Mar 25, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen speaks to reporters at the NFL Annual Meetings. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

Dennis Allen praises Raiders progress in offseason

Dennis Allen barely escaped the 2013 NFL season with his first head coaching job intact as after a promising start, injuries decimated an already weak roster leading to a lengthy losing streak to end the year that had Raiders fans and the media (along with owner Mark Davis) openly questioning Allen’s job security.

Ultimately Allen was retained as head coach for another year on his four year contract, keeping the rebuilding plan the team set forth on intact while bringing in significantly more talent than Allen has had to work with over his two seasons at the helm in Oakland. With veterans Justin Tuck, James Jones, and LaMarr Woodley amongst others joining the Raiders roster in addition to a highly lauded draft class, Allen went on Sirius XM NFL Radio with Gil Brandt and Howard Davis feeling confident in the progress his team has made since the season concluded in December.

“We’re making a lot of progress,” Allen told hosts Brandt and Davis while adding that their goal is to restore the proud legacy of a Raiders franchise that has been under down times for now over a decade. “We’ve got things going in the right direction. Everything we’ve done is offseason is about getting the Raiders back to where they need to be, back to the glory days of this team. We still have that same commitment to excellence. We’re looking forward to this season and getting an opportunity to show what we can do.”

As for when that turning around of the franchise will be, Allen feels that now is as good of a time as any for Oakland to have a breakout season to bring positivity back to the Raider Nation.

“It’s time,” Allen said. “We need to get this team back to where it needs to be. We need to be a team of relevance, not only in in the AFC West but in the NFL as a whole. I think we’ve made a lot of steps toward getting that done this year.”

“Our job is to win,” Allen said. “I feel like we’re building the right type of team. We’re excited about the opportunity. We’re going to play wherever they tell us to. We’re going to line up and give it everything we’ve got, and I feel like we have a good chance to win.”

With a difficult season ahead, Allen’s mission to bring the Raiders back to relevance is a tough one based on the fact that Oakland will have the toughest schedule in the NFL in 2014 playing six games against the three AFC West teams that made the playoffs in 2013 as well as four games against the NFC West which is considered to be the toughest division in football. The difficult schedule will give Allen plenty of chances for signature wins over the likes of the Broncos, Niners, and Seahawks however which are all measuring stick matchups that the Raiders surely are looking forward to. If Allen along with the Raiders coaching staff and players can bring the Raiders back into relevance this season it would be even more special given the degree of difficulty they are facing. For now, Allen is focused on the clear progress they have made this offseason. Only time will tell if that progress in roster building translates to wins, but based on Allen’s comments the Raiders head coach is positive that a better roster will translate into a drastically better 2014.

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  • Bob

    Another 4-12 season and Allen could be gone.

  • Arty G

    Go suck a D••K Bob!!!

  • chase ruttig

    Play nice Bob, it is only May after all.

  • Ralphryder

    The only way DA keeps his head coach position is if at the end of the season we are sitting at 7-9 or 8-8.

  • Bob

    Others were pushing for this last year. I don’t think Mark will accept another 4-12 season without major changes.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    Bob, you are the balance between optimism and a defeated attitude, but have faith, the Raiders return to glory has begun.

  • Brutus

    If we’re 4-12, Allen will likely lose his job – that isn’t going to happen. Look at the talent we had on the team last year and it could have been an 8-8 or 9-7 team if they had a little more veteran leadership. The offense hurt us in the first half and the defense in the second half. We signed the vets who know how to win and lead. We had a great draft and some UDFAs who could be interesting. We will likely sign a few more free agents when cuts start to happen.
    I think the odds are good that this team will finally have a winning season and compete for a playoff spot – even if it turns out to be 9-7 and a chance at a wildcard, but I think we will surprise a lot of people. Screw the talk about a tough schedule. If we are contenders, we are competitive against everyone and win our share. I want to beat the Broncos with Manning playing at a Pro Bowl level, not after he retires. This is the year we surprise everyone – not predicting anything crazy, but I will go on record saying we will be at least 9-7 even with this schedule.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    I agree, shock the Nation and the world!

  • Angel

    Worst to first!!!! Raiders baby!!

  • Michael Klein

    Bob- unfortunately you are a realist after more than a dozen years of ineptitude. Even though defensively & the O line is going to be significantly better you are probably correct. (Skilled Offense positions almost no improvement)

    The schedule itself and the travel is going to be a huge burden to overcome. We not only have the hardest schedule but we don’t travel well either. We have many east coast games, play in the 2nd toughest division in football and play the toughest out of conference division in football. SF, Sea, StL, Ariz

    We lose one of our home games to London so 9 away games. Still have poor coaching. I don’t know how we overcome being a poor travel team (12-game losing streak in games played in the Eastern time zone) without spending money the Raiders don’t have on traveling earlier in the week to try and offset the lag they seem to have on the field.

    The best that you can hope is that the Raiders pay as much attention to improving the skilled offensive positions next year as they did the defense and o line this year. I would have much rather seen the Schaub money go to Chris Johnson or Desean Jackson.

    Even though their is some real personnel improvement and the first real draft in more than a decade it is not enough to guzzle the Jim Jones Kool Aid…. yet. I would love for us both to be wrong and the Raiders win the Super Bowl but at some point you have to become a realist.

  • B Christopher

    The Raiders ALWAYS have the toughest schedule, plus, they don’t only gave the toughest teams in the league, but, they also have to put up with the toughest, most ridiculous calls by the referees each and every season. What is wrong with these NFL referees? Why is it when replacement refs come in the Raiders are the least penalized team, and when the “regular” zebras are back, they get right back to being the most penalized team in the league. Just look at all the names that are renowned in football lore for the botched calls by refs, I won’t name them all, but, they make me sick. I just wish, for one season, we didn’t have to get all those bullshit calls. JUST ONE! The way that the league waits to get rid of the “tuck-rule” until Al dies just goes to show you that it IS real, and it IS a conscience, conserted effort by the league to over-penalize the Raiders. That stupid, idiotic call cost us our fourth & fifth Superbowls, and catapulted the golden boy, Saint Brady into relevance. They never miss a call when anyone is around him, do they?
    So, you say “the hardest schedule”. I say, “I DONT CARE!” Just don’t call 15 bullshit penalties on us!”

  • Jaime Olguin

    We sure look great on paper but its going to take a commitment from the players and this coashing staff
    and go the extra mile tord hard work, I personally believe and have faith that Dennis and Reggie brought in
    the right players to get us to that next level. and we will see this team make that next step to relevance,
    for this is our year no doubt. Great article Chase,
    You and Shane write the best, I love reading your articles,
    Win lose or tie Raiders till we Die.

  • Raider Grant

    Lol, I guess I’m not the Raiders harshest critic, and believe we should be better then 4-12 next season. If not, maybe everyone could accept Allen is NOT ready to be a head coach. Anyone could achieve success if allotted enough time to do so, our time is now, we require a head coach to be successful today, not 2-3 more years down the road. Go Raiders

  • Raider Grant

    Exactly, Nothing can be wrong if everything is always right! Some people on JBB claim to be REALISTS, but fail to see what’s right in front of them??? Go Raiders!!!