Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio
On the Raiders' trip to Mexico City:"I guess it was purposeful. We traveled well and went down, played a hard fought game and got back. Now we're busy preparing for you guys."
On the key to success with Oakland's 8-2 record:"Well, I think the biggest thing is that our guys have embraced the idea of getting ready for each opponent, working hard at the preparation and going out and competing on Sundays."
His thoughts on cornerback David Amerson:"David has done a great job for us. We were fortunate to get him last year off of waivers when things didn't quite work out there in Washington. He's come in and really from day one he's been a great asset for us. He's come in and worked hard. He's got the ability to cover and the flexibility to play in, out, right or left. We really like the ways he's kind of fit in and adjusted himself here. He's been a good football player for us."
On Amerson's length:"We sure did. We think he's got a really good combination of size, speed and athletic ability. Some of the change in direction that you look for corners. He had a great college career down your way and it was a good get for us.
His memories from his season with the Panthers:"It was a great time. My first opportunity to be a coordinator in the league. I really loved the city. I think Carolina is a really cool place, a lot of good people, beautiful city. We enjoyed it. My family and I enjoyed it. We were there a short time but we went in there and turned that team around, and obviously I got an opportunity to go on from there, but we really enjoyed our time there."
On if he was in Carolina long enough to buy property:"We actually bought and sold it. (laughs) We were there a short time, about 11 months. We did buy because we planned on being there a while but obviously we caught a nice opportunity, a nice break and got an opportunity to be a head coach which was obviously a great thrill."
On preparing for the Panthers knowing linebacker Luke Kuechly is in concussion protocol:"We've got to expect we're getting the very best. They're a really good football team. I've got a lot of respect and appreciation for Coach Ron Rivera. I've known Ron for a long time. He does a great job and he's got a good football team. Obviously, last year they went all the way to the championship game and we know they have a really talented group and we're just getting ourselves prepared."
His thoughts, as a former linebacker, seeing Kuechly's state during last week's game:"I actually didn't get to see it. I didn't get to see the whole play. I've only kind of heard and seen pictures in the media and things. But I really didn't get to see all that transpired. I just know that we all respect him as one of the great players in this league. The guy is unbelievably prepared. He plays really, really hard on every snap. I don't know if there is a more respected player in the league. I think he's' a heck of a player and just a shame to see anybody get injured and I'm hoping that he has a speedy recovery."
On how far back his relationship with Coach Rivera goes:"All the way back to college when I was at Southern California and he was at California and we were playing in what was then the Pac-10. He was a heck of a player. We were two outside linebackers in kind of the same era."
On if he was familiar with Coach Rivera even though he was in northern California:"We are both north California guys so I'm sure we have definitely crossed paths. I just don't recall being on trip with him together as far as being recruited but I just know that I read his name in the paper a lot. He probably did the same and we were just in the same era."
On if he thinks about concussions differently being a football dad:"As a dad, I am super proud of my son. I watch him sacrifice and understand what it is to be a part of a team that you are sacrificing and giving it up for the common cause. I get more nervous watching my son than I do coaching or playing or than I ever did playing. It's just one of those things as a dad, you want to see your boy do well. I'm definitely a proud parent when I'm in the stands."
On the balance of Oakland's offense in rushing and passing:"We do the best we can to put a plan together each week and we feel like we'd like to do both, be able to run it or throw it, and really that be up to us. But there are time when teams take one phase away and certainly last week, the Texans did a great job kind of negating our run attack so I think we have shown the ability to run and throw it. And depending on the ball game, we'll choose to do a little more of one or the other."
His thoughts on why more teams don't go for two-point conversions, especially after the increase in missed extra point attempts last week:"It think it just comes down to circumstances. I'm not sure exactly what contributed to… I saw the numbers…Double-digits right? It was a large number of missed extra points. I'm not sure exactly what the circumstances were whether the weather was involved in that, wind, rain, snow, what not. So I'm not sure. But I think for each coach, he has to make a decision on what he thinks is best for his football team, and that is what I'm going to continue to do."
