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Allen on Raiders’ first week

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, April 5th, 2012 at 12:52 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Got some time on the phone today with Raiders coach Dennis Allen, asking him about getting his program off the ground in the restricted era of the new CBA, his impressions of how the first week is going in the strength and conditioning phase, as well as his reaction to what’s going on with the Saints, where he was the defensive backs coach for a Super Bowl champion:

Q: With new CBA, offseason is uncharted territory, how did you go implementing your program?

Allen: coming into this thing, I’ve kind of accumulated some knowledge over the year, being in Atlanta, seeing how Dan Reeves did it and how Jim Mora did it, going to New Orleans, seeing how Sean Payton did it, last year, getting a chance to see how John Fox did it. I’ve kind of taken some ideas from everything that we’ve done in the past and tried to incorporate that into what we’re going to do this year. Now obviously with the new offseason rules, it makes that even more of a challenge. As I’ve gone through this I’ve had an opportunity, not anybody in particular,necessarily, but reach out to a few coaches both new coaches, head coaches in the NFL, and also coaches that have been in the league and kind of ask their opinion on how they’ve done things. And obviously we’ve spent a lot of time with our people here, with Dan Ventrelle, with Tom Delaney, as well as myself and the coordinators trying to sort through everything and make sure we’re following all the rules of the new CBA.

Q: The new regime of the Raiders, players and coaches, met for the first time this week, how would you characterize the first meeting? Was there a mission statement, or more of a simple laying out of what your plan is for this camp?

Allen: It was a little bit of a combination of all that, and I think what we tried to do is make sure we declared the expectations of the players, and really what type of players that we’re looking for to build the team that we want to become. It was more of an information session for them, to let them know, from a coaching standpoint, what we’re looking for.

Q: During this first phase, only strength and conditioning coach can be on field with players?

Allen: That’s correct.

Q: Plus two hours of meetings allowed per day?

Allen: That’s correct.

Q: Where those meetings scheme-oriented?

Allen: We’re installing offensive and defensive schemes during those meetings. We’re setting the foundation for what are beliefs are, what are core values are, from a defensive standpoint. We’re setting our core values and beliefs from an offensive standpoint as well as getting into the scheme and what we’re going to run.

Q: As far as players being on the film with strength and conditioning coaches, is that stuff filmed and can that film be analyzed?

Allen: It cannot be analyzed. By league rules we have to video, anything that goes on on the field has to be videoed and we have to keep that video into the regular season so in case there’s ever any type of dispute there’s video evidence.

Q: What kind of turnount have you had for this phase?

Allen: I’ve been real pleased with the turnout. It hasn’t been 100 percent but it’s in the 90 something percent range. I’ve been real pleased with it, the guys are really working hard, the strength coaches come up here every day and give me an update on how everybody is doing and I’ve been real pleased with the work we’ve got done so far.

Q: You’re still in the very early stages of getting to know this team, but can you form any impressions at all of what you’ve seen the first few days?

Allen: Well, I think the thing that I would look at with these guys, I would say these guys are eager, they’re eager for change, they’re eager for getting an opportunity to get started, they’re looking forward to a clean slate, and I’ve been pleased with their eagnerness to work.

Q: Are guys like McFadden, Shaughnessy, Ford, that had injury issues last year, are they on site and can they let it rip in terms of conditioning or are they still restricted in some way?

Allen: I can’t necessarily answer that question because I haven’t seen that with my own eyes, but based on the reports that I’m getting, these guys are, if they’re not fully 100 percent they’re pretty close and they’re ready to go.

Q: Now that you’re in the conditioning phase, curious whether the run on hamstring and foot injuries last year was addressed and studied, and have things been implemented to prevent that? Or was it just written off as a fluke during the lockout year with no off-season?

