Part of the Bay Area News Group

Raiders prepare for Broncos without coach Allen

By Steve Corkran
Monday, December 3rd, 2012 at 2:39 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Raiders head coach Dennis Allen made it to the Dallas area soon after his team’s loss against the Browns so that he can spend time with his ailing father.
Allen is expected to rejoin the Raiders on Wednesday night, in time for their game against the Denver Broncos on Thursday night.
Allen’s absence left offensive coordinator Greg Knapp in charge of running practice Tuesday and Wednesday. Knapp said it will be business as usual, given the Raiders got a jump on game-planning for the Broncos last week.
On Monday, Knapp and defensive coordinator Jason Tarver fielded questions for 12 minutes each, talking about the play of their respective units Sunday and looking forward to the the final four games.
Knapp said he doesn’t foresee any issues keeping his players motivated, even though the Raiders are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.
“It’s a challenge,” Knapp said, “but, fortunately, from what I’ve seen, and it happened on that last drive that happened yesterday, guys at this level want to compete and they always want to do their best. As long as they know we’re pulling for them and trying to find every way to help get them to that level of consistency of performance, it doesn’t matter if it’s the first game or the last game, whether we’re in the playoffs or not, the true competitor comes out and they want to perform at a high level at all times.”
The Raiders allowed 475 yards against a 3-8 Browns team that featured a rookie quarterback, rookie running back and several young receivers.
Even so, Tarver said, the Raiders played hard on defense. Now, it’s a matter of getting the players to take proper angles and execute their assignments on a more consistent basis.
“Defensively, we played with passion,” Tarver said. “(That) doesn’t mean we were correct all the time, but the guys were flying around on defense. The guys were flying around on defense but, as with anything, you have to execute the calls as well.”
Things don’t get any easier with the high-flying Broncos coming to town. They are in the midst or a seven-game winning streak, whereas the Raiders have lost the past five games.
Also, the Broncos beat the Raiders 37-6 in the teams’ first meeting this season.
“Well, you’re never really ready for Peyton Manning,” Tarver said. “It’s a matter of getting on the same page and having enough coverage looks to, hopefully, slow down his progression and challenging guys in coverage. That’s what we need to do.”
Cornerback Michael Huff said he and his teammates are playing for pride now. The last thing they want is to get “embarrassed” on national TV, at home, against a hated Broncos team.
“Division rival, national prime-time game,” Huff said, “if you can’t get up for this one, something’s wrong. We’re looking forward to it and getting ready for a big game. … We’ve got to find a way. We’ve got to step up and make plays, leaders, like myself and Tyvon (Branch), we just got to find a way to rise up and make plays.”

– Allen said he expects running backs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson to play against the Broncos. Both backs missed the past four games with high-ankle sprains.
Knapp said he and Allen have their hands full when it comes time to which backs will be active Thursday night. The decision is complicated by how well Marcel Reece and Jeremy Stewart played during McFadden’s and Goodson’s absence.
“You can’t keep all halfbacks up in a game, typically,” Knapp said. “But if they’re involved on special teams and with all the different injuries we have, they may be involved more. We’ll know more come Wednesday/Thursday if we can use ‘em.”
This makes it possible that second-year back Taiwan Jones won’t be active for the Broncos game. If he is active, he certainly will spend all of his time on special teams — he didn’t touch the ball once Sunday.
Right offensive tackle Khalif Barnes returned to action during the absence of McFadden and Goodson. His return, combined with the maturation of center Stefen Wisniewski, gives Knapp reason to believe that McFadden will be more productive than he was the first eight games, when he averaged only 3.3 yards rushing.
“Seeing Wisniewski’s improvement and getting the experience from when he didn’t get that experience during the spring and during training camp because of the injury, and getting Khalif Barnes back, Darren can reap the benefit of those two guys,” Knapp said.
Goodson said he’s ready to roll.
“I’m going to try to get back Thursday,” Goodson said. “I feel good. I’m ready to run.”

