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News

Coach Allen Tuesday

Posted Aug 27, 2013

Head Coach Dennis Allen spoke to the media after Tuesday's practice as the Raiders get ready to wrap up the preseason at Seattle Thursday night.

Coach Allen: All right guys, just a little update on the injury front right now…Lucas Nix kind of banged knees yesterday a little bit so he wasn’t able to make it all the way through practice today. [K Sebastian] Janikowski has a right calf strain that is not going to be any issue but we won’t kick him in the game this week. So, we signed Justin Medlock to come in and kick in the game. We got Rod Streater back out at practice today.

Q: With the guys who were placed on IR, can you go over each of those guys and what happened?

Coach Allen: Joselio [Hanson] got a groin in the game the other day. After going back and looking at the MRI it looked like a pretty significant injury and so we made the decision to go ahead and put him on IR. RB Latavius [Murray], with the scope, it was a deal where his ankle wasn’t getting better. We wanted to go ahead and do the scope and we felt like the best thing to do for him was to go ahead on put him on IR. Miles [Burris] is doing a lot better right now but I think we want to see how he continues to get better before we go ahead and activate him. Listen, you only get 53 spots. You have to make sure you’re making the right decisions. Sometimes those are tough things when you have injured players.

Q: Was Hanson’s groin something he struggled with throughout camp or was it something specific?

Coach Allen: It happened in the game the other night.

Q: Jano, that happened in the game the other night?

Coach Allen: Yes.

Q: There’s absolutely no concern he’ll be ready for Week 1?

Coach Allen: He’ll be ready for Week 1.

Q: With [Rod] Streater, obviously, the protocol…

Coach Allen: He went through the whole process.

Q: Did he do it this morning or yesterday, recently?

Coach Allen: It was I think actually yesterday he went through the testing process. He was actually cleared this morning and so he went out and practiced today.

Q: Do you expect Streater to play in the game?

 Coach Allen: I do. Yes.

Q: Might you with T Menelik Watson be tempted to play him into that second unit just because he needs…

Coach Allen: He’s going to play; he’s going to play a significant amount.

Q: So, he will stay in even after the rest of the starters go out?

Coach Allen:  Absolutely, absolutely, he hadn’t taken a snap in a game situation. He needs all the work he can get.

Q: Could CB DJ Hayden see more than the first?

Coach Allen: Absolutely. They’ll be some guys who see more action even though they might run out there with the starting unit, they’ll be some guys who haven’t had as much play time during this preseason and they’re going to need go out there and play some.

Q: Would you put QB Terrelle Pryor in there a little longer as well?

Coach Allen: Yes.

Q: With Murray going on injured reserve, can you talk a little bit about the back-up running back situation?

Coach Allen: Right now we have Rashad Jennings and Jeremy Stewart. I think both those guys have done a pretty good job this preseason. This will be another opportunity for them Thursday night to go out and prove their worth and we’ll get another evaluation on them.

Q: You can’t play football if you can’t stop the other team. Do you see the defense getting better? Is that number one, if you were to rate things, that must improve?

Coach Allen: We’ve got to play better defense. That’s been a point of emphasis. That was one of the things we tried to do personnel wise during the offseason was to improve the personnel on the defensive side of the football. We feel like we’ve done that. There’s been some times we’ve executed some things in the preseason, but we’ve got to play better. We’ve got to do a better job. There’s still a lot of things that we’re going to try to do schematically that we haven’t done in the preseason. The basis for preseason is to make sure we get a good evaluation on what these guys can do. It’s a little bit more vanilla, it’s a little bit more plain than what we’ll do in the regular season.

Q: You’ve had some injuries up front, you’ve had different styles of quarterbacks, but how does that affect what you’re going to do with [Darren] McFadden? Are you just going to let him be him or are you going to have to adjust based upon the personnel you have in?

Coach Allen: I don’t think there will be too much of an adjustment. I think we’re going to let Darren do what he does best, and we’ve got to try to create some room for him to run the football and let him be an explosive player. I don’t think it’s going to change a whole lot as far as what we do.

Q: As far as rookie Sio [Moore] has come, where does he need to do to get better? What does he need to do to become that all-around linebacker?

Coach Allen: It’s consistency. He’s a guy that’s also battled a few nagging little things here and there. He’s got a toe right now that he’s dealing with that’s caused him to miss a little bit of time over the last couple of days. It’s just consistency. It’s being out there and having a chance to go through practice and go through these games, and continue to learn from these things. He’s got talent, but like with all rookies, there’s a lot of things he hasn’t seen yet. There will be a lot of times that he’ll see something for the first time, it’s his ability to react to those things, and his ability to learn from those things so that he doesn’t make the same mistake multiple times.

Q: Do you have to rein him in much? He just seems like he’s 100 miles per hour all the time…

Coach Allen: I want him to play 100 miles per hour. I think that’s what good defensive players do. You want your whole team to play 100 miles per hour on every single snap. That makes your job easier as far as making corrections when guys make fast decisions and play fast, and you make up for a lot of mistakes when you play fast like that. That’s not something I’m trying to do is slow him down. I don’t want to do that at all. I want to teach him football.

Q: Without Hanson, where are you guys at slot corner or nickel?

Coach Allen: Well, Tracy Porter will be in there; Brandian Ross has got some work in there, he’s a converted corner. I think the thing when you look at us on defense is we’ve got some guys playing the safety position that converted from corner. With Brandian Ross, with Usama Young, with Charles Woodson, there’s a lot of guys that they started their career out playing corner and they’ve moved to safety so we’ve got some other options there that can go in there and play in the slot.

Q: How much flexibility does that give you schematically?

Coach Allen: A lot. A lot. It gives us a lot of flexibility. I think our safety position we’ve got some guys that have some athleticism that we can do a lot of different things with. They’re smart players and that’s an added bonus.

Q: Having a guy like Mike Jenkins seems to be a steadying presence, haven’t talked about him much, but he’s quietly had a pretty good preseason…

Coach Allen: He’s had a pretty good preseason. Again, some of these guys that we brought it, they’ve played at a high level and we were fortunate enough to be able to get them for whatever the circumstances were surrounding us being able to get them here. So we feel good about those players we were able to bring in and Mike Jenkins is one that we’re going to count on our secondary players to lead the defense. That’s going to be one of those they’re going to have to perform and they’re going to have to rise up to the challenge.