By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, February 20th, 2014 at 2:24 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Raiders coach Dennis Allen talked with reporters at the NFL scouting combine Thursday and also with Sirius XM radio.
Here are some highlights of what he had to say:
– His thoughts heading into the combine and free agency with cap space available . . .
“I don’t think that there’s any question that we’ve got a better feel for the football team going into year No. 3. The other thing that we have a good feel about is there’s some things, some resources that available to us that we can really try to do some things to improve the football team. That doesn’t mean you go out and spend irresponsibly, because then you put yourself in a bad position again. The plan is, and always will be, that you draft young players, raise ‘em up through your program, re-sign them when they come up for their contract again, and augment your team through free agency.’’
–Thoughts on Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel . . .
“I think he’s a very talented player. I think he’s a multi-dimensional player. I think he’s able to throw the ball. I think he’s able eto throw the ball from the pocket, but also able to create things with his feet. As we get more into the process, I think he’ll be a fun guy to really evaluate.’’
– The importance of intangibles in assessing a quarterback . . .
“It’s important that they they have the right mindset, the right character, the right values to be able to handle it. I think when you look at the quarterback position, that’s what you look at. It’s not as much about what they do physically on the field, it’s about what they do mentally and their approach to the game.’’
– Re-signing key free agents, including left tackle Jared Veldheer and right end Lamarr Houston . . .
“They’re obviously a big priority. They are guys that we want to sign back and we’re in communication with their agents in trying to get something worked out. Obviously the process of negotiations never goes as fast as either fast wants it to go, but I feel very confident that those players want to be here. We obviously want them to be here. So I feel confident we’ll be able to get something done.’’
– Whether the Raiders quarterback in 2014 is currently on the roster . . .
“I don’t know the answer to that yet. It’s obviously a positon we’re going to look at to try to improve. The quarterback is the b ackbone of your team so we have to make sure that when we go out there this year we put ourselves sin the best position to have success.’’
– Whether the Raiders are interested in bringing back free agent running back Darren McFadden . . .
“When you look at it, Darren McFadden is an extremely good player and a high talent, but unfortunately he’s had the injury history. What we have to do from a business standpoint is you’ve got to look at the dollar figure compared to the availability and what you’re able to get out of it. I think that’s something that we’re going to look at. We’re going to be in communication with Darren’s agent and see where he’s at.’’
– The possibility of bringing back free safety Charles Woodson . . .
“I definitely think he’s got something left in the tank. Obvoiusly, when you get to that age, you never know when the tank is going to empty out. He’s a guy we would like to hopefully bring back. There’s a business side to anything you do, but from a leadership perspective and aplaying perspective, I thought he brought a lot to the table.’’
– The importance of bring in someone to rush the passer . . .
“This league is about affecting the quarterback. That’s something that we’ve got to got to do and have to do better . . We’ve got to do some things to get some people that can get after the quarterback and rush the quarterback as well as continue to work to improve the back end of the defense We’re playing Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers and Alex Smith, that’s what we’re going to be looking to do offensively as we go through this offseason.