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Raiders prepare for Broncos without coach Allen

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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Steve Corkran

  • Plunketthead

    I was joking, repeating what Vegas said. But you do seem to have a penchant for threatning people with a punch to the nose

  • JONGRUDEN2013

    Im heading to Mont Bleu for a Bloody Mary,…last night there the line on thursdays game was 12.5…dang.

  • JONGRUDEN2013

    I dont make threats.

  • Plunketthead

    I was mostly thinking about Tampoon bay where John may have had more input. We know that for the most part Al did the picking and coach got to talk about the picks.

    So how did he do in TB? Not very well especially at QB

  • JONGRUDEN2013

    Scroll up dude, I told you those dudes in Tampa were worse.

  • theghostronin79

    JONGRUDEN2013 Says:
    December 4th, 2012 at 8:20 am
    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.

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

    Hey man, I just gotta know…Are you for real or just blowin smoke man? No, you know what? I don’t even Give a Sh*t…..Cause just thinking about it makes me happy. Christmas sure was alot more fun when I believeed Santa was real…..that’s for sure.

  • JONGRUDEN2013

    I will repeat this one final time,…Jon Gruden,..brought the Raiders back from the dead,..and got a championship to the only other team he coached,…ok?…if that doesnt tell you about Jon Gruden then you have a personal hatred for him,..Jon Gruden is dynamic and about 28 other teams would fire who they got if Jon would coach their team. Adios, Im going out to play in the snow.

  • Plunketthead

    Its a promise, not a threat?

    You hear that Vegas? Keep your hands out of your pockets, don’t shake hands and stay a shovels length away from bob

    Im just pulling your leg like when I feed the trolls

  • DJ Johnny

    834.JONGRUDEN2013 Says:
    December 4th, 2012 at 8:25 am
    Jon was bitter,..at Al,..Als gone,…no more bitterness,..just homesickness,…its going to happen.

    I remember draft day a few yr’s. ago on ESPN and Gruden was on it and they were making fun of Al and his penchant for speed guys and for drafting Jamarcus and were thinking Gruden was gonna go along with the joking and Gruden stopped ‘em and said “Hey Al Davis is a hall of famer, the man knows football” and they shut up.

    I remember thinking how cool it was given what went down that Gruden was still sticking up for him.

    Gruden tries not to burn bridges.

    He even joked how the Raiders got him fired from his job at Tampa by knocking him out of playoff contention that last game of 2008(?) when Jamarcus and Bush led the way in a 4th quarter comeback victory.

  • Plunketthead

    I am not anti Gruden, He would be a fantastic hire.
    If Mark hired Gruden I would be tickled to death. As a matter of fact I wish he would hire him, I hope he hires him.

    But I wont believe it until it actually happens and it wont mean we are going to the SB anytime soon

  • aldavis4prez

    Dennis Allen’s father passed away this morning. Rip

  • Marks hair

    Hc john gruden?
    Oc andy reid?
    Dc monte kiffin?

    Alot of possiblilties based on past relationships

    But i sady still think it will be
    Da
    knapp
    tarver

  • theghostronin79

    But I wont believe it until it actually happens and it wont mean we are going to the SB anytime soon
    ==========

    Same here, but I would be OK with the “Any time soon” part because, with Gruden here, I’d feel like it was an inevitability…That we WOULD get there eventually. Any other coach that comes and goes, we just never know, well until about week 5-6 anyway…. I’d be tickled as sh*t if Gruden came back man.

  • The Big Banana

    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

    ——–

    Lol! Some of you are funny!

  • boss01

    aldavis4prez Says:
    December 4th, 2012 at 8:53 am
    Dennis Allen’s father passed away this morning. Rip

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

    Gotta be a sick feeling when you are the HC, your team is 3-9 and your dad dies

  • theghostronin79

    Alot of possiblilties based on past relationships

    But i sady still think it will be
    Da
    knapp
    tarver

    ==========

    I dunno man, I think at the very least, Knapp will be gone; possibly Tarver. I’d put my money on Gregger but who knows, they could ALL be swept off.

  • The_Judge37

    Sometime Friday night, Steve Corkran will have a new post informing everyone that DA’s father passed away.

  • DJ Johnny

    When it was rumored Gruden was going to the Vols for the past few months guys came out of the woodwork with supposed “proof” he was on his way. People saying he enrolled his kids at Knoxville schools, realtors were supposedly showing them new homes etc.

    The Gruden watch was entertaining to say the least.

    The Vols blogs went nuts when Gruden wore an orange necktie on an mnf broadcast.

  • inonewordraider

    1. David Shaw
    2. Brian Kelly
    3. Jon Gruden
    4. Jim Mora Jr
    5. Nick Saban
    6. Vic Fangio

  • Macho Man Randy Savage

    First time I read lengthy commentary by Tarver, wow, he is a high school coach…

    The Raiders allowed 475 yards against a 3-8 Browns “Defensively, we played with passion,” Tarver said.

