By Steve Corkran
Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012 at 12:46 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Here is what Raiders coach Dennis Allen had to say after he put his players through a two-hour practice in Alameda today:
Q: What did you like today?
A: Well I thought the guys were flying around again. I thought the execution was pretty good and so I think overall I’ve been pleased. I think when you’re the head coach and you come off a practice you want the defense to look good at times and the offense to look good at times and I think we did that today.
Q: Does it get any better than ending practice with an interception?
A: (Laughs). Yeah I’ve got to take a more well-rounded approach to it now, but yeah I thought both sides of the ball made plays today and I was pleased with that.
Q: How are you going to approach Rolando’s situation?
A: Well I think really right now as we look at it, Rolando’s part of our family, he’s part of our team. We’re going to let the whole process play out before we do anything and once the whole legal proceedings are finished then we’ll determine what if any action we need to take.
Q: Would you be more inclined to wait for the NFL to take action or could the Raiders decide to … ?
A: I think we’re going to let the legal proceedings play out and then we’ll see where it’s at.
Q: I know to start the year both you and Reggie McKenzie talked about how you’re morals guys, too. You want your players to represent the brand. Have you had private talks with Rolando about what you expect from him?
A: We’ve talked to all the players about that. And I think all the players understand what we expect out of them. And I think the think we’ve also got to understand is that we’re starting anew. We’re not going to take into account past sins necessarily for everybody’s actions. But I think everybody knows what the standard is around here and we’re going to expect people to uphold that standard.
Q: With the uncertainty though of a potential suspension, lengthy trial, potential incarceration, do you have to have a Plan B at middle linebacker? Even if you do let this thing play out?
A: Well you have to have a plan no matter what in the National Football League. Injuries always occur and you have to have a plan and we have plans in place to take into account all that stuff.
Q: Goethel’s a guy who’s flashed on two different defensive coordinators in two years and then gotten hurt and not been able to play. What have you seen so far?
A: Well I think if he can stay healthy I think he’s got a chance to be a pretty good player for us. I’ve been pleased with the way he’s been out here working and we’ll continue to have him get better one day at a time and if he does that he’ll have a chance.
Q: On the field, what are the things Rolando needs to do to get better?
Allen: I think really just in general, I think some of the coverage aspect, are places he needs to work. I think he’s done a real good job from a leadership standpoint. I think he’s very instinctive. He’s smart out there. He’s taken command of the huddle. Those things I’ve been pleased with. Physically, I think as you look at him, I think what he needs to improve on, and he knows this, is a little bit of the pass coverage aspect.
Q: Is he behind after not being here at practice?
Allen: No. he’s not behind at all. He’s actually ahead. He’s really smart. He understands the defense and he’s done a real good job in that regard.
Q: Had stem cell treatments, see him moving better than he did on film last year?
Allen: I think he’s moving around good. Obviously he had some injuries last year. I’ve been pleased with everything I’ve seen out of Rolando this whole offseason.
Q: Anything want to see out of each OTA session?
Allen: It’s nothing specific. I said this from Day 1 and I’ll say this until the season’s over with. We want to get better one day at a time, one step at a time, and if we do that, at the end of the day we’ll like the results.
Q: Is your progress meeting your expectations?
Allen: I think it’s been good so far.
Q: D-Moore, Aaron Curry . . .
Allen: Most of the guys you saw over there have little soft tissue injuries, hamstrings, groins, that type of stuff. It’s more of a precautionary measure than it is anything else, especially during this time of year.
Q: Mike Mitchell injury significant enough that he can’t come out?
Allen: He’s got a knee injury that he’s been rehabbing and I don’t look for him to participate for a little while now.
Q: Tommy Kelly?
Allen: Tommy Kelly had some personal things to take care of back home and so he missed today.
Q: Manase Tonga hasn’t been out last week or this week?
Allen: Same thing, kind of a little scope on his knee, he’ll be fine. We expect him back, if not for the next OTA, then for sure by the minicamp.
Q: Any progress getting Marcel Reece in?
Allen: I haven’t heard anything. Again, it’s kind of the same situation. It’s obviously a voluntary situation and we’re hoping we’ll see him pretty soon.
