The Oakland Raiders are ready to embark on a new era of football and that begins with a strong showing at the 2012 NFL Draft. Even though the team will be limited with their moves after dealing away most of their top-round picks, there is still plenty of room to improve in the later rounds. New head coach Dennis Allen knows this and spoke with the media on Friday. Among the big talking points: his defensive scheme, staff, and facing the Denver Broncos twice a year.
You can find the complete Q&A with coach Allen from Steve Corkran and the Contra Costa Times here.
On his scheme and the misconceptions about it:
Q: Mentioned at press conference think too much is made of 4-3, 3-4 system, have you identified a primary base defense or something working through?
Allen: Those are really all the things we're still working through. We'll see, after we go through free agency, after we go through the draft, which grouping gives us the best chance to be successful. I would expect that we'll be very multiple in that regard.
With the limited supply of draft picks at their disposal, Allen and the Raiders will have to act swiftly and hope for a little bit of luck in the offseason.
The head coach discussed his defensive coordinator, Jason Tarver, and just how much he'll have interact with the defensive unit:
Q: What can you tell us about Jason Tarver, your choice for D-coordinator?
Allen: I think Jason Tarver is an extremely bright young coach. He was a part of the San Francisco 49ers defenses, and I thought they were extremely well coached, extremely talented, when I interviewed Jason, there was no doubt in my mind that this is a guy who had answers for everything. I'm extremely excited about working with him, and I think, with him and the defensive staff as well as myself being involved in the defense, I'm excited about our opportunities.
Q: How hands on will you be with the defense?
Allen: I'll be involved. I'll be involved in both aspects of the team. Offense, defense, special teams, all of it. But I would say, especially this first year, I'll probably spend a little bit more time with the defense.
Coach Allen gave a brief insight into his first few months on the job and how everything has gone thus far:
Q: How would you describe first couple of months on the job? Anything unexpected, surprises?
Allen: Fast. Fast. Well, I think one of the things that you find out as a head football coach is that it's difficult to put together a good staff, because there's a lot of guys that you might want to try to get that you can't get out of other contracts and different roadblocks and hurdles that you got to jump over, but I think we weathered that storm and the one thing that I wanted to make sure that we did, was I didn't want to rush into anything or hurry into anything, and I think having that patience allowed us to put together a good staff.
It certainly seems like he has a strong handle on everything and the next few months will be critical to building for future success in Oakland.
And finally, he talked about facing the Broncos twice a year in the AFC West:
Q: Excited about going up against Broncos twice a year?
Allen: I think I'm excited about going up against everybody next year. I wouldn't single them out any differently. I obviously have a lot of respect for what they've done over there. I think John Elway, Brian Zanders, John Fox do a tremendous job and I know they'll have the team ready to play whenever we go up against them and we'll do our best to have our team ready to play going up against them.
Good stuff all around. Once the games begin, though, I hardly doubt the relations between the two sides will stay as friendly as they are now.
For more on the Raiders and to discuss their draft plans moving forward, head on over to Silver and Black Pride.