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    Date: September 13, 2014 at 9:00 a.m.
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News

Coach Allen Offers Final Thoughts on Philly

Posted Nov 1, 2013

Raiders Head Coach Dennis Allen spoke to the media after Friday's practice and offered his final thoughts on this Sunday's match-up with the Eagles.

Raiders Head Coach Dennis Allen: Alright guys, injury report. Tyvon Branch, Andre Gurode, Tony Pashos — those three didn’t participate. They’ll be out for the game. Andre Holmes was limited today. He’ll be questionable, and Menelik Watson was limited today. He’ll be questionable for the game, so that’s the injury report. We’ll get a little walk-through tomorrow, and get a chance to go back home and play another football game. It’s time for us. If we’re going to do something, we need to start making some sort of moves. The consistency with our football team is something I’ve talked about a lot, and that’s what we’ve got to develop is that consistency. We need to go out and play well against Philadelphia. It’ll be a heck of a challenge for us, but if we’re ever going to become the team we think we can become then we need to put some things together. I think our guys our ready. We’re excited about the opportunity, and we’re looking forward to it.

Q: Is it exciting to hit four wins at the mid-season point after winning only four games all of last season?

Coach Allen: Well, I think any game that we win builds confidence. Like I’ve said from the very beginning, I like this football team, and I think we have a good team. We need to play well, and we need to become a more consistent football team. That’s what the really good football teams are able to do. There’s been a lot of emphasis this week on just doing our job, going out and being consistent, executing our responsibilities and doing it fast, doing it with a lot of passion for the game, so I’m looking forward to watching our guys go out and play.

Q: Are you getting that same sense of urgency from the player of if we’re going to do something, now is the time?

Coach Allen: Listen, you use the term sense of urgency. I don’t know if I would necessarily use that term, but I think our guys recognize the importance of every football game that we play from here on out. I think they’ve done a great job of preparing themselves this week and getting ready for a good football team. Now it’s time to go out and play.

Q: How would you describe Philadelphia defensively? Coach [offensive coordinator] Olson said they use a lot of different fronts. How would you describe them?

Coach Allen: Same way. They’re really big and physical up front. They’re real young up front, and they’re athletic. Their linebackers, especially their inside linebackers are fast flow guys — real athletic players inside. They’ve got a couple of corners on the edges that can cover. They’re an aggressive football team. I’d say that. They have some different looks from a front standpoint. They’ve got some different looks from a pressure standpoint, so we’ll have to do a great job of identifying how they’re getting aligned and what they’re doing from a coverage standpoint.

Q: Now that Jason Peters has returned, do you see him as the same threat that he was before his injury?

Coach Allen: Listen, he’s still an outstanding player. He’s another guy — they got him out of Arkansas — that was a tight end in college that moved to offensive line. Heck, in Buffalo he covered kickoffs, so this is a real athletic and powerful offensive lineman. I don’t see any decline at all in his play. I think he’s still an outstanding player.

Q: Is the defense better prepared to face this up-tempo offense because of [defensive coordinator] Jason Tarver’s schemes?

Coach Allen: I don’t know that the scheme is as big of a factor as it is that we’ve worked a lot of teams that have gone the up-tempo offense. It’s not the first time that we’ve seen it, although this team is a little more up-tempo than really any of the teams that we’ve seen. The key again — I’ve said this all along and I’ll continue to say it — the key for us is to be able to get our communication down, to be able to get lined up and know exactly what we’re supposed to do in a fast manner so that we can execute the calls that we got going into the game.

Q: Why did you pick Taiwan Jones to return kicks and Jacoby Ford to return punts?

Coach Allen: Well we’ve got to get something going in the return game, so we’re always looking for any way that we can help to provide a spark or improve our football team in any way that we can. There were some positives in the game the other day. Taiwan Jones in the opening kickoff was a good return. It got called back with the penalty, but Jacoby Ford had a nice return on the first punt of the game. Unfortunately we put the ball on the ground, so I think those guys give us a little bit of spark in those particular areas. We’re going to continue to look at that, and hopefully that’ll be what we need to get this return game going.

