It has been reported that the Raiders have come to an agreement with Dennis Allen, former Defensive Coordinator of the Denver Broncos.
While with the Broncos, Allen improved their defense from dead last to 20th overall. Of course he had a healthy Dumervil and outstanding rookie Miller to help his cause, but it is still quite an accomplishment. They also nearly doubled their sacks from the previous year.
Prior to the Broncos, he was the Saint's d-line coach and started his NFL career with the Falcons in 2002 as their defensive backfield assistant coach. I like that he has worked with both the line and secondary prior to becoming a coordinator. Seems he should know the inner workings of both units and his impact is justified with each teams improvement.
While I'm sure they will hire a separate DC, his influence will be interesting. I've read that he has a 'bend but don't break' philosophy - which is great because the Raiders had issues giving up the big plays all year long. He's also been described as somewhat militant - which is okay too since discipline is something desparately needed.
This quote from when he was hired by the Broncos is pretty intriguing:
"We're going to be built off of speed and athleticism. We want to be a very fast, violent, aggressive type of defense. I firmly believe that defensive football is not nearly as much about X's and O's as it is about the way you play the game, the culture of your defense. I think if you look at where I've been in the past, speed and athleticism and aggressive football players is the type of thing we're looking for."
As is this quote from the Denver Post following his being hired:
"Listen, I don't believe in berating guys. Don't believe in talking down to them. We work together. They don't work for me or us as coaches. But at the end of the day, we're going to point out problems and we're going to get them corrected, because if you don't get them corrected, they're going to fester, and eventually they're going to get you beat," Allen said. "We point out of there is an issue with effort. If there is an issue with an assignment, we make sure we bring it to their attention, and make sure we get it corrected"
This is the first defensive minded coach since John Madden. I like the correlation and I believe it's coming at the right time. And while there will of course be the naysayers about his being relatively unknown - who cares? Why hire a retread with an overall losing record as a coach (Mornhinweg, Tice or Capers)? The Raiders gave Madden a shot which was laughable for most until he just won, baby...
Time will tell. And until then, I'm excited for the future of our team.