Coach Allen Day 8

Coach Allen: Nothing updated on the previous injuries. Obviously today, Mike Goodson's got a neck. Not sure exactly what the extent of that injury is right now. He did have feeling in his extremities, which is obviously good news. We will be monitoring to see how he's doing throughout the night. But I don't really have anything to update you guys on as far as his injury. And Jack Crawford had a foot and we held him out of the second half of practice.

Q: When something like that happens is it tough to keep concentration amongst the team?

Coach Allen: Yes it is. He's your teammate; all of us put a lot of hard work and effort into this job. Nobody likes to see anybody get injured, especially when it happens it that regard. So yeah, it's tough to regroup, but I thought our guys were able to get through the rest of practice. We'll find out more information about how Mike is doing and make sure we keep everybody updated.

Q: Any thoughts out there of ending practice out there at the time? Or is just too important to get the work in?

Coach Allen: No, there wasn't a thought of ending practice. I thought our medical people really had the situation under control. We felt like we'd go ahead and keep working.

Q: Did you get a read for how distracted and broken up the guys were about it?

Coach Allen: They were affected, obviously, they all were affected. That's hard when you see one of your teammates go down like that. It was a distraction. I thought our guys tried to focus back as best as they could. We finished up practice and we will find out more about how he is doing and kind of go from there.

Q: The fact that it's a little hotter out here and its going to get a hotter the next couple of days. Is that something you welcome because you want them to be able to go through that? You got a game in Miami the second game that is going to be hot.

Coach Allen: All of these things are challenges. You speak about mental toughness and that's part of the deal being able to fight through the distractions of the heat or whatever the case might be. I think having these guys have to push through some of this heat is good. We are going to have to play in pretty hot conditions down in Miami the second game of the year so we got to be ready for it.

Q: I saw a lot of first-offense work. Was there more emphasis on that today? And how did [Carson] Palmer look within that? 

Coach Allen: I thought Carson looked good. I've continued to be impressed with the way he worked. The rotations were pretty much the same as what they've been.

Q: You have mentioned Drew Brees being a guy you admired when you were coaching with them. Any comparisons with Carson and his presence?

Coach Allen: Yes, I think his presence, his leadership ability, his understanding of football, and he's developing really a grasp for this offense; I think those are all similarities. The work ethic…Carson, he works extremely hard at his craft and I think that's why people gravitate to him.

Q: When you think about the West Coast and the movement it takes with him. Was your first reaction we are going to have to see if he can do this or did you know right away?

Coach Allen: Not at all. I always thought Carson was a good athlete, he was just never asked to do a lot of those things. Once we got out on the practice field I realized he was plenty athletic to do what we are going to ask him to do.

Q: What does it mean for you as a football team as a whole to have a leader like Carson?

Coach Allen: It's extremely important, I think especially being that it's at the quarterback position because I think that's the most important position in football. Being that he's one of our hardest working guys and a team leader, people have to step up and respond to the challenges that he sets.

Q: What's your evaluation of the chemistry between Carson and Matt [Leinart] because they have so much in common in their backgrounds?

Coach Allen: They have good chemistry. They have a lot in common, they've been together before so not only do they have a friendship but they have a good working relationship too. Both of them are able to lean on each other for advice and looking at different situations.

Q: Did you see the hit that injured Goodson?

Coach Allen: I did not see it cleanly so I don't really know exactly what happened on the play. I heard it more than I saw it, but I'll look at the tape and see exactly what happened.

Q: Are you concerned that it could exceed the bounds of what you normally do during training camp or will you review all that stuff when you look at it?

Coach Allen: Yeah, we're going to look at it. It's like I told the players after practice - this is football and things are going to happen. We don't want those things to happen, it's unfortunate, but its football. We have to understand how to practice as a team and work together because we need everybody. I think for the most part we've done a pretty good job of that, [but] obviously as you get later into training camp and you start seeing some of the heat, people get more irritable, they get a little bit more on edge, and things begin to bother people a little bit more, coaches and players.

Q: With the first game coming up, have you thought about how you're going to do the reps for the first teams?

Coach Allen: Yeah, we've put a little bit of thought into it but I haven't really sat down with the staff yet so I'm going to refrain comment on that right now, but we'll sit down as a staff over the next couple days and get a good plan for how we're going to use these guys.

Q: What is your overall feeling about training camp and this team so far?

Coach Allen: I think the guys are trying to do what we're asking them to do, they're competing hard and that's all we can ask. The guys are trying to do it the right way and as long as they continue to try to do it the right way we'll continue to improve and we'll continue to get better.

