Connor Cook Leading the Raiders
Jack Del Rio dropped a mini-bombshell on the Houston media breaking news on which quarterback would be the starting quarterback Saturday for the Raiders prior to even telling the Oakland media.
“Connor Cook is going to be the starter for us,” said Del Rio.
“It is obviously not ideal; that is why is has never happened where a rookie gets his first start in a playoff game,” Del Rio explained on his conference call. “He played well last week and he is the healthiest option so it really makes it an obvious choice.”
“We have seen things through out our time where he has developed as a young player in the background as the third quarterback all year,”
Del Rio said of Cook, whom he named the Raiders starter. “He has won a lot of big games at Michigan State and I know this is a different level. He has got that unflappable feel about him and we trust him to go out there and lead us.”
The Raiders quarterback position group has been dismantled over the past two weeks, with stater Derek Carr going down with a broken leg and backup Matt McGloin suffering an injury to his trapezius from a hit against the Denver Broncos in week 17.
“I hope so, we will still work though that as we go through the week but he is still pretty sore,” said Del Rio of McGloin's injury situation.
Del Rio’s experience as a player and a head coach is now coming into play with his young Raiders team. His team that was sitting atop of the AFC at the #2 spot of playoff seedings and dropped to the #5 spot in seeding in one weekend.
Del Rio is confident his team will respond.
“You do the best you can regardless of the circumstance. It is great opportunity, you have these great opportunities in life to be at your best,” explained Del Rio. “You get these great challenges. How do you respond? What we want to do is respond like men and go in there full of energy, belief and fight our butts off.”
Bill O'Brien and Brock Osweiler Heated Exchange
There was a shouting match between Bill O'Brien and Brock Osweiler during halftime of the Tennessee Titans game this past weekend in Nashville.
O'Brien and Osweiler discussed the exchange.
"I think that it is an intense game. I think it is football. You got competitive guys, passionate guys about the team about winning,” O'Brien stated. "Especially quarterback and head coach and if there was what you determined a heated exchange, that happens all the time. I am not sure what you're referring to and those things happen. We are focused on the Raiders game and the challenge of the Raiders."
Osweiler followed up with, "I would just say what happens between coach O'Brien and myself or whatever is said between coach O'Brien and myself it stays between us. That is where I am going to leave that and my full focus has moved towards Oakland."
Texans Locked In
Bill O'Brien likes what he has seen from his team preparing for the upcoming game with the Raiders. He points to what they are doing in the meeting rooms as a good foundation for their work on the field.
"I like the energy. Thought these guys yesterday they were very focused," said O'Brien of his team. "I like the focus. I think these guys have a lot of energy. I like the way they are paying attention in meetings. I see every set of eyes, on me when I am talking to the team, when the position coaches are meeting with their guys, and the coordinators."
Quick Hitting Texans Updates
- Kevin Johnson did have surgery on his foot but that was nearly four weeks ago. He mentioned that is feels better than it did after the surgery he had after his rookie season. It is expected that he should be out of his boot in two months and back to working for the 2017 season.
- Brock Osweiler is convinced that he handled the benching this time better than he did with the Denver Broncos.
- The Houston Texans returned Jadeveon Clowney, Lamar Miller, Brian Cushing, Jonathan Joseph, and Jay Prosch to practice.
- John Simon and Tom Savage did not practice to start the week. John Simon is considered a game time decision but appears to be a long shot to play this weekend. Tom Savage has been ruled out due to being in the concussion protocol. Brandon Weeden will be the back up to Osweiler on Saturday.