Raiders coach Dennis Allen took a break from preparing for the 2012 season to weigh in on the NFL’s release of the schedules for its 32 teams.
Allen also addressed the status of running back Darren McFadden, backup quarterback Terrelle Pryor and the progress of his team’s first mini camp, among other things.
Here is the complete transcript from the conference call with Allen:
Q: Thoughts on opening at home on Monday night?
A: I’m excited about it. You grow up watching Monday Night Football and the theme song. We’re excited about getting to open up the new era of Raider football both in the preseason on Monday night and in the regular season.
Q: Does getting the schedule make it all seem more real?
A: I don’t know if makes it seem more real that it’s coming up. Obviously it’s exciting when you get a chance to look at it. Obviously you know who you’re playing. You go through the process of looking at those teams. All right, we have this team early in the year, late in the year. At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter. We have to line up and go play those games whenever they call for us to go play them.
Q: Does anything stand out on the schedule?
A: I don’t think anything really jumps out at me. Usually when I get these things I kind of look at them. I don’t give it a ton of thought other than where we’re traveling to and when we have to get there.
Q: How much do you like having three straight home games late in the season?
A: First of all I like the fact that as I look at the schedule we don’t have any back-to-back road games until we get to the end of the year. I like the fact that we get three back-to-back-to-back home games right there in the stretch run until we have to go on the road to finish out the year. Obviously getting the chance to play at home late in the year is an advantage.
Q: What were you able to do on the first day of the mini camp today?
A: We’re using this as an opportunity to really install a core base offense, defense and special teams. Really just get a chance to let the guys go through the motions of breaking a huddle lining up in a formation, lining up in a defense, lining up in a punt team formation and allow them to get a feel for what we’re going to do and how they’re going to be asked to do it.
Q: Is this a big week for Pryor?
A: At the end of the day, what I’m looking to see from him, not necessarily this week. It’s the process as we go along. What I want to see is that every day he gets a little bit better. That’s what we’re looking for with all of our players. None of us are where we need to be right now. Our job is to as the process goes on our job is to put our head down, put blinders on and put one step ahead of the other and take it day by day. I know those are cliches but it really is true. We’re going to take it day by day and keep getting better every day. At the end of the day if we can do that and get better every day we’re going to like the results at the end.
Q: What was McFadden able to do?
A: Darren was able to go through the drills today and did a nice job.
Q: Is that encouraging?
A: Absolutely. He’s one of our most explosive players on offense. He’s a dangerous weapon. We’re looking forward to finding different ways of using him and kind of exploiting his talents.
Q: What was the turnout like?
A: I thought we had a great turnout. We had two weeks of an offseason conditioning program and today was the first day of the voluntary minicamp. Overall I’ve been very pleased with the turnout. Guys are working very hard to try to get better.
Q: What are draft preparations like?
A: We’ve been in draft meetings for about a week now. Obviously we’re still in a process of draft meetings. I’m balancing the two right now with getting ready for the draft and also running this minicamp. As we get closer and closer to the draft, Reggie and I will sit down and really get a good feel for what we want to do and what our plan of attack will be.
Q: Are you pleased with the holes you have filled through free agency?
A: I really do. Obviously as we go through the offseason we’ll have a better feel as we go on exactly where we’re at. I feel pretty good about the guys we were able to pick up.