Dennis Allen’s career path to becoming an NFL head coach included stops in New Orleans and Denver prior to his arrival in Oakland. Naturally as the Raiders and Broncos are AFC West rivals, Allen will have ample opportunity to see his former employers in the coming years if he can outlast his previous coaching counterparts in the East Bay.
However if Allen does remain in Oakland for the foreseeable future he’ll have few chances to reunite with the team that really gave him his big NFL break – the New Orleans Saints.
That’s why this Sunday’s NFL reunion for Allen is all the more bittersweet than that of Denver.
When last Allen was employed by the Saints he won a Super Bowl ring. As we all know what has followed since has been the stuff of NFL lore as the on-going bounty scandal has dominated the landscape of professional football.
While Allen has said little of his feelings on bountygate you know his heart goes out to the Saints and all that franchise has endured in the last six months. But let’s hope his sentimental feelings quickly vanish once the game starts.
Let’s not forget how things went the last time Allen faced a former employer. The Broncos put Raider Nation on alert that we were looking at a long season while Allen capped off a miserable afternoon with a bit of controversy. For those that have forgotten the camera caught Allen and former boss John Fox sharing a laugh in the wake of a 31-point beat down.
The picture didn’t endure Allen to Raider Nation early and the team’s recent string of poor performances hasn’t helped the new coaching staff in their hopes of keeping the fans content.
Now nobody is saying a loss on Sunday will be the result of Allen rolling over for his former bosses. Quite the opposite you’d expect Allen to what to show them the promise they saw in his abilities. However I’m guessing no matter the result you won’t catch Allen cracking any smiles once the game clock expires. Of course nobody cares how he reacts so long as the Raiders win.