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News

Coach Allen and the Raiders Ready for Minnesota

Posted Aug 6, 2014

The Raiders head to Minnesota to face the Vikings and Head Coach Dennis Allen is excited to see the team in action.

Opening Statement: “We took them out of the pads today, kind of the last install of training camp working against some situational type of stuff. Now, we turn total attention to Minnesota. We’re excited about getting this 2014 season started. I’m really looking forward to watching this football team go out and play on Friday night. I think all our guys are excited about it and ready to get this thing rolling.”

Q: What can you tell us about what reps the first-team will get? Is there a set amount of plays or is there something that you want them to accomplish?

Coach Allen: “All these things can change based on how the game goes, but we’ll put the first team out there for a few plays and see how things go. I really want to get the ones some work, but I really want to have an opportunity in this first preseason game to see a lot of these young players go out and play. With all these preseason games, you’re trying to use this as an evaluation process – part of the evaluation. It’s a big part of the evaluation. It’s one thing when you watch them out here in practice. It’s another when the lights come on and they have to play a real game and there are no coaches out there helping them on the field. They have to go out and understand the situations, know exactly what to do. They have to be able to use the techniques that we’re asking them to use. Then they have to go out and compete. It’s a great time to evaluate our players.”

Q: Do you have any set plan for Matt Schaub in terms of how long he’ll play?

Coach Allen: “We’re going to put him out there … Everybody that’s healthy will play in the game. We’ll kind of evaluate that as it goes.”

Q: How does it account for what a player does out here and in the meeting rooms as opposed to in a game?

Coach Allen: “All of it’s part of the evaluation. I equate it to when you’re in college and you take mid-term exam or a final exam. Those are always weighed a little bit more heavily. What they do in a real, live game situation is probably going to carry a little bit more weight than what they do in practice. But all of it is taken into account.”

Q: Did David Ausberry have surgery today?

Coach Allen: “Yes.”

Q: Is there a timeline for him yet?

Coach Allen: “No.”

Q: Which knee was it?

Coach Allen: “I’m not going to get into that one.”

Q: Even though Matt is a veteran and probably doesn’t need as much preseason work, is it important for him to just get back on the field and start the process of …

Coach Allen: “I think it’s important for all of our guys. This is a totally new team. It’s a new season. Everything starts back from ground zero. We’re going to use this process to evaluate all these guys on what they do moving forward. It’s really not of relevance what they’ve done in the past. It’s really about what they do for us moving forward. I think with all of our guys it’s important that we get off to a good start.”

Q: Guys on the offensive line, like Gabe Jackson, that you aren’t sure about at this point, will they get an opportunity to go with the first team. Will they cut into their playing time like the other guys?

Coach Allen: “You might see a little bit of that in the game. Again, we’ll kind of see how some of those play out. Obviously, the twos and threes are going to get more reps in this game, probably than what the ones are going to get. At the end of this game, we want to have a lot better feel for where we are as a football team.”

Q: Do you see Gabe Jackson as being your primary swing guy on both sides?

Coach Allen: “I think that’s where he is at right now, but I think we have to let that situation play out. We still have a long time before we open up against the Jets. If he’s not the starter, then he’s got to be able to be a swing type of player. Backup players have to be able to perform multiple roles to have the ability to be active on Sundays. Again, we’ll see how this thing plays out. What we start with today or in the game Friday night, that may not be how we start the season. There are a lot of factors that play into that. Performance plays into that. Injuries play into that. I wouldn’t want to get too far ahead of myself and start predicting what we’re going to do when the regular season opens up.”

Q: With Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew, do you want to limit their exposure to hits, given that they’re veterans and know how to go about their business?

Coach Allen: “I want both of them to play in the game. I want both of them to get a couple of touches in the game. We’ll see how many that is. Again, with all of these new pieces to the puzzle, we need to see what they do for the Oakland Raiders. Those are two of the pieces to the puzzle. There are a lot of new players that we have and we need to see them go out and perform. They need to work together because there is a lot to be said about getting out on the field and having a good feel for what the other 10 guys around you are doing.”

Q: This is the start of what could be a tough stretch physically with the two games and the Dallas practices. Are you at all concerned about so much physicality in such a small period?

