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News

Coach Allen Monday

Posted Dec 17, 2012

Head Coach Dennis Allen addressed the media the day after his team posted a 15-0 shutout against the Chiefs.

On injuries: “I’ll go through them. Juron Criner had a hip. It’s pretty sore today, but we’ll see where he’s at on Wednesday. Richard Gordon had a bicep. There’s no structural damage, but he’s, again, a guy we’ll have to look at on Wednesday to see where he’s at. Phillip Adams had the concussion, so we’ll go through the normal NFL protocol on that. We’ll see where he’s at on Wednesday. Tyvon Branch obviously will still be dealing with the same ankle that he’s been dealing with, but I thought he did a nice job going into the game and playing with that ankle and didn’t really see any effects of that being something that really caused him any issues. Mike Mitchell had a little stinger in the game the other day. Like I said yesterday, I chose to keep him out of the game. But I think he’ll continue to get better. And obviously we have to see where Richard [Seymour] is at with his hamstring.”

On gratification of being able to run the football and pitching a shutout: “I think that’s part of the formula that we want for being able to be successful and win football games. I think we all saw that when we execute that game plan the way that we feel like we’re capable of executing it, that we have the chance to win games. I thought our defense played outstanding and I thought we were able to run the ball effectively against them. That’ll be a key for us moving forward.”

On the good run defense against Kansas City both matchups: “Our guys, they had confidence going into that game. They felt good about it. We fit up the run the right way and guys got off blocks and made plays. At the end of the day, that’s what run defense is about, is getting off blocks and making plays and that’s what we were able to do really both times we played Kansas City.”

On having good run defense in the final two games: “Well, just like I’ve been saying from day one, we have to be more consistent at it. We’ve proven that we can do it at times, but we have to be more consistent at it. That’ll be our challenge moving forward.”

On how a successful run game opens things up offensively: “We had the run game going and so then our play-action game was opened up a little bit more. We weren’t able to get the ball down the field like we would hope, but the protection as there. We were able to hold up in protection and I thought the biggest key is we were able to move the ball effectively. That’s what you have to be able to do.”

On Brandian Ross’ play: “I thought that was good for him to get some playing experience out there. I thought he did well under the circumstances. Brandian Ross is a guy we got in the middle of the year that has played a lot of different positions for us. He’s played safety for us; he’s played corner for us. We’ve used him in a lot of different roles and I thought he did a nice job coming into the game yesterday and really playing both positions.”

On if he’s started studying Panthers QB Cam Newton: “We haven’t really gotten fully into that, but I do know that he’s going to be a real challenge. His ability to throw the ball, his ability to run the ball and create things in the pocket will be a challenge for us defensively.”

On Newton leading the team in rushing and passing: “That’s hard to do. I think there’s a reason why they took him with the number one pick and that’s what you expect out of your number one pick.”

On Denarius Moore struggling with punt return: “He hasn’t done it a lot this year. He’s done it a lot in practice, but he hasn’t done it a lot in game-like situations. I think he’s got to get a better feel for judging the ball coming off a punter’s foot and getting a better initial break on it so he can catch some of those punts that, especially the first one that was a little short; you’d love to see him be able to step up there and catch that one. There were a few that were directionally punted that their punter did a nice job.”

On if Moore will return punts again this week if Phillip Adams can’t go: “Yeah, I think we’ll evaluate that as the week goes on. Matt Giordano is a guy that we’ve used back there to field punts. Coye Francies is a guy that we’ve used back there to field punts, as well as Denarius and Phillip.”

On if Shane Lechler punts during the week to help returners practice: “It’s not that easy. When you get out there in a game and you get out there with a left-footed punter, the ball comes off the foot differently. So, hey listen, it was one of those games where he didn’t see the ball coming off the foot very well. Hopefully he learned from it and we move on.”

On the offensive line’s play: “I think they’re improving and I think that’s what we’ve got to continue to do over the last two weeks of the season.”

On the improved pass rush: “I think, again, I think its pass rush and pass coverage mixing together. I think we felt like we had some pretty good matchups on the outside in the game the other day so we were able to kind of bring a little bit more five-man pressure after the quarterback. I think, really when you look at it, we’ve got to be able to make the pass rush and the pass coverage hold u p together. When we cover them, the pass rush has to win and get there. When we maybe don’t cover them as long, the pass rush has to bail us out. Also, I think Des Bryant has done a nice job in pass rush. I think Andre Carter is beginning to come around a little bit in his pass rush. We’ve done a few different things from a looks standpoint schematically with a three-down front, especially on third-down situations. I think that’s helped us.”

On if Carter is back to the player he was: “He’s a lot closer obviously than he was. I think he’s only going to continue to get better. He’s been a great addition for us, not only on the field, but really in the locker room, in the classroom and those type of things. So he’s been good to have and I expect him to continue to get better.”

On Carter playing more than Matt Shaughnessy: “We kind of made the switch a little bit and wanted to get Andre in a little more in nickel situations when they go sub-offense, we wanted to get him in, in our four-down package as well as our three-down package. I think we’ll continue that moving forward.”

On the importance of the defense getting a shutout: “I think it’s important anytime you get that opportunity. It’s tough to shut anybody out in this league and for us to be able to go out there and do that, the first time it’s been done in this organization in 10 years, I think that was critical for our defense. I think our defense in that game played outstanding -- 119 total yards, which is the least amount of yards given up since 1975, to get the shutout, to hold the team to 10 yards rushing, which is a franchise record, to a team that was a top-5 rushing team in the NFL this year. I think that was huge for our defense. I think it was a good confidence builder and now we have to continue to build on that.”

On if he learned anything from Pryor’s playing time: “I think the biggest thing is we wanted him to get in a game. He got in a game last year for one play. There was a false start penalty and wasn’t really able to run a play. I wanted to be able to get him into an NFL football game during the regular season and get him a little bit of experience and we’ll see where we go from there.”

On giving Darren McFadden a career-high 30 carries: “I think being able to give him the ball was good. I think when you go back and look at the reps and how many reps each running back got, the balance there between him and Goody [Mike Goodson], was really good. Darren was able to stay fresh in the game and Goodson was able to stay fresh in the game. I think those two guys working together, they were a nice complement.