While Reggie McKenzie continues to clean the financial mess left by Al Davis and Hue Jackson, Dennis Allen is playing the waiting game. The newest head coach in Oakland is waiting to see who will be left standing once McKenzie’ contract wrecking ball swings through the roster clearing some much needed cap space.
No doubt there have already been plenty of behind the scenes discussion between McKenzie and Allen. After all, a coach can’t do his job unless he knows a little something about the men he’ll be coaching.
In recent weeks there has been plenty of speculation on just who will remain on the Raiders roster once McKenzie gets his franchise in cap compliance. Pretty much any defensive player given a healthy contract by Al Davis is rumored to be going the way of Stanford Routt out of Oakland.
Michael Huff is among those considered to be in McKenzie’s crosshairs. That is why Huff’s recent Tweet about a convo he had with his new head coach could shed some light on his future as a Raider.
According to Huff, he and Allen had a “great talk”. Huff goes on to proclaim that he loves what Allen has planned for “us on D”. Key word being “us”.
Once upon a time Allen played in the last line of defense just like Huff. As a safety at Texas A&M Allen earned the reputation as a hard-nosed defender. A trait most every successful safety must have. Perhaps he sees some untapped potential in Huff and has convinced the former Longhorn to take a pay cut in order to stay in the Bay.
Huff’s career in Oakland as been uneven at best. Early on it looked like he was on his way to being another one of Al’s speedy draft busts (Derrick Gibson, Patrick Bates anyone?). You know they type. They’re careers typically are over in about as little time as took for them to run the 40-yards that caught the eye of Davis.
Huff was an exceptional athlete coming out of Austin that looked like he could become a rangy and opportunistic safety at the next level. Over the years he’s been utilized in a multitude of ways with next to no results until the last couple of seasons. Before the previous coaching staff was sent out the door there was talk of Huff making the full-time conversion to cornerback.
Despite Huff’s increase in production in recent years, his mistakes are glaring and impossible to ignore. If Raider Nation played a drinking game for every open-field tackles whiffed on by Huff then chances are the DUI rate would explode on Sundays.
Still, there is enough talent there that most any coach would be enamored to try and get the most out of Huff Daddy.
If Allen sees untapped potential in Huff then he’d have to fight a battle on two fronts. For one he needs Reggie McKenzie to put away the sword. Secondly he’ll need Huff and his agent to be willing to lose some cash in order to save him from McKenzie’s looming cuts. Either way it would appear that Allen has some sort of plan in place for Huff. The only question is does McKenzie share that same vision?