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Dennis Allen transcript from NFL scouting combine

By Steve Corkran
Friday, February 24th, 2012 at 11:48 am in Oakland Raiders.

Jerry McDonald is covering the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis this week. He just attended the news conference of new Raiders coach Dennis Allen. Here is the transcript, as provided by Jerry:

Q: Raiders talking to a lot of linebackers and and D-ends at senior bowl, wimbley has contract issues, where are you with that?

Allen: I think obviously, defensively that is going to be a priority for us. I think I was really pleased with what the Raiders were able to do last year offensively. I know from having to defend against them, they were a real challenge to defend. Defensively, if you look at the defensive rankings, not too different than what the situation I came into last year with Denver. So it’s obviously a high priority for us and we’ve got to get better in that area.

Q: Where do things stand with Wimbley, Huff, players that may or may not have contract issues . . .

Allen: Right now, with all those guys, we’re looking at all our options and what we have to do from a financial standpoint to make sure we put ourselves in the best position to get the best players out there and be on our final 53-man roster. So between Reggie and myself, we’re working through all those scenarios right now.

Q: Expect more changes besides Stanford Routt?

Allen: Well, there will obviously be changes, I don’t know what those changes will be yet. Those are all the scenarios that we’re going through right now.

Q: Where are things with Bush, franchise tag candidate?

Allen: Again, we’re going to look at all those options. I won’t get into the specifics of exactly what we’re going to do and exactly what our plan is going to be, but I will tell you this, but we will look at all of our existing free agents, we’re going to look at all of our existing players that are under contract that have high numbers and we’re going to evaluate what we need to do to give the organization a chance to be successful.

Q: Excited about going up against Broncos twice a year?

Allen: I think I’m excited about going up against everybody next year. I wouldn’t single them out any differently. I obviously have a lot of respect for what they’ve done over there. I think John Elway, Brian Zanders, John Fox do a tremendous job and I know they’ll have the team ready to play whenever we go up against them and we’ll do our best to have our team ready to play going up against them.

Q: Mentioned at press conference think too much is made of 4-3, 3-4 system, have you identified a primary base defense or something working through?

Allen: Those are really all the things we’re still working through. We’ll see, after we go through free agency, after we go through the draft, which grouping gives us the best chance to be successful. I would expect that we’ll be very multiple in that regard.

Q: What can you tell us about Jason Tarver, your choice for D-coordinator?

Allen: I think Jason Tarver is an extremely bright young coach. He was a part of the San Francisco 49ers defenses, and I thought they were extremely well coached, extremely talented, when I interviewed Jason, there was no doubt in my mind that this is a guy who had answers for everything. I’m extremely excited about working with him, and I think, with him and the defensive staff as well as myself being involved in the defense, I’m excited about our opportunities.

Q: How hands on will you be with the defense?

Allen: I’ll be involved. I’ll be involved in both aspects of the team. Offense, defense, special teams, all of it. But I would say, especially this first year, I’ll probably spend a little bit more time with the defense.

Q: Thoughts on development of Rolando McClain?

Allen: He was a guy that was picked real high in the draft, and I still see a lot of talent in Rolando McClain. I got a chance to speak with him the other day. I think he’s excited about coming in, and being involved with the new regime. We’re going to give him every opportunity to prove that he’s the type of player that he’s capable of being. I think if he’s willing to come in and work and do the things we ask him to do, he’ll reach that potential.

Q: Greg Knapp’s offenses featured a lot of bootlegs, zone blocking, can Carson Palmer fit with Knapp’s scheme?

Allen: I think absolutely he can fit. And I also think that part of what we do as coaches is we have a system that we’re going to run, but we’re going to try and put our players in the best position for them to be successful. We’re not going to force-feed something if it doesn’t fit what a guy does really well, we’re not going to force-feed that. But I do think when you look at Carson Palmer, that he does have the same type of athleticism. He’s as athletic as Matt Schaub, who they had in Houston, to really be really be able to run that same package.

Q: Did you want to speak about Ed Donatell about a spot on your staff?

