So, Dennis Allen has agreed to become the new head coach of the Oakland Raiders.
Good! Great! Grand! Wonderful! Everyone on the bus!
As a lifelong member of Raider Nation I’ve seen an introductory press conference or 8 in my day. More often than not it is the same old promises of winning, blah, blah, blah, improving, blah, blah, blah, discipline, blah, blah, blah…
In order to help Allen on his first go-round as an NFL head coach, I’d like to offer some advice which I’d suggest he follow in his first year in the East Bay.
Win or lose, do not go .500 – Want to be back in the bread line this same time next year? Go out and win as many games as you lose. Nothing worse than being middle of the road in Oakland, just ask the last two men that coached in the East Bay. We want our Raiders to either suck more than a porn star when the rent is due or to win like Tiger Woods in a Hooter’s at closing time.
Don’t promise Super Bowls, promise to improve the defense – Allen arrives as the first defensive mind to be hired as a Raiders head coach since John Madden. That is saying something. It also says a lot that this defense has been dismal for a decade now. We don’t need to hear meaningless rhetoric of guaranteed success. Just give us a defense on par with the offense and things will work themselves out.
Keep Al Saunders – I realize Reggie McKenzie is new to this process. But Raider Nation is burnt out on learning new coaches like the son of the loosest chick on the block is tired of learning the names of new dads. I get that Dennis Allen will want to get his people in place but just cause you’ve got a new car doesn’t mean you need new shoes to drive it. Allen’s concentration needs to be on the defense. Oakland’s offense was a top 10 unit with Saunders calling the plays. Don’t go Josh McDaniels and try to reinvent the wheel. Stick with what has worked, make sure there is some continuity and let the better performing half of the team be rewarded with not having to learn another offense all over again.
End all of the penalty problems – Want to impress Raider Nation with a guarantee? Forget the Rex Ryan Super Bowl routine and instead promise us a team that won’t be penalized more than the cast of Diff’rent Strokes. No more excuses. No more fingers of blame. Get this team focused and do it yesterday. This should really be at the top of the list.
Don’t get comfortable – Hue Jackson thought he could run the show and do whatever he felt. He threw his team under the bus and he got thrown onto the street. Tom Cable thought he could rejoice in getting the Raiders up to mediocre. Chances are he’ll never be a head coach in the NFL again. Yes, you need to feel a sense of support from management but you also need that feeling like there’s a gun to the back of your head at all times. Hold the coaches and players equally accountable but above all else keep yourself in check. This is the NFL which stands for Not For Long when you assume you’ll always be the man.
Welcome aboard, Dennis Allen! Hopefully we’re not going through this whole process again next year with another name.