Allen: We don’t look at anything as a fluke around here. We’re always trying to evaluate anything within the program and see if there’s anything we can do to make that better. We’re looking at, OK, if we have a lot of hamstring injuries, what can we do from a strength and conditioning standpoint to correct that? What we do from a chiropractic standpoint to correct that? From a training room standpoint, what can we do? Is there something a field maintenance standpoint we can do? We’re going to look at everything within the organization that we can to try and help our players stay healthy to give us the best chance to win.

Q: Has the bounty issue been addressed already, or do you wait until there’s contact at practice?

Allen: It’s been addressed, it’s going to be something that when we have the whole team together is a better time to address that.

Q: With the ongoing bounty story, does that at all taint the championship you won there and did you have any direct knowledge of the bounty system in place?

Allen: What I’m going to say about it is, No. 1, I’m proud of the success that we were able to have there, and No.2 , I’ve moved on, and I’m really a lot more interested in what’s happening with the Oakland Raiders and trying to prepare ourselves for the upcoming season. What’s happened in the past, I’ve really moved on.

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  • ArtilleryShell

    Draft:

    OG Senio Kelemete who will be a backup LG his rookie year
    He fits a Zone Blocking scheme and might be available at the end of round 3
    Not a glamor pick, but a sensible one who won’t be expensive down the line and a functional cog. This is the type of guy the new regime drafts/signs a value pick. He will start in 2013 at LG

  • RaiderLen

    Anallpro24 Says:
    April 5th, 2012 at 5:19 pm
    Yeah, keep the preseason hype and unwarranted optimism on late round draft picks quiet.

    Nothing matters unless Reggie and Dennis get this group acting as one.

    Hue and his useless attempt at ending penalties was humerous at best.

    Dennis will be next if this isn’t fixed, but bootlickers will run to his aid.

    Somethings never change, like bad teeth and rednecks.
    ——————————–
    “Show me” is a good place to be.

    I’m optimistic. I like the trend thus far.

    Imagine if the Raiders actually ended up in the middle of the pack in penalties.

    That, to me, would be a minor miracle.

    IF that happens, I like this Teams chances to win the division, and make some noise in the playoffs.

  • JLofty

    I’m more into drafts picks whose talent, and brains allow them to excel in ANY scheme or as I’m looking forward to for the first time in many decades: multiple schemes…

  • RaiderLen

    JLofty Says:
    April 5th, 2012 at 5:36 pm
    I’m more into drafts picks whose talent, and brains allow them to excel in ANY scheme or as I’m looking forward to for the first time in many decades: multiple schemes…
    ——————————–
    Seriously.

    So much of this is old to other franchises, but new to us.

    Very fun time.

    Can’t wait to see what Reggie and Co cook up.

  • Twocents

    This should get all the lefties in here fired up: Unions suck.
    What do unions accomplish? Those that are unproductive are paid the same as those that are productive.
    Collectivism vs. individualism.
    Outstanding individuals move society forward. The low achievers drag it down.

  • JLofty

    Correction twocents: this will get all the unidisciplined and easily baited lefties fired up.
    Others will (and probably should) ignore your poking of the sleeping dog.
    That WAS really lame. Surely you can be more productive than that…

  • Seymour Bush

    Twocents Says:
    April 5th, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    This should get all the lefties in here fired up: Unions suck.
    What do unions accomplish? Those that are unproductive are paid the same as those that are productive.
    Collectivism vs. individualism.
    Outstanding individuals move society forward. The low achievers drag it down.
    =========================================

    Again this is pure silliness. What do unions accomplish? They allow individuals to collectively bargain. That ensures that poor, unconnected people are not at the mercy of huge powerful industrialists in all aspects of their lives. If you cannot understand that concept, you don’t have a lot of hope. Seriously.

  • RaiderLen

    Best case solution, imo is to have employee ownership in Companies, and marginalize the blood suckers that typically head up unions.

    Not a cure all, but a strategy to help some.

  • ArtilleryShell

    I am not a Zone blocking scheme fan, but we have moved away from a power scheme, make no mistake about that. I don’t favor drafting scheme specific players either. I thought our OL last year was better than expected and better than it has been in years, so to totally abandon that scheme in my mind was not good. Can Barksdale play on this scheme, I don’t know, he isn’t that quick.

