Though the 2-4 Raiders only sit a half-game back of the idle Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers in the AFC West, it is obvious this team is not prepared for a sustained playoff push this season—and possibly the foreseeable future.
In his first year as Oakland's head man, Allen is quickly familiarizing himself with the mess left by past regimes. And after an up-and-down start to the 2012 season, the question arises whether or not he is the man to make the Raiders relevant in the AFC once again.
The Raiders have some solid pieces in place on offense. When healthy, running back Darren McFadden is one of the best in the NFL. And Darrius Heyward-Bey and Denarius Moore are decent pieces in a young receiving corps.
The biggest issue with Oakland, however, has been a porous defense and—maybe more importantly—an overall lack of depth on the roster.
Potentially trading away two first-round draft picks for quarterback Carson Palmer highlights one of the franchise's biggest problem areas.
Why the Raiders sent the Cincinnati Bengals premium draft choices on a gamble that Palmer could return to form puzzled many.
The lack of top-end talent can easily be fixed with properly assessing rookies at the draft. Not having those picks will prevent Oakland from taking the necessary steps toward progressing as a franchise.
The fact that Allen has been hamstrung in this department—and that most of the current roster was in place before he arrived—should be enough to buy him another season in Oakland.
While it may take more than a second season for Allen to firmly plant himself in his current role, he certainly shouldn't be punished for what is happening in 2012 and deserves more time to show what he can do.
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