A transcript of Raiders coach Dennis Allen with the media following practice Monday:
Allen: Tracy Porter, another one of those nagging camp injuries wasn’t able to finish practice today. We’ll see where he’s at once we get a chance to evaluate him. Woodson had the day off. We were able to get a couple of guys back, Sio Moore and D.J. Hayden back out at practice today. It’s the grind of camp. These guys are trying to push through and to battle through. We have to continue to work on our consistency. We’re not where we need to be yet but at least the guys are out here working.
Q: What is the plan for Hayden?
A: He won’t play this week. He should be cleared for contact on really Friday is actually when he should be cleared for contact. We’ll re-evaluate with the doctors after that. The plan going forward I would anticipate is he would be up and going with the Chicago game.
Q: With all the injuries on the defensive front, is it a nice luxury to have Woodson and Branch on the back end?
Allen: Obviously we’ve had some injuries up front but I feel overall I feel pretty good about where we’re at defensively. I think we’re much improved in the secondary and I think that’s going to allow us to do some different things defensively where we can be a little bit more multiple.
Q: Christo and McGee?
Allen: They still have a lot of improvement to do. But it was good for those guys to get in, get a lot of reps. My anticipation is they will get a lot reps again this week against New Orleans. I think that the more work that they get the better they are going to be.
Q: Thoughts on the development of defensive end Jack Crawford?
Allen: He’s in the same boat with those guys. Second-year player that really didn’t get an opportunity to play much in the preseason last year, didn’t get an opportunity to play much during the regular season. These preseason games are valuable to a lot of guys like that.
Q: Do you anticipate Sims and Walker as guys who play every most of the time or do you plan to rotate?
Allen: Obviously we haven’t had a lot of time with them so it’s been kind of hard to evaluate them. My anticipation is they would be the starters and that they would see significant action. But I think always with the defensive line the key is to be able to roll through guys and keep them all fresh.
Q: What have you seen from Crawford from development standpoint?
Allen: I think he’s improving and right now we’re trying to figure out exactly what that role will be for him as a first and second down end, can he give us something inside as far as pass rush is concerned. That’s something that we’re trying to evaluate as we go through this preseason.
Q: Your thoughts on the Saints?
Allen: Obviously it will be a great challenge for us. I think getting a chance to play a team like that, that is the explosive offense that they are will be a great challenge for us defensively to go up against them and try to get a little bit of a benchmark of where we’re at.
Q: Only got one punt from King against Dallas, what have you seen from him in terms of improving his consistency?
Allen: I’ve improvement. I’ve seen his consistency get better. I think that’s a good battle. I think that’s a good competition between him and Kluwe. Marquette is a guy who’s working extremely hard. He’s gotten better. The consistency with him as far as the punts, as far as the get off times, the little details are the things we’re still hoping to see him continue to improve. I think the last week or so I’ve seen a lot of improvement out of him. I think it’s a nice competition we have.
Q: Jeron Mastrud getting work with first in some packages, what are his strengths?
Allen: I think he brings us a pretty good presence as an in-line blocker. That’s one of the things we want to look at with him. I’ve been pleased overall with the tight end position. We have a lot of talented guys. We’re going to keep mixing those guys in and out and let them continue to work and let that thing shake out as the preseason goes on.
Q: What are the strengths of safety Usama Young?
Allen: Number one you can never have enough depth. I’ve been with Usama so I know exactly what I’m getting out of him. I think he’s actually he’s improved from the time that I had him there in New Orleans. I’m glad we have him and he’ll have a role for us this year.
Q: Do you expect Woodson’s leadership to rub off on Tyvon Branch?
Allen: Yeah absolutely. Number one let’s make no mistake about it Charles is here to play football and make plays for us first. He’s shown that he still has the ability to do that. Obviously it’s an added bonus to have a guy like that who has that veteran leadership. I think he’s been a good presence for our defense, he’s been a good presence for our room, for our entire team. I’m looking forward to seeing him out there on Sunday and making some plays.
Q: Do you have concerns about the pass rush?
Allen: We have to continue to improve. It’s not where it needs to be yet. That’s why we’re in training camp. These guys will have a chance to continue to improve and continue to show what they can do as we go through the rest of these preseason games. We still have three preseason games left to play so there’s still a long time before we have to open up for the opening game against Indianapolis.