Dennis Allen Retained as Head Coach of Oakland Raiders

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2014

Getty Images

After a disappointing 2013 campaign, the Oakland Raiders have decided to retain head coach Dennis Allen.

ESPN's Paul Gutierrez was first to report the news:

Steve Corkran of the Contra Costa Times confirmed the report:

Allen was hired after spending a decade as a defensive coach for the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints and Denver Broncos, with whom he served as defensive coordinator for one season. 

The front office was looking for progress after the team went 4-12 in his first season. Although Oakland was more competitive in Allen's second season, the results were the same. However, owner Mark Davis has decided to give Allen another chance at improving Oakland's fortunes.

Michael Silver of reported Allen was on the hot seat heading into the final weeks of the regular season. He stated many players on the roster supported him and thought decisions made by general manager Reggie McKenzie were a bigger source of the issues:

I've talked to several Raiders players who believe this is a good coaching staff and coordinators Tarver and Greg Olson (who signed a two-year deal before this season after replacing the fired Greg Knapp) are doing a terrific job with deficient talent. And they think it's wrong to blame Allen for the talent deficiencies caused by the team's well-documented salary cap troubles and decisions that can be traced to McKenzie.

The biggest point of contention is whether Allen had the players to succeed. Allen was forced to overcome poor quarterback play from Matt FlynnTerrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin, among others. That isn't an easy task for any head coach.

Tom Flores, a former Raiders coach, spoke to John Lund of the team's official website and addressed Allen and the coaching situation late in the season.

"First of all, the coach is always on the hot seat, you know that as a coach," Flores said. "But you can’t change coaches every two years, every time you do that you take a step back."

While it takes a complete roster to make a push toward the playoffs, quarterback remains the most important position. Allen didn't have a reliable signal-caller under center, and at the very least, that made his path to success much more difficult.

The Raiders now face the important task this offseason of trying to find a franchise quarterback. Doing so would give Allen a far greater chance of success.

Stability is crucial if the Raiders are going to get back in the playoff mix in the near future, and Oakland is banking on Allen to take it there.