An excerpt from Raiders coach Dennis Allen at the NFL meetings on Sirius XM NFL radio discussing his former employer, the Saints, and their penalties for bounties, and the potential of his Oakland defense:
Q: With your former team in the news, and former boss (Sean Payton) and defensive coordinator (Gregg Williams), what light if any can you shed on this and what have been people talking about in terms of bounties and what’s going on with the Saints and the severe penalties they face?
Allen: I think first and foremost, I think we gotta undersand that our job as employees of the NFL is to protect the integrity of the game. I think commissioner Goodell made that clearly obvious when he addressed the whole group this morning. I think that’s been something that’s been critical. Player safety, obviously, is at the forefront of the NFL. In general, I feel badly for everybody that’s been involved with the whole situation. It’s kind of an unfortunate situation, but the commissioner has made it clear that those type of practices are not acceptable and I support his decisions and what he decided to do from a punishment standpoint.
Q: Physical play prevalent in all game plans, who do you address that with your team without crossing the line?
Allen: I think you have to always be forthright with your team and be kind of one step ahead of everything. I think you can play this game in a physical manner without the intent to injure and I think that’s really at the end of the day what the NFL is trying to accomplish.
Q: Talk about personnel that you’re inheriting and how much talent is there, if guys can fit in and can you take advantage of their skills?
Allen: I think we’ve got some key players in place. Obviously, up front, we’ve got a pretty good group of guys up front where we can get after the passer and are still pretty stout against the run up front, from a linebacker standpoint. Rolando McClain was a first round draft choice and I’m looking forward to the opportunity of getting to work with him and he’s been real receptive to what we’re planning on doing. Obviously, Aaron Curry, it was good to get him back, we’ve got to find a way to replace Kamerion Wimbley. I think from a secondary standpoint, with Michael Huff and Tyvon Branch, I feel real good about that position. Corner was a position we had to make sure we had to upgrade. I think we did a nice job of that, Shawntae Spencer and obviously Ron Bartell. We’re excited about who we have back there and we’re looking forward to continuing throughout the free agency process and throughout the draft and seeing if we can acaquire some more players.