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News

Coach Allen Sunday

Posted Aug 25, 2013

Head Coach Dennis Allen spoke to the media Sunday afternoon as the Raiders get ready to head to Seattle.

Head Coach Dennis Allen: Alright, a couple of guys we got back today. We got Juron Criner back. We got Tracy Porter back. Obviously we made some moves yesterday. It’s part of the business. It’s part of the National Football League. There were some tough decisions we had to make, and there will be a lot more tough decisions that we have to make over the next 10 days. I thought today was a good practice. I thought the guys went out and moved around pretty well. We’re putting our focus on Seattle right now.

Q: With [Josh] Cribbs, was the burst just not there? Was it that he just couldn’t come back from the knee injury?

Coach Allen: Yeah, it was just one of those things where I didn’t see everything that I needed to see. Josh Cribbs has been a great player in the National Football League for a long time. We just felt like it was the right thing to do, if we didn’t see him in our plans, to go ahead and let him go.

Q: Did [Jacoby] Ford’s performance in the return game affect the decision? Did it renew faith that he can handle those duties on his own?

Coach Allen: Well I think it was good to see Jacoby in the return game, especially on the big kickoff return, but that wasn’t really the deciding factor.

Q: We saw [Terrelle] Pryor out there with the first team. Are they [Pryor and Matt Flynn] splitting snaps?

Coach Allen: Well we’re going to rest Matt Flynn. His arm is a little sore right now, so we’re going to rest him and try to get that arm back a little bit.

Q: [Matt Flynn] had tendonitis issues last year. Is it similar problems?

Coach Allen: It’s the same thing. It’s the same issues.

Q: So it had nothing to do with the game?

Coach Allen: No

Q: Did it flare up on [Matt Flynn] earlier in camp, or has it just been an ongoing thing?

Coach Allen: No, it’s just something that’s been a little bothersome to him. I don’t really anticipate it being a big issue, but I want to get his arm rested up, recovered. It’s probably more of a precautionary measure on my part than it is anything else. I did think Terrelle Pryor played well in the game the other day. We’ll get a chance to see Terrelle this week with the first-unit offense up against Seattle, and we’ll see how he does.

Q: You’re going to have your last preseason game, and one of the two guys that you’re considering for that starting job won’t even play. How difficult does that make it for you? Do you feel like you have a good enough gauge on it right now?

Coach Allen: We’ve gotten a lot of time to evaluate that position. When you look at OTAs, when you look at the mini camps, when you look at what we’ve been through in training camp, the three preseason games we’ve played already, I don’t think that’s necessarily going to make that decision any more difficult. I think there’s been some competition. I think both of them at times have done some really good things. Both of them have done some things that need improving. That’s really where we’re at with the quarterback position.

Q: Then do you have an idea already in your mind who the starter is going to be, or can Terrelle [Pryor] do enough in this last game?

Coach Allen: Well, we’ll see. We’ll see.

Q: After breaking down film, the two picks that Matt [Flynn] did throw, was that poor decision making or maybe miscommunication?

Coach Allen: Well the first one was a little bit of miscommunication. The second one, I think, [was] a combination of things happened. I think the defender made a good play, and I don’t know that we put the ball exactly where we wanted to put it on that particular play. Listen, we’ve talked about how that game went. I don’t think we’ve got to pound that point. This is about trying to do what’s best for this football team, and that’s what we’re going to do.

Q: What kind of effect does Matt [Flynn’s] tendonitis have on his ability to throw? What does it hinder him from doing?

Coach Allen: Well I think it’s hindered him a little bit. I don’t think it’s been a major factor when we’ve gotten into games. I just think it’s one of those things that we’ve got to manage, and I don’t want to make it out to be any bigger of an issue than it is. It’s something that we felt like we needed to do; give him some rest. That was a decision that I made.

Q: What do you expect to see out of Menelik Watson this week? He has pretty limited college experience and missed all that camp time. You talked last week about him getting a lot of time against Seattle.