Q: Strange to have a situation for a younger guy to be away . . .
Allen: I certainly would hope that he would get in here pretty soon. He needs to get caught up to what we’re doing.
Q: Comment on Matt Shaughnessy’s timetable?
A: He brings some physicalness, aggressiveness, some experience. I would expect he’ll be full go for training camp but you probably won’t see much of him before then.
Q: Any reason no emblems on helmet?
A: We just started off that way. If anything, we’ll all earn the right to wear that symbol.
Q: Miles Burris?
A: Miles Burris has done a nice job. Like any rookie his head is swimming a little bit. He has a lot to learn but I’ve been pleased with the way he’s been progressing.
Q: Early impressions of Goodson?
A: Good athlete. Has some speed, some running skill, been really impressed with him. From the mental standpoint he’s done a nice job. Obviously I think there’s something to work with with him.
Q: Matt Giordano brings a smile to your face?
A: Matt’s a great guy and he’s great for the team, great for the locker room. He’s one of those guys he’s a true team player. He wants to do anything he can to help the team win. He’s smart, instinctive, knows how to play the game. He’s a welcome addition.
Q: What do you see from Tyvon that you like?
A: I think the way that he plays the game with the speed, the effort, the tenacity. He enjoys playing the game of football and he’s as good an athlete as you could hope for. With our safeties we have pretty good athletes that we can do a lot with.
Q: See him taking on leadership role?
A: I think it’s still new for Tyvon. He hasn’t been here a long time. He’s developing every day. Again just like everything else I want to see him take one step at a time in that leadership role and see if he can get better in that every day.
Q: Can Ausberry be every down tight end this season?
A: I don’t want to put a timetable on it as to when he will develop until a full-time player. I think he definitely has that ability to. If he keeps getting better we’ll play that out as we get through training camp and kind of see where we’re at.
Q: Where is he in terms of blocking or do you need to wait until camp?
A: When we’ll put on the pads we’ll find out where he’s at as far as that is concerned.
Q: How does it help having two safeties with experience coverage/slot etc
A: Tremendously. I mean the safeties are the guys in the secondary–they make all your calls back there, they make all your checks back there and having guys with experience that have done it before really helps
Q: And the flexibility in that they’ve both covered guys does that give you flexibility
A: Absolutely, every time you can keep your regular guys out there on the field and have safeties you feel good about covering or TW, RB, WR – it gives you more flexibility
Q Is Ron Bartell 100% with neck injury, etc
A: He’s shown he’s completely back. You know, I think it took him a little time to get his legs back under him, but he’s seems to be back. And we’ll find out more about him, again, when we start putting the pads on and get a chance to hit a bit
Q: What have you seen from him so far?
A: The type of athlete that he is. He’s a big athletic corner that can run, and that’s what we were looking for and that’s what we got in him.
Q: What about the new QB (Newhall-Caballero)?
A: I don’t think we bring in anyone that’s just for charity. We bring in guys that we think have a chance to compete and have a chance to be decent football players. And that’s what I think about him. That was the plan all along, to bring in a 4th quarterback. We wanted to bring 4 to camp, to make sure we did have 4 arms and I think Kyle will do a nice job there
Q: What does he do well, what do you like about Kyle Newhall-Caballero?
A: I think he’s smart, he’s athletic and he’s got a strong arm.
Q: As first time head coach, what have you learned so far?
A: Well, I’ve learned everyday is something different. I wake up every morning, get excited about coming to work, and find our what everybody has in store for me. It’s been good. You know, I’m learning more as we go, and how to deal with both sides of the ball. I’ve been used to dealing with defense so much, but learning offense and special teams as we go, has been a lot of fun.
Q: Any guys in these OTAs that surprise you with their progress?
A: I think there’s been a lot of guys that have made some progress. I don’t know if I want to – for fear– I don’t want to leave anyone out – but in general I have been really pleased with the progress from all of our guys
Q: Is Burris strictly on the outside?
I think right now with the learning curve we’re going to keep him outside LB and let him get his feet wet and then we’ll figure where he’s at probably closer to training camp, and even closer to the beginning of the season