– Knapp said there was a specific package of plays for second-year quarterback Terrelle Pryor on Sunday. However, the right situation never presented itself during the game.

– Knapp has been a lightning rod for criticism this season from fans and media. He hears none of it, reads none of it and just keeps plodding along.
“I’ve been at different places where the criticism does come,” Knapp said. “It’s part of the job. Because we keep our focus on a week-to-week basis, you really have to keep your focus on the next game at hand. So, despite what has been said out there, I wouldn’t even know. I really do focus on, How do we find a way to beat the next team and how do we get our guys involved to have success? So, it really is something that’s a variable, like we tell our players, I don’t control. So, I don’t worry about it.”
Tarver hasn’t received anywhere near as much heat from fans and media, even though the Raiders defense hasn’t played well the past five games, in particular.
He called this a “unique” season, with all that has transpired but without going into specifics.
“The most frustrated time I’ve had personally this year was the last drive (Sunday),” Tarver said. “I was frustrated. It was a mix. We took our turns. We took our turns doing things.”
On that drive, the Browns marched 94 yards for what turned out to be a game-clinching touchdown drive.
“This is a pretty unique season, both on and off the field, I’ll say that,” Tarver said. “It’s been… there’s a bunch of adversity. The true character of a man and a coach and whoever is, no matter what the circumstances, be a pro and handle your business. But I’ve been a part of a lot of different situations both in this league and in coaching but there’s some unique things that have happened this year.”

– Tarver said he won’t contact Allen today out of respect for what Allen is going through with his father.
He said he and Allen “have discussions” throughout the week about the defensive game plan and throughout the game about the play-calling.
“When I took the job with Dennis, it was because of who Dennis Allen is,” Tarver said. “He’s special as a person and a coach. He’s outstanding. We have discussions throughout the week and on game day about everything we do.”

– Rookie linebacker Miles Burris is having a solid season, by most accounts. However, he has struggled more of late than he did early in the season, when he played well enough to supplant third-year player Rolando McClain in the nickel package.
“Miles is going through the ups and downs that a rookie linebacker does,” Tarver said.
Burris missed a few tackles against the Browns. But, overall, he made two tackles for loss and played every snap.
“There’s times in space where he’s thinking too much,” Tarver said. “We actually talked about it after the game. But, overall we’re pleased with where he’s gone.”
Burris has started all 12 games and played every snap the past eight games. Right now is about the time his body is accustomed to getting a break, given college teams are done playing until bowl games at this time of year.
“His rookie year, it’s in that middle where your legs get tired, you’ve played more games than you’ve ever played,” Tarver said. “After Thanksgiving, rookies get in that little slump. You tell them it’s coming, and they go through it. It’s their body clock. They haven’t played football that long straight through. And it happens to a lot of guys their first year in the NFL. But overall we’re definitely pleased with where Miles has gone.”

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  • ddwight

    bcz24 Says:
    December 4th, 2012 at 7:48 am
    but I say Mark should give Gruden whatever he would want, in regards to football operations
    ****************
    Why though? I loved Gruden as our coach, but he won here with veteran players, and he won in Tampa with veteran players. When he started drafting for Tampa they collapsed. He hasn’t shown the ability to draft and develop young talent. Gruden would be great for fan moral, but I’m not sure he would be the best thing for the team…

    ————————————————————–
    Because between the X’s and O’s he can flat out Coach thats why!!! and he has a good football mind. Besides who else would you suggest over Gruden?

  • RaidingTexas

    Raider O Says:

    I hope his father gets better, but I don’t want Titty monkey back

    ———————————

    What is it with you and your obsession with the man’s chest? Are you a Sandusky victim?

  • The_Judge37

    For all the $h!t i give this new coaching staff, they have my full support this week. Beat the damm Donkeys! I only want one more win this year and it has to be this one

  • Al_is_theraiders

    just imagine what he has come up with since then…

  • http://raiders.com Seymour Bush

    Dakota Says:
    December 4th, 2012 at 6:17 am

    That cable year was a fluke. Only reason we beat Tampa was because fargas got hurt and cable was forced to play bush, and caddy went down with an injury.

