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Coach Allen Breaks Down Loss to Eagles


Raiders Head Coach Dennis Allen: **"I'll start off with the injuries; Juron Criner had a shoulder, that happened late in the game. Rod Streater has a hip, [Matt] McCants has a toe, [Darren] McFadden with a hamstring, Terrelle Pryor with a knee, [Sebastian] Janikowski has some ribs, I think that happened on the long kickoff return and Kaluka Maiava has ribs also, so that's where we're at injury-wise. Just real briefly on the game yesterday, we obviously didn't play well, we have to own that. We're all responsible for it, everybody, coaches and players. We have to come out and we have to play better. We have a group of prideful men in that locker room, coaches and players, and we're going to take the necessary steps, we're going to do the things we have to do to get those things corrected and we'll play better football. That's what our job is. It's one game, it's one day, it's one loss. Obviously, we're always disappointed with the manner in which that loss happened, but it's still one loss. Our guys are going to come back and compete. We know we didn't play as well as we're capable of playing. I don't want to take anything away from Philadelphia because I thought they came in and played well and did the things that they needed to do to win the game, but we also understand the way we played in the game the other day is not indicative of the team we have in that locker room and not indicative of the team that we've put out on the field up to this point and won't be indicative of the team we're going to put out going forward. We're going to work extremely hard to get it corrected and we're going to move forward and get focused on the New York Giants because that's the only one that we can do anything about is this week against the Giants."

Q: How eager are you and the guys to get to that game, is it one of those weeks where you want the game now and you can put this behind you?

Coach Allen:"Absolutely. There's no question there's a bad taste in our mouth right now but that one's over with, that one's done with and I can promise you we'll have a bunch of guys who will be ready to get back to work and practice on Wednesday. Our coaches will be up there this afternoon, we'll start the game planning process and we'll comb through the tape as vigorously as we can, and we'll have a good plan put together."

Q: Any idea on the Pryor, McFadden situations or do you have to wait to Wednesday?

Coach Allen:"Not really. Pryor is kind of day to day. Obviously, with hamstrings you never know with Darren so there's probably a little bit more concern with Darren than there would be with Terrelle. We'll see how both those guys are doing in the morning and that will probably dictate what their availability is on Wednesday."

Q: Last week the defense moved into the top 10 in the NFL and everyone was writing about how this defense is vintage Raiders, and then yesterday happened. Was that maybe a wakeup call?

Coach Allen:"We obviously didn't play well and we have to look to determine what those reasons were. I don't know if we were reading our press clippings or what, but the National Football League is all about what have you done for me lately, and it's about what you do out there on Sunday. If you want to be a top-notch defense you have to bring it every week, and we have to do a better job next week."

Q: Did the Eagles do anything you guys hadn't seen before or were they mostly running things you had seen?

Coach Allen:"It was most of the stuff that we had seen before, there's always going to be in every game a little something different, a little bit of window dressing. I don't know if it was really a lack of preparation but obviously we didn't make the plays that we had been able to make up to this point in the season. Again, I chalk it up to a day that we didn't play well and we're going to work hard to get it corrected."

Q: What is the good that you take out of a game like that?

Coach Allen:"Offensively there were some good things. We had 560 yards; we had 200 yards rushing, over 300 yards passing the football. I thought Streater did some nice things in the passing game. There was the big play in the game with the 66-yard completion. I thought Rashad Jennings did, again, some really good things in the football game both running the ball and in the passing game. I thought Terrelle did some good things, creating some explosive plays down field both with his legs and with his arm. Menelik Watson getting into the game and actually for the first time playing in a National Football League game, I thought he did some good things; there are some things that we can build on with him. There are some good things that we can build on, but I think that really when you look at that game, we can't allow the ball to get over our head. When you do those things, it's demoralizing to not only the defense but really the whole football team so we have to get that corrected."

Q: You guys had been pretty good about that before Sunday, what was the mix up there? Was it a game-planning thing or more of an aberration of terms in what your corners were doing?

Coach Allen:"It's a little bit of everything. I'm sure there are some things that we could have done game-planning-wise that might have helped us in some of those situations. Some of it was that they won the one-on-one battle or the physical matchup in certain instances. We really only had one play where, and I take full responsibility for it, we really had a busted coverage. That was the LeSean McCoy touchdown, that was really the only play where we just didn't cover the guy and really at the end of the day that falls on me."

