Dennis Allen is a rookie no matter how you slice it. He’s not only a first time head coach in the NFL but he’s a first time head coach altogether. Like all rookies Allen is learning the hard way.
The entire football world bore witness to one of the more painful lessons learned by a rookie head coach during the Week 1 finale of the 2012 NFL season. Allen had to be taught in the most punishing fashion that there are no unimportant positions on a roster – not even backup long snapper.
Today the Raiders signed Nick Guess just in case Jon Condo is a no go for Sunday’s game in Miami. Just who is Nick Guess? Well, he’s the insurance policy Allen never thought he needed.
No matter how much coin Condo might be clocking as a one-trick pony he’s not above injury. That’s clearly something neither Allen nor rookie general manager Reggie McKenzie ever considered. To them the fact that they had a million dollar long snapper must have meant that position was never going to be a concern.
Guess what? Here’s Nick!
Allen’s harsh lesson is Guess’ gain. If Condo can’t prove he’s concussion free then Guess will get to prove he can do what Travis Goethel never could. That Goethel was the next best solution to the Condo conundrum is laughable at best, horrific at worst.
Obviously Allen and his staff spent no time at all preparing for a scenario in which Condo’s services were not an option. Safe to say Coach Allen will never make that mistake again…for any position on his team.
But this is all part of the process. Not many coaches encounter the situation Allen did but that is still no excuse to be so unprepared. Carrying two long snappers is illogical but not having anyone prepared to step in is just plain ignorant. With all due respect to Allen it’s the kind of mistake that could cost lesser men their job given right set of circumstances. Luckily for Allen he made this mistake in his first game as a head coach. Had this come at a more crucial point in a tense season it could have well been his last game as a head coach. It might not seem like a mistake so unforgivable but let this have been a game with the division on the line and tell me how you’d feel about it.