Q: How is Jacoby Ford’s confidence after last week?

Coach Allen: Jacoby’s going to be just fine. I think we all realize … Listen, sometimes you go out and you don’t play a good game. We talk all the time about the sin’s not in getting knocked down; the sin’s in not being able to get back up. All our guys have done a great job. When they haven’t performed up to their standards they’ve come back and they’ve responded. I expect him to do the same.

Q: How has Nick Roach done this year as the middle linebacker in terms of communication?

Coach Allen: Outstanding. Outstanding, he’s done a great job of taking on that leadership role — taking on that job of the quarterback of the defense.  He’s done a great job of making sure everybody’s on the same page, and he’s got to continue doing that. We put a lot on him to be able to do that. He’s accepted that challenge, and I think he’s been an outstanding player for us.

Q: How does Charles Woodson’s experience in terms of having seen everything you can see help against a team like Philadelphia?

Coach Allen: Well there’s no substitution for experience. He’s a guy that’s seen just about everything that somebody can throw at you, so he’s been a great benefit. It think really when you look at us defensively we’ve got a lot of veteran players that have some experience. It’s been real beneficial to us.

Q: You see Mike Brisiel out there every Sunday. It looks like he can just barely walk, but he’s out there every day. He’s the only guy that’s stayed in his true position and has been there for every game. What keeps him going?

Coach Allen: He’s a warrior. Listen, he’s a warrior; he’s a real pro. That’s what you look for in a player in the National Football League and really specifically with an offensive lineman. You want a tough, nasty guy. You’ve got to pull him off the field to get him off the field, and he’s done a great job for us. He’s a guy that, especially with some of the injuries we’ve faced on the line he’s been kind of the glue keeping that together. I’ve got a lot of respect for guys like that. They just come out every day no matter the obstacles that they face. They come out every day and compete, and he’s played well for us.

Q: How does Mike Brisiel fit into the scheme?

Coach Allen: I mean, he’s an offensive lineman. He understands that we’ve done a couple of different things schematically. We’ve asked him to do a couple of different things, but he’s played a long time in this league. He’s done a great job for us. He’s tough. He’s physical, and that’s what we’re looking for in our offensive line.

Q: What have you seen out of Menelik [Watson] this week? Is he giving you some confidence with what he’s been able to do?

Coach Allen: Yeah, he’s been better. You always worry about the fact that he’s had such limited reps but physically he looks like he’s ready to go.

Q: After Sunday’s game you mentioned the killer instinct and the lack of it. How much of that did you focus on during practice this week, and with you does that start with play calling?

Coach Allen: We spent a lot of time focusing on finishing and we’re all involved in that. We all have to learn how to finish football games. The execution we have to be better at, the focus we have to be better at and that’s my responsibility to make sure that our guys are focused in and they’re ready to come out the second half, but the key that I don’t want to get lost in any of that is, we won a football game in the National Football League. That’s what it’s all about. It’s not about anything else other than finding out a way to win. I’ll take any win we can get in the NFL, I don’t care if it’s by 100 or whether it’s by one, it’s a win.

Q: Sio Moore had two sacks last week, Lamarr Houston and Vance Walker both had sacks. There’s been some consistent pressure on the quarterback. Would you say you put a heavy emphasis on sacks?

Coach Allen: I wouldn’t say we put a heavy emphasis on getting sacks, we put a heavy emphasis on affecting the quarterback and you do that two different ways – you  do it by rush and you do it by coverage. I think our front and our back end have worked together very well this year on allowing us to affect the quarterback and allowing us to get pressure on the quarterback. Those guys up front couldn’t do it without the back end guys, and the back end guys couldn’t hold up in coverage without the front getting pressure on the quarterback. I think it’s really a combination, it’s really a tribute to the defense as a whole and not necessarily one particular group.