    Total fluke. Cable should have been fired.
    ========================================

    I guess the pasting of Houston the week before, and beating Denver 31-10 in Dungver were flukes too.

  • boss01

    GREG PAPA was just on 95.7 the game talking about this rumor.. Said last time GRUDEN came to Rickeys few yrs ago he had called papa and they all went down there.

    Papa said GRUDEN openely talked about coming back to the Raiders and Papa was surpised to hear that.. Papa said Gruden described it as “UNFINISHED BUSINESS” also papa says he thinks Gruden would want to be the signal caller.

    Papa then said Of course AL was still in charge, this was before the RAiders played the Redskins in that rainstorm.

    in 2009 Al told Greg papa that GRUDEN had called him expressing that he wanted to come back. Jon had reached out to Al this was right before Al hired HUE in 2010. Papa said that HUE was really the coach in 2010.. but Cable had the title.

    Greg told AL jokenly .. you would never hire JON back.. and AL said “im thinking about it” Im thinking about it”

    Again Greg papa is saying this on 95.7 the game. Just letting u know. I really believe MARK DAVIS is gonna make a strong pitch for GRUDEN

    ==========================

    Confirms what I’ve been saying all along. Might be a rumor, but it’s a rumor with legs. All the nincompoop haters saying Gruden coming back has zero probability can just shut up now.

    This team needs a coach players will play for and respect. DA is not that guy right now.

  • JONGRUDEN2013

    Couple more quick hits before I hit the slopes…those two were also all smiles because Amy has just about got it done,..a new stadium being built on our current site,…and guess what?…Brien has a architect cuz whos involved in developing it,…so things are working out amazingly good right now,..while you mother F`rs dwell on 3-9, people like me, Brien, Amy, Reg and Mark look at the big picture. You all need to get with it.

  • http://raiders.com Seymour Bush

    Dakota Says:
    December 4th, 2012 at 6:17 am

    That cable year was a fluke. Only reason we beat Tampa was because fargas got hurt and cable was forced to play bush, and caddy went down with an injury.

    Total fluke. Cable should have been fired.
    ======================================

    Maybe what you meant to say was having Cable go in waaaay undermanned with nothing to play for and out coach Gruden when Gruden was trying to get his team in the playoffs, Gruden SHOULD have been fired. And rightfully was.

  • Plunketthead

    Bob I admit I am not at the games and I may be half clueless and I may not have the life I use to but at least I have the balls to admit it instead of doing as you do.
    Pretending you have a life while spending all your time at Jerryblog insulting others and bragging about how cool you are is a pathetic picture no matter how many 4 teamers you hit or insiders you bang in your beech fantasies

  • http://profootballtalk.com Raideraholic (AKAHairyBush)

    5 losses in a row really taking it’s toll on this blog’s conversation.

  • ddwight

    Another good thing about re-hiring Gruden, is that he will not hire pluggs like Knapp & Tarver!!!

  • http://raiders.com Seymour Bush

    Confirms what I’ve been saying all along. Might be a rumor, but it’s a rumor with legs. All the nincompoop haters saying Gruden coming back has zero probability can just shut up now.

    This team needs a coach players will play for and respect. DA is not that guy right now.
    =========================================

    Then that is not Jon Gruden. Gruden is a guy that lives and dies with football. Jon watches tape 19-20 hours a day. He loves it. But Jon has a hard time relating to players and others that aren’t watching tape 20 hours a day.

  • morilla

    The Gruden story just hit both radio stations down here. One of the guys from PFW was on. Charger fans are ticked, they were praying for him to come to SD. The guy from PFW said info is from credible sources.

  • ddwight

    Yea Mark!!! Open the Bank Book For Gruden!!! COMMON!!!

  • RaidingTexas

    Boss01 Says:

    Confirms what I’ve been saying all along. Might be a rumor, but it’s a rumor with legs. All the nincompoop haters saying Gruden coming back has zero probability can just shut up now.

