It is time for a New Direction
After a 23-13 loss at the hands of the divisional rival Chargers, Dennis Allen’s time in Oakland might be up. Him losing the job is not necessarily a reflection of Allen, but a relection of the orginazation.
When Dennis Allen took the job as head coach, he understood what he signed up for. It was going to be a complete overhaul. This was a team who lost its direction, and lost its legendary leader. The franchise needed to create a new culture of winning. No one said it would be easy, and it hasn’t been. The team faced a horrible salary cap situation, work ethic concerns, and more athletecism than football ability.
Dennis Allen is 8-23 as the leader of this team. The team still lacks a franchise quarterback. There is no consistent #1 reciever or lockdown corner. The defense and offense are both variables week to week. The Raiders still have problems with penalties as they committed 13 against the Chargers. What has really changed?
Well anyone who has watched this Raider team has seen a difference in how they compete. The Raiders play hard, they have bought into Allen’s regime and vision. Unfortunately, that has not lead towins.
Charles Woodson put it into perspective when he said coach Allen just doesn’t have the things he needs. Even another Raider said Allen puts them into a position to win, but it is up to them to do something with it. Therefore, in Allen’s defense maybe he just hasn’t had the talent to compete at this level. The Raiders were predicted to be a bottom feeder team, as they had a record high dead money salary. Allen was forced to weather that storm, along with other pieces of adversity. Fortunately for the Raiders, that dead salary comes off the books this season, and will give the Raiders $70 million in cap space. Does Allen Deserve another shot to lead the Raiders once they have more talent?
Many reporters and people close to the Raiders have defended Allen and have said he deserves to stay. Even owner Marc Davis has preached patience. However, The Raiders do not owe Allen anything other than the money he is due.
I understand Dennis Allen has done much of the dirty work by leading a talent defecient team. Maybe it would be fair to see what he can do with a better squad, but no one said the NFL was fair. Hue Jackson got fired after one 8-8 season. The two are different circumstances, but that is an indication of how cut throat this league is.
I understand there are people in the Raiders organization craving stability. Some will say an Allen firing will signal the same old Raiders, and compare Marc Davis to Al Davis. My question is, What stability is there in the organization right now? Every starters job is in question. Even the teams most consistent players could benefit from more competition for their jobs.
The fact is, the Raiders still don’t have an identity after 2 seasons. Sure there seems to be a sense that the Raiders are moving in the right direction, and Allen seems to have a better vision of building a team than previous coaches. However, if Davis really bought into Allen’s vision he would have indicated that by renewing all of the assistants contracts. If the Raiders do decide to replace their assistant coaches then Allen shouldn’t be saved either. They either buy into Allen completely, or sell him completely. If they wait another season then the backlash will be worse. The Raiders will have committed to Allen’s draft picks, Allen’s free agents, and Allen’s assistances, which will lead them to rebuilding again.
Hence, I don’t think the Raiders can move forward with Allen at head coach. Having an 8-23 coach doesn’t exactly attract the big name free agents the Raiders need.Neither do you want the Raiders new draft class having to deal with a coaching overhaul next season. Keeping Allen signifies stability, which is great. But The Raiders need tangible results, which are wins, and they might have took look else where to find that. The Raiders are better off starting the process now, while the slate is blank, rather than waiting for next season.
If the team struggles out of the gate then fans and media will call for Allen’s job. A midseason fire/interim coach situation is not something the Raiders can afford to deal with. Firing Allen and going back to the drawing board will not be that bad because the Raiders still haven’t built anything. Maybe committing to Allen is the start to building something and stability, however, the Raiders should build something with a new leader.
Dennis Allen seems to be widely respected around the league, and I am sure he will find a coordinator position. He should eventually land another head gig, because his struggles were not all his fault. I do not think his firing is an indication of his ability to lead or coach, as Allen did the best with what he had. It is an indication of the direction the Raiders are going. Regardless of what he has dealt with, Allen simply hasn’t had the results he wants or deserves. Firing Dennis Allen will be the example of accountability that Reggie Mckenzie has preached since he became GM of the Raiders. The Raiders want to win, and they need a coach who has done that.
Now that Dennis Allen has moved the Raiders out of the bottom and into respectability, it is time for a new leader to move them into success. The new coach will have a clean slate to mold the team in their vision, as the team has a full slate of draft picks and tons of cap space. Better days are ahead of The Raiders, and Allen deserves a lot of credit for helping this team move out of obscurity. It may not be fair to Allen, but The Organization needs a new face to lead to excellence.