Sep 21, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen looks on during the final moments of their 16-9 loss to the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
The Oakland Raiders have fired head coach Dennis Allen after four weeks of the 2014 NFL season.
Incredible. Only the Raiders. In fact, this is the third time the Raiders have done this after this specific week. Prior to Allen being canned after the fourth week of the season, they’d fired both Mike Shanahan and Lane Kiffin after that same week in their respective seasons.
Allen was hired as the Raiders’ head coach in 2012 after a season working with the Denver Broncos as their defensive coordinator in John Fox’s first year with the team. He came over from the New Orleans Saints, and actually called a pretty good defense for the Broncos that year despite the fact that they were working much yet with a young, inexperienced, patchwork roster that had to be dismantled after Josh McDaniels’ renovations.
While you can’t blame Allen for taking a head coaching gig that was offered him, you also have to wonder what he was thinking leaving Denver for Oakland. We’ll chalk that up as an honest mistake given the rare opportunity. The problem is, now Allen’s not going to be considered for another head coaching gig for awhile, so it’s likely back to calling defensive plays for him, which he is very good at.
Even as much as we joke about the Raiders, the Broncos’ defense saw enough turnaround in 2011 with Allen’s direction that he was a pretty hot name as a head coaching candidate. The Broncos saw incredible success from the combination of Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil rushing the quarterback, and Allen’s aggressiveness and overall improvements the unit made through the season were enough that I feel comfortable in making the recommendation I’m about to make.
I think the Broncos should hire on Allen as a defensive consultant, and potential heir apparent to the defensive coordinator position if Jack Del Rio were to accept a head coaching job elsewhere.
The Broncos certainly could benefit from someone who knows a divisional opponent as well as Allen does at this point, even if it is the Raiders. Allen also did a phenomenal job getting the most out of Miller and Dumervil in terms of sack production. He could potentially provide some insight as to how to more creatively use the new duo of Miller and DeMarcus Ware, and the incredibly impressive depth the Broncos have overall on the defensive side of the ball.
Allen has a history working with defensive backs, so he’d probably also have a field day working with the talented secondary the Broncos have.
If Allen is able to make a move to Denver this season, he’s also going to get two shots to stick it to the team that royally screwed him over in his first head coaching gig by giving him virtually no talent to work with. Still, Allen chose to go into that situation, and obviously hindsight is 20-20.
I think this would be a wise move for both parties and is something I could actually see happening.