    ——————————————-

    Jerry McDonald @Jerrymcd 12h
    Coming from someone who actually knows a little bit about Gruden, fair or not, felt burned in Oakland and Tampa Bay. Wants perfect scenario.

    It’s not hating. It’s just not going to happen.

  • The_Judge37

    Then that is not Jon Gruden. Gruden is a guy that lives and dies with football. Jon watches tape 19-20 hours a day. He loves it. But Jon has a hard time relating to players and others that aren’t watching tape 20 hours a day.
    ——–

    Gruden’s name is respected in the NFL. Young guys will respect. Dennis Allen has to work to earn it, and getting beat down each week doesn’t earn anything but criticism and second guessing

  • boss01

    812.Seymour Bush Says:
    December 4th, 2012 at 8:05 am
    Confirms what I’ve been saying all along. Might be a rumor, but it’s a rumor with legs. All the nincompoop haters saying Gruden coming back has zero probability can just shut up now.

    This team needs a coach players will play for and respect. DA is not that guy right now.
    =========================================

    Then that is not Jon Gruden. Gruden is a guy that lives and dies with football. Jon watches tape 19-20 hours a day. He loves it. But Jon has a hard time relating to players and others that aren’t watching tape 20 hours a day.

    ==========================

    Players will play their tails off for fear of losing their jobs. Every coach watches tape as much. Every coach puts in the work. Some are just coordinator material, not cut out to lead 53 men. DA is the coordinator type, just like Norv Turner, Jason Garrett, Wade Phillips, etc.

    This team needs a real HC. One that is a proven play caller so that tard Krapp can be shown the door.

  • ddwight

    RaidingTexas Says:
    December 4th, 2012 at 8:08 am
    Boss01 Says:

    Confirms what I’ve been saying all along. Might be a rumor, but it’s a rumor with legs. All the nincompoop haters saying Gruden coming back has zero probability can just shut up now.

    ——————————————-

    Jerry McDonald @Jerrymcd 12h
    Coming from someone who actually knows a little bit about Gruden, fair or not, felt burned in Oakland and Tampa Bay. Wants perfect scenario.

    It’s not hating. It’s just not going to happen.

    ————————————————————-
    What! You a Charger Fan?

  • Charlie

    There are a few bloggers that have come to the realization that more coaching changes will do far more harm than good.
    I have never wanted all the changes that have occurred since I still believe coaching is only about 20% of the equation when it comes to winning games.

    Let’s try this logic:
    Callahan, Turner, Shell (Part2),Kiffin,Cable, Jackson, “COACH DAVIS”, DA and another 50 or so assissants were all unable to achieve a winning record over a decade of time.
    Many of you attributed that to antiquated schemes and lack of football acumen.

    Do you REALLY think that with all that COACHING churn and still getting poor to mediocre results that a LACK OF TALENT IS THE PRIMARY PROBLEM???????

    It has to be obvious by now to even the average fan that we do not have the on the field talent to compete in the NFL.

    The makeover we are going through requires coaching stability not instability.
    Let’s try a different approach since what most of you are suggesting HAS NOT WORKED FOR TEN YEARS!!!!!
    Please, let’s draft some talent especially along the lines and see how smart Knapp, Allen and Tarver become.

    PS I think Gruden is a great coach.
    Gruden’s input got us with first and second round picks the following:

    DT Darrell Russell DT Leon Bender(passed away before playing for us) OT Stinchcomb, DE Tony Bryant third rounder Jon Ritchie.

    SEE THE FOCUS?????

    BLOCKING AND TACKLING. BUILD THE LINES AND THE WINS WILL FOLLOW.
    He won with a free agent cast off in Gannon and Zack Crockett and TY Wheatley running the ball.
    Great lines win games!!!!

  • JONGRUDEN2013

    Plunk,..simmer down man,..Iv never once lied about what I say I do here,..not one time,..Albert Sunday night asked me to prove who I say Im on the sidelines with,..I did,..maybe he can forward you the pics,…sounds like you need a hot chocolate and a couple Norcos,..I can help you if you need some. Word.

