Skip to main content


Mike Pettine press conference - 9/24

On if WR Travis Benjamin is the fastest player that he has ever coached:

"Yeah, he is right up there. Nobody else off the top of my head, especially game speed. I have been around guys that have timed maybe a little bit better, but when Travis is right, that certainly has shown itself this year. Two years ago, I don't know if he was ever back 100 percent a year ago. Just game speed, I don't know if I have ever seen anybody, game speed, that fast."

On Benjamin's threat to defenses with big-play abilities:

"Defensively, you always want to build it on how do we defend verticals. You have to be very aware of where he is and how much of your defense do you allocate to the defense of that. If you feel you don't have somebody that can press him at the line and be able to maintain leverage with him down the field, than you are going to have to do some different things whether it is playing off-coverage or rolling a safety over the top. That type of speed definitely has an effect on someone who is game planning a defense."

On why Benjamin has had more of an impact as a WR in previous years:

"I can't speak on before last year so I really don't know how he was used. I know he was the primary kick returner, but I don't know how much he was or wasn't involved with the offense. What we found was that this is a guy who is smart, knows multiple positions, runs good routes, catches the football and has blazing speed. It was something we kind of stumbled onto last year and even this year, coming out of the offseason with Flip (offensive coordinator John DeFilippo) and (wide receivers coach) Joker (Phillips). I think they were pleasantly surprised at how good of a receiver Travis is."

On Raiders DB Charles Woodson and memories of when he entered the league in 1998:

"I remember him doing the Heisman poise at some point. He has just been around it for so long. It is amazing, especially at that position. I was in Baltimore with (former NFL DB) Deion (Sanders) right up to the point where he retired. He could still play at a relatively high level. He has bounced around and played a lot of different positions. It is a testament of his professionalism and taking care of himself and being able to perform at a high level for a long time."

On Raiders DE Khalil Mack's progression:

"He is that rare blend of size, suddenness, the explosiveness that he has and the athleticism. You get some guys that are straight lines that don't have much shake to them. When he rushes the passer, there is enough movement to him that if you over set him, he can cross face and come underneath. If you set him too short, then he is a guy that is fast enough that he can run around you. He has a big stride length and closes quick. He has a great knack as an edge setter as our guys found out last year. Some guys will engage tight ends and just stalemate and hold their ground. He has a good feel for when can I shed the block and establish my position or when do I have to – there is a timing involved in that. Some guys do too quick and the ball gets outside. Some guys do too late and they can't be a factor in the play. He has a great sense of timing on the edge of when to release."

On if Mack is as disruptive at DE as he was last year at LB:

"He is disruptive. I don't know if I can quantify it as more or less. He is a guy that we are extremely aware of where he lines up because he doesn't line up in the same place all the time. We are very aware of where he is. Our guys know what he is capable of."

On WR Brian Hartline and WR Dwayne Bowe, who don't seem involved much in the offense early into the season:

"I don't know if anything has necessarily happened with Hartline. He is playing and does a good job for us. The way the game went, some of the personnel groupings we were in weren't necessarily an indication of his play. Brian runs good routes and catches the ball, and he is a big part of what we are doing. Dwayne, his early struggles here are well documented. He fell behind in training camp from an Xs and Os standpoint and from a conditioning standpoint, being injured and not being able to practice. I think he is still playing catch-up from that. We are hopeful that Dwayne is going to be the player that we had here in the spring. There is a lot of football left to be played. We are confident that he will get to that place."

On how Bowe reported for camp:

"I don't speak on how guys report. His injury occurred in training camp so he was here early on. Just looking back, I don't get into specific details on guys' level of condition."

On Raiders RB Latavius Murray:

"He's a slasher type, but he's faster than people give him credit for. They do a lot of things. Their scheme is good. If they get a heavy box, they're going to throw the ball outside. if they get a light box, they're going to run it. He's had some runs and some very favorable looks and he's taken advantage of it. It's rare that we go into a week without having a big challenge facing a particular back, and this week is no exception."

On the Raiders not running the ball as much:

"Part of it, too, is the way teams are playing them. The way teams are defending them is that they're heavying up the fronts a little bit more, and a lot of what their offense is based on is evaluating the defensive look, and if you're lined up to defend the run, you throw it and vice versa."

On if Hartline will be targeted more with McCown back:

"The chemistry was certainly there, that's true, but I don't know if you can say that'll end up happening. A lot of it is dependent on the coverage we get, the way the routes are read, whether it's a progression read or however it plays out. We certainly don't want our quarterbacks forcing the ball to a certain player or position. At the same time, Brian's done a good job of getting open, and Josh did a good job of getting him the ball so there's no denying the chemistry that those two had."

On DB Justin Gilbert role in the secondary and if he will be active Sunday:

"We'll see. He's having a good week so we'll see how that ends up playing out. Justin's done a real nice job. He's fully recovered from his injury, and he's stacking together some good practices. We'll ultimately make that decision at the end of the week but what he's done here on the practice field and in the meeting rooms has been encouraging."

On the trend of long TD passes in the NFL this year:

"It's probably a little bit of everything. I think once you realize – I realize it now, especially being involved on offense more – once you get in the red zone how difficult it is to score touchdowns. The field is condensed, the coverages, it's a lot less area to cover and a lot of bodies in tight spaces. I think teams are looking, us included, are looking to hit plays outside of the red zone while you have the full field to work with. I didn't realize statistically it's where it is right now, having witnessed it now more, so firsthand I can see why."

On if DeFilippo's coaching history with the Raiders has helped the Browns game plan:

"A little bit, not much because the scheme is different with it being a new coaching staff, just maybe some things from a personnel standpoint, Flip's very knowledgeable of their defensive personnel, but it is a different scheme. I would say it's there, but the effect is minor."

On how teams planning around Benjamin will help the offense:

"It depends on how they plan on taking him away. If they're rolling a safety that way, that helps lighten the box a little bit in the run game. Anytime you have to play some form of half-field coverage, it's very difficult to get into an eight-man spacing type look to defend the run. I just think it potentially opens some things up for other guys. We're going to make teams defend him. We're not going to make that assumption. A lot of teams, they have their system and they play it so we're not going to purposefully go away from Travis thinking, 'OK, teams know about him now. They're aware.' We'll see how they choose to defend him and react to it."

On Raiders LB Aldon Smith's recovery:

"He's getting there. He's not an every down guy, which is smart just given what his circumstances are, but he's certainly shown flashes of what he's been able to do in the past."

On if players with unresolved personal issues should be active:

"The league has the policy that they adhere to, their process of how they handle it. It's something we're respectful of."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content