The Raiders enter a short week with the Broncos coming to town on Thursday. Head coach Dennis Allen left for Texas to be with his ailing father immediately following the game on Sunday so the team must prepare the next three days without him.
The Raiders have expressed that the situation with Dennis Allen's father Grady, is very serious and they are extremely concerned. Coach Allen will remain in Texas until Wednesday evening when he will return to resume his head coaching duties for Thursday's game.
In Allen's absence, offensive coordinator Greg Knapp will assume some of the head coaching duties. He as well as Jason Tarver will have some contact with Allen this week.
"We'll talk later today," said Knapp. "I sent him a text this morning, let him know we're thinking about him. That's a tough time right now."
"Dennis and I talk frequently all the time anyway," said Tarver. "But this is a personal matter for him. You know, a lot of times when you get to this short week, you've done some work ahead of time on this opponent and [the Broncos are] somebody that we've seen before, so we've done some work ahead of time together."
This is a unique situation to be certain. It is one thing to be without the head coach for a few days. It is entirely another to be without him on a short week. There was little time to dwell on the loss to the Browns. The team must immediately begin preparation for the Broncos.
"It's really very normal from a coach's standpoint." Said Knapp. "Actually, our assistants started last week on preparing for Denver. So they have all the preliminary reports for the coordinators to review. I started last night.
"Today we went right into a normal Tuesday routine for coaches. We started game planning this morning for Denver, and then our practice schedule for the next two days will obviously be a little bit shorter because our guys need to still recover from this game and get ready for the next game. From a game-plan standpoint you condense maybe three days of practice into two. From a coaching standpoint you've done a lot of work ahead of time, so you can make it happen a little bit sooner during the week."
This had already been a tumultuous season for the Raiders. Few have had a more rocky time than Jason Tarver. Having Dennis Allen away from the team on a short week is like nothing he has experienced. At least not since before he joined the Raiders.
"This is a pretty unique season, both on and off the field, I'll say that," said Tarver. "There's a bunch of adversity and the true character of a man and a coach and whoever is to no matter what the circumstances be a pro and handle your business. But I've been a part of a lot of different situations both in this league and in coaching but there's some unique things that have happened this year."
The Raiders team an staff is attempting to focus on a stout 9-3 Broncos team coming to town in three days, dealing with their struggling offense and injury riddled defense, while still reserving some thoughts for their absent head coach as well as his father. It is undoubtedly one of the more daunting tasks a team could face. But the games must be played and the show must go on.
We don't know what illness his father Grady is suffering from but hopefully, he will pull through it.