Oakland Raiders Coaching Search Over: It's Official-Dennis Allen Announced Today!
John Doublin – Jan 30, 2012At 12:00 p.m. Pacific time today, Oakland Raiders' owner Mark Davis and new General Manager Reggie McKenzie held a press conference to announce that they have found their man to lead the Raiders onto the field each week. Dennis Allen, former defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos, is officially the newest head coach of the Raiders.
While this comes as no real surprise, the Raiders organization certainly took their time in making this announcement. This caused a lot of discussion and speculation that previous reports on this matter weren't true.
So much for those reports. McKenzie and Davis took to the podium and made it official today. Dennis Allen is "their guy" to lead the Raiders into the "new era."
After some problems with the microphone, Davis took some time to recount the message from McKenzie of finding "his guy."
"Please welcome Reggie McKenzie and "his guy," new head coach of the Oakland Raiders, Dennis Allen"
McKenzie stated that he was extremely excited about Allen's interview for the job. He said he was looking for someone that could lead this team and that he'd found him in Allen.
Citing his intelligence and passion for the game, McKenzie seemed very proud and confident in Allen's abilities. McKenzie said he offered Allen the job at the Senior Bowl and Allen gladly accepted.
Allen started his acceptance speech by thanking the Raiders' management team for the opportunity to be the 18th head coach of the Raiders. He went on to thank his family for their support and for the stability they've provided him. His parents were cited by Allen as forging his work ethic and being so supportive over the years.
Follow the love fest, Allen began to speak about the Raiders. He spoke of the championship tradition and the building blocks of the team initially set up by "the don" Al Davis.
"This is a new day in Raider football. We're moving forward."
Upon reflecting on his own observations of the Raiders teams of yore, Allen stated that the same spirit, respect and passion exhibited by the great Raider teams of the past is the type of football fans can expect in the immediate future.
After recognizing the talent already on the roster, Allen stated that the offense will be up-tempo and explosive. He also explained that defensively, the Raiders will be aggressive and attacking.
"This is a team that will be committed to winning."
Two fans were then allowed to read questions submitted by the fans; questions from the media followed. One of the most repeated phrases from Allen in answering all of the questions was, "a respect for the game."
When asked about fixing the penalty issues, Allen said that the only way to create habits is with consistency. If you're consistently committing penalties, then that's going to be your habit. Allen says that the way to fix that is to create new habits with consistent coaching and a steady hand.
One aspect many in Raider Nation will appreciate is that Allen doesn't feel that "radical" changes need to be made. He conveyed that he felt that the talent was the in place for the most part.
Allen alluded to the fact that his coaching staff is being considered, but wouldn't commit to stating that Al Saunders would be retainedâ€”only that Saunders was still under contract and that he was "exploring all avenues."
When asked if he would call the defensive plays, Allen said "I'm going to be heavily involved in all aspects of the game." He also stated that, "I don't believe that a head coach can be fully effective on game day if he's calling plays."
Again, good news for Raider fans to know that Allen will be focused on his job and allow his staff to do theirs.
When asked what drew him to Allen, McKenzie cited the improvements he made to the secondary in New Orleans and with the entire defense in Denver caused him to want to interview Allen. However, his passion and detail oriented approach to the game is what sealed the deal.
Asked about how he's put his "stamp" on this team, Allen replied by stating it would not be easy, but his intent was to work hard and remain dedicated to turning the Raiders' fortunes in the future.
"If you want people to believe in what you're selling, you have to believe it yourself."
The burning question around Raider Nation today is running a 4-3 or a 3-4 defense. Allen simply pointed out that too much emphasis on this and he intends to evaluate the team and decide what they do best and put them in the best position possible to be successful.
Mr. Allen responded to a question about being a disciplinarian by saying that he didn't know how things were run under Al Davis, but that he believes in coaching firm, coaching fair and holding players accountable for their actions.
Well said Mr. Allen.
As the press conference continues, it's clear that Allen has a solid understanding of what needs to be done and is willing to do what's necessary to make the Raiders successful. On a personal level, I like Allen more and more as I hear him speak. It's obvious why McKenzie connected with this man, and why he chose him for the job.
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