    We need a NT but so do other teams. I think we will draft one when the value of the round matches the players potential and the guy can two gap

  • C2E

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    April 5th, 2012 at 2:18 pm
    still awaiting votes for #95 pick (alpha)

    ——

    Put me down for Manny Abreu, OLB, Rutgers

  • Twocents

    Seymour, can I collectively bargain with the state?
    What about the poor unconnected people that have no recourse but to bow down to the state?

  • http://ggeden.blogspot.com/ GG

    Allen not punished by the NFL = Allen the whistleblower?

  • Twocents

    Seymour, I think you are paid by the state. You have a stench about you.

  • Twocents

    Seymour, have you ever thought about what will happen when people wise up to your scam?

  • RaiderLen

    GG Says:
    April 5th, 2012 at 5:57 pm
    Allen not punished by the NFL = Allen the whistleblower?
    =====================================
    Na

    He was a DB coach.

    Not in a position of authority.

    NFL can’t come down on him for being there.

  • http://ggeden.blogspot.com/ GG

    Why did they come down on Joe Vitt (LB coach) then?

    I doubt Allen was the whistleblower anyway, he would respect the in-house thing, and he has a great respect for Sean Payton. I’m just asking the question anyway.

  • RaiderLen

    GG Says:
    April 5th, 2012 at 6:02 pm
    Why did they come down on Joe Vitt (LB coach) then?

    I doubt Allen was the whistleblower anyway, he would respect the in-house thing, and he has a great respect for Sean Payton. I’m just asking the question anyway.
    —————————-
    What happened to Vitt?

    News to me.

  • http://www.wasRaider75.com wasbanned

    GG Says:
    April 5th, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Why did they come down on Joe Vitt (LB coach) then?

    I doubt Allen was the whistleblower anyway, he would respect the in-house thing, and he has a great respect for Sean Payton. I’m just asking the question anyway.

    They have 50,000 pages of documents. I’m sure Vitt must have contributed money to the pool or some other thing that got him in trouble.

    If Allen was part of it then he would be in trouble too. Hard to hide with so much evidence available.

  • http://ggeden.blogspot.com/ GG

    Suspended for 6-8 weeks for his involvement/knowledge.

  • Nnamdi21

    Someone tell Monte Poole Al Davis is dead and not coming back. He can stop whipping that horse.

    Monte’s new article is kind of pathetic. Clearly hes lost without his old nemesis. Misses him so…

    *Cuwe Cinderella’s “Don’t know what you got (till its gone)

  • RaiderLen

    GG Says:
    April 5th, 2012 at 6:05 pm
    Suspended for 6-8 weeks for his involvement/knowledge.

    —————————————
    Ouch.

    Thanks GG.

  • http://ggeden.blogspot.com/ GG

    Also, apparently Gregg Williams is cited as a mentor of Dennis Allens. Share essential defensive philosophies…aggressive D, blitzing a lot, etc. Maybe the NFL are protecting Allen a bit, a man of upstanding character and years ahead of him as a great NFL HC, not hurt the new Raiders regime, understand he is young, his first real gig in the NFL and didn’t know better or whatever.

  • http://www.wasRaider75.com wasbanned

    RIP to former Cowboys and Raiders coach Joe Avezzano.

    Once a Raider always a Raider.

  • RaiderLen

    GG Says:
    April 5th, 2012 at 6:09 pm
    Also, apparently Gregg Williams is cited as a mentor of Dennis Allens. Share essential defensive philosophies…aggressive D, blitzing a lot, etc. Maybe the NFL are protecting Allen a bit, a man of upstanding character and years ahead of him as a great NFL HC, not hurt the new Raiders regime, understand he is young, his first real gig in the NFL and didn’t know better or whatever.
    ————————-
    Seems plausible.

    Hope DA comesd out clean. The last thing the Organization needs is another distraction.