Allen: There are a lot of people that I considered, that I had on my list, and Ed would have been one of those guys that I had on my list, but I think once I had an opportunity to really sit down and talk to Jason, there was no question in my mind that he was the guy.

Q: When did you start getting into the draft?

Allen: Well, I spent the first couple of weeks trying to put together a coaching staff, so it was just really recently that we’ve really kind of gotten involved in the draft. We had the free agents that we had to evaluate as a coaching staff, and we’re kind of in the introductory process of getting ready for the draft.

Q: Is it less of a priority because you have so few picks?

Allen: No, I don’t think so. I told the coaching staff the other day, the most important thing that we can be doing right now is picking players, and making sure we got the right guys on our team, and so the offensive scheme, the defensive scheme, that’s going to take care of itself, but we’ve got to make sure we’ve got the right guys to be a part of this football team, so there’s nothing more important to us right now than making sure we get the right guys.

Q: How is McFadden’s foot, any chance he wouldn’t be back next year?

Allen: Not as far as I’m concerned. I think he’s an extremely dynamic player. Again, from playing the Oakland Raiders twice last year, they were much more challenging to defend when Darren McFadden was in the backfield, and having that kind of two-headed monster between him and Bush, that was a real challenge. Darren is a vital part of what we’re going to try and get done next year.

Q: Is his foot better?

Allen: Yes, his foot is better. He was back in town, working out last week, and we got a good evaluation on him. Darren will be ready to go whenever we get ready to kick off the season, that’s for sure.

Q: McFadden chronic foot problems, anything organization has looked at, practice fields, etc.?

Allen: We’re looking at everything within the organization, how we can improve in every aspect of the organization, and obviously practice fields is one of the things that we’re looking at. Is there something we can do to improve that, and is their a correlation between the foot injuries and the practice fields. If we can deduce there is a correlation between the two we’ll do everything we can to get them right.

Q: Matt Shaughnessy, Jacoby Ford, they’re good to go?

Allen: Absolutely, they’ll be ready to roll.

Q: Routt gone, any chance Huff is a corner?

Allen: Again, that question is to be determined after we find out exactly who we have on the team to find out what are options are. The one thing do I do know about Michael Huff is he’s an extremely good athlete and he has skills athletically of a corner, and so that obviously would be an option for us, but again, we won’t make any decisions along those lines until we know exactly what we got.

Q: How would you describe first couple of months on the job? Anything unexpected, surprises?

Allen: Fast. Fast. Well, I think one of the things that you find out as a head football coach is that it’s difficult to put together a good staff, because there’s a lot of guys that you might want to try to get that you can’t get out of other contracts and different roadblocks and hurdles that you got to jump over, but I think we weathered that storm and the one thing that I wanted to make sure that we did, was I didn’t want to rush into anything or hurry into anything, and I think having that patience allowed us to put together a good staff.

Q: Performance of offensive line last year part of the reason Steve Wisniewski was retained, for continiuity?

Allen: Yeah, I think keeping some of that continuity within the offensive line. I think there was an element there that we wanted some people that did have some knowledge of the Raiders organization and the way that things have been done in the past, and I think he’s obviously, I wouldn’t say he’s a bright young coach, but I’d say he’s a bright and up and coming coach and I was really impressed with him when I met him for the very first time.

Q: Raiders of past reputation for putting emphasis on speed. What’s your feeling on where 40 time fits into player evaluation?

Allen: It only fits after we find out whether this guy on tape when we look at him, if we feel like he’s a good football player. That’s where 40 times come into effect. If you got two guys that when you look at the tape, these guys are about the same football playing wise, well let’s take the faster guy. But we’re not going to take guys just because they run real fast. Because that doesn’t co-relate to being a good football player.

Q: How much of the team do you think you’ve actually spoken to, guys under contract?

Allen: I’ve probably spoken to about 75 percent of the team, and I think everybody is really excited about getting in and getting started and being a part of the offseason program and being a part of what we’re going to try and do and how we’re going to be a little bit different.

Q: Seymour part of long-term plan?

