Aug 23, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders coach Dennis Allen reacts during the game against the Chicago Bears at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Firing Dennis Allen Would Just Continue The Cycle For The Oakland Raiders

Hire new coach. Fire new coach. Bring in newer coach.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

This has been the cycle of life for the Oakland Raiders since Jon Gruden left town in 2002 and it’s just worked out swimmingly for the club, hasn’t it?

There was the two years of Bill Callahan (15-17). Then there was two years of Norv Turner (9-23). That was followed by the Art Shell experience (2-14), the Lane Kiffin era (5-15), the Tom Cable dynasty (17-27), the Hue Jackson cameo (8-8) and the Dennis Allen phenomenon (8-23).

Of that group, retrospective says that it was clear Callahan had to go, Shell never should have happened and Kiffin was a monumental error.

Ask people what it takes to have a successful football program at any level and one of the most common answers is continuity.

How in the world can the Raiders have any continuity if 44 games is the longest any system gets a chance to grow?

Cable went 8-8 in his final year (and 6-0 against the AFC West, for what it’s worth) and it earned him a pink slip. Jackson followed him with an 8-8 season and got run out of town at season’s end.

Go back and look at the most successful era in the history of the franchise. From 1966 to 1987, the Raiders were an NFL-best 219-93-8, won three Super Bowls and made the playoffs 15 times in 22 seasons.

Look back at that era and you’ll find three—just three—head coaches. John Rauch coached the Raiders from 1966-68 and was 33-8-1 with a 2-2 postseason record. From 1969-78, John Madden went 103-32-7, went 9-7 in the playoffs and brought the franchise its first Super Bowl title. After Madden retired, Tom Flores had the team from 1979-87 and was 83-53 and 8-3 in the playoffs with two Super Bowl rings.

Three coaches in 22 years. Madden was promoted from Rauch’s staff. Flores was promoted from Madden’s staff.


Since 1988, though, the Raiders have had 12 coaches in 26 seasons: Mike Shanahan, Art Shell, Mike White, Joe Bugel, Jon Gruden, Callahan, Turner, Shell again, Kiffin, Cable, Jackson and Allen.

That’s not continuity. It’s desperation almost to the level of throwing a dart at a board while blindfolded and hoping to hit the right spot.

Shell had some success in his five-plus seasons, reaching the playoffs three times and going to the AFC Championship once. Gruden made the playoffs in the final two years of his four-year stint and Callahan took the club he inherited from Gruden, went to the Super Bowl, and then alienated everyone in the East Bay in 2003.

The numbers say Allen’s tenure hasn’t been great. The Raiders were 26th in points and 28th in points allowed last season. They’ve improved to 25th in points and remained 28th in points allowed this season.

There have also been four starting quarterbacks in two seasons—Carson Palmer, Terrelle Pryor, Matt McGloin and the one-game of Matt Flynn.

Coaches used to come in with what was called a “five-year plan.” The game has changed, but it’s still unrealistic to expect a coach to come in with a “five-game plan” to bring a franchise to respectability.

Tags: Dennis Allen Oakland Raiders

  • Stanley Carr

    Fuck dat, just keeping a sub par coach for continuity is stupid as fuck!!

  • PJ

    Taking a DBs coach to a HC was the biggest mistake, Not firing DA only prolongs the suffering. 2Yrs is plenty to see if a coach is worth his resume. Which DAs was pretty thin. Kelly, Trestman, McCoy, Reid and even Philben have all made instant progress. 8-23 is not progress. Who gets a 5 yr plan to start winning? Anybody who knows football can see instant success with a good coach. Al was short on years and patience, yes, but Mark just wanted to see some progress and there has been none with 2 diff staffs and team.

    • Phil Watson

      Allen was defensive coordinator in Denver before coming to the Raiders. And, hey, if winning four games a year and changing coaches every year or two is fun, enjoy.

      • Phil Mokate

        That’s not the point and I know that, but he was not there long enough to learn anything obviously. I just want wins! Losing this long is draining to watch!

        • Phil Watson

          I understand the losses are frustrating, but next year should be better as the team emerges from the salary cap hell it’s been in. I’d be curious to see what Allen and his staff can do when they can actually bring in some NFL-level talent.

          • Phil Mokate

            What your thoughts now that TP is being thrown under the Broncos bus by DA to make himself look good and TP like a loser! TPs agent is coming off the hook in the media about DAs ploy to save his job off Pryors back! This is why he needs to be fired! This is not the eval. DA said they were going to do. Now He is throwing his young players under the bus to further his career! child, please! SMF!

