Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Why Dennis Allen Got Fired

It's pretty simple. The 2012 Raiders were awful. The 2013 Raiders were awful. And the 2014 Raiders, after another full draft and $60 million to spend in the offseason, are worse than the two previous editions. If that happens under your watch, you're going to get canned.  

And yet here comes Pro Football Talk with a logic-challenged screed titled "Mark Davis fires the guy who really wasn't to blame." From the piece: "If Allen deserves to go, so does G.M. Reggie McKenzie.  And if they bear blame for the current mess, so does the late Al Davis, who stubbornly refused to step aside from running the football operation in the latter years of his life."

The author is half right. But trying to deflect Dennis Allen's responsibility for fielding a competent team onto Al Davis (who passed away a full three years ago) is just another case of lingering Al Davis Derangement Syndrome, the symptoms of which include irrationality and frequent breakdowns in logic.

Al David didn't line up two corners against a three-receiver bunch in the red zone last Sunday. Al Davis didn't lose 10 games in a row. Al Davis didn't fail to make adjustments at halftimes. Al Davis didn't look lost on the sideline. Al Davis didn't lose nine games by 20+ points in 2.25 seasons. Al Davis didn't give up two of the most egregious point totals in Raiders history within 2.25 seasons. Al Davis didn't make this team worse than last year's edition.

Al Davis didn't sign veteran quarterbacks over the past two years who couldn't beat out third stringers. Al Davis didn't draft a cornerback coming off a life-threatening injury in the first round last year, followed by a guy in the second round who'd only been playing the game of football for two years. Al Davis didn't lose Rashard Jennings in free agency and replace him with Maurice Jones-Drew. Al Davis didn't lose Jared Veldheer in free agency, and then replace him with a guy who failed his physical. Al Davis didn't fail to get a true impact player with $60 million to spend in the offseason...

Do you get my drift, PFT? 

There's no doubt that Al Davis put the Raiders in a hole before his death, but due to Al Davis Derangement Syndrome, some people act like Reggie and Dennis were the first GM-coach duo to ever inherit an NFL team that was in a deep hole. 

As if the 0-16 Lions didn't go to the playoffs three years later. As if the 2012 Colts didn't make the playoffs with 30.1% of their adjusted cap devoted to dead money. As if the Dolphins didn't once go 11-5 right after going 1-15. As if the Chiefs didn't go 11-5 last year after going 2-14. Those are extreme examples of quick turnarounds, of course, but let's not forget that Reggie and Dennis inherited an Al Davis-led team that had gone 8-8 in its two previous seasons. 

Yes, the Raiders were in a hole. Three years later, however, they appear to be in a deeper hole. After two complete drafts. After $60 million to spend. After nearly three years of Reggie and Dennis Allen having the opportunity to exert culture change and competence and consistency. Well, you could say that they've given us consistency...

So there you have it. That's why Dennis Allen was fired. And that's why Reggie McKenzie is next. 


Blogger nyraider said...

No question. This is definitely McKenzie's team. Certainly Mark Davis knows as much. The two year "desctruction" phase was a tough pill to swallow, but the current problems rest squarely on McKenzie.

I can't imagine Davis has any confidence in Reggie McKenzie at this point. He has failed at every turn.

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The national media already have their talking points and its only going to be more of the same. "The Raiders show no patience with their HC's," never mind that DA turned in 4-12 back to back, or that of his 8 wins only ONE of them came against a team with a winning record:


I had to turn off Mike & Mike when Cris Carter questioned Mark Davis' qualifications for being an owner. Obviously Carter didn't do his homework otherwise he would have known that Mark Davis consulted with experts(John Madden & Ron Wolfe, looking over the hill fb wise after this debacle) and hired a GM to run football operations, something the media had called for even before Al passed. If you want media analysis stick with the locals because it is more than obvious that

A. The media have not been following the situation over these past 3 years and thus

B. They are going to stick to making shaping the storyline to their tired old "Raiders fire their coaches as often as they change their socks."

As for RM, unfortunately I suspect the axe won't fall until the end of the season. For one, there is a ton of work on the operations side and two, RM put all of his handpicked folks in the subordinate postions, so if you fire him now one of RM's folks will be running things.

