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Raiders’ coach Dennis Allen answers questions from media following mandatory minicamp

A transcript of Raiders’ coach Dennis Allen’s session with the media following the final practice of the mandatory three-day minicamp:

Allen: Listen, I think we had a heck of an offseason. I think our guys are battling, they’re competing, they’re working extremely hard. We’ve accomplished a lot in this offseason. We’ve got a lot better as a football team. Im excited about, we’re going to kick back a little bit, relax for a couple of weeks, and I think we’ve got the type of guys on this football team that are going to make sure they come back to training camp ready to go. It’s an exciting offseason and we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us but we’re excited about it.

Q: To get through these practices at an intense pace, but also healthy . . .

Allen: We’ve got a few bumps and bruises type of deal, but like I said before Lucas Nix is the only guy who I anticipate would be kind of (inaudible) whether he would be ready to go or not but other than that I expect to have everybody back. I think today’s practice, I’ve been a part of a lot of these practices, the last day of the offseason where people kind of lose focus and they’re not as sharp as they need to be. I think we had an outstanding practice today.

Q: Other teams have cancelled last practice, it happens sometimes, ever a possibility . . .

Allen: No, I think, every situation is different. We took time out earlier in the offseason and had a team activity during one of the OTA days, but I thought this was an important practice for us to get in, and I thought we got a lot accomplished today. I was proud of the way the guys came out and kept their focus today.

Q: Do you tailor your message to them about what they should do or not do over the next month?

Allen: Well, yeah, because every year is a new year and every team is a different team. So you always try to tailor your message towards what your team is and what type of football team that you have. We have a lot of veteran players here, so I expect those guys are going to do the things we need to do to be ready for camp.

Q: Talked about the great offseason, tangible, do you feel that when you’re out there . . .

Allen: I don’t think there’s any question you can feel that. You guys have been around here too. I think you’ve seen these practices here for awhile. I think we’ve had an outstanding offseason. I think our team from the day that we started the offseason program to where we’re at now, we’ve improved tremendously, but we’ve still got to go out and do it when we get to training camp and when we get to the regular season.

Q: Competed some passes, lot of balls being contested, is that a good thing?

Allen: It’s a great thing. When you come out here, you never want to see anything totally one-sided, because that’s not the sign of a good football team. On a good football team you want to see the guys go out and compete, you want to see the offense win some, you want to see the defense win some, and I think you saw that, not only today, but throughout the offseason.

Q: Expect to see Burnett at training camp, competing for a job?

Allen: I do, absolutely I do.

Q: How excited to see Khalil Mack in pads?

Allen: I’m excited to see all these guys in pads. There’s a lot of guys on this team I haven’t seen go through a padded practice. I think the guys are excited about it. That’s real football, with the pads on and you start really competing, and we’ll find out a lot more about what we have when we start doing that.


Q:
You’re expecting a lot out of him, drafted him, invoked the name Von Miller, one of the dominant players in the league. Can you put too much expectations on him or is that not a concern?

Allen: I’m not really concerned with that. I know we’ve thrown out some comparisons, I’ve thrown out some comparisons, but really, I’m focusing on Khalil Mack being the best talent that he can be. I think he’s an outstanding talent. I think he’s got a huge upside and if he continues to work the way that he has I think he’ll fulfill those goals and the expectations that we have of him.

Q: Is receiver position a little behind?

Allen: I think we have a lot of receivers that have a lot of talent but we are fairly young at that position. It is a position that you want to see improvement from. I think these guys are out here working and they’re gonna get better. I saw a lot of improvement from day one to now. If they’ll continue to do that throughout training camp we’ll have a solid group of receivers.

Q: Great play by Mychal Rivera today, is he ready to step up?

Allen: Listen, I think he has a chance to be a very good player for us. I’m not gonna put him in that elite classification yet but he certainly is a weapon we can use as well as some other guys we have. Ausberry is a guy we didn’t have at all last year and he’s a guy I think can be a real receiving threat for us.

Q: How does Mack change what you do on defense?

Allen: Listen you’re looking for guys who have versatility and guys that can really affect the game. He’s got that ability. Our job as coaches is to figure out what our guys can do well and put them in those positions where they can go out and execute and make plays. Every year you look at who you have on your team and you try to design your schemes to put them in position to make plays.

Q: Derek Carr taking second team reps . . .

Allen: He’s taking most of the second-team reps. Like (Greg Olson) said yesterday we’re trying to expedite his progression and I’ve liked a lot of the things I’ve seen out of Derek. He still has a long way to go but I like the direction that he’s headed.

Q: Does Derek Carr start camp as No. 2?
Allen: I would think we would start that way.

Q: Taiwan Jones re-signed because of kick coverage, has he become a viable option at cornerback?

Allen: He’s gotten better. When you watch him he made a nice interception out here today. I’ve seen improvement. The position is a little bit foreign to him because it’s been a while since he’s played the position. I think the competition that we have really in all the rooms but in the defensive back room has kind of brought the best out of him too.

Q: Saw some good things from TJ Carrie at rookie camp. Has he carried it through OTAs and mandatory camp?

Allen: He absolutely has carried it through. I’ve been very impressed with him. His ability to understand what we’re trying to do within the scheme of the defense. What you look for in guys like that is you look for a guy who is gonna make a play that kind of catches your attention. Really every day there’s been something that he’s done that you say ‘Damn that was a pretty good play.’ I like where he’s at and the development in the process here.

Q: Is DJ Hayden behind because of his injury?

Allen: Yeah. I don’t think there’s any way you can sugar coat that. He’s behind. But like I said the other day it’s nothing that he can’t overcome. He needs to be healthy and he needs to be out here and he needs to work. We’ll see where he’s at when we go to training camp. We’re gonna go out and compete and we’re gonna find the best 11 guys we can put out there on defense and the guys that perform the best in training camp and preseason games, those are the guys who will get the chance to play.

Q; Austin Howard was not practicing today . . .

Allen: He has a finger. We sent him over to get an X-ray on his finger. Again it’s nothing that will be a big deal for him. More of a precautionary measure than anything else.

Q: His absence good since you look at other guys?

Allen: Listen it’s the next man up philosophy in the whole National Football League and any time there’s injuries you don’t like that but it creates an opportunity for somebody else. With him being out today we moved Gabe into the left side, Khalif over to right. It’s something you have to do when you go through the season. You have to of a little bit of mixing and matching. Obviously you want to keep the same five guys in there, keep the continuity. But it allowed for some extra work for Game so that was good for him.

Q: Do you have vacation plans?

Allen: I’m gonna spend a couple of weeks down in Florida. It will be a good time just me and the family hang out a little bit and then get back and be ready to go.

Q: All rookies signed and on board, 99 percent attendance through offseason, what does that say?

Allen: I like the direction we’re headed as a football team. I think we have a group of guys who are committed to winning. I think they’re committed to this organization and I think we have a lot of guys that have a lot to prove. That’s an exciting thing for a football coach and an exciting thing for these football players. I like our direction and I like our commitment. We just have to keep working.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • 0ak R8rs

    Tell me you don’t stare into the eyes of that avatar and think “creepy 1950s pedophile”?

  • 0ak R8rs

    Nice. Dck.

  • CrawDaddy

    Waz up nation, it’s a great afternoon to be a Raider fan isn’t it. Shout out to the P-Man

  • CrawDaddy

    Sounds like you do too.

  • CrawDaddy

    Isn’t this a football blog? Doesn’t the NBA have a blog?

  • RaiderRo

    Agreed

  • DutchRaid

    Bay Area Sports related talk should be permitted…but Lakers! That is like talking up the Chargers (verboten!)

  • Dakota

    Q: Taiwan Jones re-signed because of kick coverage, has he become a viable option at cornerback?

    Allen: He’s gotten better. When you watch him he made a nice interception out here today.

    hmmmmm….I think we should probably cut whichever QB got picked by Taiwan…..hopefully it was Trent Edwards…..

  • RaiderRo

    Nice revisionist history. Al was making the GM decisions. Please go take a look at Gruden’s(and Allen’s) tenure once in Tampa Bay once they kicked McKay(the real architect of that Super Bowl team) to the curb…And this is coming from a Gruden fan.

  • http://batman-news.com 559 Raider 87

    As much as I would enjoy that scenario, theres no way he would leave GS. He makes them a Top 3 team, so why abandon ship? Our best bet is to nail the 7th pick (Smart/Vonleh/Gordon), get some role players in FA (Deng/Boozer if amnestied), and resign some guys (Young/Baze/Hill/Meeks) maintain cap flexibility next 2yrs then Kobe off the books and we can start the real rebuild

  • Dan78

    Who do you want the Lakers to draft Smart or Randle…..

  • SnBG

    Madden used to give pressers in the locker room.

  • Dan Walker

    Time for some football so all you guys here can comment on actual game time as opposed to perceptions of the season to come.

  • 0ak R8rs

    I had the exact same thought when I read that. Kinda scary.

  • http://batman-news.com 559 Raider 87

    Smart easy. West has all the PGs we need one to compete with Parker/Westbrook/Curry/Paul/Rubio, cant remember last time LA had a real PG

  • 0ak R8rs

    Well, nothing but fantasy and conjecture for the next month. One of the worst month of the year. Gonna be some purse swinging up in here!

