Monday, November 4, 2013
Allen takes locker room culture seriously
By Paul Gutierrez
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- One of the first acts of Dennis Allen’s tenure as Raiders coach was to eliminate the ritual of rookie hazing. So yes, shock waves from the Miami Dolphins-Richie Incognito bullying scandal have reached Oakland.
“Well, listen, I think we’ve got a pretty good feel for the locker room,” Allen said Monday, when asked his thoughts on hazing and bullying. “I think I’ve got a pretty good feel for the guys in there. Obviously, that’s something that you always want to keep a close eye on and keep monitored.
“But I don’t think we have any issues with any of that type of stuff on this football team. And really that was a point that we tried to make in training camp -- not really hazing the rookies. We need everybody and if we’re going to get this culture the right way and if we’re going to win football games like we believe we’re capable of winning, then we’re going to need everybody in that locker room.”
Then who, ultimately, is responsible for making sure it does not happen, coaches or players?
“I think ultimately that’s my responsibility,” Allen said. “Yeah, I mean, ultimately, whatever happens with this football team, whether it be on the field or in the locker room, out in the community, those are the things that I’ve got to, that’s my responsibility to police that and my responsibility to have a handle on it.”
Allen did say he periodically checks in with team leaders to make sure the locker room culture is healthy.
“I have a way that I go about trying to check,” he said. “I mean, I’m not in there, won’t go in the locker room every day and monitor exactly what goes on but yeah, I try to have a good feel for what’s happening with the players and I’ll have my little side conversations and make sure the locker room’s doing good.”