Still a Raider fan

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Anonymous in the last blog said that Jim Harbaugh would be an intriguing option. I agree, but it seems that he is falling apart this year too; but then again it may be the GM he's working for.

Rex Ryan is in the same boat with the Jets as Harbaugh. Mike Tomlin is on the hot seat in Pittsburgh. After last nights game, one wonders if Belichick has overstayed his time in New England. Then there are the other options like Del Rio, Wade Phillips, an up and coming College guy like Charlie Strong or Art Briles.

Whatever the reason, the Raiders need a strong leader that is going to command the team. That person needs to be the Head Coach, with a GM that will work with the Head Coach. JUST WIN, BABY!

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One more thing. Blanda mentioned it and I've heard quite a few Raider fans bring it up since: When Carr came out of the game none of his teammates helped him and none of the training staff came out either.

For all of the losses, when you see that sequence it shows that the Raiders were not a team out there, they were just a bunch of guys all wearing the same uniform. The Raiders ALWAYS take care of their own. We may never know but I suspect that Mark Davis saw and felt the same way many of us fans did.

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very good take RT. I agree 100%.


9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very good take RT. I agree 100%.


9:51 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Clearly, Carr showed he is a competitor by going to the line ready to run a no-huddle play, but you have to wonder why Carr was even allowed to take a snap when it was obvious he was injured and could barely put weight on his leg/ankle.

10:49 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

There is really no point in firing a GM at mid-season. That would mean that nobody would be running the football organization for several months, and they'd essentially be doing what they did in the months right after Davis died.

I believe that Davis allowed McKenzie to make the call in order to attempt to save his job, and McKenzie will be allowed to name the interim HC. Most say that McKenzie's choice would likely be Sparano. I personally don't think there is particularly a good choice available. I think Saunders would be a good call so long as he didn't call his own plays.

However, I'd be inclined to fire Olson also, and promote DiFilippo to OC. The excitement of a young coach who has OC promise could go a long way toward sparking the team this season.

There is much talk going on that Davis will make a full court press in the off season to acquire Jon Gruden for whatever price he requires, including a piece of the team.

I see both a positive and a negative here. Gruden's greatest weakness is player development. Instead, Gruden favors well established players with imminent retirements. That's a bad fit for a team that needs to be redeveloped.

On the positive, Gruden's strength is his reputation. An exciting remarriage between Gruden and the Raiders could well promote an interest in providing the Raiders with a new place to stay. It could also inspire a few of the NFL's top players to want to visit with the Raiders in Free Agency.

I don't see Cower coming here. I think he's too far from coaching at this point anyway.

Two coaches look like they will become available next season. Jim Harbaugh and Tom Caughlin. We've all seen what Harbaugh brought to the 49ers. Tom Caughlin has wanted to be the Raiders' HC his whole life, and has publicly begged Al Davis for the job in the past. I was impressed when the Giants started the season horribly a few years back, but went on to win the Superbowl.

Mark Davis chose an excellent time to make this move. Very wise. There are some good names emerging in the coaching ranks after this season.

11:08 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

According to Jim Trotter, Tony Sparano will be named IHC at 2:00pm

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...

PFT is off the wall.

Let's look at the Seahawks.

2008, Hawks won 4 games under Mike Holmgren.

2009, they won 4 games under Greg Knapp.

2010, in comes Pete Carroll. He wins 7 games, and in 2011, also wins 7 games. By 2012, Carroll leads the Hawks to 11 wins. By 2014, they are SB champs.

Lets take a look at the Donko's.

They hire a young HC, Josh Mcdaniel in 2010. He wins 3 games.

Mcdaniel also fueds with star Qb, Cutler, and trades him away.

The Donko's fire Mcdaniel after one season. They hire a real HC, John Fox. And sign a future hall of fame Qb, P. Manning. They were a playoff team by 2012.

Both cases, quick turn arounds, and good decisions.

Both teams were as bad, maybe even worse off, then Raiders when Reg, & DA started.

This does not require magic. All it takes is good football people leading the way.

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I'm fine with the Raiders keeping McKenzie as GM, but if Mark Davis decides that, then they need to hire a high energetic coach, and allow him to help scout players and free agents he wants (which is what Reggie did with Allen).

At some point, they need someone who is going to light a fire under the player's @$$es and make an aggressive game plan. Reggie has built a team to punch people in the face (Penn and Gabe Jackson, Woodley, Mack, Tuck, and Smith on D); yet Allen was not aggressive nor a risk taker.

