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"Got some good work in today"

Posted Aug 17, 2014

Head Coach Dennis Allen spoke to the media after Sunday's practice as the Raiders turn their attention to the Green Bay Packers.

Opening statement: “Got back to work today and got some good work in today. We’ll start kind of going through a little bit of a dress rehearsal for Green Bay, get more into a game week type of mode this week. It’ll be a great challenge this week against the Packers, going up there to their place. They’re impressive on defense. They’re high-powered on offense, so it’ll be a challenge for us.”

Q: Could you have asked for a better Week 3 preseason match-up than playing at Green Bay against that offense?

Coach Allen: “Yeah, it gives us a chance to see where we’re at. So, yeah, we’re excited about the opportunity. We’ve got a lot of work between now and then, but it’ll be a great environment to play football in and it’s a good football team we’re going up there to play.”

Q: It looked like Marcel Reece stopped working, was there something wrong?

Coach Allen: “Yeah, he’s got a little bit of a foot injury. I’m not sure exactly what it is, but he’s got a little foot soreness. We held him out today. We’ll see where he’s at tomorrow.”

Q: Was Taiwan Jones practicing?

Coach Allen: “Taiwan Jones was not at practice today. He’s a little banged up right now, so we’re kind of holding him out, trying to get him healthy and ready for the regular season.”

Q: In what ways have you been pleased with what you’ve seen from Antonio Smith?

Coach Allen: “I like what I’ve seen in his ability to affect the passer. That’s one of the big reasons why we brought him in here, is we felt like he can help us with our four-man rush. I think in the first two games there have been some times where he’s had an opportunity to get back there and affect the passer. He did it in the game the other day, unfortunately we weren’t able to finish the sack, but I think he’s going to be effective for us inside.”

Q: Is Justin Ellis getting closer to coming back?

Coach Allen: “I think so. He had a better day yesterday and I think we’re getting closer. You never really know exactly when you’re going to get him back, but I think we’re a lot closer now than maybe where we were two or three days ago.”

Q: You were talking about Khalil Mack kind of doing better in this game. What did you see that you liked on Friday?

Coach Allen: “I thought there were some things that he did in the pass-rush game where he was able to get some pressure and push the pocket a little bit, and I thought with the base defense, I thought he was a lot more comfortable with his drops and the things that we’re asking him to do in the passing game. I saw improvement, and I think we’ll continue to see improvement out of him.”

Q: A lot of the Lions wide receivers were getting pretty wide open. Do you write that off as more of game planning or were there plays there that weren’t made in the secondary?

Coach Allen: “Well, there were some plays that were there for us to make and we didn’t make them. I’m talking about in the first half, there’s really about two plays there that we’ve got to be better on, and that’s the way it is in the game. What I don’t want to do, and what I’m not going to do, it’s hard to look at a quarter, quarter and a half of football and try to project what that’s going to look like for an entire game. I thought we did a good job after initially, with some breakdowns, I thought we did a good job with coming back and making the adjustments and I thought we played better after the first two series.”

Q: How is Chimdi Chekwa?

Coach Allen: “Chimdi’s got a knee injury and I would expect that he’s going to miss a little bit of time. I’m hopeful that he’ll be ready for the opening game.”

Q: What are your thoughts on Matt Schaub’s performance in practice today?

Coach Allen: “I thought Matt was fine, there are still some things that we’re trying to work on in the passing game. There were some really good plays and then there some plays that weren’t quite as good. So, we’re going to continue to work and we’re going to continue to get better. Matt Schaub is our starting quarterback. I think he’s doing a good job for us and I think he will do a good job for us.”

Q: How has Brian Leonhardt improved and what do you like about what you’ve seen from him?

Coach Allen: “Well, I’ve seen constant improvement from him every day. From when we got him, his first day here as an undrafted free agent out of Bemidji State, to where he’s at now, I mean he’s grown leaps and bounds. He provides some of that in-line wide blocking that we’ve been looking for. You see it all the time, you see guys that kind of come out of nowhere and they end up being good players for you. That’s just a testament really to his perseverance and his work ethic.”

Q: How dangerous are your backs going to be in the passing game this season?

Coach Allen: “I like our backs. I think we’ve got a heck of a running back room, I think we’ve got a lot of depth there. All of those guys bring a little bit something different to the table, so I’m excited about where we’re at in our backfield and we’ll have some tough decisions when it comes down to getting down to the 53-man roster, specifically at that position.”

Q: Any update on Juron Criner?

Coach Allen: “No, he’s got a hip injury and he’s trying to rehab that.”