The Raiders have hired Dennis Allen, the 39-year-old defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos, to be their new head coach.
Allen informed the Broncos on Tuesday night in Mobile, Ala., a league source said. Fox Sports was the first to report the Raiders and Allen had reached an agreement.
New Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie met with Allen after Senior Bowl practice to work out a deal. The other candidates were told last night and this morning that they were no longer in the running.
The last time the Raiders hired a head coach with a defensive background was 1969, when Al Davis selected young linebackers coach John Madden. Madden, coincidentally, sat in on new owner Mark Davis’ interview with McKenzie earlier this month.
Allen, 39, was with Denver for one year and ran a 4-3 base defense – which the Raiders have used the past seven seasons. The 8-8 Broncos went from 32nd – last – in the NFL in yards allowed (390.8) in 2010 to 20th (357.8) in 2011, and from 32nd in points allowed (29.4) to 24th (24.4).
Back in the Raiders’ glory years they were always dominating on defense. If their defense had been only average last year they would have easily made the playoffs. Tebowmania would not have been possible without Denver’s crushing defense.
But coaches don’t play the game, and the Raiders don’t have many personnel options because they traded away their draft picks. Can a new coach teach the old dogs new tricks?
BTW – GM Reggie McKenzie played linebacker for the Raiders.