  • Dakota

    I like Smart or Embiid if he drops of course…..if you are going to pick an injured guy, I would pick Embiid over Randle. Randle would be okay at 7 too.

  • Dakota

    We will have NBA free agency talk and trade talk to keep us on the sports topics……maybe….

  • 0ak R8rs

    Fck.

  • 0ak R8rs

    New post.

  • Dan78

    Smart seems like a tough SOB….

  • SnBG

    High there.

  • Dakota

    Muhahahahaaaaaa

  • Howard Benner

    But what if the truth is somewhere from the department of “breakthrough” moment. . .

    Nobody remains static. . .when was the last time Taiwan played CB? Early in his college career. . .A few years of reps missing from his development. . .

    What if he exclusively played CB in college? how would he have developed? it’s not an entirely one sided argument. . .

    The same line of reasoning would have one adversely react to Schaub’s pick six thrown to Justin Tuck early in the first OTA. . .

    So let’s remain calm. . .big difference from an OTA pick to a training camp pick to a pre season game pick to a regular season pick. . .perhaps it’s a legitimate good sign for Taiwan. . .otherwise, why did DA bother to give kudos to Taiwan? spin control?!

    Objectivity with a bit of pragmatism. . .&, of course, sarcasm. . .kinda the “spoonful of sugar” path. . .

  • Howard Benner

    Lake (or “Fake,” as the case may be) show has a lot to overcome; Kobe’s albatross of a contract (what kind of decision was that? Kobe “hubris I need to be paid Bryant”. . .), dearth of talent, the number of superior teams in the western conference. . .

    You need to contain your “Laker Love” to what player they will select in the upcoming draft & what midlevel exception will fit their team, whether they bring back Nick Young & Kent Bazemore, how Bazemore &, more importantly Kobe Bryant bounce (well, perhaps in Kobe’s case bounce isn’t the right term) back from injuries. . .still have Pau Gasol’s contract, how he’s overcoming (or not) vertigo (that is a bad disorder. . .I have had friends that were stricken with that for years. . .add a couple of concussions. . .), so I think you should just concentrate from afar what the state of the W’s becomes. . .one thing for sure; I sure feel better about Steve Kerr’s future as a HC in the association than Mark Jax. . .Kerr’s mentors & his coaching foundation surely has to best that of Mark Jax. . .

  • Howard Benner

    Here’s your answer. . .

    6. Taiwan Jones, still making the transition to cornerback, had a pretty interception of McGloin, even if the pass itself was underthrown.

  • nolimits3333

    Dennis, who is the backup long snapper?

  • Raider O

    Lmao

  • Random_White_Guy

    Kobe took a pay cut.

  • Random_White_Guy

    There’s a lot of Raider fans in LA…

  • Howard Benner

    How much of one? don’t merely tell me “he took a pay cut;” tell me how much. . .

    Details, man. . .details. . .

    They still have the Pau Gasol scenario to deal with. . .

  • Depcharger

    Dennis Allen should be fired

  • Random_White_Guy

    From 30.4m a year to 23.5m.

  • http://batman-news.com accupolco gold aka elmo

    És so fantastic día és be a Raderíos fan.

  • Howard Benner

    I would be much more impressed if he had cut it well below $20 mil. . .He’s still getting upper echelon money & he won’t return upper echelon performance.

    Besides, to get a player with the skill set & “marquee value” they seek $6.9 mil is not a drop in teh bucket. . .They need a ’5,” another scorer, a “1,”. . .hell, they need everything. . .

  • willy91137

    in 76 days will be watching football this is the slowest time in the off-season

  • willy91137

    35 days to training camp

  • willy91137

    See

  • Random_White_Guy

    He’ll average 25-30 depending on who his teammates are, just like he always does.

  • Howard Benner

    Well, let’s see how well he recovers from both injuries. . .remember, he was become more of a facilitator when he first returned. . .don’t expect his first step to entirely return, but he does remain a genius with the ball in his hands; the subtle moves to buy space & time to get his jumper off. . .that is the true mark of his game. . .

    I’ve only seen two other players that possessed that ability; Dreen Shake & Kevin McHale; all three are practically unguardable in a phone booth. . .

  • Howard Benner

    West; Jerry West? The logo?

    He’s a consultant for the Warriors. . .He & Steve Kerr are the prime opposition to trading Klay Thompson. . .

    Remember upon his return & out of necessity Kobe had become more of a facilitator

  • Howard Benner

    Deng will stay in San Antonio. . .

  • Howard Benner

    Jowls & long hair; not a good look. . .

  • Rick Worth

    Anybody worried about a police state?