By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Saturday, August 10th, 2013 at 6:55 pm in Oakland Raiders.
A transcription of a conference call between beat writers and Raiders coach Dennis Allen:
Q: Did you come out of the game as healthy as you thought?
Allen: Just like after the game, Keenan Clayton, he’ll be questionable for practice tomorrow. But other than that, I think we came out fairly healthy. Mike Brisiel, I’ll probably rest him at practice tomorrow. I think everybody’s going to end up being fine coming out of the game, kind of your normal after-a-game bumps and bruises.
Q: How did Tony Bergstrom do with the first-team line?
Allen: You know what, I was pleased with what Tony did working with the first team line. I thought he made an improvement. Still like to see him a little more powerful in his run blocking but I thought he was better in protection, so I thought he took a step forward last night.
Q: What about Brisiel at right guard?
Allen: Well, I don’t think, that’s one of the reasons I wanted to give him a day off. I don’t think he’s 100 percent healthy right now. I don’t think he played, obviously as well as we would have liked, and really as well as he would like. I want to try and get him some rest, get him healed back up where he’s feeling a little bit better and give him a little bit better opportunity.
Q: Nix had practiced in the days leading up to the game . . . why didn’t he play?
Allen: Totally different injury. But again, when I say injury, it’s another one of those nicks and I didn’t want to put him in the game and take the chance of really setting him back and missing him for an extended period of time. I don’t anticipate he’ll be out for a long period of time, but we’re going to try and get him healthy.
Q: Could you see a lot of people potentially coming back from injury next couple of days?
Allen: I’m hoping that we’ll have some guys back to play in the game for sure. But I think we’ll have to play that out as the week goes along.
Q: Your assessment of quarterback Matt McGloin . . .
Allen: well, I thought he held his poise in the pocket, I thought he did a nice job of making some good decisions, making some good throws, made a heck of a throw there to Brice Butler, who also made a great catch on the play. I think the thing that you see from Matt is he is composed. He does have poise in the pocket and he doesn’t get rattled, you know, and for a guy who is an undrafted free agent, to handle himself the way he’s handled himself in pressure situations has been a nice surprise.
Q: Have a lot of corners, did any of those guys in second tier separate themselves?
Allen: I don’t know that anybody has really created a huge separation. I thought overall they all played fairly well. We’ve got to do a better job of setting the edge on the defense on a couple of those runs, they got outside of us. But I thought Phillip Adams stepped up a little bit in the game and showed some improvement from what I’d seen so far and in minicamp. I’m pleased with where we are from a depth standpoint. I thought Chance Casey came in and played well in his role. I like where we’re at, I like the fact that we have some depth. I think it’s a good thing when have those challenging decisions when you start thinking about who’s going to make it to the 53-man roster. When you’ve got tough decisions on guys who can play football, that’s a good things.
Q: How did Taiwan Jones do in game action at corner?
Allen: I thought, obviously, he’s a, it’s a physical skill set that he has and he’s got that physical ability to play the game. There’s still a lot of things that we’ve got to clean up, just understanding the cornerback position from alignments and assignments and stuff like that. He’s pretty solid on his assignments, but there’s still just some details to the position that we’ve got to continue to work with him on, but like I said before, Taiwan is exceptional on special teams. You watch the first kickoff of the game, he goes down there, he’s on the 10-yard line when the returner is just starting to return the ball. That’s something that you can’t discount.
Q: Blocked field goal, good kick coverage, guys like Branch and Porter on special teams units, kind of the mindset establish, that you’ll put best guys out there to get things done?
Allen: We’ve got to improve special teams, I think that’s one of the first places where you can improve your football team. We’ve put a big emphasis on special teams this year and trying to improve in that area. I thought we did a good job in the game, both in the return game and in the coverage units, as well as field goal and field goal block. I thought we executed for the most part on the field goal team and obviously we had the big block there on the second drive of the game. So it’s a huge emphasis for us this year and we’ve got to get better in that area.
Q: Was everyone in tune with assignments as much as it seemed?
Allen: I thought for the first preseason game I was really pleased with the execution of our football team. I thought from a game plan standpoint I thought we played the game physical, I thought we were able to control the clock on offense. A lot of times you get into these preseason games and they can get sloppy. I think we had four penalties in the game. I thought for the first preseason game the execution and the attention to detail was pretty good.
Q: What kind of progress do you want to see before next game?
Allen: I think the big thing is we have to continue to learn how to play in situations. We had a couple of instances in the game where just situationally we have to be a little better. There in the four minute we could have executed the four minute a little bit better and run the clock down a little bit more before we snapped the ball. We had the situation where Terrelle threw the interception down there in the end zone. Just some situational things, playing the game smart that we have to continue to improve on.
Q: Called Pryor aside after the interception, was thata a coachable moment and did he learn something?
Allen: Absolutely it’s a teachable moment. You have to take advantage of all those teachable moments. That’s been one thing that we’ve consistently talked to Terrelle about. In those situations, don’t be afraid to use your legs. Don’t be afraid to use your skill set and that was a situation there where I felt like he really could have pressed the edge and we had a chance to have a high-low on the corner. What you can’t do is not every play has to be a great play, not every play has to be a spectacular play. Sometimes the best play is to make the easy throw, keep yourself on schedule. Those are things you deal with with all the young players and Terrelle is really no exception to that rule. I think we all can learn from those types of situations.
Q: What was your impression of defensive end Ryan Robertson?
Allen: I thought Ryan was a guy who gave us a little juice off the edge. He’s a little bit of an undersized defensive end but he does have some pass rush ability. I think we want to continue to try to look at him throughout the preseason and see if he can give us something from a pass rushing standpoint.
Q: Drops have been an off and on issue, did you think you were more sure-handed against Dallas?
Allen: I did. Obviously we had a couple of drops in the game and they would have been tough catches. I thought overall we executed pretty well in the passing game. I thought everybody was really for the most part everybody was on the same page and reading out the defense the same way from a wide receiver, tight ends, quarterback. I thought they all were on the same page with what we were doing. Overall I thought we executed well. There are still some things we have to get cleaned up. Like I said I want to use these preseason games it’s as much learning how to play the game of football and how to be situationally smart as it is do you know what to do on this particular, how to line up in this particular formation, how to run this particular route. How do you do those things within each individual situation in the game.
Q: Was the sack-fumble a pre-snap issue or should someone should have stayed in?
Allen: Listen it was a protection issue. we got a little hung up on the linebacker. We should have came back with the linebacker. Really you put that on everybody. You put that on the back, you put that on the quarterback, you put that on the offensive line. It was just something where we just had a little bit of a mental lapse. We’ll learn from it. They ran the same exact pressure in the next series, we picked it up exactly right and made a big play. It’s something that you learn from and move on from.
Q: Any chance you might keep four quarterbacks?
Allen: I think we’ll look at that when we get closer to cut-down date. We’re way far ahead of ourselves as far as that’s concerned. We’re going to keep the 53-best players that we feel like give us a chance to have success on Sundays. Whether that’s three quarterbacks, four quarterbacks, two quarterbacks, I don’t know the answer to that yet. That picture will become more clear as we get closer to the end of preseason.