Q: Is one of you goals to have more order on this team just based on the history of the Raiders and penalties and not being as in order as you need to be?

Coach Allen: Well you have to. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, so we have to do something different, we have to change, and if we don't change, we'll see the same result. That's the message that we've preached and we're going to continue preaching that until the end of the season.

Q: I'm sure you looked at DeMarcus Van Dyke a lot on film coming into taking this job, what's the biggest difference between the DVD you see now at practice versus the one you saw on film from last year?

Coach Allen: I think he's seen it a little bit more. Last year as a rookie, it's hard. You see a lot of different looks. He's had a season under his belt, he's had a chance to see the looks and he's a little bit more experienced. Usually when you have guys with that type of athleticism, if they have a little bit of experience, then their athleticism is able to take over a little bit and that's some of the things that I've seen in him this camp.

Q: You talked about the first game and the communication and everything coming up. Have you checked out the new headsets they are providing around the NFL this year?

Coach Allen: I haven't checked out the new headsets. I am not worried about the headsets yet.

Q: I know a lot of the coaches have talked to people around the league and they have had problems with them in the past. Did you know that they were going to do something about it?

Coach Allen: Yeah, that was something that was discussed at the league meetings. That's really not a concern of mine right now.

Q: Did you ever have any issues with the communication the last few years?

Coach Allen: You always have issues. Every now and then your communication goes out or the replay goes out and you can't figure out why. Then the next thing you know somebody else has it. It is part of the deal, everything is a challenge and you have to adapt to it.

Q: Were you down as a coordinator last year?

Coach Allen: Yes.

Q: And are your coordinators going to be offense up, defense down this year?

Coach Allen: Both our coordinators will be on the field.

Q: With [Travis] Ivey gone now and with the depth chart out now, I saw the nose tackle position. What type of opportunities are there for [Dominique] Hamilton and [Jamie] Cumbie?

Coach Allen: I think there are opportunities there. At the end of the day, we are looking for who is going to step up and take that role as the fourth interior defensive tackle. Cumbie, Hamilton, Bilukidi, we are looking for one of those guys to step up and take that position. That will be interesting to see how that plays out as we go through preseason games.

Q: With the penalties and the focus, was it better today than yesterday? Are you happy with the way things have gotten better?

Coach Allen: It has been up and down. Some days I think are better than others. It's all about our mental ability to focus in. Like I said, some days we've been better than others, but if I looked at overall throughout the camp, I think there has been improvement in that area.

Q: How do you beat the monotony of camp? You are almost two weeks in, how do you keep it fresh for the guys?

Coach Allen: You just have to keep changing things up. We will do some different things as we continue on. Yesterday we had a live session. We anticipated having another live session today, but due to some of the injury situations we decided not to do that. And we will change some other things up as we continue to go along.

Q: When Darren McFadden has run well for the Raiders the offense has really clicked. Going forward this season, how do you think Darren looks right now? And what are your hopes and dreams as the head coach for a running back of that talent to continue on?

Coach Allen: I think he looks outstanding. He looks fast, he looks powerful, he looks explosive, and I think if he can stay healthy for a sixteen game season, and that's what my vision is when I lay in bed at night I am hoping to see him healthy for sixteen games, and if he is I would expect good things out of him.

Q: How difficult is it to be a first year head coach with your plans, hopes, dreams and ideas, but also knowing that day to day, game to game, week to week, it doesn't matter what, and injury could throw off everything in your plan?

Coach Allen: Yeah, well it has been that way throughout my coaching career. That's the way it is and we have a next man up philosophy. When somebody goes down, it's unfortunate, but somebody else has to step up and take over the slack and that is what we fully expect our guys to do.

Q: 8-8 last year, what are your hopes this year?

Coach Allen: I don't put boundaries on us. My hopes are that we continue to improve as a football team every day. We don't worry about the end results, we worry about the process. If we take care of the process and we work the right way and we prepare the right way, the end results will take care of themselves. 

Q: You kept Al Saunders around for continuity and all his experience, is it mostly for [offensive coordinator Greg] Knapp to lean on? And how has helped out in camp so far?

Coach Allen: Well, he has helped all of us. I think a guy with that type of experience helps all of us. He has been a head coach in the league before and so I have leaned on him for advice on certain things. He is a great source for Greg and the passing game especially with our offense. And he does a great job working with Mark Hudson with tight ends on a day-to-day basis. So I am really pleased with Al. I think he is a very important piece of our coaching staff and a very important part of our organization.

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