Coach Allen: “No, not really. We’re going to be smart about it, but things happen in the game of football. Football is a tough game and the only way you can get ready for the regular season is to play the game. We’ll be smart about it, but I’m a firm believer that to get ready for the regular season, you’ve got to work, so those guys will play.”

Q: What have you seen out of Matt Schaub?

Coach Allen: “Well, I like having a veteran quarterback back there. He’s very smart. He throws the ball very accurately. He throws a nice, catchable ball, so I’ve seen a guy that understands how to operate the quarterback position. He makes good decisions with the football and he’s got a lot of confidence out there throwing and running the offense and taking on the leadership roles, so I’m very pleased with what I’ve seen of Matt Schaub up to this point.”

Q: How do Sio Moore and Miles Burris compare and contrast? What do they do well?

Coach Allen: “Well I think both of them are good, young players and both of them are really kind of in the same spot. Miles played and started for us two years ago. Sio played last year. Miles really was relegated to kind of spot duty because of the injuries and he was never fully healthy. But, I think both of those guys are good football players. Miles is a tough, physical, hard-nosed player. Sio has probably got a little more athleticism, but I think both of those guys are very capable starting linebackers in the National Football League.”

Q: Trent Edwards hasn’t taken many reps in camp, but what has he brought into the quarterback room in terms of getting these guys prepared?

Coach Allen: “Here’s another veteran guy, he hasn’t gotten many reps but he’s been in all the meetings. He has experience. I think he does a good job of somewhat being a sounding board for some of those quarterbacks. I just think his demeanor and the way he goes about doing his job has been a positive in that quarterback room. I’m glad we have him and I think he’s been a good addition to our team.”

Q: Without David Ausberry there, what do you think about Brian Leonhardt and Nick Kasa and are they capable of stepping into a bigger role?

Coach Allen: “Well, it’s to be determined. I think that’s why we play these games, to get an opportunity to look at those young players and see what happens when the lights come on. You come out here and you practice and you see a lot of the same things over and over, really both sides of the ball, so you kind of get a feel for ‘what’s about to happen to me,’ so it’ll be good to see them go out and play against a different defense, a different scheme, maybe see some things that they haven’t seen before and see how they’re able to apply their rules and adjust to what the other side of the ball is doing.”

Q: Update on Ausberry …

Coach Allen: “I haven’t got an update on that. He had a procedure and that’s really all the update I have.”

Q: Just to clarify, was it a surgery or a procedure?

Coach Allen: “I’m not sure what the difference is. (laughing) You’d have to ask the doctors what the difference is.”

Q: Is there anyone in particular that you’re looking forward to seeing play live in the first game?

Coach Allen: “I’m looking forward to seeing them all. I’m looking forward to seeing the veteran players come out here and play, I’m looking forward to seeing the young players come out here and play. That’s how you find out what you have as a football team. I don’t know if there is any one guy that I’m really more excited to see than anybody else. I want to find out about our football team.”

Q: Did anyone not finish practice today?

Coach Allen: “No, everybody finished.”

Q: Do you have any updates on Keith McGill and Lamar Mady?

Coach Allen: “I don’t. Mady rolled his ankle yesterday. I don’t think he’s going to be able to play in the game. I haven’t gotten an update on McGill, so I’m not sure exactly what his status is yet.”

Q: What was his injury?

Coach Allen: “I believe he’s a groin.”

Q: What do you expect to see from TJ Carrie in the game?

Coach Allen: “I’m hoping that I’m going to see the same things that I’ve seen in practice. I’m hoping that I’m going to continue to see him get his hands on the football and be productive for us. We’re going to use him in a lot of different roles, he’ll play inside the nickel, play some outside. He’ll also go back and play some as a punt returner. He’ll have multiple roles in a game and I feel confident that I’m going to see a lot of the same things that I’ve seen in practice.”

Q: Is Chimdi Chekwa the same as TJ Carrie as far as he’ll be doing a lot of different things? Coach Allen: “Yeah, well Chimdi’s been a good special teams player and we play him primarily outside at corner, so probably a little bit different. Chimdi’s a guy that has fought his way into a role in the nickel defense, so I’ll be excited about seeing him play against different receivers and see how he does.”