The thunderous cheers from the Raiders locker room spilled into the hallway as members of the media made their way to the post game press conference adjacent to the locker room. Hayward native and Raiders head coach had a lot to cheer about, he had his first win as the head coach of the team he grew up idolizing.
"It was special. It was special," Del Rio said after his teams 37-33 nailbiter over the Baltimore Ravens, his eyes moist and voice full of emotion. "Yeah. I had to focus on taking my mind elsewhere so I didn't get all choked up. Very special for me."
Special it was, heading into a game where his starting QB Derek Carr was questionable due to a hand injury sustained in the home opener against the Bengals and a shoulder injury to veteran cornerback and future Hall of Famer Charles Woodson. However, the Ravens were also playing their first game without their 6-time Pro Bowler, linebackerTerrell Suggs who suffered a season ending achilles injury last week.
However, the resilient Raiders proved that they weren't the 'same old Raiders' winning a barn burner battle in the final seconds at the hands of second-year player WR Seth Roberts.
Prior to Sundays game there was minimal information on Seth Roberts, the Oakland Raider and plenty about the 'other' Seth Roberts a psychology professor at UC Berkeley who died in April of 2014.
"It feels awesome I am just so thankful to the Raiders organization for the opportunity to play," said Roberts who's a testament that hard work doesn't go unnoticed, grinding his way from special teams last season (as an undrafted FA) to one of the Raiders top-three receivers this year.
"We haven't had a win in a long time so it feels good to have our coaches with smiles on their faces and leaving happy."
Del Rio feels Roberts rightfully earned his way to the 53-man roster."Great for him, great for us to see him do real well there."
The temperature on the field may have been hot but with the clock winding down Carr was a cool breeze as he walked away from Del Rio before the final drive.
"It was just a confident look in everyone in that huddle and I just said hey man, I better not screw it up. These guys are ready to go. I just tried to get the playmakers the ball and they did a great job," said Carr afterwards.
In the past the Raiders would have found a way to blow the game but Sunday there was vibe of confidence, a sense of knowing.
It also marked a game of firsts; Michael Crabtree's first TD as a Raider, Amari Coopers first 100-yard game, a Raider win in September for the first time since 2013, Marquette Kings 70-yard punt was the longest of his career, Roberts first TD of his career and Del Rio's first regular season win as head coach of the Raiders.
Sports in the Bay asked Carr about the support of the fans throughout the game.
The Raiders travel to Cleveland next week to face the Browns.
Thanks to SITB supporter Jeffery Harlan for contributing to this story.