Head Coach Dennis Allen speaks to the media.
Q: Any injury updates today?
Coach Allen: Yeah, I’ll tell you who’s not going to play in the game:
Q: Are there other guys that you’ll think about as the game comes up? Or is everybody else good to go and going to play?
Coach Allen: Well [DT Jamie] Cumbie and [DE Jack] Crawford are two guys that we anticipate playing but they’re still kind of a game-time decision on those two guys.
Q: So [RB Darren] McFadden’s a go?
Coach Allen: Oh yeah, McFadden’s a go [and RB Mike] Goodson will be a go.
Q: What can you tell us about [LB Korey] Bosworth? The guy that you brought in and added here…
Coach Allen: Not a lot other than I know he spent some time in Detroit’s camp. He’s a guy that we’re bringing in for some depth at linebacker. We’ll give him an opportunity to play some special teams Friday night and see what he can do.
Q: Do you think you’re going to use roughly the same quarterback rotation? Or are you going to change it up a little bit?
Coach Allen: Well obviously Carson [Palmer] will play a little longer but I would anticipate the same order.
Q: How much are you involved in the actual play-calling on offense? Do you give Greg [Knapp] full autonomy?
Coach Allen: Greg calls the plays; he calls the plays. I might situationally have a suggestion for him but he calls the plays and I give him full authority to call them how he sees fit.
Q: How much time have you spent immersing yourself in the offense? You have everything else and you have to bounce around to all these other things…
Coach Allen: A pretty good bit, a pretty good bit. I try to stay involved with them as far as what they’re doing and kind of what the game plan is, but as far as calling the plays on Sunday, I’m not going to get involved in that. If I want him to run it, I might have a suggestion to run it or throw it, but for the most part I’m going to let him call the game.
Q: How much do you play a preseason game as a game, so to speak, and how much to test a situation? Are you apt to not kick a short field goal because you want to see your team go fourth-and-one, even if it’s a game type deal?
Coach Allen: Some of those things are things that come up that you just want to see how your team is going to respond in a certain situation. Obviously last week we had a situation where we had the ball on third-and-four or five, I can’t remember exactly what it was, in field goal range. We ran the ball thinking that maybe we could go for it on fourth down but when we got stopped it was a no-brainer to kick the field goal there. You kind of do look at some different things and play the game a little bit differently. Obviously nobody wants to go into overtime in a preseason game so we play it a little bit differently, but for the most part we played the game the way the game is supposed to be played.
Q: So you thought that when you got to fourth-and-one that because you got stopped before, you played it as a game? You might’ve wanted to see that fourth-and-one…
Coach Allen: Yeah, it was like third-and-four I believe; I can’t remember what it was. It was a situation where we were kind of in a two-down territory. We wanted to try to see if we could pick up three or four yards; if we came up short we were prepared to go for it on fourth down there against the Cowboys.
Q: We have
Coach Allen: Yeah, they’re both good players. We’re excited about having those guys and Tommy’s one of the—he can be one of the—premier inside players in the league. He’s working on developing a little bit more from a fundamental standpoint and if he does those little things, he’ll begin to get recognized as one of the top interior players like he’s played.
Q: [TE Richard] Gordon is getting a lot of time with [TE Brandon] Myers down. How is he doing? Is he still in the running to win that job?
Coach Allen: We are all in the running to win that job. Nobody has locked that job down. Obviously it has hurt Brandon not being able to be out here with that shoulder. But I have been impressed with what Richard has been able to do. He gives a little better blocking presence on the edge. I’ll be interested to see how he comes out and plays. He was ill a little bit last week going into the game. So he should be good to go this week and we will see how he plays.
Q: How tough would it be right now, with all the time he’s missed, for Aaron Curry to reasonably be ready for the season opener?
Coach Allen: I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility right now. Obviously every day we get closer to the beginning of the season that becomes less of a possibility. For him to be ready to go he’s going to have to be ready here pretty soon to start getting some work.
Q: I would assume it’d be more of a physical thing as opposed to knowing the defense per se?
Coach Allen: Yeah, it would be a little bit of a combination of both. We’ve added a few new wrinkles here at training camp and it’s a new system. So every rep you get in a new system makes you that much more comfortable. So he needs to get some reps.
Q: First team going to get a lot more work you think in this game?
Coach Allen: Probably significant more work than we got in the past game. A lot of it depends on how the game plays out. We got a lot of snaps early in the game on offense. They had a couple of penalties that helped us out. Defensively we played from a time frame a little bit longer than we had anticipated last week, but from a play count standpoint we didn’t play that much.
Q: Is that how you had it planned from the beginning of the preseason? In the second game you’d get more?
Coach Allen: Yes. Every game you are going to play a little bit more. That’s kind of a tradition in the National Football League.
Q: Usually the third week is the one everybody points to. Scouting a little bit. Are you of that thinking?
Coach Allen: Yes, absolutely.
Q: Are there specific things you want to accomplish? Are you saying we’ve got to do this, this, and this?
Coach Allen: I think the thing we are looking to do is see is there improvement from week one to week two. We’ve got to be better. Our execution has to be better. Our tempo in and out of the huddle on offense has to be better. Special teams wise we’ve got to do a better job of executing in the return game as well in the operations on field goals. Really what I want to see is significant improvement in those areas that we weren’t quite as good at last week and get better in those areas.
Q: Not trying to put the cart before the horse, but have you started taking a look at San Diego and doing small preparation?
Coach Allen: We started taking a look at divisional games back in the off-season. We’ve got a pretty good idea; but we haven’t spent a whole lot of time looking at their preseason games looking at what they’ve done differently.
Q: As the preseason goes along do you start adding a little bit more? Do you really wait until that week before or after that last preseason game to really start ramping up the game plan?
Coach Allen: Really after the third preseason game we’ll begin as a coaching staff to turn our focus a little bit more towards San Diego. But we won’t spend much time with them before that.
Q: Dennis, I don’t know if you’ve been asked this yet or not, but what are your thoughts on the replacement officials going on out there? Or is it too soon to tell?
Coach Allen: I really don’t have a thought on it to be honest with you. My focus is on our football team and how we are going to get better. We are going to play the games when the games come up. That’s all we can control, so that’s all we are really worried about.