In case you haven’t noticed, we’re entering a very different era of Raider football. Just how different things will be remains to be seen. Sure, all of the changes to the coaching staff and perhaps the roster will make this a different team, but will the results differ?
We won’t begin to know any of that until the team takes the field. Until then we’re left to speculate and debate.
Currently simmering on the front burner is the unofficial new head coach of the Oakland Raiders, Dennis Allen.
What little we know of the one year defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos is slowly being revealed by those that know him and his pedigree.
On the one hand you’ve got Shane Lechler who actually played with Allen during their time together at Texas A&M. Allen played safety for the Aggies and earned the reputation as a no nonsense defender. Lechler touts Allen’s intelligence in the following quote given to the AP.
“He’s a smart guy. He knows defenses well. He schemes really good.”
While Lechler knows Allen the player, it’s the men he coached in Denver that got to know the newest Raider coach the best. Earning high praise from an All-Pro like Champ Bailey is really saying something. In fact, Bailey sees his AFC West rivals becoming a tough test with Allen at the helm.
“He knew how to get us ready. He’s one of the most intense coaches I’ve had. I know what type of team he’s going to have. Very intense, hard-nosed, tough. That’s the way he is. That’s what I expect his team to be.”
All of those qualities will be well received if they translate in Oakland. Hue Jackson sought to build a bully but by the sound of things Allen is looking to brand a beast.
While toughness and intensity are welcomed there is another issue that the Raiders in dire need of rebuilding – discipline.
You don’t shatter NFL records in penalties and penalty yards without losing focus often. Disciplining a roster of grown men that get paid serious jack is much easier said than done. But that is exactly the task that Allen must confront head on. In order for this franchise to get back on track the silver and black have got to stop being their own worst enemies.
If you believe what Denver DB Andre Goodman has to say then discipline is on its way to the East Bay.
“His thing is discipline, discipline, discipline. Do everything right, all the time, and never let up.”