By Steve Corkran
Friday, August 31st, 2012 at 5:40 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Here’s what Raiders coach Dennis Allen had to say in a 10-minute conference call a little while ago. Note that he refused to speak about the pending roster cuts or injuries to several of his key players. Those are sure signs that Allen and the Raiders are in regular-season mode. Enjoy the reading, while I go track down the roster moves:
Q: What can you tell us?
Allen: Not much. Right now I’m not going to talk about who we’ve released or who’s going to be on the team. We’re at that point in time where I’m really not going to talk about injuries, because this time of year we’re beginning to game plan, so I’ll talk about the game. I’ll talk about San Diego if you want to, but I really won’t talk much about the roster or injuries. Now we’ll talk more about the roster on Monday because we’ll have a better idea of where we’re at.
Q: Curry, can you address him, PUP, anything?
Allen: No, I’m not going to talk about anybody right now as far as what we’re going to do. We did talk to Curry today, he was in here, but we’re not going to say anything. That will actually get released, all that information will be released this evening.
Q: How different might the roster look from time you make moves to time you walk on the field for the opener, four or five guys? None?
Allen: We’re definitely looking, and whatever moves we feel like, I’ve told you guys before, really, honestly, whatever moves we feel like give us a chance to be better, we’re going to make those moves and we’re evaluating any and all positions to see if there’s someone out there that can help us.
Q: Did last night’s game play a role for a lot of guys or had you already decided?
Allen: Well, usually, when you get into those games you’re talking about the bottom part of your roster. Maybe it’s players 46 through 53, somewhere in there maybe, I don’t know what that number is. But there’s a handful of guys that it makes a difference whether they’re on your team or not.’
Q: Considering that it didn’t go very well for non-first teamers, not bode well for reserves?
Allen: yeah, well obviously, we didn’t play well last night. We didn’t execute very well. We beat up front on both sides of the ball. We had mental mistakes, and so, yeah, I would say, no it doesn’t bode well for some of those backup players. This is the National Football League and when we go in and play a game, these players, that played the other night, they’re going to be the guys, if we have an injury or somebody misses a game, those are going to be the guys that are going to have to step in and play and we’re going to expect them to play at the same level as what a starter does because that’s what we do. So, yeah, I was disappointed in what we got out of some of those guys.
Q: Are you more concerned now about the depth?
A: I don’t know if more concerned. That’s been a concern, the depth on our roster. I think it just reconfirmed that we have to upgrade the bottom half of the roster because depth is a concern.
Q: Do you see a team that is smarter, tougher and more disciplined and don’t have enough talent or missing those qualities?
A: There’s been progress in that regard. Obviously we haven’t been perfect and we’re not going to be perfect but we’ve made a lot of progress in that regard. I think we are a tough football team and we do have tough-minded people. I think we’ve played smart in situations and executed some situational football really well. I do think some of that discipline is showing up on the field. It’s still not the final product that we’re looking for. We’re always going to strive for improvement and we’re looking for perfection but I have seen improvement in that regard.
Q: Why no cuts announced yet?
A: It’s really an in-house thing. I don’t know how all the other teams do it. Roster cuts have to be turned into the league by 6 o’clock this evening our time. At 6 o’clock this evening our time we’ll turn the roster moves into the league and I’m sure it becomes public after that.
Q: Who stood out from the game?
A: Well there wasn’t a whole lot that stood out from a positive standpoint. I told you guys last night that defensively one of the guys that I thought played pretty well and also showed up on special teams was Bryan McCann. I thought Coye Francies made a few plays special teams wise. He obviously had the one ball he put on the ground on the kickoff but some of the coverage stuff was pretty good. Jack Crawford early in the game did a nice job, did some good things. Same things with Christo Bilukidi. Both those guys played 60, 70 snaps in the game. Offensively Taiwan again had a couple of really explosive runs and Mike Goodson had some runs in there that kind of showed a little bit more of what we saw early in training camp. We had a few plays here and there but overall performance wasn’t nearly what our standard is.
Q: What did you see from Stupar?
A: “He did some good things, he really did. I saw some instinctive football plays. He, obviously, was involved in several tackles. It was good to see Nate make a few plays there in that game.”
Q: Did it shock you that Stupar played well?
A: “No, there was some progress being made. With every rookie, a lot of times they’ll take two steps forward and one step back. So, it’s been a little bit of an up-and-down deal with Nate. But he came out last night and played and acted like he wanted to try to get a spot on this roster.”
Q: Was it good to see Shane punt that much last night?
A: “He came through it fine. It was actually good work for Shane. I believe this with my heart, and I’ll never change this; I don’t care whether you’re a punter, kicker, offensive lineman, defensive back, wide receiver, it’s a tough game. You don’t just not do anything and all of a sudden you come back and you’re perfectly ready to go. So, it was good for him to get out there and get some work. Obviously, it was more punts than what we would have wanted or anticipated, but it was good for him to get a few kicks in a real last game.”
Q: Do you expect back any of the injured players? Updates?
A: “No, nothing really. Hopefully, those guys, they were all in here working today, and I’m hoping that they’ll be back out and ready to roll.”