start at safety in place of Gareon Con­ley, al­most had the team’s first in­ter­cep­tion of the sea­son Sun­day but the ball fell off his hands.

“That would have been a great catch,” Del Rio said. But each game we’re get­ting our hands on balls. You got to catch the ball. I mean, we’ll keep work­ing. We’re drilling it. We’re drilling strip­ping it. They did a great job yes­ter­day get­ting four from us. That was the dif­fer­ence in the ball game.”

Lynch, who was re­in­stated to the ac­tive ros­ter Mon­day, will join the Raiders in Sara­sota on Tues­day. The run­ning back made head­lines dur­ing his sus­pen­sion when he par­tic­i­pated in a prac­tice with his high school alma mater, Oakland Tech.

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