  • http://www.mrc.org Simon

    All these CBA rules are kinda ridiculous. These guys make miiiillllions of dollars. If some players want to start studying and practicing early have them sign a waiver. Palmer has been foaming at the mouth for the new playbook and im sure there are others. Bounty gate, CBA rules, don’t touch the QB…Hey goodell, they are already wearing tights might as well put a tutu on them also! Get your az out there or I’m cracking some skulls!

  • Twocents

    Seymour is bought and paid for by the state. Of course he is going extol the virtues of bowing down and pledging allegiance to our all powerful rulers. It’s money in his pocket.

  • http://ggeden.blogspot.com/ GG

    On to football matters, I still wouldn’t put it past RM to draft Robert Turbin at #95. There’s your big back, and just hypothetically, if he did trade McFadden at that point, he would have that dual back combo again (Goodson-speed and Turbin-power).

    I honestly think RM will strongly consider Michael Brewster at Center. He said BPA regardless of depth chart. There’s a chance Brewster might go in the middle-late 3rd round. So Turbin a possibility. If Brewster is there at 95, I think it’s possible. Him and Pryor played together at Ohio, plus Brewster is an excellent center, leader, day one type of starter who can handle blocking assignments etc. Drafting him creates that competition at Center, at every position, that RM seeks. Could see Wisniewski say push out Carlisle at LG.

    Veldheer-Wisniewski-Brewster-Brisiel-Barksdale

    ??

  • Twocents

    Come on Seymour, tell me you do not live off taxpayer money.

  • Twocents

    Seymour, I can tell by your crp rhetoric that you have never run a business.

  • Kirk

    Union bashing?

    How sad.

    80% of the increase in after tax income in the last 30 years went to the top 4%.

    And people are bashing the unions.

    Unbelievable.

  • Twocents

    I am so sick of these ahole statist. Live off the taxpayers and pretend you are actually doing something.

  • Twocents

    Kirk, 80% always goes to those with government connections.

  • Ghost87

    Everything you need to know about Unions:

    When times are tough they’ll lay off workers rather than take even a small reduction in salaries or benefits. And they won’t even consider refunding the dues of those they force out of work.

    They don’t give a flying flip about anything other than job security for the longest term incumbents, no matter how unproductive or independently wealthy they are.

  • RaiderLen

    Ghost87 Says:
    April 5th, 2012 at 6:32 pm
    Everything you need to know about Unions:

    When times are tough they’ll lay off workers rather than take even a small reduction in salaries or benefits. And they won’t even consider refunding the dues of those they force out of work.

    They don’t give a flying flip about anything other than job security for the longest term incumbents, no matter how unproductive or independently wealthy they are.
    ————————————
    So the behavior of individuals, when pressed against a wall…even though they share a supposed common purpose, will throw “comrades” under the bus to save their skin?

    No altruism?

    Hardly ever.

    Every man for Himself.

    Particularly those men that lack courage to strike out on their own.

  • Raiders for life

    Veldheer-Wisniewski-Brewster-Brisiel-Barksdale

    ##########################

    Yep, drafting Mike would put the icing on the cake.
    I really like this O-line. Plus gives the raiders Vet. depth. Nice.

  • RaiderLen

    Raiders For Life Says:
    April 5th, 2012 at 6:49 pm
    Veldheer-Wisniewski-Brewster-Brisiel-Barksdale

    ##########################

    Yep, drafting Mike would put the icing on the cake.
    I really like this O-line. Plus gives the raiders Vet. depth. Nice.
    ———————————-
    Don’t know a thing about Brewster, but if it results in a dominant O Line…sign me up.

    Still believe D needs to be the emphasis however.

    Chapman or Brewster…hypotheticly

  • Twocents

    I believe that people, when they are not being coerced by violence, will cooperate and create prosperity. I think that history plainly confirms that.

  • RaiderLen

    *hypothetically

  • http://www.Raiders.com KoolKell

    What history Twocents?

