Oakland Raiders: Who Is New Head Coach Dennis Allen?

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Oakland Raiders: Who Is New Head Coach Dennis Allen?
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The firing of Hue Jackson after a near-playoff berth in 2011 may have been suspect, but the Raiders were going for a complete overhaul after the death of NFL legend Al Davis.

Former Broncos defensive coordinator Dennis Allen represents this renewed commitment to excellence.

As much as Al Davis was loved, his control over everything wasn't helping the Raiders. Davis' oversight wasn't just over front-office decisions, but included, as safety Michael Huff said, his "hands all over the defense (per the Contra Costa Times).

According  to Len Pasquarelli of The Sports Xchange, the hiring of Allen was not a decision backed by John Madden or other influential voices involved with the Raider organization. It "was a McKenzie call" and one that will no doubt shake up the organization.

Having coached for an extended period under the offensively minded Sean Payton, Allen has all the tools he needs to succeed with the Raiders. He said himself that there are "great resources that [he] can count on to give [him] advice anytime."

At 39 years old, he isn't much older than players like Richard Seymour, but this youthful energy will bring a spark to what is already a very athletic team.

But Allen won't be satisfied with just talent. As a former defensive coordinator, he will instill discipline into a team that has been notoriously one of the most penalized in the league.

It takes time to change the culture of a team, but he appears ready greet the challenge.

As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, Allen recognizes the "playoff-level talent."

Whether he harnesses it and rights the Raider ship remains to be seen.

 

Read more of my writing on Bases and Baskets

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