Allen: We’ve spoken with Richard, and he’s excited about the opportunity, and Richard is obviously part of our plans and we feel real good about Richard.

Q: Penalties such a big issue, how clear that up?

Allen: I think the first and foremost thing is guys have to be held accountable for their actions. That’s always what I believed in, and I think now with the organizational structure I feel about our ability to hold our guys accountable to do the right things, for the right reasons and doing it that way all the time. And we’ll preach that message and preach that message, and we’ll hold guys accountable to doing it the right way.

Q: How have you and Reggie worked together putting things together?

Allen: First and foremost, I think our relationship has been outstanding. We’ve discussed every situation that comes up, we’ve always discussed it. I’ve come to him with questions about coaching staff, he’s come to me with questions about personnel issues, and I think that’s the way you run a top quality organization, when your head coach and your general manager can see eye to eye, and can have conversations, and we might not always agree, but at the end of the day we’ve got to make sure we can come to the best decision for the Raiders and that’s what I’m excited about working with Reggie, because he’s a top quality human being and I think he’s an excellent talent evaluator.

Follow me on Twitter: @corkonthenfl

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  • RaiderLen

    Won’t happen. Unlike Callahan, he’ll be able to bench and/or cut players that play stupid.
    —————————–
    Thanks for answering it succinctly Duck.

    My response was longer.

  • CanuckRaider

    #448: Well yeah…We’re no perverts…Lol.

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  • djohnnyg

    That transcript of Dennis Allen is the furthest thing from a total “rebuild” stance that we’ve seen so far.

    They want to win now. AND they want to change alot of things too as far as culture, attitude, etc.

    Whether they DO win or not this yr. remains to be seen, but i dont think Mark wants to go 4-12 under any circumstances…rebuild or not.

    Losing (even in the short term) does not help his case with getting a new stadium, which he has stated is a priority. In fact it’s one of the only priorities he’s even mentioned publicly.

    Does it help his cause to have only 30,000 people in the stands for home games and to be a league bottom feeder again?

    Nobody will look at the Raiders at 2-7 and say “but the Raiders are rebuilding and they’re gonna be good…maybe…someday…maybe.

    No. They’re gonna say the Raiders suck. Just like they did prior to these past two mediocre yrs.

    Raiders need and want to win right away if they can.

  • RaiderLen

    CanuckRaider Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 8:50 pm
    #448: Well yeah…We’re no perverts…Lol.
    —————————-
    It was “Field Observation” of the performing arts.

    Strictly educational and scientific. lol

  • http://www.addictedtoquack.com RaiderDuck

    CanuckRaider Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 8:48 pm
    #447: Yes, the scholarship era is officially over. Those that don’t like it will be gone…and good riddance. Me thinks one or two more big cuts to come.

    =============================================

    I’m still thinking Wimbley will be next. His refusal to restructure is putting Reggie Mac in an awkward situation.

  • RaiderLen

    Djohnnyg Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 8:52 pm
    That transcript of Dennis Allen is the furthest thing from a total “rebuild” stance that we’ve seen so far.

    They want to win now. AND they want to change alot of things too as far as culture, attitude, etc.

    Whether they DO win or not this yr. remains to be seen, but i dont think Mark wants to go 4-12 under any circumstances…rebuild or not.

    Losing (even in the short term) does not help his case with getting a new stadium, which he has stated is a priority. In fact it’s one of the only priorities he’s even mentioned publicly.

    Does it help his cause to have only 30,000 people in the stands for home games and to be a league bottom feeder again?

    Nobody will look at the Raiders at 2-7 and say “but the Raiders are rebuilding and they’re gonna be good…maybe…someday…maybe.

    No. They’re gonna say the Raiders suck. Just like they did prior to these past two mediocre yrs.

    Raiders need and want to win right away if they can.
    ———————————-
    I believe you are correct.

    These guys want to win NOW, and are not allowing for a Honeymoon period.