  • Twocents

    KoolKell, whenever people get just a little freedom they create good things.
    Prove to me that only slaves create prosperity.

  • http://www.Raiders.com KoolKell

    What history Twocents???

  • Raiders for life

    Mike Brewster…..Would keep Wiz at LG. Remember that Satele is gone. If Wiz moves to Center I don’t want Veldheer to be his back up. At this point, this is a position of need.
    _____________________________

    First word: Ohio State is going through a lot of turmoil but one player that has been a constant is center Michael Brewster. It seems like Brewster has been the starting center at Ohio State for 10 years and that is because he has a ton of experience.

    Brewster is a good looking center prospect and has all the tools of an NFL center. He plays with great leverage and balance which allows him to be effective in both the passing and running game. His natural bend helps him anchor after the initial contact and avoid getting pushed back into the pocket. He is able to get his head under the chinstrap of the defender and push him off the line. Brewster routinely gets his hands inside the defender and is able to control and seal. His quickness off the ball permits him to get across the face of the his opponent and seal the play.

  • http://www.Raiders.com KoolKell

    I don’t want to see Carlisle moved to LG either. Has he ever played there?

  • http://ggeden.blogspot.com/ GG

    #135 and #136…

    I guess with a defensive-minded HC, a whole new Defensive coaching staff, and an inherently talented group of defensive players, the D can be improved thru better coaching, better schemes, and more discipline and accountability. Naturally, we need to add more LB depth in the draft, UDFA, and acquiring FA cuts from other teams.

    A dominant OL is paramount for the run-heavy minded philosophy we’re looking at, and giving a QB of Palmer’s ability more time in the pocket would be devestating.

    The issue with drafting a NT, is we’re so loaded on the DL, so many 3-tech DTs hybrid 5-tech 3-4 DEs. Plus we apparently have some ‘potential’ NTs rostered already. Whereas the OL, especially Center, still has a hole to fill.

    Just speculative armchair GM talk, but I agree with others that as productive as Kelly and even Seymour are, we could draft (or promote a rostered no-name) NT and trade Kelly and Seymour for some more mid-round picks and still be very strong at DL with Houston, Shaughnessy, Bryant, Tollefson (if he signs). Don’t really need Kelly/Seymour.

    Whilst on offense, I love Dmac like everyone else, but I’m not opposed to trading him to the NFC for 1st/2nd round picks, trading them down, acquiring more picks in the 2nd/3rd and loading up on LBs and CBs that we need. Especially if we draft Turbin, have Goodson (remember that stat someone posted he has very high ypc and break tackle), and Taiwan Jones too. Not saying for sure trade Dmac, but there are options there worth considering.

    Also, this is just me personally, and don’t expect anyone to agree, but I wouldn’t be opposed to also trading Palmer for a 1st/2nd, getting Pryor on the field, could draft Russell Wilson as a back-up competition. Russell Wilson tho 5’11 is an intriguing prospect, can see the Bills drafting him otherwise.

  • http://raiders.com Mark Clemens

    Michael Irvin (PFT):

    “Since you were a baby you’ve understood never take out a man’s knees and on this tape he’s talking about taking out an ACL,” Irvin said on NFL Network. “I almost threw up when I heard it. I pulled back any covers that I may have had for a coach. If he is out of the league forever, it would be only the right thing to do.”

    I’m sure Williams isn’t the only coach to talk this way, but he got caught. He should be banned for life.

  • http://www.Raiders.com KoolKell

    Yeah, I certainly disagree.

  • http://raiders.com Mark Clemens

    If I were Drew Brees, I would refuse to sign with the Saints. Besides, he may become a target if he stays with the Saints.

  • http://raiders.com Mark Clemens

    What happened to Brien? Did he get banned, or is he just too embarrassed after his cousin’s big flop in the tournament?

  • joker94583

    Allen, the consummate politician.

  • alzadoX

    Thanks for interview Jerry, but Allen is pretty good at speaking in cliches and saying very little per word, just like experienced coaches.