  • JONGRUDEN2013

    RaiderTexas,..you really are an idiot,..you really consider a Tweet by Jerry Mac as the word of God?…Jerry knows less about the inner goings of the Raiders then you do. Oh man you hit a new blog low.

  • http://profootballtalk.com Raideraholic (AKAHairyBush)

    Guys, I know we need something positive to focus on regarding the Raiders but GRUDEN IS NOT COMING BACK TO COACH THE RAIDERS. I wish he would but the reality is he is a egomaniac that like to have his ego stroked and his name being thrown into coversations about coaching jobs just further inflates his head. Sorry.

  • RaidingTexas

    Ddwight Says:

    What! You a Charger Fan?

    ——————————————

    How does not getting sucked into unsubstantiated rumors = being a Charger fan?

    I don’t have any problem with Gruden, although I think his coaching prowess is very overstated. His success had a lot to do with Gannon playing like an MVP, and using Dungee’s players and the Raiders playbook to win a Super Bowl.

  • RaidingTexas

    JONGRUDEN2013 Says:

    you really consider a Tweet by Jerry Mac as the word of God?

    ————————————–

    And you consider “scuttlebutt” on PFW as the word of your god? STFU man

  • Plunketthead

    Ok Im better ABP send me those pics would you?

  • JONGRUDEN2013

    Sorry dude,..dont even know what PFW means,..is that some website?…I get my info from Alameda, from people, not websites,..try harder dude, youre sinking.

  • The_Judge37

    I don’t have any problem with Gruden, although I think his coaching prowess is very overstated. His success had a lot to do with Gannon playing like an MVP, and using Dungee’s players and the Raiders playbook to win a Super Bowl.
    ——–

    We had great talent, but he still got the most out of them, even with Chuck Bresnehan on the other side.

  • JONGRUDEN2013

    Im on the sidelines for KC too Plunk,…are you local?…come to our tailgate and meet Brien and I and Hawaiin dude,..and some others,..lots of premium yellow pills will be available. Word.

  • RaidingTexas

    Raideraholic (AKAHairyBush) Says:

    Guys, I know we need something positive to focus on regarding the Raiders but GRUDEN IS NOT COMING BACK TO COACH THE RAIDERS.

    —————————————

    Man, just let them believe this “scuttlebutt”. It will be so gawddam fun to pile on their sorry, pathetic disappointed azzes when the reality sets in by spring.

  • JONGRUDEN2013

    Texas retard,..some here dream of Aprils draft, others dream of Gruden coming home,..I choose the latter. Im at every game dude, you arent. So relax.

  • ddwight

    RaidingTexas Says:
    December 4th, 2012 at 8:17 am
    Ddwight Says:

    What! You a Charger Fan?

    ——————————————

    How does not getting sucked into unsubstantiated rumors = being a Charger fan?

    I don’t have any problem with Gruden, although I think his coaching prowess is very overstated. His success had a lot to do with Gannon playing like an MVP, and using Dungee’s players and the Raiders playbook to win a Super Bowl.

    —————————————————————
    Did he not have to know how to use and impliment plays for Gannon to be successfull?? What was Gannon before he played for Gruden? Was Gannon a star-or-MVP?? Go ahead think what you want. I know the guy can COACH!!!

  • R8drinOK

    Hey fact or fiction Jon Gruden still loves the Raiders, I can’t agree with Jerry Mac about Gruden being bitter against Oakland. Why would he come to our stadium and light a torch dedicated to the guy who traded him? Mark Davis knows the Raiders are in trouble….fanbase moral is at an all time low…

  • R8drinOK

    The Raiders need $$$$…Jon Gruden will bring it

  • JONGRUDEN2013

    Jon was bitter,..at Al,..Als gone,…no more bitterness,..just homesickness,…its going to happen.

