Dennis Allen is suffering through, perhaps, the worst stretch of games in Raiders history. That’s saying something given the last decade of brutal football. Not exactly the way any first year head coach wants to begin his career.
While it might appear as if the Raiders have committed that great sin of all sins in sports – quitting – there isn’t a man in the locker room that will admit to it. In fact, some are going out of their way to reassure us all that the team is still behind Allen and his staff.
Desmond Bryant told the SF Chronicle that nobody is calling the staff into question.
“We all support Coach. We’re all behind him. We just have to go out there and ball. Keep working.”
Talk is cheap though. We’ve heard this same song and dance after each of the last four contests all of which were more painful to sit through than a Twilight marathon. So for Bryant to take up his coach’s cause feels a little forced. After all, what we’re seeing on the field looks nothing like a team being pushed by the coaches.
This season feels every bit the part of a franchise rebuilding with its players feeling there is no job security regardless of how they perform.
That’s just the reality and for Reggie McKenzie to spin it any other way is insulting to the most faithful fans in football.
Now I’m obviously not privy at all to anything that goes on inside the Raiders locker room. Last Sunday there was an unquestionable improvement made after the Silver and Black fell behind 24-0. So there is some pride left and there is inspired coaching still happening.
The real problem is accountability. That has been the issue long before Allen arrived and it’s continuing on his watch. The players must be held accountable. We’re seeing the same mistakes every week. The coaches too must be held accountable. If there’s seeing the same problems then new fixes must be put in place.
While it is a good thing for Bryant and other players to step up in support of their coach it is still very much a mixed message. Talking the talk is one thing. Walking it is another. We only see what happens on Sundays so Monday thru Saturday could be a different story. Of course there aren’t any trophies handed out for practice. So until we see an actual improvement on the field I’ll take any locker room support of Allen with a grain of salt.