Normally my Morning After posts are regarding the previous game played, but today I am doing a special edition for after the firing of Dennis Allen as head coach of the Oakland Raiders. The news broke last night from Jay Glazer of Fox Sports initially and now by other sources as well. There will be a press conference today at some time by Reggie McKenzie and Mark Davis to discuss the decision.
There really is not that much to discuss about though. Dennis Allen was not a good head coach for the Raiders and his tenure is over for good reason. While compiling a 8-28 record, one of the worst records of any coach in NFL history, Dennis Allen also managed to lose by 20 points or more in 9 of those losses. There is no doubt that he had to be removed as head coach.
How he was removed as coach is another story. The report is that Dennis Allen was fired over the phone and not in person, and that was a mistake on the Raiders part. First of all, it was unprofessional and disrespectful. Secondly, and more importantly, it gives something for people to grab hold of and point at for dysfunction with the team.
Part of the story is how he was fired now, when it should have just been about whether he deserved to be fired. Other organizations don't have to worry about that type of thing as much, but a team that has been this bad for this long does have to worry about etiquette. People want to find things that the Raiders do wrong in times like this, firing Dennis Allen over the phone is something that will be grasped as wrongdoing.
It is over now though and the main thing is that Dennis Allen is officially gone. He is a good man and he might turn out to be a good coach in the long run, but he was doomed here in Oakland. He was too inexperienced and in over his head to begin with, and then to top it off he was in charge of a team that was not capable of being competitive for much of his time here.
Some people won't like that being pointed out but it is true. Dennis Allen had the cards stacked against him from the moment he took the job with the Raiders. There was barely a chance that things would turn out well for him from the very moment he donned his famous silver and black visor.
With that being said, things turned out much worse than most people believed possible. There was no function to the team throughout his entire span. He did not have a single victory to point to as a defining moment, he did not have a single player stand out as performing above and beyond because of his coaching, and he did not inspire confidence amongst the fans and media. Maybe he inspired the players, but they didn't play noticeably better because of it.
Even when the odds are stacked against you, you still need to perform admirably anyway. Dennis Allen did not and that is why he was fired. This isn't a knee jerk reaction, this isn't an unfair firing. This is a removal of a head coach that failed at his job. Its a tough job anywhere in the league and it was even tougher here, but in the end it comes down to pass/fail and DA failed.
Where we go from here is anybody's guess. We don't even know who will take over as interim head coach, let alone if they will have any better success than Dennis had. What we know is that Dennis Allen had to go and the decision to remove him was the right call.
Allen will end up on his feet somewhere else, most likely in New Orleans or Denver where he previously coached as an assistant. He will also get paid the remaining amount of his contract with the Raiders throughout the rest of this year and next. Not a bad severance package if you ask me!
It was an unfortunate mess throughout the time Dennis Allen was here, but at least he did care. He worked hard while here and he did his best. Maybe his best wasn't good enough, maybe nobody's best would have been good enough during this span with the deconstruction of the roster happening.
Either way, it was time to remove Dennis Allen and the correct decision was made. I wish him well for where ever he goes from here because he did always give 100% of his effort. There is reason to believe he will be given another chance one day at his dream of being a successful head coach in the NFL, it just wont be with the Oakland Raiders.
Good luck to whoever takes over, it's tough to believe they could do any worse. Hopefully things get better here and the players respond to the removal of their head coach, and if they don't then those players will likely be removed themselves. Get ready for months of speculation about who will be coaching the Raiders next year, it will be the main point of conversation around these parts for quite a while.