Dennis Allen has never fully gained the trust of the Raider Nation. Many felt that Reggie McKenzie made a mistake when he fired Hue Jackson and replaced him with the Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Allen. Last year, Allen took an 8-8 Raiders team that was on the precipice of making the playoffs to an embarrassing 4-12 squad. However, general manager Reggie McKenzie was forced to cut many players because of the salary cap nightmare which explains the lack of wins. Fast forward to this year and the Oakland Raiders are a disappointing 3-5 at the halfway point of the season.
You have to give Dennis Allen some credit for molding a young, hastily put together squad in such a short time. Coming into the season, the Raiders defense had nine new starters and after the Tyvon Branch injury that number went up to ten. Although it was obvious to everyone that Terrelle Pryor was light years ahead of Matt Flynn, it was still a tough decision for Allen to make Pryor the starter over McKenzie’s guy Flynn. The rash of injuries on the offensive line also changed the whole scheme offensively.
If the Raiders did not get embarrassed by the Eagles on Sunday the Raider Nation might have given Allen some credit for what he has done this season. However, many were blaming Allen for the loss and calling for his head within minutes of the massacre ending. Allen does deserve his fair share of blame for that pathetic performance by the Raiders defense but there is nothing Allen can do to stop guy from tripping and getting burned on passing plays.
The Raiders offense has been struggling all season long but that blame could be put on Reggie McKenzie. Coming into the year the Raiders tried to revert back to a power run scheme but they still had zone-blocking players at both offensive guards. The salary cap nightmare that the Raiders are in did not allow McKenzie to find depth or replacements on the offensive line either. The enigma known as Darren McFadden has also been a huge disappointment as he once again has been plagued by injuries. McFadden’s potential replacement Latavius Murray was placed on the IR and now the offense is in the hands of veteran Rashad Jennings. Even though the Raiders offense has struggled, young quarterback Terrelle Pryor has brought the Raider Nation hope because of the dynamic plays with his legs. We have to give Allen credit for installing confidence in the young TP2.
Raider fans have been used to the “Just Win Baby” mantra but have been plagued by awfulness over the last decade. It is understandable that the Raider Nation wants to win now but unfortunately Dennis Allen has not been given a team that is capable of making a playoff run. Allen deserves a B grade for his coaching this season because he has kept the team alive even though they have been plagued by injuries and inexperience. Give Allen a chance Raider Nation because he will be the head coach for your Raiders next year also.