The Oakland Raiders have reportedly hired Denver Broncos' defensive coordinator Dennis Allen as their new head coach. On Tuesday evening, January 24, a report was released from Fox Sports that indicated the Raiders reached an agreement with Allen but are still hammering out the final details of the contract.
Adam Schefter with ESPN says the deal has been worked out but it is just not signed. The Raiders haven't made the official announcement, but I wouldn't be surprised if we heard something from them today. Just before Allen went in for his final interview, Paul Gutierrez with CSN spoke with him and Allen said it would be an honor to work for the Raiders and that it would be an exciting opportunity.
Denver's defensive line coach, Wayne Nunnely, said it would be a big blow for the Broncos to lose him, but commented on how great Allen would be for the Raiders. Nunnely said, "He's a great leader, organized. I think he does a great job in preparing gameplans as well as getting the players (ready to play). He does a great job in front of the players... He'll do a good job. And really, he's young and he's energetic and that type of stuff, and has a great football mind and he'll do a great job. A great, great job."
Although many fans hoped for a miracle out of McKenzie, such as the likes of former head coach Jon Gruden or the former Pittsburgh coach Bill Cowher, out of the names that had been released on his short-list of candidates Allen seemed to be the better man. And, as Raider fans, we don't have much choice in the matter, so if Allen is the new head coach, we should back him up 100% and have faith that he will be the man to take the Raiders back to where they need to be.
The Silver and Black need to make a lot of improvement on defense, and Allen would be the first defensive minded coach hired in 43 years, when John Madden was brought on as the Raiders head coach in 1969. At just 39 years old, he'll be the youngest coach in the league, but when Jon Gruden was hired on, he was just 35. Al Davis himself was only 34 when he became the Raiders head coach.
With Allen hired as the Broncos defensive coordinator in January 2011, it was obvious that Denver's defense was hugely improved. Much of quarterback Tim Tebow's success should really be credited to their defense. When the Broncos were on their six-game winning streak, they held their opponents to an average 17 points per game.
Allen's hiring could definitely make for an interesting 2012 season. With Oakland's defense stronger, coupled with a healthier offense that already has so many stand-out players, a 49ers/Raiders Super Bowl next year may not seem so far fetched after all.
K.C. Dermody grew up in the Bay Area of California, and has been an Oakland Raiders fan for her entire life. She has continued her loyalty to the team through its many ups and downs over the decades, and has been privileged to meet several of her favorite players, including famed quarterback, Jim Plunkett.
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