What I want to see from Sparano is him allowing the Coordinators to open the playbook and be aggressive. If Tarver still shows signs of soft coverage, we will not see any changes, and the team may end up 0-16.

Jim Harbaugh would be an awesome pick, and one that would work with Reggie well because Reggie is soft spoken. But I don't think Coughlin would.

1:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read this today btw: Veldeer is ranked the 29th OT in the NFL according to @PFF His replacement, Donald Penn is 12th.

1:36 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

PFT ranking OTs 4 games into a season sounds highly suspect. How do they rank Tom Brady after his first 4 games of the season?

Let's not get carried away.

2:21 PM  
Anonymous aeyjay said...

profootballfocus not profootballtalk

their players assessments are pretty good and strip away alot of hype

3:37 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Sparano interim HC. Says he will focus on players strengths (ala Hue Jackson), implying perhaps that Allen played more to scheme... something that was very apparent in his first season with Greg Knapp as OC.

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...

I'll take the LT from the 3-0 team.

You can have the LT from 0-4 Raiders.

As usual, the scoreboard gets the final say.

4:08 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

When asked if Reggie was told by Mark if his job was on the line: "I don't need anyone to tell me that my job's on the line. I know it is because I came here to win championships, and in order to do that we have to win games. That hasn't happened yet."

I was unimpressed with Sparano and how he side stepped the question:
"A lot of fans want to know how the defense will be better with Tarve? Since they feel that Tarver is part of the problem."

Meanwhile PFT continues to rip the Raiders, and I am getting ready to delete them as a reliable source.

4:10 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Listening to McKenzie and Sparano at the PC was painstaking. Neither one seems to have much of a clue. McKenzie thinks he built a championship roster this off-season. If so, Sparano should have no problem turning it around this year.

Com’on. It was awkward even listening to that B.S. at this point.

Mark Davis needs to light a match and start over again. He should to do what AL could never do and what McKenzie failed to do. Pay for a top tier HC.

Top tier HC, the #1 pick in 2015 -- which we are a near lock to secure -- and another $60M cash should send us in the right direction. One would hope!

5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the LT wins and loses all the games? That's a new one, I would rather have the one that is playing better. By the rankings, it looks like Penn is the much better deal.

5:31 PM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...

The LT is part of the team.

I'm sure Reggie is looking at the rankings.

The bottomline is, just win baby.

I'll take the winner everytime.

5:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

brilliant logic

6:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alright guys one down and one to go. Now they got to get rid of Reggie.

Here is a sad thought today I made a partial list of all the guys Reggie got rid of and man they would all be starting on this team. Here is a few: Barksdale, Veldheer, Houston, Palmer, Mitchell, Jennings, Shaunessy, Bryant.

Add in the draft picks he blew Hayden etc. the waste money on FA Woodley, Tuck, Schaub, Flynn, Briesel

Is anyone feeling nauseous yet

6:17 PM  
Blogger OakTownBlues said...

It's very simple people. And it's called: A combination of factors. Don't over analyze. Someone must lose, and, well, it's usually clowns with very big shoes. 2016, maybe. Told ya.

7:14 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Carson Palmer thought enough of Jared Veldheer to recruit him to protect his blind side. That trumps a PFT Week 4 obscure OT ranking every time.

4:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

more brilliant logic, LOL

7:34 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Common sense!

8:18 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Part of the blame falls on Veldheer as well. At the end of the day, he had an offer on the table, and received more from Arizona. He could've stayed if he really wanted to. The bottom line, he went to the money, like most of us would.

The thing I liked most about the presser was Sparano wanting to plan around the strengths of the players (which indicates that DA was preaching scheme, and not looking at talent). In the end, DA's scheme did not match what Reggie McGrimace has been preaching, and that is power on both lines. We will see how different the philosophy of DA's game planning is after the bye week. We will see if Tarver is part of the problem or not. We will see if Olson has better game calls.

Hell, I'm tired of seeing our backs run up the middle. With the speed we have, they should be going off tackle. I'm tired of our defense being passive, and I want to see intensity and aggressiveness on defense. I want to see power running and better play calling on offense.
The attitude needs to be "what do we got to lose?"