Q: People point the finger at [DJ] Hayden on the two deep balls, but was there safety help missing? What was the overall issue on those plays?

Coach Allen:"On the longest play to DeSean Jackson, it was just a situation where we were in a quarter coverage and they had a nice route which ended up eating up the safety which it's going to do and DJ was in one-on-one position and he had a chance to make a play on the ball and he just wasn't able to make the play. On the deep ball down the middle of the field, on the 63-yard touchdown, yeah, we should have had a safety in the middle of the field helping out on that one."

Q: On the 17-yarder, did you feel he stayed with the play long enough?

Coach Allen:"Yeah, I thought it could have been offensive pass interference from where I was looking, but obviously that wasn't the call. We just have to be able to make that play."

Q: What do you say to Hayden, is there a need because he's a young guy to pull him aside and say that this is part of the maturation process?

Coach Allen:"It's part of the National Football League, it happens. There hasn't been a corner that has every played the game and never had one of those games. The great ones are able to respond to it and come back from it and we have a lot of confidence in DJ, that's the reason we took him where we did. I think he has a bright future in this league, he's just learning on the job and that's part of what happens when you play out there on the Autobahn."

Q: DJ seems like there are a lot of instances this year where he has a guy covered and the guy catches the ball because he just doesn't turn around in time. Is that something that can be taught? That's something that can be learned and it's not something that's natural?

Coach Allen:"It's something he's done. It's something that when you go back and watch all the tapes from college, that's something he was exceptional at and that was something we really liked about him. I think when you get down to it, it's really a matter of confidence, just believing you're in great position, just go turn your head around and go make a play on the football and that's something that will be gained with his experience."

Q: Coach, you touched on it a little bit last week and a little bit today, can you talk a little bit more about Rashad Jennings influence just in the locker room and the meeting room and also on the football field?

Coach Allen:"He's done a nice job for us. He's a guy that comes to work every day, he wants to compete, wants to get better, he puts the team first and when he's had the opportunity to go in and play he's made a lot of plays for us. He's made a lot of plays for us on special teams. When he's been called on to carry the ball, he's done a nice job there. Again, he had over 100 yards in the game the other day and he's done a really good job in the passing game, a lot of the check downs and being able to turn those into explosive gains. He's a guy that has really brought a lot to the table for us as a football team."

Q: Are there any more details that you can give on the Terrelle Pryor injury?

Coach Allen:"Well I don't know the answer to that. Again, he seemed to be doing pretty well this morning. We'll continue to look at him tomorrow. We'll see how he's doing tomorrow. I would list him as day-to-day, but it is a knee sprain."

Q: How do you think Matt McGloin played when he got in?

Coach Allen:"I thought Matt did some good things. He drove us down there at the end of the game and got us a touchdown there at the end of the game. I thought that was good to see — for him to get in there and get some experience. Obviously there were a couple plays I thought maybe he could of made that we weren't able to make, but I thought for the first time out there he did some good things."

Q: In terms of wide receivers, how did you gauge who was going to be active? Andre Holmes was hurt. That's the reason he wasn't active, but what about Brice Butler and Juron Criner?

Coach Allen: "Again I made mention of it last week — that's a position I want to see more production out of. Brice had a tough week the week before, and Juron was a guy that hadn't had the opportunity. We wanted to get him an opportunity to get in the game. Let's see what this guy can do because he is a big guy that can catch the football and runs pretty decent routes. I thought that there were some things that he did well in the game, and there were obviously some things where you could see he hasn't had a lot of experience playing."

Q: Do you think that you brought enough pressure on Nick Foles?

Coach Allen:"I thought they did a good job of executing. Did we get enough pressure on him? No, I don't believe we got enough pressure on him. I thought he was able to stand in the pocket, and then when we did do some things to flush him out of the pocket he was able to make plays down the field. Obviously hindsight's always 20/20, and if I knew he was going to be that affective in throwing the ball down the field maybe we could have brought a few more pressures and maybe affected him. There wasn't a whole lot we did in that game that did a lot to affect him."

