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Coach Allen Day 7


Raiders Head Coach Dennis Allen: **Back at it again today. We put the pads back on. I was impressed with the tempo of practice. Today was a competition day; we put the jerseys up for grabs. We'll go in and take a look at the tape. I got a pretty good idea of where it went, but we'll take a look at the tape and see who got the silver jerseys. Injury updates: Stacy McGee tried to go out and practice today and wasn't able to finish. Myles Wade was injured today in practice. So again, nothing is a season-ending type of deal; a lot of nagging little injuries. We've just got to push through, and again, we've got to have a next-man-up philosophy. It is what it is, and we've got to keep pushing through and keep going.

Q: As short as you are with bodies at defensive tackle, do you have to look at bringing more guys?

Coach Allen:Yeah, absolutely. I think that's something we've got to continue to look at. We brought in Myles Wade, unfortunately he was injured today, so we've got to keep going and make sure we have enough bodies to come out here and practice with.

Q: Matt [Flynn] said he was getting comfortable with the offense and they're way beyond the initial building blocks. Is that how you see it and how has his progression been?

Coach Allen:I think he's getting more comfortable. I still think every day is a learning day. I think every day is a day we've got to continue to come out here and work and get better. And we're not going to be perfect right now. I don't expect perfection right now , but that's what we've got to continue to strive for and that's what we've got to hold ourselves – everybody, coaches and players – we've got to hold ourselves to that standard.

Q: Rashad Jennings had a season last year where he had 2.8 yards per carry which was a half of a yard less than [Darren] McFadden. They were both coming off seasons where they were having trouble making a lot of forward progress but he looks pretty good out here.

Coach Allen:Yeah, he's done some good things for us. One of the challenges you have for Rashad is … Rashad's a big back, we want Rashad to play like a big back, and that will be something we're going to look at as we go into the preseason is him being that big physical presence that we expect him to be.

Q: In short yardage?

Coach Allen:Yeah, I think that potentially, but when you look at it, in the scheme of things in what we're trying to do, we want to be a tough, physical running football team and the back is a big part of that.

Q: The secondary looked like they made a lot of plays today – they have talent, depth, experience. Is that what you feel could be a strength of this team?

Coach Allen:Yeah, absolutely. I think that was one of the areas we wanted to make sure we addressed in the offseason. I think [general manager] Reggie [McKenzie] did a great job of bringing in and acquiring some talent. Like I said before, with some veteran players like Tracy Porter, Mike Jenkins and a guy like Charles Woodson, bringing in those types of players, they've competed at the highest level and they've won at the highest level. I've said this before that this is a passing league, so for you to have success on defense, you have to be solid in the secondary, and I think we've improved in that regard.

Q: Were officials instructed to not throw flags today? Are they just talking to you guys?

Coach Allen:No, we told them if they saw something that I wanted to go ahead and put the flag on the ground. I think they really only had one penalty that they would have called on one particular play, so it was a pretty clean practice as far as that's concerned. They're obviously not going to see everything since they don't have the full crew out here. It's part of the deal. We bring the officials out, it's good for them, they get some work, but it's also good for us because we get a chance to have them explain some of the new rules and some of the things that they're going to emphasize this year.

Q: I noticed a lot of the assistants were talking to them during the plays.

Coach Allen:That's part of the process. That's part of the reason why they're out here, to educate us as coaches, educate the players how they're going to call the games, what their mechanics are. We'll have a meeting with them this afternoon, to where they can kind of show us the points of emphasis and the new rule changes.

Q: Is that where they'll tell you there's no more tuck rule?

Coach Allen:Well I think we already know that, but they'll go over that again I'm sure.

Q: Coach I know you updated us on DJ Hayden, but is he any closer to being 100 percent?

Coach Allen:Listen, he is what he is. Alright, I don't have any other update than the fact that we're waiting on the doctors to clear him for full contact. We anticipate that's going to be sometime during the preseason, but at the end of the day, we're waiting on the doctor's clearance.

Q: Has [Hayden] been set back [since his injury] at all?

Coach Allen: No.

Q: You said coming into camp that all the positions were going to be getting equal time, mainly the quarterbacks.

