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Oakland Raiders Conference Call Transcripts 9/6/12

Posted Sep 6, 2012

Raiders Head Coach Dennis Allen

On the new era of Raiders football:

“We’re excited about the kickoff and the new season. This is about our team, and about our organization. It’s not about me as a head coach. It’s about us trying to win this season.”

On changes with the defensive personnel:

“What we’re trying to do is look at any and all opportunities to upgrade our football team, and we’ll do anything we can to get better. And we’re going to continue that process throughout the season.”

On the Chargers-Raiders rivalry:

“I think there are a lot of great rivalries in the AFC West. This division has been around a long time, and the same teams have been in the division, so everyone is real familiar with each other. It will be an exciting time for both teams to open up on Monday Night Football, but our focus over here is to do everything that we can to get the game plan down and to get ourselves ready to play mentally, physically and emotionally.”

On linebacker Miles Burris:

“Because of an injury to Aaron Curry, he’s stepped in to fill that role as a starting linebacker for us. He’s improved every day, he’s continued to come in and work hard. He’s a smart, instinctive football player, and he plays the game the right way with a lot of passion and energy. We’re excited about Miles. He’s a guy who can play any of the linebacker positions in our system.”

On any possible advantages over the Chargers:

“Coach Turner has been around a long time, their coaching staff has been around a long time, so I’m sure that they’ve turned over every stone to find out exactly what we’re going to do.”

On the Chargers defense:

“I think that personnel-wise, they’re pretty good. They have the two draft picks that they brought in, and I know that Melvin Ingram has done some nice things from the outside linebacker position. I think they’ve upgraded themselves defensively, and I know they’ll be coming in here fired up and ready to go. They’ve got some outstanding edge-rushers that can come and get after the quarterback, so we’re going to have to have a good plan on how we’re going to protect against those linebackers.”

On defensive coordinator John Pagano:

“John’s been around the league for a long time and he’s an outstanding football coach. I’m sure that he’s got a lot of things up his sleeve that he’s going to pull out on Monday night. We’ve got to prepare just like everyone does for the first game, we’ve got to prepare for any un-scouted looks or anything that we haven’t seen.”

On a game plan for Melvin Ingram:

“We’ve got to account for him when he’s on the field because he’s a guy who’s out to get after the quarterback, so we have to know where he’s at when we get ready to play.”

On running back Darren McFadden:

“He’s an explosive player, and he’s good in all facets of the game. He’s good in protection, he’s good running the football and he’s good in the passing game. He’s a weapon that we feel good about. I don’t think that you can baby Darren McFadden. This is a tough game played by tough people, and injuries happen in this game. But the good news is that we have a good stable of backs who can come in and spell him and take some of the carries off of him. We’re going to do whatever it takes to win a lot of football games, so if that means playing Darren a little or a lot, that’s what we’re going to do.”

On tackle Mike Harris:

“I’ve looked at the tape throughout the preseason, and here’s a guy who was an undrafted free agent, but every year there are undrafted free agents who play well in this league. I don’t see anything where he’s a weak link or anything. I see him as a good football player. We’re going to try and make it hard on everybody on the Chargers offense. That’s what we do.”

On the Chargers offense:

“It’s going to be a challenge playing against that offense. Philip Rivers is an outstanding quarterback. They’ve been an outstanding team, and we’re going to have our hands full.”

On running back Taiwan Jones:

“He’s a home run threat every time that he touches the ball. He’s a good runner, he’s got good vision and he can make people miss. I’m excited about Taiwan. He gives us an added dimension to the running back position.”

On the speed of the Raiders’ offense:

“We have some speed on offense, and defenses have to deal with that. But we’re going to need all the speed we have to take on this San Diego team.”

On quarterback Carson Palmer:

“I think he’s in a good place right now, and I think he’s comfortable with the system. He’s taken some time to get adjusted to the different terminology and the different concepts. He’s in a good place physically and mentally, and I think he’s excited about playing this year. I’m excited about getting a chance to watch him play.”

On running back Ryan Mathews:

“He’s an exceptional player, and he’s a big weapon for the Chargers.”