Coach Allen: Well yeah. We’ve got to see him go out and play. Obviously we saw a lot of things on tape. We saw a lot of things early in the offseason program that we really liked. That got us excited, but we really haven’t had a chance to see this guy in pads and see what he’s going to do in game situations. I think this will be a great challenge for him. Seattle is very talented up front. They’ve got a lot of speed that comes off the edges. They play extremely hard on defense. It’ll be a great opportunity for him and for us to get a good evaluation, see where he’s at.

Q: Do you plan to start [Menelik Watson] on the left side?

Coach Allen: I’m going to start him on the left side in this game.

Q: How much do you anticipate Terrelle [Pryor] playing, or have you not gotten that far?

Coach Allen: We haven’t gotten that far. I want to see Terrelle play. I think he still needs to play. He still needs game experience. I think when you watch him play, there are a lot of things you see that he does well in his ability to create, but there’s still a lot of growing that he has to go through as far as the quarterback position. He’s an exciting player. We’ll see what he does against Seattle.

Q: Even though you have a tough decision to make with the quarterbacks, are you pleased to see Terrelle’s progress over the last year and that he is competing for the number one job?

Coach Allen: I’ve said that all along, that what I’m looking for is to see him improve. I’ve said what a hard worker this guy’s been and how’s he continued to try to work to get better at his craft. I think when you have guys who have athletic talent like he does and they work as hard as he has, guys are going to get better, and he’s improved.  It’ll be a good thing to see him in another game situation against a really good defense on the road in that environment and see how he responds.

Q: Is Alex Barron, I don’t want to phrase this too harsh, is he a liability as far as a run blocker?

Coach Allen: I wouldn’t consider him that at all. I think Alex started out strong in camp. I think there was a little bit of a lull. I think he played a lot better in the game the other night, and he’ll get another opportunity to go out there against Seattle and compete and give us another evaluation on him.

Q: What’s Brice Butler’s status?

Coach Allen: Brice didn’t practice today. I didn’t get the update from [head athletic trainer H.] Rod [Martin] as far as what his status is for tomorrow, so I don’t know whether or not he’ll be back out there yet tomorrow or not. I’ll know that more this afternoon.

Q: Anything with Miles Burris or [Kaluka] Maiava?

Coach Allen: No, the status hasn’t changed on those. Kaluka again wasn’t able to go today. Miles Burris wasn’t able to go today. Obviously, we want to try to get those guys back as soon as possible, but we can’t put them out there until they’re ready to go.

Q: From a team standpoint, what are you looking to see on Thursday night?

Coach Allen: I want to see us go out there and compete. I think it’ll be a great challenge for us again in that environment, against that team. It’ll be a great challenge for our football team. We get another chance to go out there and compete in a real game like environment and that’s what I want to see our guys do.

Q: Do the performances in the second halves the last two games speak to the possibly that you might have more depth on your roster this year?

Coach Allen: I think we’ve played a lot better in the second half of games really on both sides of the ball, really in all phases of the game. That’s been real encouraging that we’ve had some young guys that have gone out there and competed and had some success. So yeah, that speaks to the fact that there’s a little more depth on this team and some of those guys are going to, at some point in time, we’re going to be calling on those guys to make plays for us in a regular season game.

Q: Has Maiava’s absence kind of put you in a bind because you haven’t had a chance to really evaluate him within your scheme and you guys have to start making cuts? You have to find 53 [players] within 10 days or so.

Coach Allen: It’s been a challenge we haven’t had a real opportunity to watch him. He got hurt fairly early in training camp, so we haven’t had a real opportunity to see a lot of evaluation on him. We’ll have to make a decision here in 10 days or so on where he fits.

Q: What’s his injury, Maiava?

Coach Allen: He’s got an ankle.

Q: Is there a timeline yet on [Latavius] Murray at all?

Coach Allen: No, no timeline.