Raiders cornerback David Amerson
On joining Oakland last offseason turning his career around:"Like you said, it was good for me. It was a good change of scenery, another start for me to come in and establish myself as a football player. I think it was the right fit for me and it's been going good for me so far."
On breaking up multiple passes in 2015:"Just really playing football, man. Just out there, understanding what's going on. With me having a little more experience under my belt, whether it was film study or just having been in situations before, you just know how teams were attacking me and what was going on."
On defensive end Khalil Mack and linebacker Bruce Irvin making his job easier:"It is definitely good to know that they're up there harassing the quarterback and not giving him too much time to sit back there. So just to know in your head that you don't have to cover for too long, you can kind of be on stuff a little quicker. That definitely gives you a big positive. It's a security with those guys up there."
On Mack's strong recent performances:"I think everyone's pretty much expected it. Playing with him from last year, seeing some of the things he did on the football field last year – the stuff he's doing this year, I pretty much expected it. I think it's only going to continue to get better as we hit the last little back stretch of the season."
On his relationship with the Panthers after growing up in Greensboro, N.C.:"I definitely supported them. Definitely when they had that stretch when they went to the Super Bowl. Of course, being from there I definitely supported them. Besides that, I was more of a player guy. I didn't really have a team growing up. Terrell Owens was my favorite player growing up so I used to follow him a lot. I definitely supported the Panthers just from me being from North Carolina."
On keeping track of the cornerbacks drafted before him in the NFL Draft:"Yeah, you definitely want to know how guys are doing or kind of compare yourself to the guys that were coming out. So yeah, I still keep tabs on a couple of them."
On if he thought he'd be drafted higher than he was:"Yeah, I definitely thought my ability and my talent was, if not the best in the draft – but I kind of expected some of the things to come. Like I had a couple of bad games my junior year and some other things were going on. I kind of expected it but I still was disappointed seeing some of the talent that was going before me when I knew what I could do and what I had to offer."
On his experience playing for the Washington Redskins and why it didn't work out:"Really, I just had a few bad games my second year and that left a bad taste with the coaches or whatever the case may be. Then my third year, coming in they switched up a lot. They changed general managers and some of the coaches changed. They kind of brought in some of their guys that they were riding with. It kind of put me on the backburners so I kind of saw things coming into my third year. Like I said, it wasn't meant for me to be there anymore and it happens like that sometimes in this league."
On Oakland claiming him off waivers being a fresh start:"For sure. I knew I had ability. I knew I had talent. I knew what I had to offer. With me, to get a chance to go somewhere where they're accepting me – to go and show what I can do, prove what I can do with a brand new start, it was perfect for me."
On defending quarterback Derek Carr:"You definitely don't know where the ball is going. We have so many weapons and so many guys that can make that big play. He has his choice back there, he has his options. There's really no telling where it's going to go. You just have to do your job the best you can."
On his secret to defending passes:"Just making the adjustment. In college, it was more just talent based, out there just playing ball and being a ball hawk, getting to the ball. Getting to the league, it's a big step and you have to make that adjustment and understand how to make plays in this league. It comes with preparation, whether it's film study or just practice in general, just getting better with you technique and everything. I think that was the biggest thing for me – making that jump of really becoming a professional. I think that's been kind of the key to my success of making plays in this league."
On keeping a book of the quarterbacks he has intercepted:"What I have is I guess a mental book. I think as a DB, you never forget your interceptions or anytime you make big plays in a game. I don't think you really forget those. I can pretty much call out every pick or whoever I've picked off."
On the chance to try to intercept quarterback Cam Newton on Sunday:"That would be something good to add to the resume. He's a great player, MVP of the league last year. That would definitely be nice to get him under my belt if I could pick him off. Like I said, he's a very respectable player in this league." **On if Carr should be named the league's MVP: *"Hands down, I think so. Look at the way he's out here playing, he's lighting it up every week. He's a great guy and I think he's a prototypical poster boy of this league. I think he's everything you look for when you talk about a franchise quarterback or somebody you want to build your team around. I think he's proven that this year. Even last year he was playing good. I definitely think he's been one of the top, if not the top, quarterback or player in this league."