It's hot seat time in the NFL and the topic has been raging in Oakland for the last several weeks. A historic amount of dead money and a dearth of recent draft picks have worked in favor of Dennis Allen retaining his job for 2014. The mantra of giving him a chance to work with a real budget and a real roster built to fit his schemes has been repeated over and over on this blog.
Some critics of DA have pointed to the upcoming FA budget and full slate of draft picks as something potentially working against Dennis Allen. I have been one of these critics as it seems to me if DA is not the guy and get's dismissed following next season a golden opportunity to bring in an established coach has been wasted. I am of the opinion that an organization with cap space and full slate of draft picks in fact looks very attractive to an established coach as he would immediately have an opportunity to sign and draft his guys and mold a team in his vision beginning on day one.
Add to this the fact that the existing roster has some pieces worth building on and is not loaded with head cases and bloated contracts. The franchise in OAK has gone from a bankrupt, dysfunctional, ICON of yesteryear and turned into a lean sleeping giant with a solid foundation and a pile of capital waiting to rise from the ashes.
Dennis Allen has had defenders pointing to the fact that the team plays hard for him and that he seems to have the locker room. I was impressed with the way the team came out of the gates this season and saw some early signs of encouragement. This has all but disappeared in recent weeks and there are now reports that DA may be in the process of the losing the locker room.
At 5:02 in the following link Scott Bair reports that he has heard grumblings within the locker room about whether or not DA is the coach you want to play for.
Not good. If this is true it surely decreases the chances of Oakland retaining players currently on the roster worth keeping. Furthermore, players talk in the off season and they actively recruit players to sign on with their team.... or, advise against it.
Let there be no doubt about it. The Raiders HC coaching job will look much more attractive to a prospective coach this off season than next. If DA has lost the locker room it's going to be very difficult to justify his staying on for 2014.
One things for sure. DA has made no attempt whatsoever to embrace and revive the "Raider Mystique". In fact, it could be argued that his greatest success as HC in Oakland, has been distancing the current squad in every way shape and form from it's former self.
Dennis Allen would be wise to embrace the following from his employers glorious past if he plans on keeping his job;
"We may lose the game, but we will always win the fight"!