By Steve Corkran
Monday, November 4th, 2013 at 2:04 pm in Oakland Raiders.
ALAMEDA – Raiders coach Dennis Allen has been vigilant about the culture of his team’s locker room since he arrived here almost two years ago.
To that end, he said Monday, whatever takes place amongst his players, be it in the locker room, on the field, wherever, is his responsibility.
“We have a pretty good feel for the locker room,” Allen said, when asked how he keeps tabs on his players.” I have a pretty good feel for the guys we have in there. Obviously that’s something that you always want to keep a close eye on and keep monitored.”
The topic was broached in light of recent allegations leveled against Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito that he bullied and harassed teammate Jonathan Martin.
Martin took a leave of absence from the Dolphins last week reportedly as a result of the way Incognito treaded him in the past. The Dolphins on Sunday suspended Incognito while the matter is investigated.
“I don’t think we have any issues with that type of stuff on this football team,” Allen said.
Allen even banned the so-called hazing prevalent in NFL training camps, including the Raiders before he arrived before the start of the 2012 season.
“That was a point we tried to make in training camp of not really hazing the rookies because we need everybody,” Allen said. “If we’re going to get this culture the right way and if we’re going to win football games like we believe we’re capable of winning, we’re going to need everybody in that locker room.”
Allen frequently chats with key players and others as a means of taking the pulse of the locker room and making sure a situation such as the one alleged to have happened in Miami doesn’t arise here.
In the end, though, Allen said, it’s incumbent upon Allen to stay abreast of what’s going on with his team.
“Ultimately whatever happens with this football team, whether it be on the field, in the locker room, out in the community, …that’s my responsibility to police that and my responsibility to have a handle on that.”