Dennis Allen -- what they're saying

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Dennis Allen -- what they're saying

The Raiders have remained silent on the hiring of Dennis Allen as the franchise's 18th head coach. But that hasn't kept everyone else quiet. Here's a collection of comments about the 39-year-old defensive coordinator and soon-to-be NFL head coach:

"I think it will be a good fit for us. "He's a young, energetic guy. Smart guy. Been through a lot with Atlanta, then a lot with New Orleans, over to Denver and that defense. We'll take all the help we can get right now."
-- Raiders punter Shane Lechler, whom Allen hosted on a recruiting trip to Texas A&M, via NFL.com

"I know what type of team hes going to have. Very intense, hard-nosed, tough. Thats the way he is. Thats what I expect his team to be. ... He knew how to get us ready. I give him a lot of credit for the success we had this year. . . . Hes one of the most intense coaches Ive had."
-- Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey, via the NFL Network

Theyre getting a guy thats going to come in right away, and hes going to get it done. Thats what he did for us. He came in, he laid out a plan for us, he told us, This is how were going to do it, and this will work, and thats what happened. We improved our defense an incredible amount. . . . I think hell do the same thing with the Oakland Raiders.
-- Broncos linebacker Von Miller, via the NFL Network

"I heard (Raiders GM) Reggie (McKenzie) had been following him for a few years, watching his progression through the coaching ranks. Evidently he's been on somebody's radar."
-- His father and former NFL linebacker Grady Allen, via the Bay Area Newspaper Group

"There wasn't any doubt about what he wanted to do. He was going to coach, and he stepped right into it. It's kind of hard sometimes for guys who just finished playing to make the transition of being a coach and part of the staff. A lot of them think they're still kids. Dennis never had that problem."
-- Allen's college coach, former Texas A&M coach R.C. Slocum, via the Bay Area Newspaper Group

Carr discusses contract negotiations with Raiders: 'These things take time'

Carr discusses contract negotiations with Raiders: 'These things take time'

Raiders general Reggie McKenzie plans to extend quarterback Derek Carr’s contract this offseason. That isn’t a new thing, something that has been in the works for some time. He re-affirmed that fact last week, citing his team’s commitment to work out a long-term deal likely the biggest in franchise history.

Carr was reportedly frustrated with the pace of contract talks after the NFL draft – they’re supposed to heat up this spring and summer – but said he believes a deal will get worked out before training camp begins.

That’s his deadline for an offseason deal, the point where he wants focus honed on football.

“I have an agent who is in charge of that and I am confident that he and Mr. (Reggie) McKenzie will work it out,” Carr, a Fresno State alum, told the Fresno Bee. “I am only focused on becoming a better football player and helping my teammates become better players.

“I have complete faith it will get done before training camp. These things take time. The Raiders know I want to be here; this is my family, and I know they want me to be their quarterback.”

The sides have discussed parameters of a long-term deal, with greater specifics to be ironed out in the future. Carr has long said he wants to be a Raider his entire career. The Raiders want him as the public face of their franchise. A new deal is expected by all parties, a sentiment that has never wavered on either side.

Carr is scheduled to make a $977,519 in base salary in 2017, the final year of his rookie contract.

Raiders offseason program intensifies as OTA sessions begin

Raiders offseason program intensifies as OTA sessions begin

The Raiders offseason program is five weeks old. Players have lifted weights. They’ve improved cardiovascular shape. They’ve done drills in position groups and discussed schematics. They’ve added rookies to a group now 90 strong.

On Monday, they can finally put on helmets. They still can’t wear pads or have full contact, but the Raiders can play 11-on-11. Receivers will be covered. Quarterback Derek Carr will throw into traffic. Generally speaking, the competition cranks up a bit.

The NFL collective bargaining agreement has strict mandates regarding offseason activity, and a period formally called “Phase III” allows for more realistic on-field football work.

The Raiders will conduct 10 OTA sessions over the next three weeks. The media can watch three of them. Tuesday is the first, with another in each of the next two weeks. These sessions are technically voluntary, though the Raiders generally hover around perfect attendance. Head coach Jack Del Rio prefers his team be unified in the offseason. Players know it and show up.

There is a mandatory minicamp from June 13-15 which wraps the offseason program and starts a quiet period that extends until training camp begins in late July.

These OTAs offer an opportunity for new players to learn the system, for adjustments to be made and for chemistry to be built heading into a 2017 season where expectations are high.