Coach Allen: Before we get started I’m just going to go ahead and tell you guys some of the injuries. [Shane] Lechler has a knee, [Aaron] Curry has a knee, [Ron] Bartell has a hamstring, and
Q: [Jacoby] Ford got hurt early but then he was able to get back out there…
Coach Allen: He’s fine, he’s fine.
Q: Was it scary seeing him go down for a while?
Coach Allen: Yeah, he’s a good player and we want to make sure we keep our good players healthy. It was a close call but he’s fine, it kind of scared him more than it did anything else.
Q: Was Shane [Lechler’s] knee something you knew about previously or was it something that just cropped up?
Coach Allen: No, we just found out about it. Again, he’s one of those guys that we’ll just evaluate as we go along.
Q: Did you like the tone of practice and the spirit of practice today?
Coach Allen: I really did, I thought we had a pretty good first day of practice. We still have a lot of things that we need to get better at but I thought for a first day of training camp it was pretty good.
Q: How are you dividing your time between the three teams - special teams, offense, defense?
Coach Allen: I make sure that I’m involved in every phase of the game. I spend a little bit more time on defense but I want to make sure that I’m involved in all three phases so I’m constantly making sure I’m overseeing everything.
Q: It seems like you put a lot of emphasis on tempo, body language, and getting in and out of the huddle. Is that something that’s a first day thing?
Coach Allen: It’s all part of your mindset, that’s the way you win in this league. I’m a big believer in the mindset and I’m a big believer in body language. We need to handle ourselves the right way and that will give us a chance to have success.
Q: What are you doing to improve the penalty situation?
Coach Allen: It’s things that we preach on a day-to-day basis. I think if you ask our players there’s not very many days that go by that we’re not making a point of that. To win in the National Football League you have to learn how to not beat yourself. That’s one of the things that causes you to lose football games. It’s my job to get them to understand that and at the end of the day it’s the players’ jobs to make sure they get it corrected.
Q: With the referees in their current contract situation, have you thought about alternative plans to get other referees in here during training camp?
Coach Allen: No, I’m focused in on what we’re doing here and I’m letting the league handle that situation.
Q: How do you feel about the conditioning of the squad overall?
Coach Allen: I think overall it’s pretty good. Obviously it’s not where it needs to be for the season but we still have some time to make sure we’re in shape and ready to go come opening weekend, so I think overall I was pretty pleased with the conditioning level of our team.
Coach Allen: I think both of them are instinctive football players, they’re smart and they’ve done a nice job of picking up the scheme. They’re still rookies and they make some rookie mistakes but as far as their level of commitment, I’ve been real pleased with that.
Coach Allen: Yeah, we put him in there with the first group and we have to get him caught up to speed. Obviously he missed a lot of time in the off-season so these reps will be critical to him, and just on first glance I thought he had a nice day but we’ll go in and look at the tape to really evaluate how he did.
Coach Allen: He is a guy that we’re counting on to improve to be a player for us. So just like I have talked to everybody, we are going to expect him to get better every day and if he will worry about that every day, he will like the end results.
Q: In what ways can he get better?
Coach Allen: Covering. I think because he’s still a young player, his ability to really understand the game, the game within the game, and how to defend certain routes, stems of receivers, there’s different tips that tell defensive backs what type of plays to expect. And I think that with all young play players, those are the things that they need to hone in on and develop, because athletically he’s got the talent.
Q: Is that one of the reasons you got guys like [Shawntae] Spencer, [Ron] Bartell, for those young guys you have?
Coach Allen: Well I don’t know if that is one of the reasons we got him, but that is one of their responsibilities once you have them here. It’s up to our veterans to help those young players out and teach them some of those tricks of the trade.
Q: None of your injured guys are PUP are they? They are just day-to-day?
Coach Allen: The only one that PUP is Curry.
Q: Coach, how big of a day is this for you? Just getting this team onto the field and setting an identity right away. How did it go for you personally and emotionally and all that?
Coach Allen: Emotionally it was fine, personally it went fine. I look at it as another day of practice. Just like anybody else, our job as coaches is to get a little bit better every day, so that’s the way we approach every day and I didn’t approach this day any differently.
Q: What do you want the identity of this team to be? There has been so many changes every single year, do you have something in mind?
Coach Allen: Tough, smart, disciplined football team. And that’s it, that’s the way you are going to win in this league, and that’s the way we are going to play.
Q: How smart did the team look today in your opinion?
Coach Allen: I thought it was fairly good, obviously we made some mistakes and that is why we are here, but I thought again, for our first training camp day, I thought the execution was pretty good.
Q: How did Darren [McFadden] look today?
Coach Allen: Fast, he looked good. I think we all understand that he is an explosive playmaker for us and we need him to be healthy for the entire season.
Q: What kind of expectations do you have for
Coach Allen: I have expectations of him to develop as a quarterback on a daily basis. I am not setting anything as far as where I want to see him on the depth chart, or how many passes or anything like that. I just want to see him get better every day and that is what he has come out here and tried to do and I think if he continues to try and do that every day, at the end of the day he is going to be alright.
Q: Did anybody step up today? Did anybody shine for you?
Coach Allen: I don’t know if anyone just jumped out at me right off the practice field. Obviously I will look at the practice tape and get a better feel for both sides of the ball. I thought overall the practice was good.
Q: Are there any candidates on the roster other than Ford and [Denarius] Moore for punt returns that you see, or are those your guys?
Coach Allen: We will continue to evaluate guys as we go throughout training camp, but right now those are the top two guys we are looking at.
Q: Is Curry’s problem the same thing he had at mini-camp?
Coach Allen: Yeah, he has got a knee, and we will evaluate him day to day and see where he’s at.
Q: When do you go to pads?
Coach Allen: We go to pads on Wednesday.
Q: What are your expectations for when the pads go on? What do you want to look for?
Coach Allen: For people to start hitting. I think that is how you play the game. You play the game in pads and so we are going to look to see if you step up the intensity with pads, are we going to be tough enough, are we going to be smart enough and are we going to be disciplined enough when we start putting the pads on and things start moving a little bit faster. Are we going to do the right things every time, and so that is what we are looking for.
Q: Are you happy with guys staying off the ground today? There were a few instances that were unavoidable.
Coach Allen: Pretty good, I don’t think I’ve ever been through a practice where someone doesn’t end up on the ground, but at the end of the day, the best teams are able to come out and practice in that type of uniform and stay off the ground.