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Raiders coordinators stressing fundamentals after latest loss

Mike Florio and Chris Simms shed light on how Josh McDaniels has changed the team culture in Las Vegas and why that process takes years for players to buy into.

As one of only two teams in the league with two or fewer wins entering Week 11, it’s fair to say the Raiders are performing severely below expectations.

After finishing 10-7 with a Wild Card berth in 2021 and making significant offseason additions like Davante Adams and Chandler Jones, the Raiders are 14th in points scored and 17th in total yards. Defensively, they’re 28th in points allowed and yards allowed.

So as the 2-7 club prepares for a matchup against the division-rival Broncos — one of two teams Las Vegas has defeated this season — offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi and defensive coordinator Patrick Graham both put an emphasis on one word in their Tuesday press conferences:


“I keep saying it over and over again, but we’ve strung good days together on the practice field,” Lombardi said. “And I think the belief from the players and from the coaching staff and everybody, is that stringing good days together on the practice field is going to result in opportunities on Sunday to produce some plays. … We’ve just got to keep putting positive days together and focus on the fundamentals to reduce the negative plays.”

“Just in terms of when you’re not getting the results, the process is the process in terms of what we’re trying to build here, and what we’re going to build here,” Graham said. “The thing you got to stick to is just the fundamentals of the game. It comes down to running, tackling, block destruction, trying to cause turnovers. There’s a lot of stuff to improve upon right now. But the focus has to be on, defensively, tackling, defeating blocks, defending the deep part of the field. Nothing new there because if we just have incremental improvement there, then the results change.

“So, that’s a big focus for us and then just getting better at that. That’s how I know how to go through the process. In my 14 years in the league and my 21 years coaching, that’s really been a good guideline for me and the teams I’ve been a part of.”

When a team is struggling as much as the Raiders have, there isn’t much else to fall back on. We’ll see if the Raiders look more like the team that beat the Broncos 32-23 back in Week Four or the one that has collapsed in losses to the Jaguars and Colts in the last two weeks on Sunday.