Q: Without using the word 'playoffs,' do you believe that you guys missed an opportunity to get where you want to go?

Coach Allen: "Yeah, we missed an opportunity. Now exactly what does that mean? We had an opportunity to come in, play a game at home, get our record to.500 which I thought would have been very beneficial to this team from a confidence standpoint. We didn't get the job done. We all take responsibility for that, but again, it's one game. Now we've got to get our focus in on the New York Giants — going out and playing a game on the east coast and winning a good game against a good football team."

Q: How do you keep tabs on the culture of the locker room to make sure there isn't any hazing or bullying?

Coach Allen:"Listen, I think we've got a pretty good feel for the locker room. I think I've got a pretty good feel for the guys that we have in there. Obviously that's something that you always want to keep a close eye on and keep monitored, but I don't think we have any issues with that type of stuff on this football team. Really that was a point that we tried to make in training camp of not really hazing the rookies because we need everybody if we're going to get this culture the right way and we're going to win football games like we believe we're capable of winning. We're going to need everybody in that locker room."

Q: Who is responsible for making sure that doesn't happen? Is it the players in the locker room?

Coach Allen:"I think ultimately that's my responsibility. Ultimately whatever happens with this football team, whether it be on the field, in the locker room, out in the community, that's my responsibility to police that. That's my responsibility to have a handle on it." Q: Do you check in on the players, or have updates from the team leaders to see what's going on in there?

Coach Allen:"Yeah, I have a way that I go about trying to check. I mean I'm not in there going through the locker room every day and monitor exactly what goes on, but yeah, I try to have a good feel for what's happening with the players  and try to have my little side conversations to make sure the locker room is doing well.

Q: Are there any updates on the guys that were injured before the game like Tony Pashos, Andre Gurode and Tyvon Branch?

Coach Allen:"I would say that Gurode is probably closer than Tony right now, but we'll see where that goes. I think Branch is probably another week or two away, but we'll see. He's made a lot of progress. He made a lot of progress last week, so it's getting closer."

Q: Did Jared Veldheer make progress last week when you ramped him up?

Coach Allen:"Yeah, and really the ramp-up process is more of kind of getting into condition so at when he is cleared for contact that transition period is relatively short."

Q: There were a couple of coaches this week with medical scares. Does that make you reassess the balance you have with all the hours you put in as a head coach?

Coach Allen:"Yeah, I think you always have to understand that us as coaches, we take a lot of pride in our work. We spend a lot of time in the meeting rooms, in the office grinding the tape, a lot of time away from our families, and I think that when you look at this it does kind of bring things into perspective. You've got to make sure you take care of yourself, but I think that's just naturally what we as coaches do. I don't know that that's really going to change a whole lot."

Q: When you watched the film from yesterday, how did Terrelle Pryor do as far as making his reads and his progressions in the pocket?

Coach Allen:"I think at times good, and at times I think he's got to trust it a little bit more. That again will come with experience. He continues to grow every day. Is it perfect? No it's not perfect, but is he making progress? Is he making strides? Yeah, every day."

Q: In the last three games it seems like his numbers haven't been as up to par. That doesn't say 'regression' to you?

Coach Allen:"No, I'm not seeing that term at all. I'm still seeing a guy that's progressing. I'm still seeing a guy that still makes some young player mistakes, but also overall in our passing game everybody's involved. I think a lot of times you just look at the quarterback position and everything is based on the quarterback. That's the way of the National Football League, but I think everybody's involved. I think we've talked about the wide receivers. I think our tight end position — we've got to find some more production out of that position. I think on the offensive line we're still mixing and matching with some guys and trying to sure up the protection which I think we've done a better job of, and our backs have to be involved. I don't think you could ever look at just the passing game in general and just look at the quarterback and say, 'It's all him.' I think you've got to look at the whole product. It might not have looked like some of the other quarterbacks in the league, but we threw for over 330 yards in the game. There is some progress there."

Q: When you say, 'He has to trust it more,' do you mean the protection?

Coach Allen:"I think as he sits in the pocket he's got to have a little more trust in his protection, a little more trust in the progression, but again I think that comes with experience. Every day he's seen a little something new, and all these defenses all brought a little bit of a different flavor in what they're trying to do to affect him."

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