- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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INDIANAPOLIS -- Oakland Raiders coach Dennis Allen met the media on Friday. Here are some highlights:
New defensive coordinator Jason Tarver will call the plays. Tarver was the co-defensive coordinator at Stanford last year and called some plays for the Cardinal.
The Raiders have not decided whether they will run a 4-3 or a 3-4 defense. Tarver said that decision will be made after free agency and after the draft, when the Raiders know exactly who is on the team. He said the Raiders will use many multiple sets and will employ both the 4-3 and 3-4 at times. He said several current players on the roster are for the 3-4 schemes.
Moving safety Michael Huff to cornerback is an option. However, Huff could be a salary-cap cut, although Allen declined to talk about specific candidates. The Raiders have some work to do to get under the cap, but Allen expects to do some things in free agency. Still, he admitted the Raiders may not be in play for the bigger names in free agency, though they could still get some quality veterans.
Allen said he thinks Oakland quarterback Carson Palmer will fit the West Coast offense used by new offensive coordinator Greg Knapp. Allen said he thinks Palmer is as athletic as Houston quarterback Matt Schaub, who did well in Knapp's offense. Expect Oakland to use the zone-blocking scheme, as well. Allen made it clear that the coaching staff wants to put players in the best system so they can succeed.
The Raiders’ offense is set. Most of the improvement will need to be made on defense.
The team is looking at the practice surface at their facility to see if it needs to be changed. Oakland suffered several foot-related injuries last year.
The new regime will look at 40-yard dash times only in a tiebreaker between two good players. In the past, speed always ruled the world during the Al Davis era. It’s clear there is a new dawn in Oakland.
2dEric D. Williams