Oakland Raiders Head Coach Dennis Allen Refuses to be Suckered Into a “Loser’s Mentality”

December 20, 2012 – 9:20 am by Brad Gagnon

Dennis Allen’s Oakland Raiders are coming off their first shutout in 10 years, getting the Raiders back on track in an ugly victory over an even uglier opponent. But not all Raiders fans are likely thrilled with the victory over Kansas City, because what was technically a meaningless win might have moved Oakland down the draft board.

Dennis Allen joined The Drive on 95.7 The Game in San Francisco to discuss the shutout win over the Chiefs Sunday, the mentality among the players, the notion that losses are better than wins at this point, the importance of Sebastian Janikowski, the future of Terrelle Pryor and the decision to deactivate the troublesome Rolando McClain for Sunday’s game.

On the crowd noise playing a role in getting the Raiders the shutout against Kansas City:

“I feel like the fans had a big part in it there on that fourth-down stop down on the goal line. Down in the Black Hole, I think our fans forcing them into a delay-of-game penalty was a huge part in us being able to get that shutout.”

On the players believing they’re on the right track:

“They continue to believe, and I think they understand that we’re doing the right things, and the product on the field — or the production on the field — is gonna get to where we want it to get to. We just gotta continue to work, and if we do that we’ll get where we want to go.”

On the notion that the Raiders are better off losing right now in order to secure a better draft pick:

“No respect to anybody, but to think that you would go out and try to lose games , that’s a loser’s mentality. You build a winner through winning football games and developing good habits of winning football games. That’s the only reason why we do what we do, is to win games. And so I don’t want our football team, or the Oakland Raiders organization, to ever accept losing as a good thing. It’s not good to lose and we need a win. … Obviously the draft is important. If it wasn’t important they wouldn’t have it. But I think the thing that we’ve gotta all understand is you develop habits in everything that you do. Losing’s a habit; winning’s a habit. And we want to develop the right habit of winning football games.”

On how important Sebastian Janikowski is to this team:

“I think he’s a great football player — not a good football player, a great football player. He’s a big weapon for us. We feel like any time we cross the 50, we’re getting close to scoring range with him. … Having a weapon like that makes you feel good as a football coach.”

On Terrelle Pryor, who played a series against the Chiefs:

“It was a decision that we made going into the game. We wanted to get him the first series of the second quarter, because I wanted to make sure that we got him in the football game and got him a chance to get his feet wet a little bit. Obviously we didn’t have the success that we would hope on that drive. To start off with, the penalty put us in a backed-up situation, but I think the important thing was he did get some game experience, which is the first time he’s been in a football game in a while. We’ll see how things play out moving forward. He’s worked extremely hard to try to improve himself as a quarterback. I’ve said before and I continue to say — and he knows this — he’s not the finished product. But as long as he continues to work, hopefully at some point he’ll develop into that quarterback that maybe we hope he can be.”

On the decision to deactivate Rolando McClain:

“Just like anybody else that’s in that position, Rolando’s a backup player, he’s gonna work on special teams. And when you’re in those situations, we have to make decisions on the 46-man active roster of who we feel like gives us the best chance to have success. And we chose to make him inactive for the football game.”

Listen to Dennis Allen on 95.7 The Game here

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