It’s no secret that the Oakland Raiders are currently a struggling football team.
They finished out their 2012-2013 season with a 4-12 record, and will hold the 3rd overall pick in the NFL draft. That pick should help the franchise a lot, as they have plenty of gaps to fill on their roster, and there’s no better way of doing so with some fresh and young talent.
But even if the Raiders do have a great draft and head into the new year with a solid squad, will they still succeed under head coach Dennis Allen?
Allen came to the Raiders after most recently serving as the defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos. Allen is clearly a defensive-minded coach, and at times you could see it come back to bite the Raiders. His often conservative play-calling would drive Raiders fans crazy, and a lot of times it seems like he was misusing Oakland’s speedy receivers.
In Allen’s first year with the team, the Raiders scored 18.1 PPG (26th in the league) and had only 88.8 rushing yards per game (28th in the league).
To me, the biggest surprise is the 88.8 rushing yards per game. They were very close to last place in that category, while boasting two talented running backs.
Darren McFadden is as gifted and elite a running back as they come, and Mike Goodson is a reliable and efficient back-up. Granted, both suffered high ankle sprains during the season, but it was a shame to see them squander in the new “zone-blocking scheme” that the Raiders brought in. It was a strategy that before the season, was being said would be a breakthrough and highly efficient scheme.
Clearly, Dennis Allen and offensive coordinator Greg Knapp went with the wrong plan there, as it turned out miserably for the Raiders. Knapp lost his job at the end of the season, and was replaced with Greg Olson (former offensive coordinator for Tampa Bay, Detroit, and St. Louis).
So should Dennis Allen also be sent off?
The 18.1 PPG, which also is close to dead-last in the NFL, shows either two things: Allen being conservative on the play-calling, or the Oakland Raiders just not having talent on their offensive squad.
Which do you think it is?
The Raiders clearly are not one of the more talented teams in the NFL, on offense or defense. But they have some guys that can really play well, especially on offense, where they should be scoring more points.
You’re telling me you can’t score more than 18.1 points per game with Carson Palmer, Denarius Moore, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Darren McFadden, and Mike Goodson? Really?
Moore and Heyward-Bey are some of the fastest guys in the league, and that part of their game needs to be utilized more. Run more screen plays, take more shots down the field, etc.
Heck, Allen could have gone with Terrelle Pryor earlier in the season too, when he saw the struggles Palmer was having. Maybe Pryor could have became the new Colin Kaepernick. Maybe he still can…
And even on the defensive side, Allen could have done a better job. He coached an elite Broncos defense to success, why couldn’t he bring some of that to the Raiders?
Oakland’s defense is clearly not as talented or experienced as that of the Broncos, but they are still a group of professional football players.
Is Dennis Allen a bad football coach, or are the Oakland Raiders just a horrible football team? Can they even be coached?
Look, the Raiders are bad. It’s obvious. They don’t know who their starting quarterback will be next year, their roster needs major improvement, and their coaching staff really needs to come together.
With Greg Knapp already let go this offseason, is it time for Dennis Allen to join him? Should the Raiders go for a more offensive-minded coach, somebody who will utilize their speed and explosiveness?
Or should they stick with Allen and give him another year to work with the team?
Leave us comments with your thoughts and opinions.