Coach Allen: Well, I never said all of the positions were going to get equal time. I said we were going to have a competition. Really, I'm going to let the competition dictate who's getting the reps. As you watch practice, that's where the competition is, and certain groups it hasn't declared, and others it has.

Q: I've noticed that Matt McGloin was the fourth quarterback to come out, and the last couple of days he's been the third quarterback coming out. Can you say what's behind that?

Coach Allen: Well, I think Matt McGloin has earned the right to get some reps. We brought him in here so we can evaluate and see how he is. He's earned that right. He's stepped up, and he's done some nice things.

Q: What role do you envision for Andre Carter? Do you see him as that pass rushing specialist that can make hay in certain types of situations, or could he be more of an every-down guy?

Coach Allen: I see Andre [Carter] as more of a third-down guy. Obviously he can go into the rotation and play first and second down, but I see him a little bit more as a third-down-type of player, passing situations a lot of times. The great thing about Andre is that he's a pro, so he's going to prepare himself for all situations. When he's called upon there to go in and play, he's going to play.

Q: It seems like when you have a guy like Jason [Hunter] and a guy like Andre [Carter] with maybe some differing strengths, that when you add those guys together they may be a pretty solid combination opposite Lamarr [Houston].

Coach Allen: Yeah. I like both of those players. I think both of them are veteran players. I think both of them understand what it takes to play this game, and there will be a role for both of those guys on this football team. Q: Dennis, you see him at practice earlier today, he's pulling Sio [Moore] aside, pointing out things in the one-on-one drills. On a defense that's had so many changes, how important is it to have veteran guys like him and [DB Charles] Woodson that can kind of convey the message to the players, rather that it always having to come from the coaches?

Coach Allen:I think on any team that is important that you have that veteran leadership. Any time you have guys like Charles Woodson, you've got guys like Andre Carter who are preaching the same message that we're preaching, and they understand what it takes to be a championship-level football team, and they understand what it takes to have success in this league. We have a lot of young players, and for those guys to take on that leadership role, that's part of what their job description is. Obviously we expect them to go out and make plays for us, but part of their job description is to help some of these young guys not just learn what to do, but really how to do it and how to play the NFL game.

Q: Is Alex Barron in the mix for the starting right tackle spot?

Coach Allen:Well I think we're going to let that thing play out, but obviously I've been impressed with the things Alex Barron has done and that's been a nice surprise for us. He's a guy that's kind of getting that second chance and he's taking advantage of it.

Q: How do you shed the perception that the Raiders are in rebuilding mode?

Coach Allen:I don't pay any attention to it. Our job is to go out here and compete and put the best product we can on the field, and that's exactly what we're doing. These guys aren't going to listen to anything anyone on the outside world has to say. We're worried about the guys in the locker room, the coaches on the staff, and we've got a mindset that we're coming out here to compete.

Q: Can you talk about the progression of [Mychal] Rivera, the tight end?

Coach Allen:I've been really impressed. Like I said yesterday, one of the question marks you had on Mychal Rivera is his ability to block. We knew he was going to be skilled in the passing game, which he has been, but I've been impressed with the fullness of his game and his ability in the running game as well as in protection.

Q: [TE Nick] Kasa missed some time. Is he still making that ground up a little bit?

Coach Allen:Absolutely. He's still behind, and he's got a lot of ground to make up and he's got to make it up fast.

Q: The hot topic around the league is the Riley Cooper situation in Philadelphia. Is that something you address with your team?

Coach Allen:We haven't addressed it. Obviously, that's a situation that you don't want anything to be divisive in the locker room. I think we all understand that we have a group of young men that all come from different backgrounds, and we have to respect all kinds of different backgrounds, whether it be race, religion, whatever the case may be.

Q: What are your thoughts on how the O-line has looked so far? Are you pleased? Concerned?

Coach Allen:I like the way the offensive line has worked. I've been real impressed with the way they've worked. I've been real impressed with the way that [assistant head coach/offensive line coach] Tony [Sparano] is coaching them. I think they're coming out and competing, and I think they're going to be ready to answer the challenge.

Q: Did you have anything to do with Lincoln Kennedy coming out here and tutoring some of the offensive lineman the other day? Coach Allen:No.

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