- Associated Press - Sunday, August 17, 2014

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) - Oakland coach Dennis Allen is reserving judgment when it comes to his team’s pass defense. After consecutive poor performances in the secondary, Allen is still looking for more evidence of any problems.

Charles Woodson agrees it’s still too early to panic, though the eight-time Pro Bowl defensive back clearly doesn’t share the same optimistic view as Allen.

The Raiders’ first-team defense had several issues in their first two preseason games, giving up three touchdowns in four series while starting quarterbacks Matt Cassel of Minnesota and Matt Stafford of Detroit were on the field.

Allen, a former secondary coach as an assistant with New Orleans, downplayed the problems. Oakland’s coach acknowledged two big breakdowns in the coverage during Friday’s 27-26 win over the Lions but said he’s not reading too much into it.

Woodson, the 2009 Defensive Player of the Year, feels otherwise.

“You have to read into it a little bit because we started those games slow and allowed teams to go down the field and put up points,” Woodson said Sunday. “As a defense, there’s something into as far as that’s concerned. When we come out in games, we have to be ready to go.”

Oakland’s defense has been anything but ready to go so far.

Stafford engineered touchdown drives on Detroit’s first two possessions, completing 9 of 10 throws for 88 yards. He repeatedly threw to wide-open receivers, including a 28-yard touchdown to Golden Tate, who used a double-move to shake Oakland cornerback Tarell Brown.

The Lions scored again on Stafford’s 4-yard touchdown to wide receiver Kris Durham.

A week earlier in Minnesota, Cassel was nearly flawless while completing 5 of 6 passes for 62 yards. The Vikings ended Cassel’s only series with a touchdown.

“There were plays for us to make and we didn’t make them,” Allen said. “What I don’t want to do, and what I’m not going to do, is … it’s hard to look at a quarter, a quarter and a half of football, and try to project what that’s going to look like for an entire season. I thought we did a good job coming back and making the adjustments.”

Things may get rougher before they get better.

DJ Hayden is recovering from foot surgery. Backup Chimdi Chekwa is nursing a knee injury and is likely to miss the remainder of the preseason, as is key reserve Taiwan Jones.

Hayden has been extremely limited in his rehab. He made one appearance in training camp when he did running drills on the sidelines. Beyond that, the former first-round draft pick hasn’t been able to do anything.

With Hayden out, Brown and Carlos Rogers have taken the majority of reps at cornerback. Rogers slides inside to play the slot on third downs.

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