With Greg Knapp said to be in place as Oakland’s offensive coordinator Dennis Allen can now shift his attention to his bread and butter – the defense.
While Chuck Bresnahan has yet to be officially let go it is all but obvious that he won’t return as defensive coordinator. Considering the fact that over a year ago Bresnahan sat around for weeks as a defensive coach before finally being named the coordinator, this twisting in the wind act must be old news for him.
When it comes to old news Allen is building his staff with blasts from the past. Knapp returns to Oakland in the same coaching capacity three years after leaving with Lane Kiffin. Now the news is that Allen is looking to tap another AFC West retread by interviewing former Chargers defensive coordinator Greg Manusky for the same position.
Manusky was in San Diego for all of one season but was fired by Norv Turner. Prior to that Manusky was on the other side of the Bay coordinating the 49ers defense for some years.
One name that you won’t hear mentioned in Oakland’s defensive coordinator search is that of Richard Smith. Dennis Allen was looking to bring Smith over from Denver where he coached linebackers. Having to lose one coach to an AFC West rival was apparently one too many for Denver’s liking. The Broncos denied Allen and the Raiders the opportunity to talk to Smith.
Whoever inherits the job will have all eyes of Raider Nation focused on them. Were it not for some poor defensive showings the Raiders would have easily walked away with the AFC West crown. The writing was on the wall early in the season after the Raiders defense rolled over for the Buffalo Bills in a second half collapse in week 2 that would prove costly late in the season. Let’s not even get into what happened against the Lions.
Allen arrives with a defensive pedigree so there is no secret as to why he was hired. This defense must improve against the run and has to regain its ability to blanket the field in coverage.