Raiders news: Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham shares his thoughts
The Las Vegas Raiders introduced new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi and special teams coach Tom McMahon to the media Friday morning.
Here are some thoughts on each coach’s remarks:
He was extremely affable and I think will be much more quoted than the more cautious Josh McDaniels.
As expected, Graham downplayed the importance of playing a 4-3 or 3-4 defense. He even called these alignments “outdated”. He emphasized the importance of sub-defenses and noted that often NFL defenses are 4-2-5 defense. “It’s a 4-2-5 world,” Graham joked. He made it clear that having five good defensive backs is essential.
Graham said he doesn’t necessarily need to track down former players during free agency. He just wants to train good players. “Give us good players, we’re ready to go,” Graham said. He did, however, note that he had coached Raiders free agent Johnathan Hankins in the past.
Graham has been impressed with the energy he has already felt while chatting with passing throwers Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue and he is delighted to see them on the training ground.
The first-time offensive coordinator said it was important for him to have “humility” in his new role and to ask for help when needed. He also said that several Raiders staff coaches have been very helpful in the transition to his new role.
Lombardi’s father, Mike, was a Raiders personnel manager under the late Al Davis and he said he “grew up” as a Raider. He is delighted to wear silver and black.
He’s thrilled with the luxury of having a peerless specialist trio of kicker Daniel Carlson, Pro-Bowl punter AJ Cole and long snapper Trent Sieg already in place. He compared it to when he had kicker Adam Vinatieri, punter Pat McAfee and snapper Matt Overton in Indianapolis.
McMahon praised the work of former Raiders special teams coach Rich Bisaccia and said his unit will have the same “strain” as Bisaccia’s unit. McMahon used the word “strain” a lot. It basically means effort.