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Raiders coach Dennis Allen gives final update before team hads to New England

A transcription of Raiders coach Dennis Allen’s final briefing with the media before the team heads to New England:

Allen: “Here’s the injury report: Chimdi Chekwa was limited, questionable; Maurice Jones-Drew limited, questionable; Matt McCants limited, questionable; Sio Moore did not practice today, he’s out; Nick Roach was limited, questionable; Carlos Rogers limited, questionable; Rod Streater limited, questionable; and Justin Tuck was full, he’s probable for the game.

Q: When you look at the issues you have had defensively, how much can you trace to Nick Roach not being
there?

Allen: “Yeah, he’s an important piece to our defense as far as our ability to get everybody lined up. He played every snap defensively for us last year, so his familiarity with what we’re trying to get done defensively is a big piece to our ability to play good defense. But, Miles [Burris] has gone in there and done a nice job. He’ll continue to go in there and work. We’ve got to do a better job from a run-fit standpoint of getting off of blocks up front, being in the right gaps, and it’s more of a mentality than anything else.

Q: Does he need to get through the protocol or is it just how he feels?

Allen: “He’s still going through the protocol.

Q: Was there one particular hit that you can pinpoint?

Allen: “Anytime you have those situations like there, it’s kind of hard to necessarily just totally pinpoint exactly where it happened, when it happened. He’s going through the protocol, he’s getting better every day and hopefully he’ll continue to improve.

Q: Does Miles Burris move outside and Kaluka Maiava at the MIKE?

Allen: I mean, both those guys will play in the game and we’ll have a plan for how we’re going to run that
on Sunday.

Q: When you look at Gabe Jackson and what he’s been able to do from the moment he got here, has he surprised you?

Allen: Well, we thought really highly of him when he came out in the draft and again, that’s another guy that we were excited when he was sitting there when we had an opportunity to pick in the third round. I don’t know if I’d use that term ‘surprised,’ I mean, he’s performed at a high level and done a really good job for us. We felt like at some point that he was a starting type of NFL lineman and that he was going to have a bright future in there. The thing that has been encouraging about him is that from an intelligence standpoint, from an understanding standpoint, he’s done a nice job of understanding the scheme. He’s done a good job of making sure he’s good on his assignments and then obviously when he gets matched up in one-on-one situations, he’s done a pretty good job of blocking them.

Q: With the unusual travel schedule following this game and families of players possibly heading to London, are you concerned it will be a distraction for the Patriots game?

Allen: Well that’s always something that you have that concern. Like I said before, I did this trip back in 2008, and so we’ve tried to handle everything that we could handle ahead of schedule so that this week we could really focus in on New England. I think our guys have done a nice job of focusing in on the task at hand, the game at hand, and that’s been our real focus this week.

Q: Has Maurice Jones-Drew passed the test you needed to see of no limitations?

Allen: I think he did a good job in practice today. There were a lot of things he did that were impressive. We’ll see how he’s doing tomorrow.

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Grading the Raiders vs. Texans

How the Raiders graded out in their 30-14 loss to the Houston Texans Sunday at O.co Coliseum:

Passing offense

Derek Carr was 27 of 42 for 263 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. Much of the yardage came when the Raiders were scrambling to get back in the game when trailing 27-0. Protection wasn’t bad, but receivers too often failed to get separation and couldn’t come up with contested balls. James Jones and Mychal Rivera had game-altering lost fumbles after completed passes. Carr had an nice two-minute drill late. Grade: D

Run offense

The most deceiving 5.9 yards per carry you’ll ever see. Carr had a 41-yard burst on a read option and led the Raiders with 58 yards on four carries. Darren McFadden ran with heart and broke some tackles, but his 3.1 average brought to mind the last two seasons. Game circumstances meant abandoning the run to an extent, but it fell far short of what the Raiders have been pointing toward since training camp. Grade: D

Pass defense

The Texans threw only five passes in the second half because they didn’t need to pass. Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 14 of 19 passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns. Andre Johnson caught six passes in seven targets for 74 yards. Fitzpatrick got the ball away quickly, but on some opportunities when looking alternate routes, had all the time he needed and then some. Grade: D-minus

Run defense

The Texans rushed for 188 yards on 46 carries, with Arian Foster gaining 138 yards on 28 carries and a touchdown. Houston’s average of 4.1 per carry wasn’t awful, but considering Raiders knew Texans were working the clock in the second half, it was unacceptable. Coaches and players alike lamented run defense after the game. Grade: F

Special teams

The Raiders blocked a field goal attempt (Justin Tuck) when it didn’t matter. Shane Lechler had a healthy advantage in net punting (48.5 to 37.0) in net punting over Marquette King but it didn’t really factor much into the outcome. No real returns of note or forced turnovers. Grade: C

Coaching

Hard to imagine a team coming out more lifeless than the Raiders did for their home opener. Texans seized control from the outset, and the zone runs from Foster that they knew were coming gouged them early and often. On a third-and-11 draw, Foster got 16 yards and a first down. Players weren’t blaming coaches, but for some reason, the Raiders didn’t appear ready to play in any phase. Grade: F.

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