Ken Norton regards defensive lapses as “gifts”


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.

17 responses to “Ken Norton regards defensive lapses as “gifts”

  1. If JR considers a good ol fashion ass kicking as a gift then he what the he’ll is he doing coaching? If that’s what we call it? One that gets our D’s az$ kicked only reflects on the lack of adjustments he can’t make. Maybe at the end of the season he gets another gift!

  2. Why is anybody talking about anyone getting fired?
    this year is supposed to be the foundation year for the start of a playoff contending team year in and year out you know like the patriots or the packers it does not happen overnight but the fact that we have been competitive this year is a bonus let these coaches work they put enough pressure on themselves. this has been the best and most fun to watch season we have had in 4 years and playoffs or not I’m happy watching the games Raider Nation out

  3. The Raiders will put up at least 40 on Detroit, and blow them out today. It’s a week to week league and the Lions will pay this week. I Guarantee it.

  4. kd75 says:
    Nov 21, 2015 10:46 PM
    Muhammad Ali must have hit his Daddy so hard, he felt it 40 years later.


    Other way around actually.

  5. It’s just a bad defense, for the most part. McKenzie needs to draft heavy on that side of the ball next spring. And maybe burn some of that projected $70M in cap space on a decent corner. And linebacker. And edge rusher.

  6. He’s coaching a defense with 1 NFL caliber player in the secondary, and that guy is 39 years old. Focused on offense last off season, defense is next. Norton isn’t the problem, talent is.

  7. I think it’s largely a question of personnel for the defense. The very good players on the Raiders’ D are Mack, C-Wood, Malcolm Smith (massive upgrade over Sio Moore) and Aldon Smith (now suspended). The rest of the defensive starters are a mix of average and very bad (D.J. Hayden is the league’s worst starting CB). McKenzie upgraded the offensive personnel in the last 2 years but the D still needs a huge infusion of talent (especially the secondary) for the Raiders to be seriously competitive.

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