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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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  • downsouthraider

    Refreshing to see the comment from Spuds and DA about 40 time don’t mean sh!t if you can’t play football! GM , coaches working together as a team. Long time coming, but glad to see us striving to become more like a professional team.

  • CanuckRaider

    #391: So you don’t even wait to see what the new regime does before passing judgement? I don’t know about you but I like the main personnel move they’ve made so far…getting rid of an overpaid, under-performing CB. But then, I make my judgements based on performance, not preconceptions.

  • RaiderLen

    Hwnrdr Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 8:01 pm
    RaiderLen Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 7:59 pm
    Hwnrdr Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 7:57 pm
    Cheech and Chong! Love it!
    —————————–
    A buddy of mine had the rolling paper from the “Big Bamboo?” album.

    Huge. lol

    Hahaha! I remember my brother had those albums…still cracks me up
    ————————–
    Paper was so large it would have taken 2 or 3, 3 finger “lids” to fill it…lol

  • hwnrdr

    RaiderLen Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 8:07 pm
    Hwnrdr Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 8:01 pm
    RaiderLen Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 7:59 pm
    Hwnrdr Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 7:57 pm
    Cheech and Chong! Love it!
    —————————–
    A buddy of mine had the rolling paper from the “Big Bamboo?” album.

    Huge. lol

    Hahaha! I remember my brother had those albums…still cracks me up
    ————————–
    Paper was so large it would have taken 2 or 3, 3 finger “lids” to fill it…lol

    LOL!

  • CanuckRaider

    #400: That was “Big Bambu”. Had it back in the day but it disappeared into the ether at some point. Only one I still have on vinyl is the Wedding Album.

  • RaiderLen

    CanuckRaider Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 8:08 pm
    #400: That was “Big Bambu”. Had it back in the day but it disappeared into the ether at some point. Only one I still have on vinyl is the Wedding Album.
    ————————-
    Thanks Canuck,

    I’m surprised I remembered as much as I did.

    Given the circumstance of the 70′s and all…lol

  • CanuckRaider

    Saw them on their reunion tour a couple of years back. Tommy Chong’s daughter opened the show. Excellent.

  • CanuckRaider

    #406: Yeah Len…Full marks for remembering it…I could see the cover artwork in my mind as soon as you mentioned it…Us old stoners eh?

  • RaiderLen

    CanuckRaider Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 8:11 pm
    Saw them on their reunion tour a couple of years back. Tommy Chong’s daughter opened the show. Excellent.
    —————————–
    Rae Dawn Chong,

    She was a hottie in a few films as I remember.

  • RaiderLen

    February 24th, 2012 at 8:13 pm
    #406: Yeah Len…Full marks for remembering it…I could see the cover artwork in my mind as soon as you mentioned it…Us old stoners eh?
    ————————————-
    Gave up the weed a long time ago, but had fun with it back in the day.

    The stuff now is crazy compared to then.

  • CanuckRaider

    That was Rae Dawn? Didn’t catch that at the time. Just heard her introduced as his daughter. Probably too blasted to put two and two together…Lol.

  • CanuckRaider

    #410: Hear you on that my friend. That’s why I only partake of my bud’s homegrown now. No chems and grown outdoors…Hydropon is just too much for this old fella.

  • hwnrdr

    Tommy Chong’s son is Marcus Chong, the guy who played Tank in the first Matrix!

  • RaiderLen

    CanuckRaider Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 8:16 pm
    That was Rae Dawn? Didn’t catch that at the time. Just heard her introduced as his daughter. Probably too blasted to put two and two together…Lol.
    ———————————-
    Might not have been, She’s the only one I’m aware of.

    I supposed it was Her.

  • RaiderWeaponX

    RaiderLen Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    RaiderWeaponX Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 7:42 pm
    lefty12 Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    It was mentioned on this blog almost weekly by Jer and Steve that McClain was playing on bad wheels last year.
    ————————————-
    Getting tired of your excuses for everyone.
    Do you ever take a stand on anything? I mean your own stance, not toeing the company line?
    It’s like you’re afraid to question anything.
    ———————-
    What’s YOUR stance weapon boy?
    ================
    Don’t ride coat-tails. Even for little girls, it’s unsightly.

