Raiders Head Coach Dennis Allen: **Vance Walker wasn't here with us; he's having a child today so he should be back tomorrow. Guys that I don't anticipate playing in the game: Obviously we'll see where Menelik [Watson] and Pat Sims were, Jacoby [Ford] we'll find out what the trainer has to say on that and Vance Walker will be questionable. [Miles] Burris, [DJ] Hayden, Kaluka [Maiava], Lamarr Houston, Billy Boyko and Brandon Bair, all those guys will be out for the game. That's kind of where we're at right now. We have a little over 48 hours before we kick it off, so we're excited. We're ready to get 2013 underway, first preseason game, and excited to let our guys out there and play and see what we can do.
Q: Do you have your rotation set yet?
Coach Allen:Yeah, we have the rotation. Everybody's that's healthy will play in the game. The [first string] will probably go out there for a quarter or so – we'll see how the game plays out. Obviously [the second string] will take a couple quarters and then [the third string] will probably end up playing in the fourth quarter. That's about what we're planning on doing.
Q: What's the plan for Darren [McFadden] during the preseason? How many reps does McFadden need to be ready without risking him?
Coach Allen:I think I've seen it both ways. I've seen it where guys don't play in the preseason and then obviously where guys do. It's my feeling that guys need to play, and so the anticipation is that we'll play him. How much will we play him? We'll evaluate that on a week-to-week basis, but he'll play in the preseason.
Q: All the guys that returned today, which was quite a few guys, is it your intention, barring the guys who left of course, to have them play in the game?
Coach Allen:My intention would be for them to play. Obviously, we want to evaluate how they respond to a good day's work and obviously if they respond, we'll play them in the game, probably in a limited fashion because they've missed a lot of time. But, like I said, we plan on all the healthy bodies getting out and playing some.
Q: So that means all four quarterbacks will play?
Coach Allen:All four quarterbacks will play in the game.
Q: Granted, you have all the things you want to accomplish, what kind of look do you expect the Dallas Cowboys to give you and what kind of challenge?
Coach Allen:Well, they're a good football team. Obviously offensively they're a big, physical football team, they ran the ball really well the other day against Miami, so obviously I think that's something they're trying to establish and work on, so we have to be prepared to stop the run. It looks like they'll play a lot more of their [first string] in this game, so it'll be a good evaluation for us, both offensively and defensively to get a little bit of a feel of where we're at.
Q: How much have you had a chance to really look at that game the other day, or are you still more focused on your guys?
Coach Allen:No, we watched the game the other day. Still the focus is on us and what we do, but we want to give our guys a plan that gives them a chance to have success. It's still going to be a lot more about what we want to do, but we did give them a plan as far as what to expect out of Dallas.
Q: Who's your backup long snapper, and do you anticipate anyone but Jon Condo snapping in the preseason?
Coach Allen:Well we'll snap somebody else other than Condo. Right now it's Wiz [Stefen Wisniewski] working with [Josh] Cribbs working as a deep center. Q: Really? Cribbs has done it before?
Coach Allen:Yeah, he's a former quarterback. But at some point during the preseason, we're going to have somebody other than Jon Condo snap in a live game situation.
Q: I know this is sort of an obvious question, but can you talk about the importance of these games in the overall evaluation process?
Coach Allen:Well, it's huge. Obviously there's certain guys on the team that we have a pretty good idea of where they're at, but there's a lot of young guys that we have to get an evaluation on and really there's a lot of veteran players that we have to get a feel for. We have a lot of change, a lot of turnover on this football team, so we've never been to battle with a lot of these guys so we want to put them in those situations and see how they respond. This, for our football team, this preseason is a big deal as far as the evaluation process.
Q: Charles Woodson looks like he hasn't missed a snap since camp started …
Coach Allen:He's done everything we've asked him to do. He's a real pro, so we're glad we have him and he's going to make us a better football team.
Q: How important is it for him to hit in preseason games? Will he see as less time than some of the other secondary guys?
Coach Allen:He may not see as much time as some of the other guys, but he'll get in and he'll play. Again, a little bit like Darren [McFadden], we'll evaluate that as we go through the preseason, but he'll play in the preseason.
Q: What's your schedule like between now and kickoff, and what do you hope to get done between now and then?
Coach Allen:Today we'll have meetings, we'll watch practice from today, we'll start the install process on Dallas. We'll come back out tomorrow morning with some more meetings, install-wise prep for Dallas, we'll go through kind of a dress-rehearsal practice tomorrow against them – really a light practice without pads – and then we'll head down to the Marriott and get ready to play a game. [It's a] normal home schedule with the exception of we're leaving out of Napa as opposed to leaving from Alameda.
Q: How do you evaluate receivers that come out here in practice and are making drops, but then they don't make drops in the preseason games, as well as the other way around?