  • RaiderLen

    RaiderDuck Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 8:53 pm
    CanuckRaider Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 8:48 pm
    #447: Yes, the scholarship era is officially over. Those that don’t like it will be gone…and good riddance. Me thinks one or two more big cuts to come.

    =============================================

    I’m still thinking Wimbley will be next. His refusal to restructure is putting Reggie Mac in an awkward situation.
    ——————————–
    Wimbley has some skills, and maybe would be great in a DA / Tarver scheme, but 11 mil is a BIG #.

    Whatever they decide, I’ll take it in the larger context of Team building.

  • CanuckRaider

    #455: The pursuit of science…Good thinking.

  • CanuckRaider

    #458: Agreed. Anyone, Wimbley included, who doesn’t want to do what’s best for the team can hit the road. Let them find a retirement club somewhere else.

  • da trinity

    Whats up turds, j/k.
    Glad to here that macfadden is staying, only makes sense since he is our best player
    Hope Huff stays, would like to see what he can do with actual coaches.

  • CanuckRaider

    There was never any doubt about DMAC. Think they’ll sign Huff. Never understood why some dump on him so much. He can play.

  • RaiderLen

    CanuckRaider Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 9:00 pm
    #458: Agreed. Anyone, Wimbley included, who doesn’t want to do what’s best for the team can hit the road. Let them find a retirement club somewhere else.
    ———————————-
    Yep.

    The fact that we now have a structured pecking order in Football Operations, allows for the dismissal of mal contents and slackers.

    There will no longer be a reprieve granted by the owner.

  • CanuckRaider

    #463: Yeah…Anyone who knows this team knows that there was zero accountability under the old regime. “Meet the new boss…not the same as the old boss”. Paraphrase.

  • da trinity

    @462
    Cuz some people are dumb.

  • RaiderLen

    anuckRaider Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 9:09 pm
    #463: Yeah…Anyone who knows this team knows that there was zero accountability under the old regime. “Meet the new boss…not the same as the old boss”. Paraphrase.
    ——————————-
    Al, God love Him, was all about the players, and was lax in accountability.

    It was ALL on the coaches, regardless of the individuals they were tied too.

    Love that song by the way!

  • CanuckRaider

    #466: Hear ya on Al. The man did so much for players and the game but sadly lost the path in his latter years. I’ll always remember the good years though.
    “Won’t get fooled again” is a killer tune. That clip in “The Kids Are Alright” when P.T. slides across the stage hitting that power chord still gives me chills.

  • CanuckRaider

    You in the Bay area Len?

  • RaiderLen

    CanuckRaider Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 9:20 pm
    You in the Bay area Len?
    ————————
    Ya, born and raised.

    Live in Fremont.

  • CanuckRaider

    Right on. I’m up in the frozen wasteland of Winnipeg, Canada. Mama Bear and I are checking out property in Nevada though. I’m retired and she’s planning on doing same next year. It’ll be season tickets for the Raiders for sure.

  • RaiderCrunch

    CanuckRaider Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 9:27 pm
    Right on. I’m up in the frozen wasteland of Winnipeg, Canada. Mama Bear and I are checking out property in Nevada though. I’m retired and she’s planning on doing same next year. It’ll be season tickets for the Raiders for sure.
    ——————————-

    You know Neil Young?

  • RaiderLen

    CanuckRaider Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 9:27 pm
    Right on. I’m up in the frozen wasteland of Winnipeg, Canada. Mama Bear and I are checking out property in Nevada though. I’m retired and she’s planning on doing same next year. It’ll be season tickets for the Raiders for sure.
    ——————————————-
    Outstanding!

    Congratulations on actually being able to retire!

    The way things are going I think the term retirement will be more literal if you know what I mean. lol

    Though I live in Cali, I don’t know a lot about Nevada.

    JFB would have some insight I’m sure.

  • CanuckRaider

    #471: No, but a good buddy of mine went to school with him and partied with him a bit. Neil’s awesome. Had the pleasure of seeing him play a few times.

  • da trinity

    Going bowling, bout to get my 300 on

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  • RaiderLen

    Da Trinity Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 9:32 pm
    Going bowling, bout to get my 300 on
    —————————-
    I bowled a 300 one time in league.