  • RaiderCrunch

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d8272d36d/article/mark-davis-touts-changes-calls-it-brand-new-day-for-raiders?module=HP11_headline_stack

    Wow, this team means business. I’m convinced Mark has a pretty good handle on this organization. He’s gonna keep his dads’ legacy in tact.

    Hell yeah!!!!!!!!!!

  • Thec
  • RaiderLen

    Hwnrdr Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 8:18 pm
    Tommy Chong’s son is Marcus Chong, the guy who played Tank in the first Matrix!
    ————————-
    Well now of course I HAVE to go back and watch.

    I’ll be lookin for Tank!

  • RaiderWeaponX

    RaiderLen Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    February 24th, 2012 at 8:13 pm
    #406: Yeah Len…Full marks for remembering it…I could see the cover artwork in my mind as soon as you mentioned it…Us old stoners eh?
    ————————————-
    Gave up the weed a long time ago, but had fun with it back in the day.

    The stuff now is crazy compared to then.
    —————–
    Explains things.
    Fried brain cell syndrome.
    Only gets worse for you, sorry to say.
    Good news is in a few days you won’t remember this exchange.

  • RaiderLen

    Don’t ride coat-tails. Even for little girls, it’s unsightly.
    ————————————————-
    Uh…ok.

  • RaiderLen

    RaiderWeaponX Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 8:20 pm
    RaiderLen Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    February 24th, 2012 at 8:13 pm
    #406: Yeah Len…Full marks for remembering it…I could see the cover artwork in my mind as soon as you mentioned it…Us old stoners eh?
    ————————————-
    Gave up the weed a long time ago, but had fun with it back in the day.

    The stuff now is crazy compared to then.
    —————–
    Explains things.
    Fried brain cell syndrome.
    Only gets worse for you, sorry to say.
    Good news is in a few days you won’t remember this exchange.
    ——————————–
    I’ll remember.

    I’ll just think “Stupid”…and your stuff will come to mind.

  • CanuckRaider

    #419: Are you by any chance another one of MR’s sock-puppets? Same attitude it would seem.

  • RaiderLen

    CanuckRaider Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 8:23 pm
    #419: Are you by any chance another one of MR’s sock-puppets? Same attitude it would seem.
    ——————————-
    Funny you should mention that.

  • CanuckRaider

    #423: Lol…There’s always at least one eh? Shame.

  • RaiderWeaponX

    My stance?
    My stance is some of you haven’t a clue, and just so desperately want to buy into anything.
    Even Al knew his son was clueless. Yet some of you are all of a sudden stating he’s doing great, and is following in his fathers footsteps? Even Al didn’t want Marc in charge.
    Reggie ran around with his head cut off, clueless. Some of the same posters here who called him clueless and dancing around like little kids, stating how great he’s doing, even though all he did was wait while all the experienced coaches were taken. Now we have an inexperienced owner, with an inexperienced gm, with an inexperienced head coach.

  • RaiderWeaponX

    And of course there are those that just beg everyone to not say anything or question anything, until after the draft, or after FA, or after reggie has a year, or after Allen has two years.
    Excuses.

  • hwnrdr

    RaiderLen Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 8:20 pm
    Hwnrdr Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 8:18 pm
    Tommy Chong’s son is Marcus Chong, the guy who played Tank in the first Matrix!
    ————————-
    Well now of course I HAVE to go back and watch.

    I’ll be lookin for Tank!

    Wouldn’t be too hard to miss…him and his brother in the movie were the only “humans” on Morpheus’ (LawrenceFishburne) ship!

  • RaiderWeaponX

    CanuckRaider Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    #419: Are you by any chance another one of MR’s sock-puppets? Same attitude it would seem.
    —————
    Cop out. Associating me with that clown is a copout designed to cover up the fact you have nothing.

  • hwnrdr

    BTW: It could have been Rae Dawn, but he does have another daughter that acts, also…her name is Precious

  • djohnnyg

    161.ohioraider Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 1:24 pm
    RaiderWeaponX Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Wonder how those Daivs haters who love the new regime are going to feel when we don;t make the playoffs for another couple of years.
    ———————————————–
    We’re happy that there is an emerging, coherent system in place with professional contract management and talent evaluation. Given that Davis was never going to another Super Bowl, let alone winning the conference, I think the sane and rational among us are willing to give the new regime the benefit of the doubt so long as yearly progress is being made. But I hold them accountable just as I did Davis. And, by the way, even under the best of circumstances it’ll take 3 years to rebuild this sorry ass defense.

