Oakland Raiders: Head Coach Dennis Allen Speaks to Media Tuesday after Closed Practice
Stuart Kovacs – Aug 15, 2012
On Tuesday, the Oakland Raiders held a practice that was closed to the media after its 3-0 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
Afterwards, head coach Dennis Allen held a conference call with the media where he talked about both the positives and negatives of the team’s first preseason game as well as updates on a few of the injuries that have occurred so far.
After watching the tape of the game, Allen was pleased with a few things as well as disappointed with others.
He was tremendously happy to see running back Darren McFadden return to game action for the first time since injuring his foot during Week 7 of the 2011 season.
The former Arkansas Razorback had gains of 18 yards and 16 yards in his limited action.
Allen was also pleased with the first team defense and its ability to put pressure on Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo.
“Darren McFadden was obviously very explosive; two explosive gains in the three touches that he had. And then I thought the first team defense played exceptionally well.”
During the preseason, it will be critical for the team to get McFadden the precise amount of reps that will both get him ready for the season while also preventing fatigue or injury.
Allen said that he and the coaching staff will have to evaluate McFadden on a daily basis to make sure he is exactly where he needs to be.
“We are going to look at how the week plays out. Darren needs to get his touches so that he goes into the regular season ready to go. That’s the most important thing for him; to make sure that he’s fully ready to roll when the opening game comes up on Monday night.”
As Allen was excited about both McFadden and the first team defense, he was equally unpleased with the play of the special teams as well as offensive tempo when Terrelle Pryor was in at quarterback.
“From a special teams standpoint we had a couple of tackles inside the 20-yard line, We muffed two punts, and then we didn’t have good operations on our field goal attempts. Those were a couple things. Offensively the dropped passes were obviously a big issue. I thought our tempo in and out of the huddle in the second half wasn’t where it needed to be offensively. Those were probably the biggest negatives looking back at the game.”
In addition to special teams and offensive temp, Allen believes that the film revealed that this team needs to execute better, especially on the offensive side of the football.
“It told us that we have a lot of things to clean up as far as the little things are concerned. Our execution wasn’t where it needed to be but we still have a long way to go to get where we need to get to.”
During Monday’s game, the play of two particular wide receivers caught the eye of both Allen as well as the entire Raider Nation.
Undrafted rookie Rod Streater made a huge impact by catching 6 passes for a total of 66 yards. Allen was pleased with his ability to make catches, getting up field, and most of all, executing.
“I thought he did a nice job; he executed like he’s been executing all of camp, caught the ball well, was able to get up field and not a lot of wasted movement. I thought Rod Streater played really well.”
While Streater impressed Allen, fellow wide receiver Jacoby Ford did not.
The former Clemson Tiger dropped two passes, muffed a punt, and was unimpressive on a kickoff return. According to Allen, he also wasn’t aggressive enough when going up for a pass that quarterback Carson Palmer threw his way that was intercepted.
“I think Jacoby could have been a little better at the end of the route trying to break that thing up. You’re going to take that shot. We want to be aggressive there and we wanted to take a shot and get a big play but it didn’t work out for us.”
On the injury front, Allen reiterated that center Stefen Wisniewski, who left the game with a calf injury, is day-to-day.
“Nothing other than it’s a calf and we’ll be monitoring that as we go along, day-to-day.”
Defensive end Jack Crawford is also day-to-day after sitting out Monday’s game with a foot injury. Allen isn’t sure if he’ll be able to play against the Arizona Cardinals on Friday as he is still feeling discomfort.
“He’s not ready to go as far as that foot is concerned. There’s still a little soreness there so we just thought it was best for us to hold him and not play him in the game. I’m not sure about Arizona yet. Again, he really is a day-to-day situation; it’s not anything serious but there’s obviously still some discomfort there so we’re trying to push him through it and we’re trying to get him out there as soon as we can.”
Running back Mike Goodson, who suffered a neck injury in practice last week, is expected to be back in practice on Wednesday. Allen believes that the sooner Goodson is back on the field, the more likely he is to play this Friday.
“I think Mike Goodson will probably be back tomorrow. I think if he is able to practice this week we will get him in the game and let him play against Arizona.”
With a quick turnaround before Friday’s game, Allen is optimistic that the team will be able to prepare itself for both the Cardinals as well as for the start of the season. He continues to stress the word execution to the entire team.
“I think we can get some things accomplished. Obviously we don’t have as much time to prepare as we would like, but we are still in training camp mode and there are some things we still have to work on from an execution standpoint. That’s going to be my message towards the team. That’s going to be our motto is to be able to execute the little things better.”
The Raiders resume practice at 8:50 AM PST on Wednesday.
Raider Nation Times will continue to monitor the team’s progress throughout the entire training camp period.
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