  • DJ Johnny

    865.boss01 Says:
    December 4th, 2012 at 8:56 am
    aldavis4prez Says:
    December 4th, 2012 at 8:53 am
    Dennis Allen’s father passed away this morning. Rip

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

    Gotta be a sick feeling when you are the HC, your team is 3-9 and your dad dies

    ..and your owner is getting in your face telling you “it’s not good enough”, and people are questioning whether it was the right decision to fire Hue Jackson in favor of you, and you’ve got players getting in your face and challenging you.

    There have been happier days for Mr. Allen i’m sure.

    For us too. That’s for dang sure.

  • inonewordraider

    RIP to DA’s father, DA seems like the kind of guy that’ll handle this situation with class

  • Dakota

    Brian Kelly is not going to Oakland….he already has the best job in the world.

  • theghostronin79

    1. David Shaw
    2. Brian Kelly
    3. Jon Gruden
    4. Jim Mora Jr
    5. Nick Saban
    6. Vic Fangio

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

    Kelly in his first year with ND right? Do you think he’d really bail after 1 if they win the Natty?

  • guest123

    hwnrdr Says:
    December 4th, 2012 at 8:39 am
    Prayers to DA and his family! I agree Guest, let the man Grieve!

    ***********

    Yes, there are some things more important than football. Family trumps everything. I would not be disappointed at all if DA took this week off entirely. Until you have actually lost your father or mother (I’ve lost both already) you don’t know how important that grieving time is.

  • Macho Man Randy Savage

    Tarver needs to go, the D has gotten worse as the season has progressed. No pressure, few turnovers, give up points like a fiesta…Knapp sucks, but Tarver is not prepared for this, he is outcoached every single sunday, I think the D players have checed out and are trying to play by themselves outside the system….

    Tarver needs some more years as an assistant…

  • GreatWhiteRaider

    Whether it’s Chucky (I wear a Raider sunvisor and NIKE pullover in his honour to this day still) or someone else, the Raiders need an HC with experience and a successful record for credibility sakes.

    With 10 years of successive aimless, wandering, non achieving teams being fielded annually lead by stooge/lacky coaches, the re-assuring presence of a solid Field General would help out the players…and the fans.

    I generally don’t like marketing moves being disguised as personnel moves. But getting Chucky would be a great PR move for sure and “should” translate into success on the field.

    And with limited existing talent, cap space, draft picks etc., making an immediate impact in Free Agency and/or the Draft is going to be difficult.

    Bringing in a rock star HC would probably be the most effective you of your resources at this point in time?

    Mark is new at his position, same with Reggie, so having an HC a la Chucky, Holmgren, etc type I think would really help.

    I kinda feel bad for DA. I support him but I definitely don’t agree with a lot of what he did. But maybe this wasn’t the easiest/best situation for a first time HC to come into?

    I just want what’s best for the Raiders so they can be the franchise they should be.

  • DJ Johnny

    870.Macho Man Randy Savage Says:
    December 4th, 2012 at 9:02 am
    First time I read lengthy commentary by Tarver, wow, he is a high school coach…

    The Raiders allowed 475 yards against a 3-8 Browns “Defensively, we played with passion,” Tarver said.

    He’s losing me with that stuff. Talk about putting lipstick on a pig.

    I hate it when a team or unit is crap and some coach tells me it isn’t.

    475 yd’s given up to a team that offense isn’t even their strength.

    Weeden throws for 361…has a career day and the Browns win their first road game in 12 tries…

    Figures it would come against us.

  • Dakota

    Plunketthead Says:
    December 4th, 2012 at 8:33 am
    Gruden having an eye for talent is very debatable.
    He never proved it on draft day
    _______________

    Al made the picks when Gruden was here….and then he lost 2 first rounders and 2 second rounders for himself when he went to TB.

    I think his drafting skills are unknown at this point.

    I would rather just have him coach though….too many hats = not spending enough time on any one area.

  • Dakota

    theghostronin79 Says:
    December 4th, 2012 at 9:04 am
    1. David Shaw
    2. Brian Kelly
    3. Jon Gruden
    4. Jim Mora Jr
    5. Nick Saban
    6. Vic Fangio

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

    Kelly in his first year with ND right? Do you think he’d really bail after 1 if they win the Natty?
    +++++

    This is his 3rd year at ND.

  • Macho Man Randy Savage

    Man, DA was not the man for the job, he picked scrap heap coordinators and Reggie game him a paper thin roster…

    bring in a vet coach to set this locker room right. this are still your Tommy Kelly Raiders. undisciplined, effort in spurts, expecting to be home early january, check cashers…

  • inonewordraider

    Kelly in his first year with ND right? Do you think he’d really bail after 1 if they win the Natty?
    ___________
    3rd year, don’t know if any of these guys would coach the Raiders but it’s a much more attractive job with al gone…

  • guest123

    What’s telling to me is the Tarver comment that “you can’t really be ready for Peyton Manning”.

    Like hell you can’t! What the heck they pay you for? Admitting you aren’t good enough to coach at this level? I applaud the candor, but waving the white flag like that does nothing for morale.

