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Coach Allen Day 3

Coach Allen: Not a lot new on injuries really. Denarius Moore, we held him out with a hamstring more for precautionary measure than anything else. Richard Gordon has a little hip flexor [injury]. Everything else is pretty much just as it has been. 

Q: With Moore is this something new?

Coach Allen: It's kind of the same thing we've been dealing with but I don't really expect it to be anything. It is kind of more precautionary than anything else.

Q: Any progress with [Ron] Bartell or [Aaron] Curry?

Coach Allen: Yes. They are all making progress and we keep monitoring them day by day and hopefully they'll be out here soon.

Q: A lot of thudding up today in practice, not a lot of taking guys to the ground. Is that kind of the tempo you want to ease into the pads?

Coach Allen: Yes. Well I don't know if it's easing into the pads. We are not going to do a whole lot of live taking guys to the ground, but we are going to front up the ball-carrier when we get an opportunity and practice getting down in good football position and creating contact. But we are going to try and avoid going to the ground.

Q: What were you hoping to see in pads today?

Coach Allen: See if we would get after it and be a physical team and I thought we were that today.

Q: It looked like things were pretty clean early on and then penalties began to surface at the end. Is that just part of the process?

Coach Allen: It's a part of the process. That's what happens when guys begin to get tired. They lose their focus a little bit and that's the thing we've got to continue to push through, but overall I have been pleased with the penalty situation overall, but we still got to keep working on it.

Q: When you're not taking to the ground sometimes it can be a little deceiving in terms of the running plays whether they are actually gaining yards, at least in our eyes. What did you see out there? There were some plays early where it looked like [Mike] Goodson was getting some good yards and the other backs were. Were they getting yards?

Coach Allen: I thought early in the period offensively we had a couple of nice runs on some misdirection plays; and so some of those were just, as you saw, explosive plays in the running game. But I thought with exception of about two or three plays defensively we were able to stop the run pretty good.

Q: How much teaching can actually go on out there when you actually put the pads on for the first time?

Coach Allen: A lot; that's our job. The only reason why we are out here is to help these guys get better. So we are constantly trying to teach. This is one avenue for helping guys get better.  Then we get in the film room and get a chance to watch it on tape, and then we get a chance this afternoon to walk through all these things. There are a lot of different methods we are able to use to try and get these guys better.

Q: As a unit what did the linebackers look like to you?

Coach Allen: I thought overall it was pretty good. Early in the practice there were a couple where we missed fit up a couple of runs and let a couple runs get out of there. But I thought we did some nice things. Rolando McClain did some nice things in pass coverage. I'm pleased with the progress. Are we where we need to be? Absolutely not, we've still got a long way to go, but we are focused in on the process and getting better one day at a time.

Q: Van Dyke showed up a couple times again breaking up passes and that's like three days in a row. Coaches said in the past they grade guys everyday and look for high performance and they don't want to see dips in it.  Is the rest of his game matching up to the few plays we've seen out here? Is he being consistent besides those break-ups?

Coach Allen: He's been consistent. He still makes some young-player mistakes that we got to get coached out of him, but he continues to make a little bit of progress every day. I'll tell you like I would tell him, he's not where he needs to be yet, but he's got to continue to work and got to continue to learn the little nuances of the game.

Q: What have you seen from DHB [Darrius Heyward-Bey] so far, even going back to the off-season and then what do you expect out of him?

Coach Allen: I think he's improved as a receiver, as a total receiver.  His route running is better, he's catching the ball cleaner, and his blocking has been good. We are going to ask our receivers to do a lot of things and he's really our most veteran receiver, so we're expecting him to stand up and be a leader for us.

Q: What has been your impression of Jack Crawford, seems like he jumped out on a couple plays?

Coach Allen: I've been pleased with Jack. Jack is obviously a young player, so he's still learning the game, but he's a big guy that's got athleticism and he wants to be good. I think if you've got athleticism and you've got some football instincts and you're willing to work to get there, then at some point he'll be a player for us.

Q: It's your first training camp as a head coach and it's a relatively new coaching staff, how are things coming together for you administratively?

Coach Allen: Good, I mean, I think we've had good organization and things have run pretty smoothly. Every day is a new challenge so you just wake up every day and see what it's in store for you and then you go try to go attack it.

Q: When you say Crawford wants to do good, is that rare in most players?

Coach Allen: Well, when I say that I am saying that he is willing to do the things that are necessary to be good. I think, in my experiences, some guys are willing to go that extra to really be good and others are looking to take shortcuts. They want to be good but they are not willing to pay the price to be good. And he is one of those that is willing to pay the price to be good.

Q: How easy is it for you to recognize that some guys aren't willing to do that?

Coach Allen: It doesn't take long. It sticks out like a sore thumb and those are usually the guys that don't last very long, and if they do make it for a little while, you are always looking to replace them.

Q: Obviously you guys like Crawford, or else you wouldn't have drafted him. Is there been anything early on from him that surprised you?

Coach Allen: No I don't think so. He is still relatively new to the game, so I guess if it was one thing, then his knowledge of the game and his instincts and the way that he has been able to pick up things I have been impressed with.

Q: With Rolando [McClain], are there things that you have found or are trying to do with him that he hasn't done in previous years? Are you looking for new ways to exploit his athletic skills?

Coach Allen: Yeah, well not just specifically with Rolando, with all of our players. We are looking for the things that our guys do well, and those things we are going to try and put them in those positions as many times as we can and try to limit the times that we ask them to do something differently.

Q: How much more do you need out of him this year for that defense to take that next step? How much more do you need out of Rolando?

Coach Allen: I think we need a lot out of him, as with all of our players. He is one of those guys that we are counting on to be one of the leaders of this team.  He is one of our guys that worked out to be one of our playmakers on our team. So he has got to step up. Our job as coaches is to find ways to reach him, and his job as a player is to find ways to get better every day and try to do the things that we are asking him to do and I think so far he has done a great job of that.

Q: Do you see guys like Crawford that are making plays on the third team or second team, do you start saying let's put you on the first team and see if we can see some comparisons?

Coach Allen: The evaluation process takes time. So were not going to jump out after one or two practices, one practice in pads, and flip the whole depth chart around. We notice when guys make plays. We keep track of that, and when a guy makes enough plays, eventually he gets a chance to move up the depth chart and see if he can do it against a different level of competition. So we will continue to evaluate it and when we feel like there is a need to move somebody up or down we will make those changes.

Q: [Joe] Barksdale and [Tony] Bergstrom have been flopping on the sides. Are both those guys ready for either side?

Coach Allen: I think we have got to move them all around.  I think at some point you have to have position flexibility. Whether it is right guard or left guard, right tackle, left tackle, guys that can do a little bit more become more valuable when you start talking about game-day activation.

Q: What have you seen from Shawntae Spencer so far? When a guy has been around as long as he has, are you just looking for consistency over everything else?

Coach Allen: I am looking for him to make plays just like everybody else. With all of our players I think we are looking for consistency. The worst thing you can have is a guy that is going to be up and down in the National Football League. You want guys you can count on on a day-in and day-out basis, and as long as we know what we are getting, then we are going to be able to put them in positions to utilize their talents to the best of their ability. Guys that are up and down, you don't know what you are going to get from them one day to the next, so those are hardest guys to put into position to make plays. So Shawntae has done a nice job for us, and we are planning on him to continue to improve.

Q: What does the day off entail under the CBA? Can you still meet with these guys tomorrow?

Coach Allen: They get the day off and we can have them back in for curfew tomorrow night.

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