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News

Coach Allen Monday

Posted Oct 29, 2012

Head Coach Dennis Allen spoke with the media about yesterday's win in Kansas City.

On injuries: “We are a little bit banged up, offensive line-wise. It is a lot of bumps and bruises. Goody [Mike Goodson] is probably the biggest one we are concerned with. He has got a little bit of a turf toe. We will see where he is at. Keenan Clayton’s shoulder - he tried to play in the game and made it through about half and just wasn’t able to continue on after that. [Stefen] Wisniewski has got an ankle. I am hopeful that it is not going to cause any of them to miss any game time but we will see how practice goes this week.”

On first road win: “It felt good. It was a big win for us. It got us to 3-4. It was a big win for us to go on the road like you said against a division rival and get a big win and now we have to continue to build on that. I think our guys are beginning to develop a little bit of confidence and we have got to continue with that.”

On concerns with the offense: “I think obviously the biggest areas of concern and things that we have got to get corrected are we weren’t nearly as good in the red zone as we would like to be. I believe it was 1-of-6 overall. One of those was a kneel down at the end of the game and then another one happened to be at the end of the game where I wanted to make sure we got three points and got a three score lead with probably about five minutes to go in the game. But even at that we really were 1-of-4 in the red zone. So we have got to get better there and then our third down conversions have to be better. We dropped a couple balls that would have lead to first downs. What I was pleased with is that when we needed to, when we had to close out a game, we were able to do that. We dominated the time of possession in the fourth quarter. We ran the ball extremely well, 15 carries for 95 yards in the fourth quarter. So we have had three opportunities to finish games, one with a lead and two to have to come from behind, so I was pleased with the way that we finished.”

On the run game in the fourth quarter: “I think that is what you expect with any running game in that the way we are built is when the score dictates that we can stay with the run and be consistent with the run and keep pounding and keep pounding, we believe that eventually those runs that are one and two yards in the first half they become 10, 12, 20, 30-yard runs in the second half. When you are playing with a lead you are able to continue to run the ball and I think that’s what happens. That is what makes Darren [McFadden] so effective is that it only takes one play and I thought we did a nice job of staying with it and at the end of the day I thought we were effective.”

On looking at the run as a whole: “We always want to do better, but at the end of the day, when we needed to run it and we needed to close out a football game and win a football game, we were able to do it. At the end of the day, the only stat that we are really concerned with is winning and losing and we were able to get the win yesterday.”

On how much of the Raiders success is a product of having explosive plays on offense and limiting explosive plays on defense: “Oh, absolutely. I think two of the most critical variables in winning football games are explosive plays, whether it be explosive gains or eliminating explosive plays defensively, and then the turnover-takeaway ratio. We call that a double positive. If you win both those areas you generally win football games in the National Football League.”

On how he’s managed to limit penalties: “It’s the players. We can preach the message and we’ll continue to preach the same message day in and day out that won’t change, but really, as with most things that happen successfully on the football field, it’s because players understand that it correlates to winning and losing games. They’ve done a nice job of eliminating those things. And every week it’s a different story. The last two weeks we couldn’t get them stopped, and then this week we only had two. We’ve got to continue to fight that battle on a daily basis.”

On Carson Palmer’s leadership: “He really has; I think he’s an exceptional leader. He leads in his own style. He’s not the rah-rah speech-giving type of guy, but the way that he goes about his business and the way that he’s able to put one play behind him and go on to the next one, whether that play before was a good play or a bad play, he stays consistent in everything that he does and I think that’s what leads to effective football players. That’s what leads to effective leaders. It’s kind of hard, the situation he was in last year, to come in, in a real leadership role. I’ve said this before, I mean when you spend half your season sitting on the couch eating potato chips it’s hard to come in and play quarterback at an elite level in the National Football League. It’s hard to come in and really lead a team in that situation. I thought he had a great off-season this off-season and I think it’s showing in his play.”

On the key to the run defense’s improvement: “Execution; it’s execution. Being where you’re supposed to be, when you’re supposed to be there and then getting 11 hats around the ball as physically and as fast you can.”

On potential roster moves with the trade deadline looming: “I think we will look and see what is out there. We’re not going to close all our doors to anything that might be available, but who knows what could happen over the next couple of days.”

On if he is happy with his roster as it stands now: “Yes.”

On how he felt about the offensive line’s performance on Sunday: “I thought they battled; I thought they really battled and competed. I thought they did a nice job of protecting Carson. There’s still area for us to improve and we’ve still got to get better, but I thought they took a step in a positive direction yesterday.”

On if the win over Kansas City felt better than the win over Jacksonville: “There were a lot of things we weren’t happy with yesterday. No, you can’t look at the margin and say because you won by more you played better. We’ve got to look at – we were able to win a football game; there’s still a lot of things we’ve got to get better at, a lot of things we’ve got to correct. We’ve got a short time to get it done because we’ve got to get ready for Tampa Bay.”

On if the team corrected a lot of problems from Jacksonville for Kansas City: “I thought our focus coming into the game was a lot better. I thought we executed a lot better offensively, especially from the get-go. We eliminated some of the mental mistakes that we had the previous week, so in that regard, yeah, that was a positive.”

On if giving the team the day off today was a gut-feeling: “Yeah, I think you’ve just got to look at your team and where they’re at. I think there are times during the season where players need a mental break and a physical break. I felt like we had the bye, we’ve gone through three straight tough weeks and I thought it was time to give them a little bit of a mental break as much as it was anything else. But they’ll be back in here Wednesday. There was a lot of them in here today already looking at the tape, so they’ll be back in here Wednesday ready to roll.”

On if he made the decision to give the players the day off during his plane ride home: “No, it was made in the locker room. Yeah, it was made in the locker room.”

On why the offense seems to get in a better groove in the second half of games: “I think yesterday’s game it was just the effect of the fact that we just kept pounding, kept pounding, and just kept coming at them. Eventually we were able to get a few of those big plays later in the game.”

On if Ron Bartell will practice Wednesday: “He will practice Wednesday, yeah. At least that’s the anticipation as of today.”

On if Bartell has any limitations: “No limitations that I’m really aware of. We’ll get him out there. The only limitation I see is just his physical conditioning as far as being ready to practice football for any significant length of time.”

On Michael Huff once Bartell comes back: “Well we have at least one week to think about that so we’re not even going to worry about making that decision yet.”

On how Denarius Moore has contributed to explosive plays on offense: “Well it’s been a factor, yeah; it’s been good. I’ve said this before, him missing most of the off-season program and missing training camp I think was a significant factor in not allowing him to be as explosive early in the year and I think he’s starting to come on. I think he and Carson are developing a good feel for each other in the passing game. I think every day he gets an opportunity to continue to work. Remember he’s still a young player, so there’s still a lot of things that he has to learn and a lot of little nuances in the passing game that as he and Carson continue to work together he’ll get better at.”

On Philip Wheeler’s performance Sunday: “I thought he played well; I thought he played well. I thought he did some good things. He plays extremely hard. He makes his mistakes, but usually he makes them going 100 miles an hour so a lot of times that covers up for some things. He’s done a really nice job. He has taken on the role of calling the huddle and being the communicator for us, especially in nickel situations, and done a real nice job there.”

On plan for Aaron Curry: “We’ll practice him again this week and we’ll see where we’re at, at the end of the week.”

On how close they came to activating Curry on Sunday: “There was a real thought about doing that. The thing that we’ve got to consider is it’s not just about activating Curry, but somebody else has to come off the roster. It’s not as simple a decision as it might seem.”