  • Plunketthead

    Nice post Charlie

    That’s why I liked Cable so much. I would have liked to seen Hue stay as well.

    But there are very good reasons why new GM’s hire a new coach, unfortuntly for Hue, his big chance came at the wrong time and it was not to be.

    Misfortune smiles on everyone at times

  • The_Judge37

    Greg Knapp will be Head Coach for the remainder of the season.

    There, now i p!$$ed on everyones parade.

  • guest123

    JONGRUDEN2013 Says:
    December 4th, 2012 at 7:51 am
    When I talked to Reggie Sunday on the sidelines, Mark too,..both were smiling and happy,..and not because we were 3-8 and the stadium was empty,..they know in about a month the Raiders are going to be making earth rattling news,..Grudens coming home,…all good in the hood.

    **********

    Except there’s zero chance of that happening. I doubt Reggie and Mark are smiling at an empty stadium either. None of this makes any sense on any level.

    word

  • RaidingTexas

    The_Judge37 Says:

    Greg Knapp will be Head Coach for the remainder of the season.

    ——————————–

    Raiders just issued statement that he will be back Thursday despite the passing of his father.

  • Plunketthead

    I would like to stop by the tailgate someday.
    But you promised 3 years ago to punch me in the face if you ever see me. :smile:

  • Marks hair

    Da didnt even talk to his team before leaving??? Weird. Most guys would say somthing and ask that they circle the wagons and pray for his family.. way to build relationships and chemistry coach..

  • boss01

    PS I think Gruden is a great coach.
    Gruden’s input got us with first and second round picks the following:

    DT Darrell Russell DT Leon Bender(passed away before playing for us) OT Stinchcomb, DE Tony Bryant third rounder Jon Ritchie.

    ============================

    Gruden has an eye for talent. Bringing in Gannon proves that. Reggie would be the one picking players under the scenario that Gruden comes back unless Mark shows him the door and gives Gruden GM duties as well which I don’t envision happening.

    Reggie has stated he has built the backbone of the organization which is his scouting department, that is where it all starts. Jury is still out whether he picked the right guys.

  • guest123

    Raiders just issued statement that he will be back Thursday despite the passing of his father.

    ********

    They should just let Greg Knapp coach on Thursday. He can’t possibly screw it up worse than DA. So we lose by 30 instead of just 20. BFD. Let the man greive.

  • R8drinOK

    Gruden has an eye for talent. Bringing in Gannon proves that. Reggie would be the one picking players under the scenario that Gruden comes back unless Mark shows him the door and gives Gruden GM duties as well which I don’t envision happening.

    Reggie has stated he has built the backbone of the organization which is his scouting department, that is where it all starts. Jury is still out whether he picked the right guys.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Good points, Still think Reggie and Jon could work together like Bruce and Jon did previously.

  • The_Judge37

    guest123 Says:
    December 4th, 2012 at 8:31 am
    Raiders just issued statement that he will be back Thursday despite the passing of his father.

    ********

    They should just let Greg Knapp coach on Thursday. He can’t possibly screw it up worse than DA. So we lose by 30 instead of just 20. BFD. Let the man greive.

    ——

    Becareful what you wish for.

  • Plunketthead

    Gruden having an eye for talent is very debatable.
    He never proved it on draft day

  • hwnrdr

    Prayers to DA and his family! I agree Guest, let the man Grieve!

  • JONGRUDEN2013

    Ya well its once again flattering that everything I say, from years ago, you people remember,..Plunk,..its a parking lot,..people get their grills blasted there all the time,..just dont piss me off.

  • JONGRUDEN2013

    Never proved it on draft day?…you think Al Davis ever even let Jon in the war room on draft day? LMAO

  • JONGRUDEN2013

    And those goofballs in Tampa were worse then Al. And Jon knows that fool Jeff in Philly real well, well enough to know to NEVER work for him.

  • RaidingTexas

    Plunketthead Says:

    Gruden having an eye for talent is very debatable.
    He never proved it on draft day

    ————————————-

    Tui hater alert!!! LOL