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News

Coach Allen Friday

Posted Oct 4, 2013

Head Coach Dennis Allen spoke to the media after Friday's practice as the Raiders get ready to host the San Diego Chargers.

Raiders Head Coach Dennis Allen: All right, I’ll go through the injury report. Tyvon Branch is out, he didn’t practice today. Jason Hunter was limited in practice today, he’s probable for Sunday. Darren McFadden is doubtful for the game. Stacy McGee is questionable. Lucas Nix is questionable. Tony Pashos is questionable. Tracy Porter is probable. Terrelle Pryor is probable. Marcel Reece is questionable. Menelik Watson is questionable. [Stefen] Wisniewski is doubtful and [Charles] Woodson is probable for the game.

Q: Has [Stefen] Wisniewski not come as far along as you hoped?

Coach Allen: Yeah. He’s not where we need him to be as of today. Again, we’ll continue to monitor him and see how he’s doing, but hopefully he’ll come along and he’ll be OK, but right now he’s doubtful for the game.

Q: Obviously if he [Wisniewski] can’t go, Andre [Gurode] slides over, who fills his position then? Lucas [Nix] is the obvious answer, but …?

Coach Allen: Lucas [Nix] is a possibility, we’ll see how he is come game time, and Lamar Mady is the other guy that’s really worked in there.

Q: Any progress with [Darren] McFadden? Has he gotten better? Is he close?

Coach Allen: Yeah, I think he’s really gotten closer, but whether or not he’s ready or not … He’s doubtful for the game.

Q: What is it that you’ve seen from him [Darren McFadden]? Is it a pain thing?

Coach Allen: Well, it’s an issue of can he be effective. If he can be effective, he’ll be in there to play. If he can’t be, then he won’t be. It’s really pretty simple.

Q: So he [Darren McFadden] and ‘Wiz’ [Stefen Wisniewski] will be pre-game decisions?

Coach Allen: Yeah, we’ll look at them and see whether or not they can go. We’ve got all day Saturday, and all day on Sunday to see where they’re at.

Q: Did they not make the progress that you might have expected them to make or hoped they would have made over the course of the past three days?

Coach Allen: Well, yeah. I would’ve wanted them to be out there on Wednesday, but they weren’t able to go yet. So we’ll see where they’re at and if they’re able to go, then they’ll go.

Q: Does it work out in your favor, having the extra time before the game starts?

Coach Allen: It gives us some more time, yeah.

Q: With both [Tony] Pashos and [Menelik] Watson questionable, how does the tackle position shake out?

Coach Allen: Yeah it’s pretty thin, but we’ve got [Jack] Cornell, [Antoine] McClain, who’s been here, so we’ll see how these guys do. We’ve got some time to see how these guys do and a lot of these decisions will be game-time decisions.

Q: Antonio Gates has been the longest tenured target from Philip Rivers, mixed with a lot of different receiving threats over the years. What makes Philip Rivers so good?

Coach Allen: Well, he’s smart, he’s accurate, he makes good decisions, throws the ball on time and he’s got some good weapons to throw the ball to. He’s been an outstanding quarterback for a number of years in this league, and he’s playing probably as good as he’s even played in a long time this year. He’s very competitive and he’s got a lot of confidence in his ability. So, you know, he’s a really good quarterback.

Q: Do you see [Mychal] Rivera as being a guy that can develop into an every-down type tight end? It seems like most of those guys now are at least 265, 270 [pounds] to do that or will he always be a receiving type guy that plays a lot?

Coach Allen: Really, that’s to be determined. I think we have to continue to watch him. We’re trying to develop him every day to be a three-down player for us and continue to work on his blocking. I think anytime you have these young guys like this, it’s just a matter of how do they mature, how do they work as far as getting their body bigger, stronger and that type of stuff. I’ve seen a lot of good things in him. I’ve seen a lot of improvement in him from an end-line blocking standpoint both in the run game and the pass game. I think he’s a really good player. I think he’s going to continue to grow, but we’ll see how he does as far as his blocking if he continues to improve

Q: With Darren’s [McFadden] status now doubtful, is [Terrelle] Pryor’s mobility going to be even more of a factor?

Coach Allen: I think that’s always been something that we need to utilize, is his mobility. I think in a normal run game you have to account for basically, there are 10 players and somebody’s carrying the ball. Obviously, now with Pryor it’s an added dimension there and they have to worry about defending two ball carriers back there with him back there. I think that’s something that we have to utilize to our advantage, to our benefit, and I think we’ll do that.

Q:  Granted it’s kind of an unscheduled circumstance but how much do you relish playing an AFC West division rival under the lights, NFL Network, the whole atmosphere?

Coach Allen: I think that’s great. I think it’s a great environment. I love playing night games. I’m excited about playing a night game in our home stadium. It should be a lot of fun, it should be a great game, and I think our guys are excited about playing at night, under the lights at the Coliseum.

Q: If Darren can’t go and Rashad [Jennings] starts, will you cut back on his special teams duties at all?

Coach Allen: Yeah.

Q: Pryor’s first start was against the Chargers, how much has he grown since then and what’s the difference in Terrelle’s game now?

Coach Allen:  He’s grown a lot. Obviously he’s still the same athlete, but I think where he’s really grown is as a quarterback. His mechanics and throwing the football, his decision making is better and I think that every game he gets an opportunity to go in there and play, I think he continues to get a little bit better as far as those things are concerned. So yeah, he’s a different player than he was the last game of the season last year.

Q: Is there anything in that game that sort of jumped out? I seem to recall him leaping in and pulling [Mike] Goodson out a scuffle, just taking over in a leadership way that you could never know he would do that until he was in a game.

Coach Allen: Yeah, I think you find those things out when you put him in the game and you let him go play. There was a confidence in our football team that we were going to go in there and win that game, and I think he brings a level of excitement and a level of confidence to this football team.

Q: Has he surprised you at all, how far he’s come since then, since that first start?

Coach Allen: Yeah, yeah he’s come a long way. He’s done a good job, and he’s continued to grow and that’s what I want to see. I want to see him continue to grow.