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Coach Allen Saturday


Q: Did you come out of the game as healthy as you thought?**

Coach Allen:Yeah. Really it's just like [I said] after the game. Keenan Clayton, he'll be questionable for practice tomorrow, but other than that, I think we came out fairly healthy. Mike Brisiel, I'll probably rest him at practice tomorrow. But, I think everybody is going to end up being fine coming out of the game. Your normal after-a-game bumps and bruises.* *

Q: How do you think Tony Bergstrom did working with the first-team line?

Coach Allen:I was pleased with what Tony did working with the first-team line. I thought he made an improvement. I would still like to see him a little bit more powerful in his run blocking, but I thought he was better in protection, so I thought he took a step forward last night.* *

Q: What about Mike Brisiel playing right guard?

Coach Allen:I don't think – and that's one of the reasons why I want to give him a day off – because I don't think he's 100% healthy right now. I don't think he played, obviously, as well as we would have liked and really as well as he would have liked, so I want to try to get him some rest, get him healed back up where he is feeling a little bit better and give him a little bit better opportunity.* *

Q: Lucas Nix had practiced in the couple of days preceding the game after missing some time…

Coach Allen:Totally different injury, but again, when I say injury, it's another one of the nicks, and I didn't want to put him in the game and take a chance of really setting him back and missing him for an extended period of time. I don't anticipate that he'll be out for a long period of time, but we have to try to get him healthy.* *

Q: Do you see a lot of people coming back in the next couple of days, potentially?

Coach Allen:I'm hoping that we'll have some guys back to playing the game for sure. I think we'll have to play that out as the week goes along.* *

Q: What did you like most about Matt McGloin?

Coach Allen:I thought he held his poise in the pocket. I thought he did a nice job of making some good decisions, [he] made some good throws. He made a heck of a throw there to Brice Butler, who also made a great catch on the play. The thing that you see with Matt is that he is composed and he does have poise in the pocket. He doesn't get rattled, and for a guy that is an undrafted free agent, to handle himself the way he's handled himself in pressure situations has been a nice surprise.* *

Q: It seems like you have a lot of cornerbacks and it's going to be hard to make this team, despite having talent. Did any of those guys in that second tier separate themselves?

Coach Allen:I don't know that anybody has really created a huge separation. Overall, I thought they all played fairly well. We have to do a better job of setting the edge on the defense on a couple of those runs that got outside of us. But, I thought Phillip Adams stepped up a little bit in the game and showed some improvement over what I had seen so far in [training] camp. I'm pleased with where we are from a depth standpoint. I thought Chance Casey came in and played well in his role. So, I like where we're at. I like the fact that we have some depth, and I think it's a good thing when you have those challenging decisions when you start thinking about who's going to make it to the 53-man roster. When you have tough decisions on guys that can play football, that's a good thing.* *

Q: How did Taiwan Jones fair in his first game action at corner?

Coach Allen:Obviously, it's a physical skill set that he has. He's got that physical ability to play the game. There are still a lot of things that we have to get cleaned up. Just understating how to play the cornerback position from alignments, assignments and stuff like that. He's pretty solid on his assignments, but they're still just some details to the position that we have to continue to work with him on. Again, like I said before, Taiwan is exceptional on special teams. You watch the first kickoff of the game, and he goes down there and he's on the 10-yard line when the returner is just starting to return the ball, so that's something that you can't discount.* *

Q: There was the blocked field goal and there was some pretty sharp kick coverage, and you have a guy like Tyvon Branch, who is in there in a preseason game blocking a kick. He mentioned that Tracy Porter had almost blocked one earlier. Is that kind of a mindset and a mentality you want to establish this year that you'll put your best guys out there if you need to in order to get things done?

Coach Allen:We have to improve special teams, and I think that's one of the first places that you can improve your football team. We put a big emphasis on special teams this year and trying to improve in that area. I thought we did a good job in the game, both in the return game and in the coverage units, as well as field goal and field goal block. I thought we executed pretty well, for the most part, on the field goal team. And obviously, we had the big block there on the second drive of the game, so it's a huge emphasis for us this year, and we have to get better in that area.* *

Q: In terms of how well everybody seemed to be in tune with their assignments and what they were supposed to execute for the first game, did that go as well as it appeared?

