Raiders OTAs: Josh McDaniels’ Media Availability – June 1

Raiders OTAs: Josh McDaniels’ Media Availability – June 1

Read the full transcript from Head Coach Josh McDaniels’ press conference at the Las Vegas Raiders OTAs on June 1, 2023.

Opening Statement: “A couple things before we get rolling on questions. Obviously, it’s an exciting time in Las Vegas, from our organization to the Golden Knights, we want to congratulate them on making the Stanley Cup Finals. We wish Coach Cassidy and the entire organization, the entire team well and luck, obviously as they head into this championship round. There’s going to be a number of our players that will be there supporting them, and we’re all excited to continue to pull for them. Obviously they’ve had a great year and we’re looking forward to continuing to support that. At practice today you’re going to see a number of Raider greats that were able to join us today to share in our OTA experience here. I’d say, share with our players what it meant to them to be a Raider, and they’ve kind of set the standard and defined what the Commitment to Excellence is. Like I said, you’ll see a number of them out there, they’re here now, and it’s an exciting day for us to obviously have them join us for this part of our year. So, I’m sure you’ll see a lot of familiar faces.”

Q: The story that broke last week kind of shed some light on Jimmy Garoppolo’s contract and the details of it. It maybe raised the anxiety level of some fans on the eventual availability of Jimmy. We’re about eight weeks away from training camp, is there a confidence there?

Coach McDaniels: “I have no anxiety. You guys might have anxiety, I don’t have any anxiety.”

Q: Is there a confidence level that he’ll be there in training camp and ready to go?

Coach McDaniels: “Yep. I’m not going to put a timeline or a day on anything, but like I said, I have no anxiety – feel pretty good about it.”

Q: Last year Neil Farrell Jr. you guys brought him along pretty slowly in that defensive tackle rotation. What sort of growth have you seen from him?

Coach McDaniels: “Rookie years, obviously they can be different for everybody. Neil [Farrell Jr.] obviously came from a pretty decorated college program and worked hard to try and get in there and create a role for himself. That’s not always easy depending on what room you’re in as a rookie. [He] came back in really good shape. I think a lot of times you see these first-year guys – they go through their first year, it’s kind of a crash course on what it requires of you physically, mentally, emotionally, what kind of time it requires of you away from the building to be prepared to compete consistently at a high level at this level. And I think Neil has done all the right things. Like I said, he’s in really good condition. I don’t want to say he’s changed his entire body, but there’s an element of that that you can already see. So, I’m excited to see what he does. Same thing with Matthew Butler, I mean two guys that have been here in our offseason program the entire time. Honestly, they both came back early to do some work on their own with our strength staff. That’s what you can ask from a guy going into a second year. You hope they learn from the things that might’ve been tougher their first year, but I know he knows he’s in a competitive room. We’ve got a lot of guys in there that are competing to ultimately play. This time of the year is really more about technique and fundamentals obviously, the physical part will come later, but I like so far what Neil is trying to do and the frame of mind that he’s in.”

Q: Does Thayer Munford kind of in that category as well?

Coach McDaniels: “I think most of those guys that are going into their second year, they understand kind of the difference now. Sometimes talent alone is okay in college. In the NFL, there’s no question that everybody’s talented. Everybody in your room is talented, everybody you play against is talented.

Q: You’ve been at a lot of these, but what excites you most about OTAs even though the pads aren’t on? What do you want to see from some of these players?

Coach McDaniels: “I think this is the time of the year for us to evaluate our ability to communicate, our ability to retain information, our ability to limit repeat errors. We’re making mistakes each day, which happens every day in every OTA across the league, but the biggest point of emphasis we’re trying to make to our team is that we have to be able to come back the next day or the next time we’re out there on the field and fix the mistake. So, we kind of take each week as an opportunity to simulate a regular season week. So, if we make some mistakes on a Wednesday’s practice, you only have Thursday to fix them or else you’re probably going to throw it out. So, communication, assignments, technique, ability to work with each other because they’re not all working with the same groups. Those are all things that were adamant about as we put our system in and see what they can handle.”

Q: This time of year, how much evaluation is going on with Dave [Ziegler] and his guys with the rest of the league? Especially since it’s June 1st and there could be moves being made across the league.

Coach McDaniels: “Yeah, we obviously are ready to go. They have their lists of people that we may anticipate that, ‘Alright, they look a little heavy here or there might be a contract situation somewhere else.’ They’re aware of all those things. I don’t get too much involved in that at this point in time of the year, because they obviously have that taken care of. But planning for things that you almost can’t see, if you will. Preparing for, I’d say, some shortlists as we head into the training camp season here in a couple of months, no question about that. And they’re also evaluating our team. I mean, they’re out there every day too and watching our guys work and practice, and they’re able to see those things that are being developed on the practice field too. So, a lot of comparing guys from what we saw before to what we’re seeing now. Again, the physical element can’t happen until August. But yeah, they’re hard at work also.