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Ken Norton regards defensive lapses as “gifts”

Ken Norton Jr.

Ken Norton Jr.


Two weeks ago, the Raiders were shredded by Steelers receiver Antonio Brown, who had more than 300 yards from scrimmage. Last Sunday, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson churned up more than 200 yards rushing against Oakland.

The team’s defensive coordinator sees a silver lining in the silver-and-black shredding.

“One thing we hang our hat on is no one runs the ball, no one throws the ball deep on us,” Ken Norton Jr. said this week, via Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle. Norton added that the Steelers and Vikings “attacked us at our foundation of what we do best. So, that really set us back a little bit.”

So, Norton found a way to turn the negatives into a positive.

“I think a lot of times when things like that happen, it becomes a gift, because sometimes you get a little complacent,” Norton said. “You can think that you’re already good at something. That makes you continue to work on the things you do well.”

Or maybe -- just maybe -- those performances mean you’re not as good at those things as you thought. On Sunday in Detroit, the question becomes whether the Raiders will be getting any more “gifts” like the ones they’ve gotten in recent weeks.