The one thing I wanted to hear, that I didn't was, "Even though we are 0-4, we still have 12 games. I'm looking to win those 12."

8:20 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

IMO, none of the blame falls Veldheer. McKenzie is running a billion dollar business and had complete control of the process, with a tag at his disposal. He opted to allow Veldheer to walk and create a roster need for another LT (which we spent a decade searching prior to drafting Veldheer) and signed a player, as RT pointed out, who couldn't pass a physical.

The fact that Penn (who gave up 13 sacks last year) was even available was nothing more than dumb luck (if you want to call it luck!), and by no means a stroke of brilliance on the part of Reggie McKenzie.

This whole discussion is insane.

I feel bad for Dennis Allen. I believe he has tremendous knowledge of the game and he could be successful in the right environment. He was inexperienced and over his head coming in as a rookie HC with the Raiders.

It actually pissed me off yesterday to listen to McKenzie talk about winning championships. He needs to learn to tie his shoes first.

To make matters worse, Mark Davis stated in an impromptu hallway presser (i.e., a media mugging) that he would "never fire McKenzie". We could be set up for Matt Miller Part Deux. Something about former Raiders LBs.

9:11 AM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...

As NYR said, it's common sense.

Just look at the top 5 players in the draft every year. Who is taken ?

Qb's, corners, and LT's. You can look it up.

The Cardinals could have signed Penn, the cheaper option, but they signed Veldheer. They are 3-0.

They have a solid ground game. They win with the starting Qb. They win with the backup.

They didn't stand around looking at charts of numbers that makes a head spin.

You want rankings and numbers ?

Jim Plunkett had average rankings. He won a lot of games. He won 2 super bowls.

The object is to WIN. The Raiders have lost sight of this.

11:01 AM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...

You want some "brilliant logic" ?

Juet listen to Reggie.

"In order to win championships, you've got to win some games."...LoL!!!!!! Gee, thanks Reg.

And when he claimed he would hire the next Raiders HC.

He sounded like Capt. Queeg, "It was the strawberries".

I also liked when Reggie picked up his pen a few times. Put it to the paper, and never wrote anything.

Where did they find this guy ?

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DA was stepping stone, Sparano was insurance for Allen. This still has a plan and Reggie will get 1 more draft and one more hire. If he blows it, he's gone.

LOL, it takes a team to win, not one guy. Raiders are still in the process of making a team, the sacrificial HC is gone and now it will take another step forward.

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any move McKenzie makes that works is dumb luck, any move that doesn't work, is just Reggie being Reggie. LMFAO

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

quote :

"You want some "brilliant logic" ?

Juet listen to Reggie."


12:44 PM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...

"LOL, it takes a team to win, not one guy"

What is so hard to understand. To build a winning team, you need certain cornerstones.

You need a Qb. You need a shut down corner. You need a left tackle.

That is why these positions go high in the draft every year.

It's basic football. Something Reggie knows nothing about.

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Penn is rated higher

2:23 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

"DA was stepping stone"

To what? Sparano?

The Raiders are back at rock bottom, but this guy thinks it's all part of the plan and it's working.

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...

"Penn is rated higher"....On an 0-4 team.

I don't think the undefeated Cardinals have any regrets.

But since Veldheer is rated so low, maybe Cards should fire their GM, and hire Reggie...LoL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Wowww, you guys are going a bit overboard with the McKenzie bashing.
The duties and responsibilities of Reggie McKenzie are not just the product on the field, but also the modernization of an organization that was previously modeled to work in the 70's not in 2012.
The grade McKenzie should receive is not nearly as clear as the firing Dennis Allen earned. In 36 games, when did we EVER say about Dennis Allen, "that guy can coach!" Even when the more optimistic of us fans were trying to prop up our team, we have always said the opposite. Even with crappy talent, the good coaches find ways to win. Dennis doesn't yet(and may never) have that.

Keep your eyes on the prize and stop turning into a lynch mob.


3:49 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

New take is up, bang it there!

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Until Davis sells, the Raiders will not be successful. Sell the team, move the team, get a stadium. A real reconstruction. It's overdue. Oakland had it's chance to do something and Davis and Reggie have no clue. The L.A. market is there and with a good owner with the finances and a G.m. with the know how, the Raiders could finally get it together.

7:54 AM  

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