    3-26-2006.

    Funny how I can remember a specific date when most others escape me. lol

    Good Luck!

  • djohnnyg

    Deciphering Dennis Allens transcript I am thinking Wimbley will be out.

    Also, DMAC is IN, Palmer is IN, Seymour is IN. Looks like Bush is also.

    You can tell alot by how he answers the ?’s.

    If he is gushing about a player, it’s a good sign he’s in the plans.

    If a guy might be out, he’ll say something like: “Well, we are looking at that situation”. Or be evasive by saying “Well, I think we just want the best players at every position” etc. etc.

    As one poster noted, he seemed to hedge a bit in regard to Huff..slightly, but not sure how someone took anything Allen said to suggest Seymour would not be around.

    Doesn’t sound like a complete “gutting” or “rebuild” to me.

  • RaiderLen

    CanuckRaider Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 9:32 pm
    #471: No, but a good buddy of mine went to school with him and partied with him a bit. Neil’s awesome. Had the pleasure of seeing him play a few times.
    ————————
    Neil Young used too live, or maybe still does in Santa Cruz, Ca which is about 45 minutes south of me.

  • CanuckRaider

    #472: Yeah, it’s too bad what’s happening with the economy down there. I worked for a govt utility and Mama’s a nurse so we’re both blessed pension-wise. She works on a renal ward and always tells me that I’ll be there one day…Lol.
    Thanks for the tip on JFB. Hunting on the net is one thing but it would be good to get onto a good real estate agent before we go down.

  • djohnnyg

    464.CanuckRaider Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 9:09 pm
    #463: Yeah…Anyone who knows this team knows that there was zero accountability under the old regime. “Meet the new boss…not the same as the old boss”. Paraphrase.

    Yes. And I don’t wanna hear guys saying “What a great day it was today” after we lose a heartbreaker to Detroit, or Dick Van Dyke tweeting what a good mood he’s in looking forward to the xmas party that night.

    At least fake like you care whether you win or lose.

  • RaiderCrunch

    RaiderLen Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 9:36 pm
    CanuckRaider Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 9:32 pm
    #471: No, but a good buddy of mine went to school with him and partied with him a bit. Neil’s awesome. Had the pleasure of seeing him play a few times.
    ————————
    Neil Young used too live, or maybe still does in Santa Cruz, Ca which is about 45 minutes south of me.

    ————————

    Yeah. He has a ranch near Santa Cruz and is a San Jose Sharks fan.

  • CanuckRaider

    #478: Far as I know Neil still lives in Cal. He actually hated Wpg. for a long time due things like his parents’ breakup and being ostracized for being “different” in school. He sure got the last laugh there though.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    RIP Al. We miss you.
    I like Reggie and Allen, and it will be interesting to see what they can for the Raiders. Al did a lot to help build this team. I think this team is close, but they need to fix the defense and the huge contacts issue, which will allow us to sign more quality players.

  • CanuckRaider

    #480: Yeah, or tweeting from a New Years party at 2:30 AM when they’re playing for a playoff spot that afternoon.

  • RaiderLen

    CanuckRaider Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 9:37 pm
    #472: Yeah, it’s too bad what’s happening with the economy down there. I worked for a govt utility and Mama’s a nurse so we’re both blessed pension-wise. She works on a renal ward and always tells me that I’ll be there one day…Lol.
    Thanks for the tip on JFB. Hunting on the net is one thing but it would be good to get onto a good real estate agent before we go down.
    ——————————
    Ha!

    Renal ward! Just say no.

    My wife was a stay at home Mom.

    I’m Self employed and have a BIG life insurance policy.

    I tease Her all the time about trying to “Get rid of Me”

    On my 50th Birthday she suggested that I skydive for the 1st time.

    My response to Her “So now that the poison hasn’t worked, you’re becoming impatient” LOL!

