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Mini-Camp Q&A with Coach Allen


Raiders Head Coach Dennis Allen addresses the media. Photo by Tony Gonzales.

On what the team wants to accomplish in this camp:

Coach Allen: Really what we're just trying to get a good evaluation of the rookies, both the drafted players and the undrafted players. We've had a couple of good practices already. We've got a walk-through this evening and we have one more practice tomorrow.

On having so many players in this camp, specifically players in Oakland on a tryout basis:

Coach Allen: The big thing is, we wanted to be able to run an offense and a defense, and be a little deep to be able to do that, and to take a look at a lot of different guys and see what we can come up with. We've all been part of a lot of different teams where you find guys that play for you that you brought in on a tryout basis. We wanted to have a chance to look at a lot of guys and we've been able to do that.

On the expanded 90-man roster:

Coach Allen: We've got the ability to get to a 90-man roster and we want to be sure the guys we bring in all are capable of potentially making the team. That's part of the evaluation process of what we're going through today.

On players that have made a name for themselves over the first half of the camp:

Coach Allen: There have been several guys that have jumped out to me. I know (Rod) Streater, the wide receiver out of Temple, has done a nice job. He's been pretty impressive. Then Kaelin Burnett, the defensive end we got out of Nevada, has been a nice addition as a sam linebacker, a guy that can put his hand down on the ground on third down. So those are just a couple of guys.

On LB Miles Burris and his ability to adjust to the NFL:

Coach Allen: Well, football is football. There's only so much you can ask guys to do. The thing we liked about him from the very beginning is that he is an instinctive football player and he understands how to play the game. So, we're going to put him in positions that let him be successful, let him use his athleticism, let him use his instincts to make plays.

On the attributes of DT Travis Ivey:

Coach Allen: Big, powerful guy inside that has the ability to be a good run-stopping player inside.

On Ivey's versatility helping if the Raiders employ a 3-4:

Coach Allen: I think it helps a lot. We're obviously always going to be looking for guys that you can do multiple things with, and anytime you talk about first and second down and trying to stop the run, you need a big guy inside to be able to do that. He's been a nice piece to be able to work with, and he's been out here working and trying to get better. We'll see where he's at when we get through camp and see if he's good enough to make the team.

On his offseason:

Coach Allen: It's been busy. You kind of take it phase-by-phase. We just finished up with the draft phase and now we're kind of getting into the football phase of the offseason program. It's been pretty smooth, it's been exciting and everyday there's a little something different that shows up. You wake up every morning and you wonder what life has in store for you.

On the importance of this rookie camp with the OTAs on the horizon:

Coach Allen: I think it's extremely important. We've had the veteran players here for a while now, and already been through a mini-camp with them. So, the rookies are obviously behind from the mental and physical standpoint. So they're going to have to work hard and work fast and get caught up because if they don't get caught up pretty soon, they'll fall behind. So, it's really important to have this camp for them.

On LB Miles Burris:

Coach Allen: I think he's a tough, physical player. When you're at these camps, it's tough to tell how physical a guy is going to be, because of the rules and the way we have to go about practicing. But I've seen every indication that he's fully athletic enough to play the position we're asking him to play and we're excited about him.

On first impressions of Tony Bergstrom at left guard:

Coach Allen: I think he's done a nice job. He fits the zone-running scheme and he's got some athleticism. He's going to be a nice fit there.

On Bergstrom beginning his NFL career as a left guard:

Coach Allen: Yeah, we're going to start with him at left guard and give him a chance to compete and see where he's at."

On the status of FB Marcel Reece:

Coach Allen: Marcel Reece has been tendered and Reggie (McKenzie) and him and his agent have been working on trying to get the deal finished up. I don't know whether we'll see him on Tuesday or not, but hopefully we'll get him here soon.

On the status of Desmond Bryant:

Coach Allen: Desmond Bryant's been out here working. Absolutely.

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