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News

Coach Allen Discusses Preseason Opener

Posted Aug 12, 2012

Raiders Head Coach Dennis Allen spoke to the media after Sunday morning's on field work at Training Camp, powered by Verizon 4G LTE.

Q: Do you feel like your first game as a head coach, even in the preseason, will be memorable for you?

Coach Allen: Absolutely. My first game coaching in the National Football League is a memory; I still remember that so all these are nice little milestones in my career and I’m looking forward to the opportunity.

Q: What are you curious to see it how it works out there tomorrow as far as the challenge flag [or] having the headset on? Are you curious about how any of that is going to go?

Coach Allen: Not really. I think once you get into the flow of the game my focus is just going to be on managing the game and making the right decisions to put our guys in the best position to have success. I think that’s what the head coach’s responsibility is and that’s what I’m going to be prepared to do.

Q: When it comes to player evaluations how much weight do you give to the games as opposed to what you’re seeing out here on the field every day?

Coach Allen: Well you play the game under the lights and that’s when it counts so we are going to weigh these very heavily. It’s kind of like being in college and you get some homework assignments; that’s like practice. They count and they’re part of you grade but you’re going to take your midterm and you’re going to take your final and those are going to weigh the heaviest. That’s kind of the way I look at that.

Q: To what degree are preseason games even more important in this environment where you can’t do two-a-days and you can’t really hit that much.

Coach Allen: I think they’ve always been important and I think they’re still extremely important. I think any time you get them out and get them under the stresses of playing a real game, and like I said yesterday, they don’t count but they do matter, they matter to a lot of people, so it’s good to see how guys react when those situations arise.

Q: Any updates on [LB Mario] Kurn, [WR Duke] Calhoun, or any other players that have been injured?

Coach Allen: Kurn and Calhoun, yesterday it was confirmed, both of them have ACL’s so they’ll end up missing the season with an ACL surgery. No real updates other than that. Curry is still in L.A.; he’s receiving a series of treatments by a specialist down there in L.A.

Q: Are there any players you know for sure that won’t play at this point? Any of the guys that have been out for a long time?

Coach Allen: I don’t have all the names on me right now but all the guys that have been missing with hamstrings. Denarius Moore, Taiwan Jones, [and] Mike Goodson won’t play in the game. There might be a couple others but I can’t think of them off the top of my head right now.

Q: [WR Eddie] McGee?

Coach Allen: McGee won’t play in the game.

Q: There was an alignment when Richard [Seymour] was out where you had [DE David] Tollefson at on end and Lamarr [Houston] had moved inside; what does he give you?

Coach Allen: He gives us an athletic rusher inside and I think from a defensive line standpoint we have some guys that have some versatility; they can play outside, they can play inside and give us the ability to move some people around. He gives us a pretty good rush inside as a tackle in sub downs.

Q: Which position group are you most looking for clarity in the preseason games?

Coach Allen: I want to see how the tight end position shakes out; I want to see where we’re at there. I want to see where we’re at from a defensive back standpoint, especially at the corner position, and see how that whole mix shakes out, not only from a starter standpoint but from a depth standpoint. Those are a couple positions [but] I’m interested to see how the O-line shakes out with some of those young players when they get a chance to get in there and play.

Q: Overall, have you seen the amount of progress that you were hoping to see by this point?

Coach Allen: I’ll say we’re not where we need to be but I have seen significant progress and I’m extremely pleased with the way the guys are working.

Q: To what degree are you worried about the running back rotation tomorrow? It seems like you don’t have that many bodies…

Coach Allen: Obviously we’re going to have to do some maneuvering. Darren [McFadden] is going to get his plays and his touches and then Lonyae [Miller] will come in and play and then we’ll have to get some touches with Marcel Reece or Rashawn Jackson lining up back there at the tailback position.

Q: Are you excited for a guy like Lonyae Miller? He’s a guy that has bounced around and been on practice squads; this is really an opportunity for him.

Coach Allen: It’s a great opportunity for him because he’s going to get a chance to play. He’s going to get a chance to get a lot of reps and he’s going to get a chance to show what he can do as a runner as well as putting him in situations where he’s going to have to be a receiver out of the backfield [and] he’s going to have to be in on pass protection. It’s a great opportunity. When guys go down it’s a ‘next man up’ philosophy and when one door shuts for somebody it’s opening for someone else. He has a great opportunity and we’ll see what he does with it.

Q: What is the message that you give to young guys about how to go into a game, how to approach it, how to not be too amped up and what you’re looking for?

Coach Allen: Your message is ‘this is what you’ve trained all of your life to do. The football field is still fifty-three and one-third yards wide, it’s one hundred yards long with 10-yard end zones on either side so it’s still football. You’ve been trained. Relax, go out there and have fun and play the game.’

Q: Any idea how the quarterback rotation is going to shake out?

Coach Allen: I can tell you the order; it’ll be Carson [Palmer] and then Matt [Leinart] and then Terrelle [Pryor].

Q: Will Carson play the whole first half?

Coach Allen: We’ll see that as we go along. We have a pretty good idea of where guys are going to play but we’re not going to make any announcement; just let them play the game.

Q: Everything that you do out here, from the practice to the rotation and all of that; how much of that is strictly you and how much is things that you’ve gleaned over the years from guys like [Sean] Payton?

Coach Allen: Really it’s all stuff that I’ve gathered from different people throughout my coaching career. There’s not just a ton of original ideas in the National Football League; we all gather stuff from people that we’ve had a chance to work with and learn from and so everything I have from my philosophy on down are things that I’ve learned and I’ve adjusted them as I’ve gone along.