Las Vegas Raiders coach Josh McDaniels talks facing elite safety in Tyrann Mathieu


The Las Vegas Raiders have faced their fair share of tough opposing secondaries this season.

That, of course, won’t get any easier when they face a defense that includes one of the league’s best safeties, Tyrant Matthew.

“[H]We’ve been so productive for so long,” Raiders coach Josh McDaniels said during his Friday press conference. “He has excellent instincts. He really plays the game in the game before the ball is broken, and I had the chance to play against some very good players. Ed Reed, Earl Thomas, Troy Polamalu and Tyrann, he’s very adept at trying to give the quarterback a look and then play something else. Safeties, to me, they have a few jobs — number one is to protect the team from big plays. He generally does a good job. I would say the other thing is he does a very good job of getting his hands on the ball. And the safeties that do that are always the ones that concern me the most, because they create turnover. And turnovers can obviously change the game.

“I think he’s like second since he came to the league in overall interceptions and ball disruptions. That says a lot, I think, about his skill, about his intelligence as a player, about his preparation, how well he knows the defenses he plays in and what kind of football player he is. So very dangerous. Need to know where he is, at all times. Plays in multiple positions. He won’t be always in the same spot on every game. One guy we’ve highlighted a few times so far this week and we’re going to need to know where he is.

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