Dennis Allen took to the podium Wednesday to talk about the injury statuses of Terrelle Pryor, Tracy Porter and Sio Moore, the practice play of Matt Flynn, and other topics related to Oakland’s upcoming Week 4 game against the Washington Redskins.
Here is the transcript from the Raiders official website:
Raiders Head Coach Dennis Allen: Updates on the injuries, as far as who was able to go today: Tyvon Branch did not participate, Jason Hunter did not participate with a quad, Sio Moore was limited, Lucas Nix was limited, Jamize Olawale was limited, Tracy Porter was limited, Terrelle Pryor did not practice today and Menelik Watson did not practice today. That’s really the injury update. Our focus right now is getting ready for the Washington Redskins. We’ve got a big challenge coming up at home against a team that won their division last year. It’s a good football team. We’ve got to be on our A-game to have a chance. I think our guys are focused and excited about getting another opportunity to get out there and play in front of the home crowd. We’re excited about it. We’re looking forward to it and I think our guys are ready to go.
Q: Has Terrelle Pryor been able to go to meetings?
Coach Allen: He took part in a little physical activity today. He was able to go to meetings. He has not been cleared to practice. As far as the steps are concerned with him, he’s got to go through the protocol. He’s got to be cleared to practice and then cleared to play in the game. We’ll evaluate that as we go through the week and see where he’s at tomorrow and see if he’ll be available this weekend.
So Sio Moore and Tracy Porter are one step above him?
Coach Allen: Yes, they’ve been cleared to practice. They still have to go through the steps. There’s still one more step for them to get cleared to play, but they’ve been cleared to practice.
Was it just the severity of Pryor’s concussion, since Porter and him got it in the same game?
Coach Allen: It’s all medical. That’s really not my call, it’s not my say. I think we all realize the importance of player safety. We’re going to follow the protocol. We’re going to do exactly what we’re supposed to do from a medical standpoint and when he’s cleared to practice, he’ll be out there practicing. When he’s cleared to play, he’ll be ready to play.
How likely is it that he’ll be available Sunday?
Coach Allen: I have no idea. I coach football. I let the medical people handle the medical.
Are you prepared to go without him?
Coach Allen: Absolutely. We have to be.
Is there more scrutiny because the NFL was looking into how it was dealt with in the game?
Coach Allen: I don’t think so. I feel confident that we followed the protocol and did what we were supposed to do. I think we all understand the emphasis placed on player safety, specifically on this regard. We don’t ever want to put a player out there and put him in danger. We’re going to follow it and do what we’re supposed to do. It’s really a matter of, when the medical personnel feel like he’s fine and he’s cleared to practice and play, then he’ll be out there.
Have you talked to the NFLPA at all?
Coach Allen: No.
How did Matt Flynn look today?
Coach Allen: I thought Flynn had a good practice today. I would expect nothing less than that. He’s a pro. He’ll be ready to go if his number is called. He’ll be ready to play. I thought he had a good practice.
Terrelle tweeted yesterday that he didn’t remember anything. Did that not help the process?
Coach Allen: I can’t speculate on whether that helped or didn’t help. All I can say is there is a protocol. There is a way that you’re supposed to go about doing this and we’re going to follow it step by step.
Is there a timeframe when you have to make an actual decision that Flynn is going to be your guy?
Coach Allen: Obviously, there will be a point in time where we have to make that decision. There probably won’t be any type of announcement one way or the other. We’re obviously on top of it. We’re monitoring the situation. We have to be prepared either way. We have to be prepared if Terrelle is ready to go and we have to be prepared if he’s not ready to go.
If he were to be cleared later in the week, could you conceivably go back to the plan you had at the beginning of the year where he could do a little?
Coach Allen: We’ll see. We’re getting into a lot of speculation, if this or if that. I think we’ve just got to let this thing play out. Trust me guys, we’re planning for all scenarios, and we’ll be ready for whatever happens.
Have you noticed that Flynn’s arm seems fresher?
Coach Allen: Yeah, like I said, I thought he had a good practice today. I thought he threw the ball well, both short throws and deep throws. I have all the confidence in the world, as well as the players in the locker room, that if he’s called upon to perform on Sunday that he’ll do the job.
Do you guys have to monitor how much he throws at practice?
Coach Allen: No, we really haven’t limited him.
Is he still going through treatment?
Coach Allen: Yes.
Did RGIII show a little bit more in the third game?
