Dennis Allen has players' support
I believe the players are getting the message loud and clear....
A week after Raiders owner Mark Davis said he was embarrassed and disappointed by his team's performance, Oakland laid another egg Sunday and lost 34-10 in Cincinnati. Which posed the question for some fans: Has first-year head coach Dennis Allen lost the team?
The answer came back a resounding no from players, who did play better after falling behind 24-0 at halftime.
"We definitely believe in Coach Allen and the coaches, and we believe in their schemes," defensive tackle Desmond Bryant said after the game. We just have to learn to be consistent in our execution. We had some flashes of being a good defense earlier in the season, but now we are having more flashes of being terrible.
"We all support Coach. We're all behind him. We just have to go out there and ball. Keep working."
Bryant pointed out that defensive players underperforming is nothing new.
"It's been the same way for a while around here," said Bryant, who is in his fourth season. "We have always had talent, but we have never played up to our expectations for ourselves."
New life: The bad news is that Oakland (3-8) has lost four straight for the first time since 2008, and that the Raiders have allowed 169 points over their past four games. That is the second-highest four-game total in the NFL since its merger with the AFL in 1970. The only other team to allow more points over a four-game span during that time was Tennessee in 2004 (177).
The good news is that the Raiders play their next three games at home, starting with the Browns on Sunday, and teammates expect running back Darren McFadden back from a high ankle sprain. He has missed three games, as have defensive tackle Richard Seymour (hamstring) and running back Mike Goodson (high ankle sprain).
Allen said he's hopeful that all three players will be able to practice Wednesday.
Roll out TP? Allen said the coaches have discussed finding a role for third-string quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who has been inactive all 11 games this season.
"He's working to get better, and he's working to improve," Allen said. "I've seen improvement in Terrelle. He's gotten better as a quarterback. I don't think any of us feel like he's the finished product, including himself. But he has worked to improve."
If Pryor, who's in his second season, gets a chance to play down the stretch, it would most likely be in a limited role that takes advantage of his mobility. The Raiders are 29th in the NFL in the red zone, scoring touchdowns only 39 percent of the time.
Browns waiting on QB: Cleveland won't know for a few days whether rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden will play in Oakland. Weeden sustained a concussion in the closing minutes of Sunday's 20-14 win over Pittsburgh.
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