Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

For Dennis Allen The Training Wheels Are Off


2012 was always going to be a difficult year for the Oakland Raiders franchise. There was no way around it. No team in the history of football had the sort of reconstruction the Raiders faced last year. Al Davis was the alpha and omega of the Raider franchise for decades. The number of men hired to replace all of the duties he did speaks volumes.

With that said Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen took great liberties with the positions each was in during this past year.

McKenzie had a salary cap mess that permitted the removal of players no matter their importance to the franchise.

Allen had a roster with talent but no depth that allowed for a learn-on-the-job approach.

But that was then and this is now.

Then Allen thought he could somehow reinvent the wheel by scrapping an offensive system that produced for one he simply preferred. We all know how that ended and if Allen ever tries to prove he’s the smartest man in the room again it could likely be the end of his head coaching career.

Simply put the training wheels are off. You rarely get an entire year in pro football to figure things out. If you’re not sure coming out of camp then more than likely you won’t be given a full 16 games to do so. Allen had that luxury but the increasing angst of Mark Davis has made the leash even shorter.

In the first game of the season Allen’s team looked unprepared as evident by the long snapper debacle that derailed the season opener.

That too is something that cannot happen again. With all due respect to Allen his predecessor, Hue Jackson, didn’t even have an offseason due to the lockout yet he was able to get his team ready to go for the start of the season.

Allen has the respect of his players which is a good thing. But so too did Tom Cable and Jackson. We know where they ended up. If Allen wants to avoid a similar fate he’ll need to get with the program and understand that coaches on scholarship are only accepted in San Diego.

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  • chucka1122

    It is terrible when your kicker is the best player on your team!!! D. Allen had his year to not do well and learn, now it is all on him. The Raiders have fired coach after coach and after a 4-12 season they decide to keep this guy when guys like Andy Reid and Lovie Smith are out there. Allen has a lot to prove to Raider fans and he had better do much better next season and quickly or it will be time to move on again. I do agree that this team lacked depth in a big way, but to go to an offense just because you like it, does not mean it is going to work. The team was 8-8 the previous 2 seasons and was so much worse. I think Lovie Smith would be a great coach for the Raiders and I am kind of hoping he takes a season off, because I do not think Allen is going to do much better next year. Best scenario for the Raiders is to trade down in the draft and try and get more picks.