Editor’s Note: The following is Dennis Allen’s Christmas Eve Press Conference Transcript following Raiders practice on Tuesday. Due to the holidays we are posting the transcript from the Raiders official website on the 26th.
With the recent developments inside the Raiders organization following the decision to start Terrelle Pryor for Week 17 (and agent Jerome Stanley’s “setting Pryor up to fail” comments) creating a set of talking points heading into the holidays Dennis Allen’s Christmas Eve presser was naturally filled with Pryor/McGloin questions. Before the Raiders took a day off or Christmas, Allen defended his decision and gave his reasoning for the move to the media.
Transcript from Raiders.com:
Q: With the move to start Terrelle [Pryor], was that totally your decision or did Reggie [McKenzie] or Mark [Davis] have some input? How’d that come about?
Coach Allen: “Coach’s decision all the way. Obviously, we talk. Reggie and I communicate about everything and that was a decision I made.”
Q: All season you’ve said you’re playing to win each game, giving you the best chance to win. Does this jive with that? Terrelle gives you a better chance to win the game?
Coach Allen: “Yeah. Listen, we had the opportunity to watch Matt McGloin for six games and now I want to get another opportunity to watch Terrelle go out there and play. Listen, three out of the four games we won have been with Terrelle in at quarterback. So I think we need something that’s going to spark the football team and I think this can be something that can spark our team.”
Q: So with the evaluation of McGloin and his 1-5 start, I know you said the fact that he has explosive passing was something that really you liked. Is there anything else you liked about that? Looking back now, is that something you think might have not been the case?
Coach Allen: “No, I like a lot of the things I saw Matt McGloin do in there. I thought his accuracy, I thought his decision making in the passing game wasn’t perfect, but I thought overall, I thought it was very solid. Terrelle’s been a guy that’s created a lot of explosive plays for us and I’m looking forward to watching him out there on Sunday and giving him an opportunity to go out there and create some more explosive plays.”
Q: Does it have anything to do with the match-up in terms of how the Broncos go about playing defense? Is there anything that you think an athletic quarterback can help you there?
Coach Allen: “No, the decision wasn’t based on that. The decision was based on giving Terrelle another opportunity to go in there and play and trying to create something for our football team and give us some excitement. I think Terrelle deserves the opportunity to go in and play again.”
Q: Are you aware of Terrelle’s agent’s comments that he is being setup to fail and did you talk to Terrelle about it? What’s your reaction?
Coach Allen: “First, I’d say that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever friggin’ heard. No coach in their right mind…this isn’t The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. This isn’t made-for-TV drama. This is football. We make our football decisions based solely on that, nothing other than that. So I don’t really give it a lot of thought. I can’t control the ignorance that might come out of somebody else’s mouth, but I’ve talked to Terrelle about it. It’s in situations like that you have to separate the player from the agent. He doesn’t have control. I don’t have control over those things that get said. In my book, it’s really nothing. It’s one person’s opinion and I’ve moved on from it and ready to focus on the Broncos.”
Q: Did Terrelle seek you out?
Coach Allen: “I called Terrelle after I was made aware of the comments. Obviously, he was very apologetic of it and said, ‘In no way was that a reflection of his thoughts.’”
Q: Do you see this as any kind of distraction for him, something he doesn’t need going into this game?
Coach Allen: “I certainly would hope not. I think his focus, our focus, needs to be totally on the Denver Broncos and the things we can do to give us a chance to have success on Sunday.”
Q: After the Texas in which McGloin won that first game, was it your intention to kind of split the two quarterbacks in half the season to get your evaluation of them?
Coach Allen: “The first thing was is to get Terrelle back to full health and until you got to that point, there really wasn’t a whole lot of decisions to be made. That was kind of the first thing and then I’ve said all along that I wanted to have an opportunity to continue to look at Terrelle and give him opportunities, some games more than others. And this will be a game where he gets a chance to go in there and play.”
Q: You had said though that McGloin would start the rest of the games this season – why change your mind?
Coach Allen: “First of all, somebody had asked the question, ‘Is McGloin going to be the starter?’ My answer was, ‘Yes.’ I never once said, ’For the rest of the season.’ But, it was always something that we were going to continue to look at on a game-to-game basis and we made the decision, I made the decision, to go with Terrelle for this game.”
Q: Is seeing Terrelle for this game enough heading into next season?
Coach Allen: “Well, it’ll be nine games, so I think that’s a pretty good body of work to figure out exactly what we’ve got.”