Coach Allen:It's no different than when you were in college and you had to take exams. There's a lot more weight put on the exam, and this is one of four exams that we get a chance to take, so when the lights come on and you're doing it for real, that's when the players have to show up. There will be more emphasis put on performance in the preseason.
Q: What do you want to see from Matt Flynn in his debut on Friday?
Coach Allen:I want to see him manage the game. Manage the game, move the offense down the field and put points on the board. That's what I want to see out of Matt Flynn.
Q: What has stood out to you from his progression throughout camp?
Coach Allen:I think he's gotten a better grasp of what we're trying to do offensively and he's more in command of what we're doing. From the process through OTAs, through minicamp, and now finally in training camp, he's really progressed well. It'll be good to put him in live action and see what he does against another opponent.
Q: Give us an early evaluation of a couple of young players, Andre Holmes and Latavius Murray.
Coach Allen:Latavius, obviously, I still don't know a whole lot about yet because he's missed a lot of time due to injury, so this preseason will be big for him to step up and show us what he can do. Andre Holmes, to this point, I've been pleased with. He's a big target, a physical player, and this preseason will be big for him.
Q: What is your impression of Eddy Carmona?
Coach Allen:Eddy's done a nice job. Eddy's got a tough job because he's behind maybe one of the best kickers in the game, but this will be an opportunity for him to showcase himself to the other 31 teams in the league as well as for us to get an evaluation, because you never know what's going to happen.
Q: Will he play on Friday?
Coach Allen:Yeah, Eddy will play on Friday. My plan is to kick Seabass [K Sebastian Janikowski] and [P Chris] Kluwe in the first half and Marquette [King] and Eddy in the second half.
Q: How is Jack Crawford progressing in his second year, and do you see him playing more inside or outside this year?
Coach Allen:Well I see him playing outside in the base downs and moving inside and playing inside in the nickel stuff. This is a critical time for Jack. I think I've seen improvement out of Jack, but he missed a lot of time last year in the preseason [and] he didn't get a lot of playing time during the season, so this will be a good opportunity for him to really step up and show what he's got.
Q: I know you said you didn't know the severity of the injuries to Menelik and Pat Sims, but is there anything that says that they weren't quite ready to go, or was it just aggravation?
Coach Allen:It would be speculation for me to say whether they were quite ready or not. Our thought process was that they were ready to get out here and work. We'll see where it goes from there.
Q: Is there any feeling that maybe they re-aggravated the injuries?
Coach Allen:Yeah, obviously that's the concern.
Q: With the guys who are out Friday, are any of those guys long-term injury concerns?
Coach Allen:Obviously long-term is relative. I still don't see anybody, with the exception of potentially Miles Burris, being a major long-term type of deal. Miles has not progressed like he or I had anticipated, so he's probably the guy that, from a standpoint of whether he's going to be ready for the opening game of the season, he's a concern.
Q: Anything new with the punters? Do you still think Kluwe is ahead of Marquette at this point?
Coach Allen:It's really played out about like I've said. Chris is a little bit more consistent, but the good thing for Marquette is he's going to have the opportunity to step out in games. He had the same opportunity last year and I thought he performed well in the preseason last year, so we'll give him another opportunity to see what he can do.
Q: In terms of Watson, he's missed so much time and then he finally gets back. Is it disappointing that he doesn't have a chance to start catching up?
Coach Allen:Yeah, it is. He's a guy that we're counting on, he's a second-round draft choice, he's got a lot of talent and a lot of potential, but he has to be able to be out here. I think he's as frustrated as any of us, too. It's not from a lack of effort, but I'll get with [head athletic trainer] H. Rod [Martin] and see where he's at.
Q: Would it almost be more valuable for Marquette to have to make a kick with his heels on the back of the end zone? To have to make a kick that you can't simulate in practice.
Coach Allen:Well I think that's what we're looking for, to see how he responds with a little bit of pressure on him. We talk a lot about situational football, and that includes everybody, that's specialists included, so we try to put those guys in as many of those situations as we can. If Dallas will let us script it, we'll try to work all the situations we can. I don't think they're going to let us, though.
Q: What have you seen from Matt McGloin since he joined the team?
Coach Allen:I've seen a smart, composed guy that throws the ball accurately, makes good decisions, goes to the right place with the ball [and] he understands the protections. That's really where he's kind of separated himself from Tyler [Wilson], although Tyler has been a lot better as he's had a chance to kind of sit back and watch a little bit more. I think it's a good competition, and I'm anxious to see both of those guys play against Dallas.
Q: Is it important to have guys compete, regardless of draft position?
Coach Allen:We have 90 guys on the roster. All of them are competing for an opportunity to be on the 53-man roster. I'm not paying a lot of attention to contract status, draft status. I'm trying to figure out, as well as [General Manager] Reggie [McKenzie], what [are] the right 53 guys for this football team.