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"It's going to be a great atmosphere"


Opening statement: **"Tyvon Branch did not practice. Miles Burris did not practice. Chimdi Chekwa was limited in practice. Maurice Jones-Drew was limited. Matt McCants was limited in practice. Sio Moore did not practice. Nick Roach did not practice [Coach Allen corrected himself later in the transcript]. Rod Streater did not practice, and Matt Schaub did not practice, but that's not injury related."

Q: What's the status with Miles Burris?

Coach Allen:"He didn't practice today. He's got a foot. We'll see if he's able to get out there."

Q: Nick Roach has gone from practicing limited to now not practicing at all.

Coach Allen:"He was limited again today. His status really hasn't changed a lot. He's still going through the protocol."

Q: It's pretty thin at linebackers if Sio, Nick and Miles can't go. How do you feel about Bojay Filimoeatu with Kaluka Maiava?

Coach Allen:"We'll monitor that as we go through. We're hopeful that one if not two of those guys could potentially be ready. We'll see how the week goes, but hopefully some of them will be out there practicing tomorrow."

Q: Burris was injured in the game?

Coach Allen:"Correct."

Q: Is Andre Holmes the next man up without Rod Streater?

Allen:"Yeah, Andre Holmes will be the guy. Vincent Brown will be a guy that we'll bring in and use. Brice Butler, also, will be a guy that we can use. We've got some guys that can step in and help out in that way."

Q: How did Andre Holmes look last week?

Coach Allen:"He made some plays and then had some plays that we wish we could have back. We've got confidence that Andre, when we put him in the game, will go out and make some plays for us. He made a couple plays for us in the game the other day. He drew the pass interference penalty and had a big catch down in the boundary. Those are some of the things that Andre did for us last year and we feel like he can bring some of those things for us this year."

Q: You've tried to mirror this week as similar as you can to your schedule in Alameda, but clearly it's not a normal week. How did you think practice went today?

Coach Allen:"I thought practice was pretty good. Obviously we got here Monday morning and the guys had a little bit of time on Monday and Tuesday to catch up on a little bit of rest. Now we'll get started with a normal game week preparation. I think the further we go into the week, the more acclimated the guys will get to the time change and hopefully that won't be any sort of factor come Sunday."

Q: The Dolphins aren't coming until Friday...

Coach Allen:"I just worry about us. I like the plan. I like the schedule. We'll worry about us and try to get ready for the game."

Q: What are your thoughts on the Miami Dolphins? What challenges do they present?

Coach Allen:"It's a good football team. Defensively, they're fast. They're aggressive. They do some different things. They like to pressure the quarterback. They've done a great job of getting pressure on the quarterback so we've got to understand what they're trying to do. Their front four is outstanding as far as getting pressure on the quarterback. We've got to take care of the front four. We've got to be able to make some plays down the field when we get some opportunities. We're going to need to be able to run the ball and be a balanced offense. Their offense presents a lot of challenges. There is some up-tempo stuff. They like to spread you out. They try to run the football. They've done a really good job of being able to run the ball. Our ability, like we talked about last week, to tackle in space will be critical against this team."

Q: You guys have said you're close in the running game to breaking some big runs. What is going to make that difference?

Coach Allen:"Each play is different. We're probably about a guy away on a couple of runs of being able to break one. I talked to the team about the runners are going to have to be able to make people miss and be able to break one. We've got to be assignment-perfect up front, as far as getting on blocks and sustaining our blocks just a little bit longer. That's really the difference when you get back and work at it. When you ran the ball effectively, the margin for error is not very big and we're pretty close."

Q: Obviously this is a significant game for Menelik Watson. He started out as a starter in the preseason and now he's not starting. How would you assess his progress?

Coach Allen:"I think, the one thing we have to remember is that Menelik is still a young player. He doesn't have a lot of football experience. He's still relatively young to the game. I'm not in any way disappointed as far as where he's at. He's just still got some development to do, some growing up to do. I still think that he's going to be a really good player at some point. We felt really good about what Khalif Barnes has been able to do, too. Like I said, earlier in the year and throughout training camp, I like the depth on the offensive line. I think we've got several guys that can go in there and play and help us be effective as an offense. We're going to continue to use Menelik. We've used him in some jumbo tight end situations and we'll continue to do that. We'll see how he continues to come along."

Q: Have you seen a steady rise of progress from him?

Coach Allen:"Yeah. He's done a better job of being available on a daily basis. I think that's step number one in developing yourself as a football player. The more you can stay out on the field and continue to work and practice and you continue to get some game experience, I think it's good."

Q: Did Tyvon Branch and Rod Streater have surgery? Is there a timetable for that?

Coach Allen:"There's no timeline for either one of those guys. Both of them are going to need surgery. We'll just monitor their situations individually and see what the recovery time is."

Q: The defense stepped up against the Patriots and the feeling throughout the players seems to be pretty positive. Do you see that being a momentum situation?

Coach Allen:"I certainly hope it will be.* *I think we played better. Ultimately, thereare still a few plays in the game that we need to be able to come up with and need to be able to make that puts us over the hump and gives us an opportunity to win games. It certainly gives us something to build off of. There's still a lot of areas that we've got to improve."

Q: Do you anticipate Matt Schaub coming over here?

Coach Allen:"I don't. I talked to Matt earlier in the week and he's still got some things that he's dealing with with his family. Out of respect for him, we're not really going to comment on what he's got going on. He's taking care of some family things and I think that's important. He probably won't be joining us here this week."

Q: Are you more confident this week in having Maurice Jones-Drew fit to play Sunday?

Coach Allen:"He was able to go out there and practice today, so that's a good sign and a good step in the positive direction as far as far as trying to have him available for the game. I'm hopeful that he'll be available."

Q: Can you tell us how big of an issue in the NFL the social issues, particularly domestic violence, are?

Coach Allen:"Listen, I don't think it's just an NFL issue. I think it's a societal issue. That's something that as a society we need to address. The National Football League can be at the forefront of that. I think the National Football League really can shape a lot of the values in our society and I think that's what the Commissioner is trying to do, and I think that's what the National Football League is trying to do."

Q: As a visiting team here, do you feel a responsibility to be ambassadors of the sport?

Coach Allen:"Absolutely. Whether we were playing in the UK or whether we were playing in the United States, it's our responsibility as players, it's our responsibility as coaches, our responsibility as employees of the National Football League to represent the NFL in a way that it should be. That's something that we take very seriously and will continue to do."

Q: Raider Nation has been waiting for this game for a long time, not just here in the U.K. but in Europe as well. What kind of atmosphere are you looking forward to seeing at Wembley?

Coach Allen:"I think it's going to be a great atmosphere. We've got a great following in the United States, but really all over the world. I'm looking forward to seeing the game on Sunday and I'm looking forward to seeing the atmosphere and seeing Raider Nation out there supporting us."

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