  • RaiderLen

    February 24th, 2012 at 9:44 pm
    #480: Yeah, or tweeting from a New Years party at 2:30 AM when they’re playing for a playoff spot that afternoon.
    ————————————-
    If it’s Kenny Stabler and the Raiders win I’m ok with that, otherwise I’m not.

  • djohnnyg

    I also think it’s clear from the transcript; that there won’t be many upgrades, if at all, to the offense; the focus is on the D.

    Where it should be.

  • RaiderLen

    CanuckRaider Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 9:42 pm
    #478: Far as I know Neil still lives in Cal. He actually hated Wpg. for a long time due things like his parents’ breakup and being ostracized for being “different” in school. He sure got the last laugh there though.
    —————————————-
    Funny how those that are different often times end up flipping the bird to our collective society.

  • CanuckRaider

    #485: LMAO…Don’t let her pack your chute for you. My biggest worry is that one day my sweetums will wake up and realize that she can do much better.

  • RaiderLen

    Djohnnyg Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 9:52 pm
    I also think it’s clear from the transcript; that there won’t be many upgrades, if at all, to the offense; the focus is on the D.

    Where it should be.
    —————————————-
    I agree with all of your assessment in reading through the transcript with the one exception regarding Bush.

    I think DA would like to have Him back, but I’m not sure that it works out financially.

  • CanuckRaider

    #486: The Snake, Tooz, etal could get away with that. The all-time champ was Bobby Laine though. He used to have a few (or more) nips at half-time.

  • RaiderLen

    CanuckRaider Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 9:56 pm
    #486: The Snake, Tooz, etal could get away with that. The all-time champ was Bobby Laine though. He used to have a few (or more) nips at half-time.
    —————————–
    Art Donovan told that story about Bobby Lane.

    I ate that stuff up.

  • CanuckRaider

    #488: Yeah…When I look back to the school days most of those that were considered odd have done well in life while most of the bullies are dead, crackhead losers or in jail. The Karmic Wheel steadily turns.

  • RaiderLen

    CanuckRaider Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 9:59 pm
    #488: Yeah…When I look back to the school days most of those that were considered odd have done well in life while most of the bullies are dead, crackhead losers or in jail. The Karmic Wheel steadily turns.
    ————————————-
    The benefit of a long life is perspective.

  • CanuckRaider

    #492: Art had to be one of the best talk show guests in history. The best was the story about someone finding Bobby passed out pissed on a NY subway train the morning of the championship game. He got Bobby to the Lions dressing room where the trainers found him passed out on the floor. They gave him a cold shower and poured coffee into him. He threw 5 TD passes in the game. Priceless.

  • RaiderLen

    CanuckRaider Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 9:53 pm
    #485: LMAO…Don’t let her pack your chute for you. My biggest worry is that one day my sweetums will wake up and realize that she can do much better.
    ———————————
    She joked about packing my chute!

  • CanuckRaider

    #496: Oh oh…You’re in trouble brother.

  • RaiderLen

    CanuckRaider Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 10:04 pm
    #492: Art had to be one of the best talk show guests in history. The best was the story about someone finding Bobby passed out pissed on a NY subway train the morning of the championship game. He got Bobby to the Lions dressing room where the trainers found him passed out on the floor. They gave him a cold shower and poured coffee into him. He threw 5 TD passes in the game. Priceless.
    ————————————
    I hear stories like this and just think things were better then.

    Less corporate, less control, more REAL.

    I like the story Donovan told about filling a glass enclosed shower stall with water. Van Brocklin? and a few others are swimming around and it bursts, and of course the Guy that made the most money was left with the clean up tab.

  • CanuckRaider

    #498: Yeah, they played for the love of the game back then. Now it’s just “show me the money”. Speaking of characters, Bobby Hull was doing a book-signing here today. Didn’t go but I got to talk to him for a while when he, Ulf Nilsson and Anders Hedberg were inducted into the WHA Hall Of Fame a couple of years back. Hilarious guy…Sure loves his drink.

  • No Lo

    Is Mark Davis in charge? Is Mark Davis clueless? Does Amy Trask still have the same clout she had underAl Davis? Does Steve Corkran and Jerry Mac have their man cards?