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News

Raiders Break Camp in Napa

Posted Aug 11, 2014

Raiders Head Coach Dennis Allen spoke to the media as the team finished Training Camp 2014 in Napa, Calif.

Opening Statement: “We finished up here in Napa, and now we’re going to go down to Oxnard for a couple of days and get a chance to work against the Cowboys. We’re excited about that opportunity. We’ll be back in Alameda after that, so no more wine tasting tours for you guys.” (laughing)

Q: What do you still want to get accomplished between now and the regular season that you couldn’t get finished up here?

Coach Allen: “We got a lot of good work done here. I like where we’re at. We’re still in training camp mode going to Oxnard and practicing against the Cowboys for a couple of days. I think that will be great for our football team. [We] get a chance to go against somebody else for a change. Then we’ve got the second preseason game, the home opener, vs. Detroit. Then we’ll get into kind of regular season mode when we get into the Green Bay week. We’ve got a lot accomplished. We still have a lot of things that we need to get better at, but I like the direction we’re headed.”

Q: Will the practices with the Cowboys be full gear?

Coach Allen: “It will be full pads. It will be full pads. We’re going two practices against the Cowboys, but they’ll be full-padded. I’ll get you the schedule.” (laughing)

Q: What’s the message when you go down there?

Coach Allen: “The message is that we have to treat it like a game and we have to go out there and compete. It won’t be tackling live to the ground or anything like that, but we’re going there to compete and try to get better as a football team.”

Q: Has Latavius Murray separated himself as the clear-cut No. 3 back, and can he push for a larger role in the run game this season?

Coach Allen: “I’ll say this: I’ll say that I like where he is at right now. I like what I saw in the game the other day. If he continues to improve like he has, there certainly will be a role for him on this team.”

Q: Have you been surprised with what you’ve seen?

Coach Allen: “You know what, that’s one of the things that we saw when we drafted him. We liked him. Unfortunately last year, he had the injury issues and wasn’t able to play. I like where he’s at. I like the direction he’s headed. Hopefully, he’ll continue to improve.”

Q: You’re spending less time up here than you have in the past. Do you feel that you go everything done that you hoped to off the field in Napa?

Coach Allen: “Yeah, I think we got a lot accomplished here. I thought it was important for us to get an opportunity to work against another team. So, going down to Oxnard will be good for us. Again, we’re still in training camp mode, but I feel good about what we’ve been able to accomplish here.”

Q: It seems like Keith McGill was taking some first-team snaps in the nickel package. Is that a sign you’re seeing some growth out of him?

Coach Allen: “I think it’s … Chimdi [Chekwa]’s knee is still bothering him a little bit. We decided to hold him out. He went through individual drills and wasn’t quite ready to go. So, we held him out of practice and that was an opportunity for Keith to get in there in nickel situations and work with the ones some. We haven’t had an opportunity to see a lot of him. So, he’s a guy that obviously we felt highly of coming out in the draft and wanted to get an opportunity to look at him.”

Q: Can you talk about Latavius’ size and that type of advantage that he has.

Coach Allen: “I think he brings a little something different than maybe what some of the other backs have in that he is a big, physical runner. I think he does a good job of understanding what we’re trying to do in the run game, where we’re trying to put the ball and then when there’s not a whole lot there, he has the ability to get down behind his pads and push the pile a little bit. Again, I like what we have in him and hopefully he’ll continue to improve.”