When the Oakland Raiders named Dennis Allen as their next head coach, I knew it was a move in the wrong direction. With other experienced candidates on the board such as Marty Mornhinwig, Mike Tice, and Todd Bowles, it did not make much sense for the Raiders to go after Allen. However, the decision was made, and a year later, the Raider Nation find themselves no better than where they were a year ago, in fact, they are significantly worse.
Allen finished his first season as head coach with a 4-12 record, which tied for third worst in the league. Although Allen had little to work with, a 4-12 record is unacceptable. However, despite the disappointing season, Allen will most likely be retained, because general manager Reggie McKenzie is tied to him. It would look bad to make a coaching change after only one season, and would certainly create a buzz on whether or not McKenzie is a good judge of talent.
With that said, I believe McKenzie should pull the trigger and cut his losses, even if it reflects badly on him. There are plenty of coaches available that would fit the Raiders culture to a tee, most notably Jon Gruden. The former coach and now turned ESPN analyst was widely known as “Chucky” during his tenure in Oakland. The nickname and his coaching style both fit the Raiders culture perfectly and revived the team to prominence.
Since Gruden’s departure, the Raiders have been a laughingstock, compiling an atrocious 60-116 record, including seven coaches: Bill Callahan, Norv Turner, Art Shell, Lane Kiffin, Tom Cable, Hue Jackson, and now Dennis Allen.
Gruden was well-respected and loved the Raider Nation, and they in fact loved him back. When Gruden was working a game on Monday Night Football in Oakland, he had this to say;
“I am excited to be reunited with the fans. That environment always appealed to me.”
Whether the Raiders choose to stand by Allen or not, it remains clear, that a change must be made. And if they don’t, expect the number of losses to pile up, and the boo birds to continue to reign from the stands, because with quality of coaches like Chucky unemployed, the least the Raiders front office could have done is ask.