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News

Coach Allen Monday

Posted Sep 2, 2013

Head Coach Dennis Allen spoke to the media after Monday's practice as the Raiders get ready to head to Indianapolis.

Raiders Head Coach Dennis Allen: Alright guys, I’ll start off with the injuries and guys that weren’t able to practice today. David Ausberry didn’t practice today. Usama Young didn’t practice today, and Sebastian Janikowski didn’t practice today. Everybody else was able to practice today. I’m sure all of you have your questions on who the starting quarterback is going to be and what we’re going to do there. I’m really not going to get into that for competitive reasons. We’ve got a plan. Unless we start out in the wildcat, we’re going to have a quarterback out there on the first snap of game, so we’ll just leave it at that.

Q: So you might start out in the wildcat?

Coach Allen: For competitive reasons, I’m not getting into that either. (laughing)

Q: Is [Sebastian] Janikowski still expected to be good to kick?

Coach Allen: Yeah, he’ll be fine.

Q: You said you were going to evaluate [David] Ausberry. Where is he at?

Coach Allen: He’s not where he needs to be yet. We’ve still got a couple of days. We’ll see how he is. Tomorrow we’ll see where he’s at on Wednesday, but I’m still hopeful. We’ll see.

Q: How’s Matt [Flynn’s] elbow. Did the rest help?

Coach Allen: Yeah, I think it helped him. Like I said before, I don’t anticipate that to be an issue.

Q: What are your initial impressions on the Indianapolis Colts?

Coach Allen: Well, I think they play extremely hard on defense. They play really fast. Offensively, I think they’re very talented. I think the quarterback is an exceptional player. They’re explosive in the kicking game, specifically in the return game. This is a good football team. This is a playoff team from last year, and I think it’s a better team than it was last year.

Q: Can you talk about the decision to cut Tyler Wilson?

Coach Allen: It was a tough decision. At the end of the day, it’s tough to keep four quarterbacks on a 53-man roster. We went through the competitive part of OTAs, mini-camp and training camp, and we felt like [Matt] McGloin was ahead. Tyler is a guy that needs some time to develop, but we had to make a decision based on what we could take on our 53-man roster right now. We went with Matt McGloin.

Q: Can you talk about choosing Marquette [King] over [Chris] Kluwe as punter?

Coach Allen: He out-punted him. Marquette won the competition as the punter. We’ll continue to work with the holding situation. I think [Sebastian Janikowski] feels comfortable. The good thing is we’ve got a Hall-of-Fame-type kicker, an outstanding kicker, so I don’t really anticipate that being an issue.

Q: Is Marquette [King] going to be the holder? Is there anybody else you would use as the holder?

Coach Allen: We’re going to work some other guys in there, but as we stand today, Marquette King is the holder.

Q: Why sign [Tony] Pashos, and why get rid of [Alex] Barron?

Coach Allen: I think it just didn’t work out [with Alex Barron]. It wasn’t exactly what we were looking for. We wanted to try to get a veteran player in here; not a young kid that we had to try and develop because this guy is going to go in there and be ready to potentially play for us. It could be immediately. We wanted to get a veteran player, and as we looked over all the roster moves and what was out there, we felt like [Tony Pashos] was the best fit for what we were trying to get done.

Q: Considering what your health is like on the offensive line, who is your backup left tackle?

Coach Allen: The backup left tackle would be Tony Pashos. Those are the three tackles we have on the roster right now, so those are the three guys that we’re going with as of right now.

Q: Has [Tony Pashos] played any left tackle?

Coach Allen: No, he’s been mostly a right tackle. We’ll look at that if we have to make any type of shuffles, but those are the three tackles that we’re going with.

Q: Have you made a decision yet in terms of putting Jared [Veldheer] on IR?

Coach Allen: No, we haven’t made that final decision yet. We still have a little bit of time before we have to make that decision. I think the key is, when and if we decide to do that, that we pay close attention to the timing of the recovery and when we expect him to be back. That’s kind of what we’re looking at right now and trying to make that determination.

Q: Is there a chance [Jared Veldheer] could be back before that window opens? Is that what you’re looking at?

Coach Allen: It’s going to be awhile. I don’t know exactly what that date is going to be, and so really we’re kind of holding off until we get a better feel for when exactly that date is going to be when we feel like he’ll be back. We feel pretty certain that at some point this season he’ll be back.

Q: In terms of your starting quarterback, could you go all the way up to Sunday [before announcing it]?

Coach Allen: Before I tell the media? Yeah.

Q: Have you told the quarterbacks who is starting at this point?

Coach Allen: Yes.

Q: As far as [Jared] Veldheer is concerned, you can designate that tomorrow, but can you go further than tomorrow?

Coach Allen: Yeah, tomorrow is the first day that you can. What it means is eight weeks from that point is the first time that he would be able to suit up and play, but you can take that as far up into the season as you want to. The key is, once you make that designation, they can’t be back for another eight weeks.

Q: Who is your backup middle linebacker?

Coach Allen: Well, Kaluka [Maiava] will go in and play middle linebacker if we have injuries. The good thing from the linebackers that we have is that they’ve all played a lot of different positions. Having that flexibility and having guys that can play multiple positions is key because you’re going to have things that come up throughout the season, injuries or whatever. Guys are going to have to be able to know multiple spots, and Kaluka is a guy that we’ve also trained at the Mike.

Q: With [David] Bass waived and Andre Carter cut, are you looking at [Ryan] Robinson to provide some of that pass rush?

Coach Allen: Yeah, that was the one thing, when we really looked at it, we felt like he had some rush ability. He’s a little bit undersized, but he’s long. He’s explosive. We felt like he was a guy that had a chance to develop as a pass rusher, so we kept him on the roster. We’ll move Jason Hunter out wide, and Jason Hunter and Lamarr Houston will be guys that go out on the edges and rush for us.

Q: You claimed Brian Sanford on the defensive line. What does he give you?

Coach Allen: He’s more of a defensive end on base downs, and he’ll move inside to play some defensive tackle. He’s an athletic guy that’s got some pass-rush ability inside.

Q: Is the guard [Antoine McClain] that you claimed a guy that can work both sides?

Coach Allen: He can work both sides. He’s primarily been a right. He is a big, powerful guy and he’s been trained in a good system. He’s been trained the right way, so he’s a guy that we claimed and felt good about trying to sure up the depth on out O-line.

Q: Both [Antoine McClain] and [Tony] Pashos are real big guys. Is that how they fit into your power-gap-type scheme?

Coach Allen: Yeah, I think that’s one of the things you look at. Especially inside, you’re looking for guys that can play the big-man game. That’s what it is inside, so I thought they fit that category pretty well.

Q: Do you anticipate DJ [Hayden] starting this week?

Coach Allen: He’ll play in the nickel.

Q: Is your starting O-line set or can guys move up and down as far as the starting five?

Coach Allen: No, I think we’re pretty set where we’re at as far as the starting offensive line.

Q: Do you have [Mike] Brisiel at right guard and [Lucas] Nix at left guard?

Coach Allen: Yeah.

Q: With the last practice squad spot that you have, would you consider putting Tyler there if he clears waivers?

Coach Allen: I’m not going to get into potential transactions. That’s something that we just don’t discuss.