Coach Allen: He carried the ball a few more times. I haven’t seen a ton of difference in what they’re doing offensively. I think they’re going to use him in a way that they feel like gives him the best opportunity to have success. He’s still a very talented player. He’s a good quarterback. He gives them explosiveness on offense and I think that, combined with their ability to run the ball, makes them a dangerous team.
They’ve fallen behind so much the first three games that it’s hindered their opportunity, but Mike Shanahan’s teams typically still have their zone scheme going. Do they still show that capability?
Coach Allen: Absolutely. They’re one of the better running teams in the league. They’ve got two good backs that they can hand the ball off to, as well as the quarterback being a running threat. We’ve got to do a good job of trying to stop the run. That’s one of the things that they do extremely well. Then, we’ve got to be prepared to play the play-action passing game.
What’s different, fundamentally, about facing a zone-scheme running team opposed to a gap or power team?
Coach Allen: It’s not as much about the scheme as it is about executing. You look wherever Coach Shanahan has been; his teams have always been able to run the football and they’ve always been able to run the ball with that zone-running scheme. The thing that they try to do is get guys to run sideways and stretch the defense, then hit the cut back. It will be critical for our guys to attack the line of scrimmage. Really, we’ve got to be able to get off blocks. We’ve got to do a better job of getting off blocks so we can make some plays.
Do you think going up against Pryor in practice helps your defense prepare for a guy like RGIII?
Coach Allen: I think it helps. We’ve seen a lot of the read-option type of plays. Being that we’ve worked that all through training camp, we worked it in the offseason, and in the season, too, I think that helps us in our preparation.
Why is the Redskins defense better than their numbers indicate?
Coach Allen: Well, they’ve got talent. They’ve got two guys on the edge that really can affect the football game. London Fletcher is still an outstanding player, playing middle linebacker for them. I think you look at this team, they started off slow last year and then won seven straight games and won their division. This is a talented football team. This is a good football team that we’re playing. We’re going to have to be on our A-game.
You guys didn’t tackle well on Monday. In practice, do you do even more tackling drills or do you work on it at practice more?
Coach Allen: We work on tackling all the time. I think it’s one of the fundamentals of playing defensive football. There’s no question about it: we’ve got to tackle better. If you’re going to play good defense, you’re going to be a team that can get off blocks. You’re going to be a team that can tackle well. That will be a point of emphasis this week.
After both sides of the line of scrimmage had a difficult time in Denver, have you seen a resolve in the lines this week?
Coach Allen: This football team has pride. Both those groups have pride. There will be a sense of urgency about going out and executing and doing your job, blocking the guy you’re supposed to block and getting off blockers and making tackles. It really boils down to the fundamentals of the game.
How much of a factor are the new NFL rules that allow less contact at practice? Does that hinder the work on the fundamentals throughout the week?
Coach Allen: It certainly makes it more difficult. But, these guys are pros. They’ve got to learn how to practice under those conditions and learn how to get better at those fundamentals of blocking, shedding blocks, tackling, and everybody is playing under the same rules. It’s really about the team’s that are able to practice the best under those rules and improve the most under those rules so the teams will have success.
After Denarius [Moore] had a big game the other night, you cited after the game how well he played, how big would it be for him to build on it with another one?
Coach Allen: I think it would be huge. I think it would be huge for his confidence, for the confidence of this football team. He’s a guy that we count on, he has playmaking ability and he showed it the other night. Really we’re looking for the consistency of being able to do that on a game in and game out basis. There’s going to be some games where you have more catches, there’s going to be some games where you have more yards but it’s the consistency of making the plays when you get the opportunity. He certainly did that the other night.
Consistency in what ways?
Coach Allen: Consistency in when you have opportunities to make the plays, make the plays. That’s what the NFL is all about. It’s not just one player, it’s everybody. The great teams are able to have consistency on a week in and week out basis
What do you think it’s been lacking with him?
Coach Allen: I think he’s still developing as a player; he’s still a relatively young player in this league. He’s a good football player and he’s going to continue to develop, he’s going to continue to get better. I’m not worried about Denarius Moore, when you look up at the end of the year you’re going to say he made a lot of good plays for us.
Are you looking forward to getting back to the Coliseum and getting the fan support?
Coach Allen: Absolutely. I think it’s one of the great environments in pro football and I think anytime you can make your home stadium a home field advantage, and really that falls on us, it’s our job to go out there and play well and give the fans something to get excited about so we create that home field advantage. Our guys are excited about playing at home.