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Raiders Conference Calls: Allen, Palmer

Posted Sep 19, 2012

Raiders Coach Dennis Allen

Re: This Steelers team compared to last season when you faced them in Denver:
They look good. This is the 2012 version. There are a few different pieces. They still look like the dominant defense that I remember. They look like a very good special teams group, and they look like they have an explosive offense.

Re: Offense under Todd Haley:
There are a few different wrinkles but they have a lot of the same plays. There is obviously influence though from Haley.

Re: Status of CB Shawntae Spencer and signing a new player:
Spencer did not practice today. We are going to evaluate him as the week goes on and see where he is. We signed Brandian Ross from the Green Bay Packers’ practice squad. He was available for us at practice today.

Re: Releasing DeMarcus Van Dyke:
At the time, we felt like we had a better fit. I am happy to see that he’s doing pretty well there. He is a good kid. I wish him the best.

Re: Working for such a historic franchise:
It’s a great opportunity to get to work here in Oakland. I think it’s one of the top franchises in all of sports. I am excited about the opportunity, and we are going to continue to work to try to get the Raiders back to the type of team people were used to seeing in the 1960s, 70s, 80s and even into the 90s.

Re: Steelers and Raiders rivalry:
It’s been a great rivalry. I know it’s been 40 years since the Immaculate Reception. There are a lot of people around here that try to forget all about that.


Raiders Quarterback Carson Palmer


Re: Your involvement and progress in the new offense:
We’re only two games into the whole new system but offensively, I love what we’re doing and the way we’re attacking people. We’re young and we have a lot of young players and a couple of rookies playing for us and some younger guys playing all over the place for us. It’s been a good transition, not good enough obviously, and we’re going to continue to work at it. We’re excited to go up against one of the perennial powers in this league and see how we fair.

Have you had a lot to do with the construction and design of the offense?
No. Coach Greg Knapp has been running this system for a long time and has had a ton of success. He’s teaching me as he installs it and I’m trying to pick it up as quickly as I can.

Have you spoken with Steelers S Troy Polamalu at all this week?
I have not.

How surprised are you that Polamalu has become a national pitchman off the field?
I definitely didn’t see that coming. I’m sure it’s one of those deals where Troy will just kind of say, “Yes,” if too many people get on him. I’m sure it wasn’t something he really wanted to do. I’m sure he was kind of pushed into doing it but it’s awesome. I love seeing Troy all over the place on billboards here in Oakland for Head and Shoulders or for Coke or whatever it was. You guys know Troy. You can’t do anything but love the guy.

Re: Raiders QB Terrelle Pryor:
He’s athletic and one of the most gifted athletes on the field and probably in the league. He’s just a phenomenal athlete. A lot of guys just grow up being bigger, faster and stronger than everybody and don’t quite have the work ethic. He works as hard as anybody I’ve been around. He wants to be great. He practices hard. He studies hard. He watches a ton of film. He’s got a great combination of God-given ability and skill to go with a great work ethic and a great desire to be a great player.

Would a position switch benefit Pryor?
If we had a bunch of guys on IR, he could probably play any position on the field. He’s athletic enough, he’s big enough, and he understands enough about the game to get away with it. But he’s a quarterback. He needs to stay a quarterback for his career. He’s going to have a great chance to be a really good player.

Do you see anything in the Steelers defense that is different than what you saw in
Cincinnati?
In their formations they line up a little bit different but really it’s the same scheme. Coach LeBeau does such a good job of running the same thing for a long time but adding new wrinkles and new twists here and there. I’m sure they’ll have a couple new wrinkles and new things that we haven’t seen on film recently. We have to be prepared for everything and when you go up against this defense you know what type of day it’s going to be. It’s going to be a fight in the trenches. It’s going to be a very physical game upfront. On the outside, they’re going to challenge you, get on you, and try to grab you and hold you. They’re going to try to jump routes and things like that. It’s one of those games where you have to be prepared going into it that it’s not going to be pretty. It’s not going to be a great statistical game for anybody. It’s going to be a dog fight and you have to hold the ball, control the ball and not give it to them.

Have you been coaching up your teammates about playing the Steelers?
I’ve got a lot of experience so I definitely shed the light on a bunch of different things. I try to help the guys out, especially the young guys. I’ve prepared to play against this defense. This is my 19th or 20th time, I want to say. It’s never easy. You have to spend a lot of time watching film. You have to spend a lot of time on what you’re trying to do with your protections, all the blitzes they have. It’s a great challenge. I look forward to the challenge and I’m excited to play against the best.

How do you like Oakland?
I love it. It’s been great. It’s a great organization. Things have really flipped around here over the past year with an entirely new regime with a new coaching staff, new personnel departments, general manager and all of that. This organization is run first-class. They’re only concerned with winning and they do everything they can to let the players really just focus on football. They have a lot of outlets to help you out with anything you may need so that you can solely focus on football and find ways to win games. It’s exciting to be a part of.

Has going to Oakland worked out like you hoped it would?
It’s just starting now. For me, last year was kind of a blur. This is the beginning of something new for me. With being 0-2, it’s not the way you plan it. You want to be 2-0 in this position we are in, but we understand this is a marathon and not a sprint. We still have all of our goals out in front of us and we need to get a win this week.

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