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Friday Q&A with Coach Allen


Raiders Head Coach Dennis Allen: **All right, I'll hit the injuries first. Tyvon Branch didn't practice. He's out for the game. Rashad Jennings was limited again—questionable for the game. Kaluka [Maiava] didn't practice. He'll be questionable for the game. [Darren] McFadden was limited. He'll be questionable. [Stacy] McGee was limited — questionable. [Tony] Pashos was limited — questionable. Marcel Reece was limited. He's probable in the game, and Menelik Watson and Stefen Wisniewski both did not practice. They'll both be out for the game.

Q: Are you optimistic about the guys that are questionable but practiced three days in a row?

Coach Allen: Yeah, I feel good about them, but we'll see how they feel tomorrow and on into Sunday morning. I feel confident that some of those guys will be able to make it in the game.

Q: The Raiders have won six games in a row at Arrowhead, which is really hard to do. Is there any factor at all causing that, or is it maybe a motivating factor for Kansas City?

Coach Allen: Every year is a different year, so you can't judge on what's happened in the past. Every year will be different. These guys are playing extremely well. They play well at home, and I think we all understand what the challenge is going in a facing them. It'll be critical that we're able to go in and get off to a fast start. If we're able to do that, I think that will benefit us, but we know it's going to be a tough environment to play in.

Q: You talked about Denarius [Moore] the other day and how you're working on the consistency thing with him. His personality outwardly isn't like a lot of receivers. It doesn't seem like he's the kind of guy that's constantly saying, 'I want the ball. I'm going to do this. I'm going to do that.' Is part of the trick with him getting him to understand how good he is?

Coach Allen: Really we've got confidence in all those guys. All of them can make plays for us. I think we've got a talented wide receiver group. I think all those guys are still young and up-and-coming players, so yeah. Part of the deal with all of those guys is developing the confidence that they can go in and do the job on a play-in and play-out basis. That comes from the consistency of the way that they work, the consistency with which they play, and it just comes from when you get opportunities to go out and make plays, going out and making them. Our guys have done a lot better job at doing that, and I think they're developing that confidence. It'll be a big test for those guys this week. Kansas City's got an outstanding secondary. They're very good at the corner position. They get up and play tough man-to-man coverage and try to win on the line of scrimmage, so it'll be important for those guys to get up there, fight and battle on the line and win the one-on-one battles outside.

Q: In terms of DJ Hayden, are you seeing the same basic problems each week, or are you seeing a steady ascent?

Coach Allen: No, he's getting better. He's getting better, and he's going to continue to get better. I think a lot of times when you have young players like that, everyone wants to jump to a conclusion early in the season. The key is do these guys continue to develop. Do they continue to get better on a week-in and week–out basis. He's getting more confident in what we're asking him to do and the things that he's capable of doing on the football field. I'm pleased with where he's at. He's got to continue to work and get better, and he'll do that.

Q: How do you guys slow down Jamaal Charles, especially catching the ball?

Coach Allen: Again, it's going to come down to getting 11 hats to the ball. Any time you have an explosive player like that, you've got to get multiple guys to the ball. He does a great job out in space and makes a lot of people miss, so it's going to be critical that we play fast and if somebody does miss a tackle out in space, we've got other guys there to back them up. That's what good defenses do.

Q: Has your tackling as a team gotten better?

Coach Allen: Yeah, I think we're improving. There are always things that you've got to continue to work on, but again in this league with these types of players and these explosive athletes you see on offense you're going to miss some tackles. The key is do you have guys there that are going to back you up so you feel confident so you can go take your shot. We'll continue to work on that.

Q: Sometimes it's difficult for West Coast teams to go play out East with the time difference. Do you see any difficulties getting your guys going at that early hour?

Coach Allen: No, I don't really look at that as a big factor. It's no different than it was last week when we played at 8:30 at night. You just go line up. Whenever the league tells us to go play the game, wherever they tell us to go play it, that's what we're going to do. We don't spend a lot of time talking about that. We just go play the game when they tell us to.

Q: How has [Andre] Holmes done this week in practice?

Coach Allen: He's done well. He's done well. I've been impressed with what I've seen out of him, and I think he's a guy that could potentially help us at some point.

Q: Do you think he'll be up for this game?

Coach Allen: There's a chance. Yeah.

Q: Terrelle always has plays at the line of scrimmage that he can check into. In a place like Kansas City where it's so loud and you need the silent snap, does it get into more of those plays?

Coach Allen: I don't know think that's going to change much as far as what we're asking him to do and the work load that we put on him as far as any adjustments or checks on the line of scrimmage. We've got a package of things that we do that we can check in and out of, and he's done a nice job with doing that. I don't think the volume will change. I think our execution has to be better. I think that we've all got to be on-point and understand that when we make an adjustment on the line of scrimmage everybody's got to get it.

Q: I know that it's just practice, but have you seen the kind of explosiveness and burst from Darren [McFadden] that signifies that his hamstring is bothering him less?

Coach Allen: Well listen, I watched him all week in practice. I like where he's at. I feel good about where he's at. Again, we'll see how he feels tomorrow, but I think every day he's gotten a little bit better.

Q: Did you do a lot of noise work out there?

Coach Allen: Yeah, but we really work that every week. We work that when we're on the road. We work that when we're at home because the defense has to deal with crowd noise too. Crowd noise can be beneficial at times, but it can be a factor for their defense too.

Q: Did you crank it a little louder because of the record attempt this weekend? Did you put it at full blast?

Coach Allen: It was up loud enough.

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