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News

Coach Allen Friday

Posted Aug 30, 2013

Raiders Head Coach Dennis Allen spoke to the media via conference call late Friday afternoon and talked preseason, injuries and more...

Coach Allen: Lets go ahead and start with this: I know you guys are all going to want to know what we’re going to do at different positions and who’s going to be on the team or who’s not going to be on the team, but we’re not going to address any type of roster moves. There are still some things that we’ve got to get done by tomorrow at three in the afternoon. I’m really going to hold off on making any kind of comments on the roster until we make those things official and then I’ll be free to comment on it after that.

Q: You mentioned that you were going to wait and look at the tape to see a little bit more on what Terrelle Pryor did. What stood out to you?

Coach Allen: What Pryor did was he created some things. He did a nice job of being able to scramble out of some things and made a few plays on the move. That’s really one of the things that he has the ability to do. There are still some young mistakes that he made in the game and some things that we’ve got to get corrected and get fixed. But, the one thing that he’s able to do is he’s able to create on the move.

Q: Do you like having that kind of athleticism in your starting quarterback?

Coach Allen: You want your quarterback to be able to make plays. It really doesn’t matter what the box score says at the end of the game; how many yards they ran for, how many completions they had. What it really boils down to is how did they move the team? Were we effective and did we score enough points? That’s the one thing that I’m the most concerned with.

Q: How do you think Menelik Watson played?

Coach Allen: After watching the tape, I was impressed. I thought he looked very comfortable over there. I thought he played hard. I thought he played physical, which was something that I wanted to see if he would play physical and finish. I thought he did that. Obviously there is still a lot of growth potential there. I think for the first time out, for a guy that hasn’t played in that position in that environment, I thought he handled himself extremely well.

Q: Did it surprise you how well he played, considering that lack of experience?

Coach Allen: I don’t know that it surprised me a whole lot. I thought he would do well because he is a very good athlete. He’s a big, powerful man. He just hasn’t played the position a lot and he’s got to go through the growing process over there. I thought it was great for him to get out there and go through that process and prepare himself for what it might look like on opening day.

Q: You said last night that you knew who the starting quarterback would be. Have you told the QBs?

Coach Allen: No, I haven’t.

Q: When will you tell them?

Coach Allen: That answer is going to come sooner rather than later.

Q: Is Sio Moore’s toe a problem that could hurt him for the opener?

Coach Allen: He went out and was able to move around today. Obviously, we haven’t ruled him out. I think we have to wait and see where he’s at, probably Monday when we get back out onto the field, if he’s ready to get back on the field, see how close he is to have a better determination as to what we think his game-day status might be for opening day. I think guys that we’ve got to see, David Ausberry would be a guy we’ve got to see where he’s at as far as availability for opening day. Tony Bergstrom injured his foot in the game the other night. I don’t know the total extent, but it looks to be a significant foot deal. We’re going to continue to evaluate that and see exactly where he’s at, but I would anticipate that he’s going to miss some time.

Q: You brought Mike Brisiel out there, could he come in on the right?

Coach Allen: Yeah, that’s an option. That’s conceivable.

Q: Did Brisiel play OK?

Coach Allen: Brisiel did pretty good. I think having some time off, I think he wore down towards the end. I thought initially he went in there and played pretty well. Mike Brisiel is a pro. He understands and he knew that he had to go into the game and play pretty well and I thought he did that.

Q: It seemed like when you went into the nickel package, you would bring DJ Hayden in and put him on the outside and have Tracy Porter slide into the slot. Do you anticipate that rotation and do you think Tracy is capable of doing both?

Coach Allen: Tracy’s been in there before and he’s done some work in there before. He hasn’t been exclusively a nickel corner because really both the places that he’s been before had some pretty good players that could go in there and play. He’s spent a lot more time on the outside, but he’s always worked in there, even when I had him in New Orleans. He’s a guy that I’ve got confidence can go in there and play inside in the slot. That’s kind of the direction I see us going in right now.

