The Raiders completed another four win season Sunday when they lost badly to the visiting Broncos. In the process they lost six straight games, most of which being extreme collapses. Whenever a team goes 8-24 and looks as bad as the Raiders have looked this season, the questions of whether the head coach will be back are valid ones. And in most cases, such a firing would be downright expected.
Dennis Allen said following the loss Sunday that he not only deserves to be back, but he expects it.
"I fully expect to be back," said Allen. "I fully believe that I deserve the opportunity to come back here and get a chance to, as we've said, go through the deconstruction phase, I wanna be part of the rebuilding phase."
The team has had two straight seasons of overhaul and has had little money to spend on filling out the roster. The most glaring weak spot has been the quarterback position but the defense as a whole has also been a downright travesty. But things are looking up after this season and Allen had one year left on his contract. He would like to be given a chance to coach a team that has its salary in order and another full draft class.
"Like I've said before, it's just the cards that we have to play with," Allen continued. "This will be the first off-season that we've got some money that we can go out and try to acquire some free agents that we'll be able to sign some free agent players on our football team that we'd like to keep here and we'll have a complement of draft choices to begin to build this football team. It's been a tough couple years. . . it's something that needed to be done, and we're excited about the future and moving forward."
The Raiders players seem to be pretty united in not wanting to see more turnover. Left tackle Jared Veldheer was impassioned about the need for some continuity and keeping Dennis Allen and his staff onboard.
"It's one of the biggest things I think we need is continuity," said Veldheer. "Those guys are doing a great job, they put us in a great position. There's no gray area going into a game. They're hammering techniques, hammering tough looks in practice, all that kind of stuff. And it'd be very tough to see any massive turnover, really any turnover, in that area. That, I don't think would help."
When it comes down to it, the only opinions that matter here are that of Reggie McKenzie and Mark Davis. If they feel like the issues on this team are more than player related, they could make a move. That move is not expected to be made in haste and several factors are involved such as who they think could replace Allen should they decide to let him go. Jon Gruden being the hot name out there right now.
"We've discussed the future as we've gone on throughout the season," said Allen. "But we'll sit down when this is all said and done, we'll sit down and visit and we'll discuss in farther depth what the direction of the program is, and what we need to get to where everyone wants us to be."
Perhaps things will become more clear Monday at the season ending press conference. We'll just have to see.