The Oakland Raiders haven’t made a correct coaching hire in the last decade. Too bad Jon Gruden led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl against his former team. With impending losses to close the season, is it possible Dennis Allen comes down to San Diego to join friend Mike McCoy?
The keyword in Oakland is change.
Since 2000, Oakland has changed head coaches eight times. Under Allen this year, Oakland’s defense ranks in front of the Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers, and the Denver Broncos. Keep in mind team defense is merely ranked in yards allowed. Oakland is 29th in the league based on points allowed.
Note that defense is Allen’s specialty. He could get ousted, but it’s not probable he’ll be on the Chargers staff.
Allen’s job with the Denver defense in the Tim Tebow years (2010-2011) was magic. Based on points allowed that was a top ten defense that carried them to victories, including Tebow’s lone playoff victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Allen would get another job somewhere — just not with the Chargers.
It stands out that John Pagano is the only non-Tom Telesco hire on the staff. However, Pagano has done more with less than Allen on a whole. Pagano’s defense has risen to the occasion against formidable opponents like the Indianapolis Colts and the Broncos. The Denver game alone probably saved his job from going to Allen.
Going to a Dennis Allen led defense will set the defense back a year based on adjusting from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3 scheme. The Chargers’ defense just needs its players to be healthy (see: Melvin Ingram), to mature (see: Manti Te’o), and to invest smartly in their free agents (see: Derek Cox).