    • Lee

      Kelly, Trestman, McCoy, etc. all had something the Raiders lack…depth and talent. Damn, when you’ve got $50m in dead money and your starting QB(s) had 0-2 actual starts under their belt, the offensive line was decimated in preseason, your top RB a walking triage, your WR are all young and inexperienced, and so on, and so on, what do you expect. Geez…let’s give it some time to build. Continuity is a start.

      • Phil Mokate

        I agree with his agent whole heartedly. Many, Many fans do as well. So, if Pryor goes in and blows up Denver then how will that look for DA? DA even made the ANNOUNCEMENT that TP was starting against his former EXPERIENCED HC, the next if not the best team in the NFL a week prior to the game? All year long DA has held back what his game plan was until game time. Why now? Why not just hand Fox the game book too? This is so transparent on DAs part it should cost him his job. Setting up a young player to fail as a stepping stone to further or save his own ass? What good HC does that? Lather,rinse, and repeat thank you very much!

      • AF AF AF

        They may lack the depth but calling a run play 3 times and failing when your on the goalline is not acceptable especially when your with the last 2 min. He as a coach lacks half time adjustments, coaching experience. Better coaching in some games could have allowed is to win a couple of more games.

  • Silvia Arredondo

    I agree give Allen his final years in his contract and if things hardly improve then we can talk about letting him go. We are all just frustratred I get it!

    • Don

      Yup, this was his last year of deconstruction. Now we see what the front office and DA can do next season, then make your judgements.

      • Ricky Bobby

        The last step in deconstruction is CANNING DA.

  • guido

    Give him 1 more year then go after Gruden

  • Scott N Liz Barnes

    Get gruden back now and the raiders will have a coach for years

  • Ricky Bobby

    DA & TP cannot co-exist. Therefore DA has GOTS TO GO…

    • TribalX

      DA is stupid. He actually thought he could compete with the other coaches in the AFC West. SMH…YOUNG AND DUMB!!!

  • TribalX

    DA is Reggie’s “stop-gap” coach. He hired him because he was the only guy available. No good coach would have ever taken this job and screwed up his career numbers.

  • AF AF AF

    I was honestly all in for giving another year buti do not beleive he is a coach that can do anything for us. His time management, game calling, play calling and half time adjustments are horrible. Any good coach/defence can see what plays we have a tendacy to call on first, 2nd and 3rd down. When we are down two scores the play calling he and his staff call waste alot of time. I honestly beleive instead of wasting another year with him we get a known coach that can go head to head with Reid, or Fox or anyother good coach in the league. We have tons of money to spend so why not allow a new coach to get who he wants instead of doing this next year. If we do this next year we will have less money to spend on players. Yes not all blame is on Allen, you can blame the depth, injuries, assistant coaches ect but it all comes down to the head coach. He hired the assistant coaches and he made most of the decisions on getting the current players ( yes our cap limited is to the players we could get but still). All in all we need a establish coach that made the adjustments at half and go head to head with the top coachea in the league and i dont beleive Allen can do that at all!

  • James Schroeder

    Seems several people are missing the point. Over the first two years of Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen’s tenure they both have done their jobs extremely well. RM’s job was to clean up the salary-cap situation and trim all the dead weight off of the team as well as pick up several players with one-year contracts to see if they would fit in the Raiders system. 2014 will be the first rebuilding year of the new regime. DA’s Job in case it has not been clear was to evaluate the players brought in over the last two years to see if they will fit and where they will fit in the new system 2014. These past two years were never about winning they were about breaking it down and sorting out the pieces. It’s like a puzzle, first you take it out of the box then you sort out the pieces and when that is done you can start putting them together. Next year they will be putting them together with all of the draft picks and 70 million in additional spending towards free agents. Some of these one-year contracts from this year will stay and some will go. They proved through most of the year that they can compete in the NFL with the current team of makeshift players not having any depth on the roster. Imagine what they will do next year when they plug all the holes and fill the team with talent.

    People need to stop saying Dennis Allen should be fired when he hasn’t even truly begun. This was the reason for the four-year contract and the last year of his contract the Raiders will certainly make the playoffs, possibly next year but sometimes you need
    The first “real” year to gel as a team.

    The Raiders are right on schedule and I can’t wait to see what they do with all that extra money and a full deck of draft picks next year