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Coach Allen Day 16


Head Coach Dennis Allen:To start off with, the injury updates and the guys who couldn't finish practice today were Chimdi Chekwa and Stacy McGee. We're a little bit more into a game-week-type of schedule right now, so we'll start preparation for Chicago tomorrow morning. We'll start game planning for them and start getting ready for them.**

Q: Is Darren [McFadden] limited at all with the shoulder issue?

Coach Allen:Yeah, we limited him some today, but I don't think it's anything serious. I expect him to be fine.

Q: How hard is it going to be when you get to the roster cuts? If you've got the first one in a week and a half, when you are going to have to make a decision on a guy that you haven't looked at that much, is that just how it goes some times?

Coach Allen:Well that's the nature of the business. Obviously, there are 90 guys out here and at the end of the day, we've got to get 53. So the roster cut downs are always a challenge and there are always a lot of difficult decisions that you have to make. It's coming up on us fast, so these last two games are going to be critical for some guys on the team.

Q: With that in mind, if you get a guy back that's been out all of camp – or most of it – will you be inclined to play him more in an exhibition game?

Coach Allen:Yeah. I would think if a guy hadn't been able to go and he's been out, at some point we want to be able to see it. So for a number of those guys, if we're able to get them back, then we're going to have to see them in game action.

Q: [Matt] McGloin and [Tyler] Wilson didn't see any action in team sessions today, what was the purpose behind that?

Coach Allen:Well again, we're getting a little bit more into a regular-season-type of mode, so their snaps may be a little bit more limited, and we'll play that out as the week goes on.

Q: What about [Tony] Bergstrom, rotating him at several different spots today and having him play at right tackle during the game? Are you just trying to find that right spot for him?

Coach Allen:Yeah, I think part of Bergstrom's deal with playing some tackle is that with the injury situation, somebody's got to be able to go out there and play in an emergency situation, so we're playing him there. We went with Lucas Nix at right guard today and we put Bergstrom at left guard today. So we're still mixing and matching that up a little bit and trying to figure out who the best five are going to be.

Q: How's Taiwan Jones progressing? Is it going at the pace you thought it would be?

Coach Allen:I think he's behind as far as playing the corner position. And obviously – I've said this before – his major value for this football team is as a special teams player. I think he's proven that in the first two preseason games, and we'll continue to work him there and continue to try and get him better as a corner.

Q: Can you evaluate Josh Cribbs? Do you think he's being hindered, in terms of speed?

Coach Allen:Well, I think we're going to continue to evaluate him over the next couple of games and see what he gives us from a special teams standpoint and as a returner.

Q: Is he [Josh Cribbs] still hampered by anything?

Coach Allen:I think we've got to see the burst and explosion, and that's something that we're looking for in the next couple of games. Q: How did [DJ] Hayden look out there today?

Coach Allen:I thought Hayden looked fine. He's still got some work to do. It's going to be good to get him in some game action this week, let him go out there and play. When you've missed the time that he's missed as a rookie, it puts you a little bit behind from a mental aspect, but physically I think he looks just fine.

Q: Is [DJ] Hayden going to get a chance to go with the ones in the game? And is that because [Tracy] Porter is hurt or because you want to get a look at him with the ones?

Coach Allen:Well, that's my initial thought going in. But it's a little bit of both.

Q: Chicago's had some major change this offseason. What do you expect to see from them Friday?

Coach Allen:Just looking at them [on] defense and special teams, I think they're still a really solid football team. Obviously, offensively they've got some weapons. I think their runners do a really nice job. I think the quarterback is an outstanding player, and obviously, Brandon Marshall presents some problems out there at the wide receiver position. So I expect this to be a tough game and it'll be good to watch us go and match up against these guys.

Q: You mentioned that you liked the way that Jack Crawford played on Friday. He had a good game. Do you see more assets for him at defensive tackle or end?

Coach Allen:Well I think we've got to look at him playing defensive end in base-down situations and moving inside some in nickel down situations. That's kind of been our plan all along with him, and we'll continue that way.

Q: Would you consider a non-traditional-quarterback situation in that maybe you bring a guy off the bench in certain situations?

Coach Allen: I think we've said all along that we want to be able to have a package of plays that Terrelle [Pryor] is real comfortable in, so if that's what gives us an opportunity to have success then that's what we'll do. To answer your question, I don't know what's traditional and what's non-traditional, but we're going to put the guys out there that give us the best chance to have success.

Q: What do you think of Kaelin Burnett?

Coach Allen:Well it's good for him to get a lot of reps and get some plays. We've moved him around and played him in a lot of different spots, so I think his head's swimming a little bit a times, but he's a guy that we've got to continue to work and continue to try and evaluate in these next couple of games.

Q: Do you think he's probably better at the WILL [weakside linebacker spot] generally?

Coach Allen: Well he's probably best as a SAM (strong-side), but we've filled him in at a lot of different roles. We've played him at the SAM. We've played him at the MIKE. We've played him at the WILL.

Q: Since you and Reggie [McKenzie] got down here, so much has been done to get the franchise on firm footing for the future. Is it difficult planning for the future while still trying to be successful in the present?

Coach Allen: Obviously you have to have a long-term vision for the organization, for the football team, but at the same you're trying to win, trying to do the best for this football team and give us the best chance this season. It's a delicate balance, but I think everybody goes through that. I don't think that's something that's specific to just our organization, our team. I think everybody has the same challenge.

Q: Ryan Robinson is a guy that you said you got a little pass-rush ability out of. Have you seen him take a step forward against the run at all?

Coach Allen: I saw a little bit in the game the other night. I also saw some times when we put him in against the ones where we probably didn't set enough edge, so I believe that's still something that he's got to continue to work on, but he's got some athletic ability. I think that's what you're always looking for – guys that have a skill set that maybe you can project at some point in time that really develops.

Q: Is that something in general that you'd like to move on runs to the outside, runs to the tackle?

Coach Allen: We talked about that today. We had to do a better job of setting edges on the defense, whether it's from the secondary position, from the linebacker position, from the defensive end position. We've got to try to keep the ball inside and give the rest of the defense a chance to have success.

Q: Both lines received some criticism after the game. When you're exposed like that, does it help both units to prepare for the next game?

Coach Allen: Well that's part of what these preseason games are all about. You need to get the experience. You need to see guys in game situations and see how they respond. It's all part of the evaluation process. Just like everything you do, we take that game and learn from it. We correct the mistakes and move forward to Chicago.

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