Allen Looking Forward to Playing Alongside Woodson


Safety Nate Allen becomes a member of the Oakland Raiders. Photo by Tony Gonzales.

Q: Who did you talk to on your visit and what strikes you about this franchise?

Allen:"I was just meeting with all the coaches, probably the normal protocol. I just fell in love with everything and the direction that the organization is going and the coaching staff they brought in and the group of guys that we have here. It's a great thing and like I've been saying, we're planning on winning now. We're not trying to rebuild and try to do this or do that, we're trying to make something happen now, this year."

Q: How were your conversations with Rodney Hudson and Marcus Robertson last night at the Warriors' game and how attractive is it to you to have a former All-Pro safety as your secondary coach?

Allen:"It's great. He brings a lot of knowledge and just from the little bit that I've sat down and talked to him, just to be able to work with somebody like that of his caliber, and even [assistant defensive backs coach] Rod Woodson, it's great. I couldn't ask for a better group of guys to work under and I'm excited for it. I know they're going to try to make me the best player I can be and I'm excited about that."

Q: Do you know Charles Woodson at all and have you talked to him during this process?

Allen:"I didn't know him before, but yeah, definitely met with him yesterday and was just sitting and talking to him for a little bit. Had lunch with him and he's a great guy, a standup guy. Obviously his resume speaks for himself. He is who he is, a future Hall of Famer. Just to be able to work alongside a dude like that, I mean I couldn't ask for a better situation. He's been around the game for what, 18 years now? This is his 18th year, so he's seen just about everything and been through just about everything so I just feel like I have a lot that I can learn from him."

Q: When did you start thinking the Raiders were a possibility?

Allen:"To tell you the truth, I don't even get wrapped up in all the free agency stuff. I just kind of let everything fall into place, but I believe it was more around – the Raiders have been coming after me since last year. I had always known there was interest there, and then this year, right when free agency started up, they were there again, knocking. The interest has always been there and I just needed to come out here and visit and see what was going on. I fell in love with everything out here."

Q: Why did you opt to return to the Eagles for a fifth season and are you satisfied with how that turned out?

Allen:"Oh yeah, of course, just because last year was a different situation. There weren't any long-term deals really on the table, and this year I was fortunate enough to be able to get some long-term deals set up. It was here in Oakland. I'm happy with what's going on and with the deal that was done. I'm glad all the business stuff is over with now and it's just all football now."

Q: What were your impressions of talking with defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr.? What kind of style of defense can the fans expect to see?

Allen:"Fast, fast paced, because a lot of stuff is not too complicated, not a lot of different stuff going on. So it's simple, but we change up looks just so you can play fast, so it gives us, as players, an opportunity to play fast and make plays. On the defensive side of the ball, that's what it's all about. You've got to be playing fast. That's the type of defense you want to see, a defense that's flying around and swarming, everybody getting to the ball and making plays."

Q: You played a little bit of both free and strong safety. How do you feel about playing strong safety on more of a regular basis? Do you think that fits what you do? Allen:"Either one, whatever the plan is. We'll figure all that out when the time comes, but like I've been saying, however I need to help the team win, I'm going to do it. Now, I've always been that type of player. I'm going to put the team over myself. Whatever I have to do to help the team win is what I'm going to do."

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