    Can this bum Tarver already!

  • theghostronin79

    Figures it would come against us.
    ==========

    Doesn’t it always? Rookies have their breakout games against us….Teams snap rediculous losing streaks…..QB’s in a slump find their “Mojo” again.

    Always, Always….It’s not a damn surprise anymore.

  • Marks hair

    Can we get rich Gannon to coach our wide receivers? somebody needs to yell at those jokers..

  • The_Judge37

    878.

    I agree, what a stupid thing to say. I don’t mind as much when Mike Huff starts going on about a top 5 defense, he’s supposed to be stupid. But i expect more from a coach. Just say the truth, we were so focused on not getting gashed by TR, that we let 46 year old Rookie Brandon Weeden do whatever he wanted

  • Raider-in-PA

    Prayers and thoughts to DA and his family…

    At the end of the day, football is just a game, and we are all human..

  • DMAC

    Morning/afternoon peoples!
    Put it in da air Green party!

    There was some valid second-guessing of Dennis Allen’s decision to continue on for a touchdown while trailing 20-10 instead of taking a field goal and going for an onsides kick for a chance to tie. By the time the Raiders scored, the game was over. Offensive game plan abandoned the run as if the makeup margin was 20 points instead of 10.

    Grade: D
    =========

    Even Jerry Mac knows DA isn’t NFL HC material.

  • inonewordraider

    Al made the picks when Gruden was here….and then he lost 2 first rounders and 2 second rounders for himself when he went to TB.

    I think his drafting skills are unknown at this point.

    I would rather just have him coach though….too many hats = not spending enough time on any one area
    ___________
    the same should go for any hc, they should have input but coaches should coach gm’s should be gm’s

  • Dakota

    RIP Dennis Allen’s Dad….

  • Raider-in-PA

    How about Tim Brown as receivers coach and Gannon as QB coach?

    Those two know quite a bit about their respective positions…

    Love listening to Gannon on Sirius, but who ever gave Adam Schein a broadcasting postion? They must never had heard his voice before hiring him… Dude is annoying!!

  • DJ Johnny

    Some are on here saying coaching doesn’t matter and that it’s all the players.

    There’s truth to that to a degree, but i think a good coach is one who can inspire and motivate a team to play better than what they are..or at least maximize their talents.

    If you’ve got a coach who players WANT to win for they will go that extra effort in making tackles or big plays and go beyond just “doing their job”.

    Raiders look like they are just going thru the motions most of the time.

    Sure, they are trying to win and they don’t have alot of talent, but i know some coaches truly motivate a team to give the extra effort needed to win games.

    You hear about it all the time on nfln shows where they talk about how certain coaches motivated the team and players to lay it all on the line for the team and how it was one of the biggest factors to their success etc.

    Of course talent trumps effort but when you have both it’s tuff to beat.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Guest123 Says:
    December 4th, 2012 at 9:04 am
    hwnrdr Says:
    December 4th, 2012 at 8:39 am
    Prayers to DA and his family! I agree Guest, let the man Grieve!

    ***********

    Yes, there are some things more important than football. Family trumps everything. I would not be disappointed at all if DA took this week off entirely. Until you have actually lost your father or mother (I’ve lost both already) you don’t know how important that grieving time is.
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    I would not be disappointed at all if DA never comes back.

  • The Big Banana

    Team should tell Dennis to take the week off.

  • inonewordraider

    I would not be disappointed at all if DA never comes back.
    _________________
    ouch

  • boss01

    Hire Romo as LB’s coach / nutrition advisor.

  • hwnrdr

    guest123 Says:
    December 4th, 2012 at 9:04 am
    hwnrdr Says:
    December 4th, 2012 at 8:39 am
    Prayers to DA and his family! I agree Guest, let the man Grieve!

    ***********

    Yes, there are some things more important than football. Family trumps everything. I would not be disappointed at all if DA took this week off entirely. Until you have actually lost your father or mother (I’ve lost both already) you don’t know how important that grieving time is.

    Yup…my two are hanging on! Dad can’t walk anymore, and mom has very bad Alzheimers! But still glad that they are both around!

  • DMAC

    Raider O Says:
    December 4th, 2012 at 9:15 am

    Guest123 Says:
    December 4th, 2012 at 9:04 am
    hwnrdr Says:
    December 4th, 2012 at 8:39 am
    Prayers to DA and his family! I agree Guest, let the man Grieve!

    ***********

    Yes, there are some things more important than football. Family trumps everything. I would not be disappointed at all if DA took this week off entirely. Until you have actually lost your father or mother (I’ve lost both already) you don’t know how important that grieving time is.
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    I would not be disappointed at all if DA never comes back.
    =========

    I 2nd that brother from another mother

  • Raider-in-PA

    Hire Knapp as team jock strap washer…

  • The Big Banana

    Some are on here saying coaching doesn’t matter and that it’s all the players.

    ——-

    So Art Shell and B&B were not to blame?