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"We had some good work out there"


Opening statement: **"Matt McCants had a full practice. Sio Moore did not practice. Nick Roach was limited. Matt Schaub, again, did not practice and then Rod Streater did not practice."

Q: How would you describe today's work on the practice field?

Coach Allen:"The work was good. Obviously it was third-down day today. I thought we had some good work out there. Weather was nice, nice and cool out there. Guys were flying around. I think guys are settling in to the time difference and getting adjusted. We've had two pretty good days of work."

Q: You said guys are settling in the time difference, could you tell a difference from yesterday's practice to today?

Coach Allen:"I think every day you've been able to tell a difference. I'll start first with myself. I have had a chance to kind of catch up a little bit and get a little rest. I know I was feeling better this morning. I thought our guys, just by the way you watch them move around, they looked like they were doing a little bit better today."

Q: Faster and quicker?

Coach Allen:"Yes."

Q: Can you tell us about what you've seen in Derek Carr?

Coach Allen:"I've seen huge progress in him. Obviously we felt good about him when we drafted him. Getting him in, really throughout all of the offseason, we started to see some progress there. I knew he was really smart but I guess I didn't know exactly how smart he was until we actually put him in those situations and watched him operate and watched him retain the information we were giving him. Not just be able to retain the information, but be able to process that information in a timely manner on the football field, which is something that the quarterback has to do a lot. He does that extremely well. We've put a lot on him. We're in no way limited as to what we can do with him at the quarterback position. We can throw a lot of different stuff at him. He does a great job operating it and keeping our offense on the same page."

Q: You have an issue with run defense that you got fixed last week. Now your issue is running the ball. Is it a similar mindset, or is it more technical?

Coach Allen:"I think part of it is a similar mindset. Running the ball offensively is about enough attempts and keep going at it and really you're able to run the ball a lot better when you get out to a lead. That's something that we need to do, get out to a lead a little bit where you can be a little more effective running the football. I still think that we're going to be able to run the ball and run the ball effectively. I think we'll be judged at the end of the year whether we are a good rushing team or a good run defense. Right now we are three games in. It is something that we are constantly looking to improve."

Q: How important is starting fast because that allows you to get into being able to rush the passer and run the football? Are you starting fast enough?

Coach Allen:"Obviously we haven't' started as fast as we would like. That's something that we constantly preach around here, getting off to a fast start and being able to execute early in the game. Not only getting off to a fast start in the first half, but being able to get off to a fast start in the second half of the football game. We've kind of done that a little bit in spurts on both sides of the ball, but we haven't done it as consistently as we need to. That's something that we've preached. That's something that we're working on. It really comes down to our execution at the beginning of the game and the beginning of the half."

Q: Has Brandian Ross been able to step right in since it wasn't that long ago that he was here?

Coach Allen:"He started for us most of the season last year. What we're doing defensively isn't a ton different than what we've done. We've got him in here early enough in the week where we feel like we can catch him up and get him up to speed. We'll see where he's at as the week goes on. We've got a couple of days still before we have to play, but I think he can step in and fill a role for us."

Q: How tough of a blow is it to lose Tyvon Branch?

Coach Allen:"Any time you lose a good player it's a tough blow. I think it's specifically tough for him, being that it's two years in a row. That's hard on anybody. It's a great game and we're fortunate enough to be a part of it and anytime it's taken away from you, it's tough to deal with. He's a competitor. He'll continue to battle and he'll work hard to get himself back. We'll try to push him to get back and be ready to go for next year."

Q: As hard as everybody works, how much do you need a win?

Coach Allen:"That's why what we do what we do. This game is all about momentum and confidence. That's what winning does, it builds momentum and builds confidence. That's what our primary focus is. That's what we're trying to do. We'll put a good game plan together. Hopefully we'll go out and perform as well as we can and hopefully we will get that win this week."

Q: Maurice Jones-Drew seems confident that he's going to be ready to go. Where do you see him right now?

Coach Allen:"I think he's in a better spot now than he was two weeks ago and even where he was last week. Signs are pointing that he's going to be ready to go for this weekend."

Q: With Rod Streater, do you think it's a possibility that he could come back this season?

Coach Allen:"It's way too early to tell. We'll see what happens once we get back and how long that recovery process is going to be for him."

Q: Do you have any reaction to the sense of excitement here?

Coach Allen:"I've been locked away over here in the meeting rooms. It's like a dungeon over there. I think you can sense the excitement from the people here in the UK. I think our football team is excited about being here and excited about playing the game."

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