Raiders make Allen’s hire official

Common knowledge became official Friday when Dennis Allen was named head coach of the Raiders.

The Raiders issued a press release announcing a press conference to introduce Allen on Monday at noon at the club facility in Alameda.

Allen, 39, replaces Hue Jackson, fired by general manager Reggie McKenzie after an 8-8 season, with McKenzie saying he wanted to hire his “own guy.’’

No contract terms were revealed, although Comcast SportsNet Bay Area reported it as a four-year deal.

Allen has essentially been in place as the head coach since Tuesday night, when he and McKenzie reached a handshake agreement.

The Denver Broncos had already acknowledged Allen’s departure, with coach John Fox telling the Denver Post Wednesday it was a “great opportunity’’ for a defensive coordinator hired only a year ago.

The first coach with a defensive background hired by the Raiders since Al Davis hired John Madden in 1969, McKenzie will look to Allen to bring stability to an organization which will have its 10th different head coach since returning to Oakland in 1995 and the seventh over the past 10 seasons.

McKenzie said at the press conference announcing his hiring as general manager that the structure will be similar to what he experienced for 17 seasons working for the Green Bay Packers.

Allen will have complete control of the on-field operations such as practice schedules, choosing starting lineups and playing time and systems of offensive and defensive football.

He will have the freedom to choose his own coaching staff, which may or may not include some members of Jackson’s staff. Two coaches _ defensive line coach Mike Waufle and wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal _ have moved on to the Rams and Jets.

When owner Al Davis was operating as GM, he had final say on assistant coaches and hired some himself, determined active and inactive players each week on game day and had ideas he wanted implemented, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

Fox issued the following in a press release:

“I couldn’t be happier for Dennis with his new opportunity to become head coach of the Raiders,” Fox said. “He did a terrific job as our defensive coordinator, and I am not surprised that people around the NFL took notice of the role he played in our success.

“He’s a sharp guy who knows football, has a way of relating to his players and carries himself very well. Dennis is a strong motivator and teacher with an aggressive style of coaching. He will approach the job with tremendous energy and passion to get the most out of his team. His thorough understanding of defense, from the back to the front, and his ability to teach fundamentally and assignment-wise really helped us get better. He’s been around a lot of good people during his NFL career and has a very bright future ahead of him.

“I am thrilled for Dennis, his wife Alisson, and the entire Allen family, and I wish them all the best in Oakland.”


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer