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News

"We’re excited about the opportunity"

Posted Aug 20, 2014

Head Coach Dennis Allen, "We’re excited about the opportunity to go up there. It will be a great environment to play in. Lambeau Field, against the Packers..."

Opening statement: “All right, last day of practice, getting ready for Green Bay. I said this already, but we’re excited about the opportunity to go up there. It will be a great environment to play in. Lambeau Field, against the Packers, be a heck of a test for us, a good measuring stick for us and I think our guys are excited and ready to go play.”

Q: Do you know if Derek Carr will be available for the game?

Coach Allen: “We haven’t made that determination yet. We’re going to be cautious with that to make sure he’s good to go before we put him back out there.”

Q: Might you play Trent Edwards if Derek doesn’t play?

Coach Allen: “Yeah, we’ll see. A lot of that is going to be determined kind of how the game goes. If Derek doesn’t play, [Matt] McGloin will go in there with the second group and we’ll kind of play that by ear.”

Q: With Justin Ellis being out 12 days now, it seems like it was a really bad concussion. What have you heard about the severity of what he went through and how is he doing?

Coach Allen: “All these are different. With where we’re at with concussions now and head injuries and everything that we know about them now, you want to make sure that you’re cautious with those things and make sure guys are fully cleared before they get back in there. They’re all serious and we treat them as such, and we just go through the protocol and whenever they’re cleared and no symptoms, then we’ll put them back out there.”

Q: What was Marcel Reece’s availability today?

Coach Allen: “He was full-go today. He was full practice, looked good out there running around, so he should be good to go for the game.”

Q: What was the diagnosis?

Coach Allen: “He had a foot. That’s the best diagnosis I can come up with, all right?” (laughing)

Q: Is this a situation you will have to be managing in the future or is he just good to go?

Coach Allen: “I don’t think so. When I watched him out there today running around, I mean he looked pretty good out there running around, so I don’t expect that to be something that we’ve got to manage, but we’ll see as this thing moves along. Obviously if it becomes a hindrance then we’ll have to manage it, but if not we’ll let him go out there and play, but I didn’t notice anything today.”

Q: The other guys with concussions, Brice Butler and Scott Simonson, do they still have to pass another test before they’re cleared to play?

Coach Allen: “Simonson is cleared and Butler is not yet.”

Q: How much did Stacy McGee missing the first couple of days, maybe longer than that, set him back? Are Pat Sims and Antonio Smith pretty much entrenched as starters at tackle?

Coach Allen: “I think right now the biggest thing that’s been a little bit of a hindrance for Stacy is playing with a big club on his hand right now, which is something that he has to do at the moment, hopefully we’ll be able to get that off sooner rather than later and he’ll have a little bit more functionality with that. But, as far as knowing what to do and being in shape and those kinds of things, I don’t think that was really a setback. Obviously trying to play really with one hand has made it a little more difficult for him.”

Q: What do you think of C.J. Wilson over the course of the preseason? Where do you think his role will fit?

Coach Allen: “C.J.’s done a good job for us, playing defensive end, we moved him inside some, played defensive tackle. He’s a versatile player, he’s a good run player, and that’s really the reason why we brought him here was to be able to come in and play the run for us and he’s done a nice job of that. I’m pleased with where he is and I know he’s looking forward to going back to Green Bay and playing up there, as well as a couple other guys we’ve got.”

Q: It seems you’ve got a lot of guys who can play defensive end and tackle. What are the benefits of that?

Coach Allen: “Well, I think the biggest benefit is when you get to the regular season you start looking at a 46-man active roster. The more guys you have that can play multiple roles, it’s an advantage to you because you only have limited guys that can be up and available for a game, so I think having those guys that can play multiple roles may be at times give us the ability, if he’s a defensive lineman and he can play end and tackle it might allow us to carry an extra defensive back or wide receiver or something like that which helps out with special teams.”

Q: Is there something about Andre Holmes’ play in the last couple weeks that you haven’t liked or things that you haven’t seen from him that might shift him down?

Coach Allen: “No, I mean, Andre’s done a nice job. He needs to be more consistent, and really that whole group there needs to be more consistent. We’ve seen some good things out of those guys. I think all these guys have a role that they can play in our offense and we’re going to play a lot of guys. So, all of them will have a role on the team, all of them bring a little something different to the table and we’ve said from the beginning that we want to be able to take a look at some different lineups and we’ve done that.”

Q: Could you keep six wideouts? Is that something you would consider?

Coach Allen: “I’m not going to get into speculation about how many we’ll keep at each different position, but when this thing is all said and done, we get done with the Seattle game, we’ll keep the right 53 for our football team.”

Q: With DJ Hayden being out, have you been happy with the other cornerbacks?

Coach Allen: “Yeah, I’ve been pleased with what the corners have been able to do. We’ve got some young guys that have gotten an opportunity. Some of those guys coming off of injuries haven’t gotten as much reps as maybe we would like; Keith McGill, Neiko Thorpe, those are a couple of guys that did some things early in camp and injuries have kind of slowed them down a little bit. Being able to get a look at those two guys, as well as some of the other guys, over the next couple of weeks, it’ll be big as far as the evaluation process is.”

Q: Has TJ Carrie stepped up and seized the punt return job?

Coach Allen: “It hasn’t been determined. I think both him and Denarius Moore have done a nice job. Both of them had effective returns in the game the other night. We’re going to continue look at both of those guys as potential punt return options, and again we’ve got a couple more games to look at that, but I feel more comfortable now with where we’re at from a punt return standpoint than I did coming into training camp, that’s for sure.”

Q: How about kickoff returns, are there finalists for that spot?

Coach Allen: “Yeah, the two guys we’re looking at right now as primary options would be Latavius Murray and Kory Sheets. Both those guys should get some opportunities in the game.”