Coach Allen:Yeah, I thought for the first preseason game I was really pleased with the execution of our football team. I thought that from a game-plan standpoint we played the game physical. I thought we controlled the clock on offense. A lot of times you get into these preseason games and they can get sloppy. I think we had four penalties in the game, so I thought, for the first preseason game, the execution and the attention to detail was pretty good. 

Q: What kind of jump do you want to see before next Friday? Is there another tier? Obviously you guys need to play sound football, but what's kind of the next step in the evolution through this camp?

Coach Allen:I think the big thing is we have to continue to learn how to play in situations. We had a couple of instances in the game where just situationally we have to be a little bit better. There in the fourth, we could have executed the four-minute [offense] a little better there and run down the clock a little bit more before we snap the ball.  The situation where Terrelle [Pryor] threw the interception down there in the end zone, just some situational things, playing the game smart that we have to continue to improve on. 

Q: It seemed like you spoke to Pryor after he threw that pick. Do you feel like it was a coachable moment and that he learned from that pretty quickly? Do you feel like that's the kind of thing you can take advantage of during these preseason games where you can really teach a kid to do something and you where you pleased he applied it so quickly?

Coach Allen:Absolutely, it's a teachable moment and you have to take advantage of all those teachable moments. That's been one thing we've consistently talked to Terrelle about is in those situations, don't be afraid to use your legs. Don't be afraid to use your skill set, and that was a situation there where we felt like he really could have pressed the edge and we had a chance to have a high-low on the corner and what you can't do … Not every play has to be a great play, not every play has to be a spectacular play. Sometimes the best play is to make the easy throw, keep yourself on schedule and those are things you deal with all young players. Terrelle really is no exception to that rule. I think we can all learn from those types of situations. 

Q: What were your impressions of Ryan Robinson so far?

Coach Allen:I felt that Ryan was a guy who gave us a little juice off the edge. He's a little bit of an undersized defensive end, but he does have some pass-rush ability. I think we want to continue to look at him throughout the preseason and see if he can give us something from a pass-rush standpoint. *  *

Q: Do you think you were fairly sure-handed? The drops have been a little bit of an issue practice to practice, some more than others; do you think you were pretty sure-handed overall?

Coach Allen:Yeah I did. Obviously we had a couple of drops during the game, but they would have been tough catches, but I thought overall we executed pretty well in the passing game. I thought everyone was really for the most part on the same page and reading out the defense the same way from wide receivers, tight ends, quarterbacks.  I thought they were all on the same page as far as what we were doing, so overall I thought we executed well.  There are still some things we have to get cleaned up, and like I said, I want to use these preseason games. It's as much learning how to play the game of football and how to be situationally smart as it is, 'Do you know what to do on this particular down? How do you run this particular route?' But how do you do those things within each individual situation in the game? 

Q: When it came to that sack fumble, it seemed to be a protection issue. When you look back at it, should that have been made pre snap or is that something that somebody maybe should have stayed back from the route, either the tight end or the back? What should have been done to protect that issue?

Coach Allen:Listen, it was a protection issue. We got a little hung up on the linebacker and we should have come back with a linebacker but really, you put that on everybody. You put that on the back, you put that on the quarterback, you put that on the offensive line. It was just something where we had a little bit of a mental lapse, and we'll learn from it. They ran the same exact pressure in the next series and we picked it up exactly right. It's something that you learn from and move on from. 

Q: Maybe it's too early for this but is it your intention to keep three quarterbacks on the 53-man [roster] or would you want to use that practice squad spot? Looking down the line, how many throwers do you want to keep?

Coach Allen:I think we'll look at that as we get a little closer to cut-down day. We're way far ahead of ourselves as far as that's concerned. We're going to keep the 53 best players we feel give us the best chance to have success on Sundays, and whether that's three quarterbacks, four quarterbacks, two quarterbacks, I don't know the answer to that yet. That picture will become clearer as we get closer to the end of preseason.

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