Q: Would you say your interest in getting other players off teams’ waivers will be more than last year or the same as last year?

Coach Allen: Depends on who the guys are coming off the waiver wires. Depends on who gets released. I would say that we’re definitely going to be paying attention to the waiver wire. We’re going to be paying attention to who gets released. We’re going to be active in trying to acquire anybody that can help us be a better football team.

Q: Is there a certain way that you’d like to construct your practice squad? You need certain positions for your scout squad, but is there a basic structure?

Coach Allen: I think the philosophy really is kind of the same as the way we go about constructing our 53-man roster. You go into this thing always with a preconceived idea of how many people you want to keep at each different position and then how many practice squad people do you want at each different position. But what ultimately happens, and I think it’s the best way to do it, is you try to get the best collection of football players and talented players. What you don’t want to do is keep a guy on the 53-man roster because you’ve got to keep nine defensive linemen, or six linebackers or whatever the case may be. It’s the same thing with the practice squad. We’ve got to have a certain number of players to get through practice, but we really look at the practice squad more as a developmental process of developing young players that could potentially make their way onto the 53-man roster and not just so much, how can we get through practice?

Q: How would you assess the preseason of Andre Carter?

Coach Allen: I think there are some things that Andre has done really good. I don’t know that he’s able to get after the passer as much as we would have liked. He’s real solid in run support. He played extremely hard. He was a great mentor and leader in that defensive line room. I thought there were some good things, but there are some things that he’s got to try to get better at.

Q: You had mentioned you brought Pat Sims in to help with the run game, but he seemed to rush the passer a lot in that game. Did you turn him loose?

Coach Allen: I don’t know that we turned him loose and said get after the quarterback. Pat is a run-stopper. That’s the thing that he really excels at. Pat’s a guy that can rush the passer. Pat’s got to put his mind to it that he wants to rush the passer. I think you saw, at times, the other night, when he sets his mind to it that he really can go out and do it. The thing with Pat is he missed a lot of training camp, so we’ve got to get him into shape so he can play a significant amount of plays and we can get him in there in more pass-rushing situations.

Q: Are you of the belief that Pat elevates everybody else? Maybe his numbers aren’t pretty but he helps everyone else do their job.

Coach Allen: I would say when you look at a nose tackle, which is what Pat primarily plays, those guys aren’t going to have gaudy numbers, as far as sacking the quarterback and making a ton of tackles. The key is, do they do their job? Are they consistent? Are they disruptive inside? Do they make their opponents have to account for them as far as the run game and the protection game? That position, in it of itself, generally doesn’t allow for a ton of production from a numbers standpoint.

Q: Is keeping four quarterbacks a possibility?

Coach Allen: It’s a possibility. We’ll see. There’s several transactions we’ve still got to make, so we’ll continue to look at that until we have to make that decision.

Q: How do you think Tyler Wilson did last night?

Coach Allen: I think he looked like he hadn’t gotten a lot of playing time. I thought he had some command in the huddle. I thought he did some good things. I thought he missed some throws that he had an opportunity to make and I think it was good for him, as far as the growth process, to get back in there and get a chance to play.

Q: Going back to Menelik, do you see him in your immediate plans at left tackle?

Coach Allen: Yeah, absolutely he could.

Q: Will he start against the Colts?

Coach Allen: I would anticipate that Menelik Watson will be our starting left tackle for the opening game.

Q: You had mentioned that you didn’t get a good judge on the offense because they only got 19 snaps. Would you say that’s more a product of the Seahawks taking control of the clock?

Coach Allen: Absolutely. It was two-one time of possession in the first half. It’s hard to get in a great rhythm. I thought defensively, we let them move the ball down the field, but we made them kick field goals. The positive is we held them to field goals. The negative is we allowed them to move down the field and we didn’t do a good enough job of getting off the field on third down.