Coach Allen fields questions about rookie mini camp


First-year Raiders coach Dennis Allen is in the midst of presiding over a rookie mini camp for the first time. On Saturday, he spoke with the media about his thoughts on his new players and the team after the second of three practices in Alameda. Here is the entire trancript:

Q: What do you look to get out of this weekend?
Allen: Really we’re just trying to get a good evaluation of the rookies, both the drafted players and the undrafted players. We’ve had a couple of good practices already. We have another walk-through this evening and one more good practice tomorrow.

Q: Why so many tryout guys?
A: The big thing is, we wanted to be able to run an offense and a defense and have a couple of deep to be able to do that. We wanted to take a look at a lot of different guys and see what we could come up with. We’ve all been a part of a lot of teams where you find guys that can play for you that you bring in on a tryout basis. We wanted to have a chance to look at a lot of guys and we were able to do that.

Q: 90-man roster give more guys chances?
A: The big thing is we have the ability to get to a 90-man roster and we want to make sure that the guys we bring in all are capable of potentially making the team. That’s part of the evaluation process that we’re going through today.

Q: Anybody jump out at you?
A: There have been several guys that have really jumped out at me. I know (Rod) Streater, the wide receiver out of Temple, has done a really nice job. He’s been pretty impressive. Obviously, the defensive end Kaelin (Burnett) that we got out of Nevada has been a nice addition as a Sam linebacker and a guy who can put his hand on the ground and rush on third downs. Those are just a couple of the guys.

Q: How does Burris adjust to NFL after playing in and out in college?
A: Football is football. There are only so many different things you can ask guys to do. The thing we liked about him from the very beginning is he is an instinctive football player and he does understand how to play the game. We’re going to put him in positions to give him a chance to be successful and let him use his athleticism, let him use his instincts to make plays.

Q: What does Travis Ivey bring to table?
A: He’s a big powerful guy inside who has the ability to be a good run-stopping player inside.

Q: Help to have a guy who has played NT in 3-4?
A: It helps a lot. We’re obviously always going to be looking for guys we can do multiple things with. Anytime you’re talking about first and second down and stopping the run, you need a big guy inside to be able to do that. He’s a nice piece to be able to work with. He’s been out here working and trying to get better. We’ll see where we’re at when we get through camp and see if he’s good enough to make the team.

Q: What are your weeks like?
A: Its’ been busy. It’s been pretty smooth. You kind of take it phase by phase. We just finished up with the draft phase and now we’re really kind of getting into the football phase of the offseason program. It’s been pretty smooth. It’s been exciting and every day there’s something different that shows up. You wake up every morning and wonder what life has in store for you.

Q: How helpful to have rookie camp before OTAs?
A: It’s extremely important. We’ve had the veteran players here for a while and have already been through a minicamp with them. The rookies are obviously behind from a mental and a physical standpoint. They’re going to have to work hard and work fast to get caught up because if they don’t get caught up pretty soon they’ll fall behind. It’s real important to have this camp for them.

Q: What have you seen from Burris physically?
A: He’s a tough, physical player. When you’re in these camps, it’s hard to really tell how physical a guy is going to be because of the rules and the way we have to go about practicing. I’ve seen every indication that he’s fully athletic enough to play the positions that we’re going to ask him to play. We’re excited about him.

Q: Thoughts on Bergstrom?
A: He’s done a nice job. He fits the scheme, the zone running scheme and he has some athleticism. He’ll be a nice fit in there.

Q: Stay at left guard for now?
A: We’re going to start with him at left guard and give him a chance to work and compete and see where he’s at.

Q: Reece signed yet?
A: Marcel Reece has been tendered and Reggie (McKenzie, general manager) and him and his agent have been working on trying to get the deal finished up.

Q: Will he be here Tuesday?
A: I don’t know whether we’ll see him on Tuesday or not but hopefully we’ll see him soon.

Q: Desmond Bryant?
A: Desmond Bryant has been out here working.

Q: Your thoughts on DHB facing a drunken driving charge?
“It’s a situation that we’re aware of and we’re monitoring. We’ll see how the whole legal proceedings carry out and then we’ll kind of go from there.”

Not the best way to start a new era here?
“No, but you know what? Until we get all the facts of the case, we’re not going to rush to judgment on anything. Get all the facts and then play it out from there.”


Steve Corkran