Q: Seems like just in terms of your slow starts, even if you include the preseason, you guys have fallen behind by double digits almost every time. What do you think is the cause of that?
Coach Allen: I think we just have to go out and have a little bit more focus early in the game and be able to execute better. I think that’s really the key. We obviously spent a lot of time talking about trying to get off to a fast start. We haven’t been able to do that and that’s something that we have to continue to work on. We have to get better at that.
Q: How did Khalif [Barnes] play in that first game and how surprised were you with how well Tony [Pashos] played on the right side?
Coach Allen: I thought both those guys performed pretty well in the game. I thought both of them went out and executed and I expect that out of veteran players like that. What happens when a guy goes down, guys have to step up. I thought those guys were able to step up in the game. But that’s week game and we’re on to this week and those guys have to step up again.
Q: You guys were able to get a lot of rushing yards, but not on the called runs; was there a common theme on why you weren’t able to get any of those to break big?
Coach Allen: I think a lot of times it comes down, it’s one or two guys being able to stay on their block longer, maybe hit the hole a little bit differently. It was not a factor of breakdowns as much as just our abioli8ty to finish the play off and that’s what we have to continue to improve on.
Q: You talked a little bit yesterday about the amount of times you blitzed and the amount of different guys you blitzed during the game. Once you have that on film and other teams have seen that, does that help you in some regard and that you’re known for being unpredictable?
Coach Allen: I think part of what we try to do defensively is to try to be multiple, try to be as simple as we can on ourselves, but give some different looks, bring some different people, make them have to account for everybody. That’s one of the things we try to do and I think the more you can show different looks, but yet, not be too complicated where you’re changing up your scheme week in and week out, I think that’s the thing and that’s what’s critical. And really, we’ll do as much as our guys can handle. If you we’re able to handle those things and be able to execute those things, then I think that works to our advantage.
Q: Do you find that this group this year has been pretty good at being able to throw a lot of stuff at them and handling a lot of things?
Coach Allen: Yeah, they’ve done a good job. But again, there’s some plays where we have breakdowns and it hurts us and that’s what we have to continue to work on to get better at so that we don’t have those breakdowns. Those are what end up being critical plays in the game.
Coach Allen: He was full go today.
Q: Would he start possibly?
Coach Allen: Yeah.
Q: Even in that mix, you talked about [LB Kaluka] Maiava kind of earning some playing time within this scheme…
Coach Allen: I think what happens when you have good players, good football players, you want to find ways to utilize them and get those guys on the field. So we’re going to play as many guys as we can play, number one, because the more guys you’re able to play, the more they’re into the game, the more excitement they’ve got about coming to the game on Sunday. That’s one of the things we want to do and then you have to be able to keep guys fresh so that in the fourth quarter, in the critical situations, you got guys out there that are fresh and able to play and play fast.
Q: Dennis, there was a report this morning that [T Menelik] Watson actually underwent surgery and he’d be out a month. If that is indeed the case, it seems then that you’re set at offensive line with Khalif at left tackle and Pashos at right tackle. How much better then can that unit get going forward if you know, indeed, that is what your line is going to be?
Coach Allen: I think having those guys in those positions, they’re going to continue to improve and continue to get better. Again, Tony is a guy he’s been here about 10 days now, so I expect to see a lot of improvement in him from Week 1 to Week 2 and same thing for Khalif moving over on the left side. So I think they’re able to get into positions and be stable in those positions, the better they’re going to get in a week-to-week basis.
Q: Can you confirm that report then of the surgery?
Coach Allen: No. Really, it’s our policy to not really talk about injuries so he wasn’t able to practice today. As soon as he’s able to get out there and practice, we’ll try to get him back as fast as we can.