On the Raiders roster:

“I think that Reggie [McKenzie] has done a great job in handling the financial situation and getting football players in here who we have a chance to win games with. I feel good about our football team, I feel good about where we’re at, and I’m excited about starting the season and getting going.”

On the expectations of the Raiders:

“My concerns are this football team and what we can do to get better. I concern myself with this team getting better every day, and if we do that, the results will take care of themselves.”

Quarterback Carson Palmer

On the Raiders offense this season:

“Any time you have success in the passing game you put a lot on the receivers’ ability to get open. We’re really not thinking too much about last year. We’ve got some new pieces on the offense and a completely new system. We’ve got to think of new ways to get the ball down the field.”

On working in a new system:

“It’s been great, and has actually been pretty seamless. There have been some difficult times where we struggled a little bit with getting a lot thrown at us, but with our new staff, everything has been very scripted and planned. Coach Allen has done a great job keeping things organized with all the chaos of a new staff, new coaches and all of those things. Guys have been absorbing all the things we’ve been putting in, both offensively and defensively, and we’ve really been comfortable with what we’re going to get with this new staff. They do a good job of telling us like it is, and we’ve adjusted and moved on.”

On the speed of the offense:

“We have a lot of speed, and a lot of hungry guys, guys who really haven’t made a name for themselves in this league. They have the ability and the talent, but they’re just young and haven’t had enough opportunities. It’s been a very competitive camp, especially at the receivers and backup running backs spots. We know that one of our team advantages is our speed. We have some things that our coaches have put in to exploit our speed and try and get on the edges of people.”

On running back Darren McFadden:

“There is no better back than him in the league. He’s the complete package. And the x-factor with Darren is his leadership. He’s a young guy who doesn’t have a ton of experience, but he carries himself like a professional and a veteran. He leads by example and works his butt off in practice. I can’t wait to play with him.”

On the Chargers defense:

“With Melvin Ingram, Antwan Barnes, Shaun Philips and Jarret Johnson, and the speed they bring with the pass-rush, they’re a very stout group, especially through the middle. We have to find ways to keep them in front of us and get the ball out on time.”

On the Raiders receivers:

“I’ve always prided myself on being a good deep-ball thrower, and we’ve been fortunate enough to have had some opportunities against San Diego the last couple of times. When your receivers can run that fast, you can’t overthrow them. And that’s one of the things that you always worry about is having a guy open and just putting too much on it. But with our guys, you can put as much as you want on it and they’ll go out and get it. We also have guys who do a good job adjusting their back shoulder for balls, which is something that we work on all the time.”

On wide receiver Denarius Moore:

“Everyone was excited to see him out at practice in a helmet and shoulder pads, going against DB’s. We’ve been waiting for him, and it’s exciting to have him back in the huddle. He looks like the same guy he was before he was injured. He’s one of those guys who hates to watch practice from the sideline, it depresses him.”

On the expectations of the Raiders in the 2012 season:

“I like being under the radar, and being a team that people aren’t really worried about. But I expect us to go out and win football games. We have the right pieces in place, and our coaching staff is awesome. They come up with really great game plans, and they’ve prepared us well for the season, but also for this week one game. I expect a lot out of us. I won’t give a guarantee on a certain amount of wins, but every time we step on the field we expect to win.”

On the Raiders defense:

“I’ve been very impressed with our defense. That pass rush is phenomenal, the corners on the outside are very physical and savvy, and the safeties can cover a ton of ground. I have a ton of confidence in them, but we’re prepared for a shootout. I think we can go against anyone in the league and keep up. But that’s not something that we’re preparing for. I think defensively, if we can stay healthy, we have a really good chance to be a great defense.”

On linebacker Miles Burris:

“He’s a great football player, very heads-up. You don’t typically see a rookie who’s always in the right place at the right time, but he seems to pick up the defense really well.”

On running back Taiwan Jones:

“I would put him up against anyone in the league in the 60-yard dash. He’s extremely explosive, and surprisingly strong and powerful. Vision-wise, he sees defenses really well. But he can also get on the outside and really run around people.”

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