    Nothing takes 3 yrs. to rebuild anymore if u do it right. Not when expansion teams (like Carolina) make it to the NFC Championship game their second yr.

    NE and GB did pretty well for themselves with bad D’s this yr.

    Getting better doesn’t have to take 3 yrs.

  • CanuckRaider

    Len: Holy smokes! Just did a google check and it was Tommy’s wife, Shelby who opened for them. Must really have been baked that night. Check out pics of her…Wow!

  • RaiderWeaponX

    Prediction:
    Week before season starts-posters predicting advancing far in playoffs. Love Marc-amy-dennis-reg.

    6 weeks in-posters predicting this is a learning year both for reggie and dennis. They will get better.

    10 weeks in-”wait until next year. Boy, will we be good.”

  • CanuckRaider

    #430: Truth.

  • RaiderWeaponX

    Rae Dawn in commando was about as horrible an acting job as you’ll ever see.

  • RaiderLen

    Hwnrdr Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 8:30 pm
    RaiderLen Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 8:20 pm
    Hwnrdr Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 8:18 pm
    Tommy Chong’s son is Marcus Chong, the guy who played Tank in the first Matrix!
    ————————-
    Well now of course I HAVE to go back and watch.

    I’ll be lookin for Tank!

    Wouldn’t be too hard to miss…him and his brother in the movie were the only “humans” on Morpheus’ (LawrenceFishburne) ship!
    ——————————-
    Thanks Hwnrdr I’ve only watched it once or twice, so I’ll go into the next one better informed.

  • CanuckRaider

    #435: Showbiz runs strong in that family line for sure.

  • hwnrdr

    RaiderWeaponX Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 8:35 pm
    Rae Dawn in commando was about as horrible an acting job as you’ll ever see.

    Come on Weapon…that whole dam movie was terribly acted!

  • RaiderWeaponX

    I think Shelby Chong used to work the pole at the Brass Rail.

  • CanuckRaider

    #437: Don’t think it was even good enough to get a Razzie nod…Lol. Rae Dawn looked hot though.

  • RaiderWeaponX

    hwnrdr Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    RaiderWeaponX Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 8:35 pm
    Rae Dawn in commando was about as horrible an acting job as you’ll ever see.

    Come on Weapon…that whole dam movie was terribly acted!
    —————-
    Ya, it was.
    40 guys shooting at Arnold with every weapon imaginable.
    All miss.

  • RaiderLen

    CanuckRaider Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 8:33 pm
    Len: Holy smokes! Just did a google check and it was Tommy’s wife, Shelby who opened for them. Must really have been baked that night. Check out pics of her…Wow!
    ——————————
    I Googled it…WOW

    She was born in 48!??

    Looks great!

  • http://www.addictedtoquack.com RaiderDuck

    http://www.agonybooth.com/movies/Commando_1985.aspx

    As usual, The Agony Booth nails it.

  • RaiderLen

    RaiderWeaponX Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 8:39 pm
    I think Shelby Chong used to work the pole at the Brass Rail.
    ———————————
    Live in the Bay?

  • RaiderLen

    CanuckRaider Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 8:39 pm
    #437: Don’t think it was even good enough to get a Razzie nod…Lol. Rae Dawn looked hot though.
    ————————–
    Uh Huh! lol

  • Raider guy

    Here is a good question. What would happen if coach Allen class his team the stupidest team in America?

  • CanuckRaider

    There was a bar called “The Brass Rail” where I’m at too Len. Great place to watch the “interpretive dance” back in my youth.

  • http://www.addictedtoquack.com RaiderDuck

    Raider Guy Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 8:43 pm
    Here is a good question. What would happen if coach Allen class his team the stupidest team in America?

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

    Won’t happen. Unlike Callahan, he’ll be able to bench and/or cut players that play stupid.

  • RaiderLen

    CanuckRaider Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 8:44 pm
    There was a bar called “The Brass Rail” where I’m at too Len. Great place to watch the “interpretive dance” back in my youth.
    ——————————
    Yes, It’s ALL about the ART. LOL!

  • Raider guy

    Duck I think that too. This is a new day isn’t it. Dude when Callahan said that I thought it was about time someone said something. He got fired for it. Un be lee va ble

  • CanuckRaider

    #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.