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Allen’s to-do list a long one

Recently hired Raiders head coach Dennis Allen will field questions from the media Monday at his introductory news conference in Alameda. That will be just the start of the process of answering questions for the first-time head coach.
Allen inherits a Raiders team that finished 8-8 for the second straight season and one that hasn’t won more than eight games or qualified for the playoffs since 2002.
He is the seventh coach since 2002, when the Raiders finished 11-5 and advanced to the Super Bowl under Bill Callahan. Late Raiders managing general partner Al Davis fired Callahan one season later.
Then came Norv Turner for two seasons, Art Shell for one, Lane Kiffin for one-plus season, Tom Cable and Hue Jackson. What makes Allen a better candidate to get the Raiders back on track for glory? We’re about to find out.
For Allen to succeed, he is going to have to find answers to questions that eluded his many predecessors. Among them:
How to solve the persistent penalties issue. The Raiders are fresh from a season in which they set NFL records for most penalties and penalty yardage in a season.
Jackson promised to get the problem fixed, even if it took him all season. He left town the owner of two ignominious marks and no clue how to break through on a problem that has dogged the Raiders for years.
How to fix the run defense. This was another long-time issue that Jackson promised to fix. Again, he failed. The Raiders allowed 5.1 yards per carry and finished near the bottom of the league in average yards per game.
How to keep Darren McFadden healthy for an entire season. McFadden has yet to make it through a whole season in his four-year NFL career. He missed the final nine games of the 2011 season with a sprained foot.
Allen has to determine whether it’s better to keep McFadden and hope he hits upon the proper recipe to stay healthy for the whole season or if the time is ripe to trade McFadden, while his trade value is high.
The Raiders as of now have only fifth- and sixth-round draft picks in April. McFadden is the player with the most trade value on the Raiders roster. As difficult as it would be to part with McFadden, that might be the only way for the Raiders to recoup some draft picks, though they likely will receive two or three compensatory picks.
Hiring coordinators and the rest of his staff. Allen’s first order of business will be to decide whether to retain offensive coordinator Al Saunders, defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan and any of the other assistants who were part of Jackson’s staff.
Defensive line coach Mike Waufle and wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal already signed elsewhere, Waufle with the St. Louis Rams and Lal with the New York Jets.
It seems to make sense for Allen to retain Saunders so that he can enter his first season without having to worry very much about the offense. From there, he could put a ton of energy and attention toward a defense that cost the Raiders several games last season.
Finding some game-changers on defense. Most of the 11 starters, as well as the key reserves, are under contract for 2012. Even so, none of those players is a bonafide impact player along the lines of a Vince Wilfork, Terrell Suggs, Patrick Willis or Justin Smith.
Several players who fit that bill are expected to be available in free agency. It’s imperative that Allen bring in a couple of those players, or risk another season in which the defense shines at times, struggles at others.
What to do with quarterback Carson Palmer. Jackson mortgaged the future by trading for Palmer midway through last season. It’s a trade Jackson had to make, though it’s questionable whether he had to give up a first- and second-round pick to do so.
Either way, Palmer is 32, past his prime and slated to earn $11.5 million in 2012. The easy move would be to keep Palmer and hope Palmer performs at a higher level with the benefit of an entire offseason with the Raiders.
There aren’t many attractive options on the free agent market — Matt Flynn and Jason Campbell are at or near the top of the list.
Second-year player Terrelle Pryor is the only other quarterback under contract on Oakland’s roster — Campbell and Kyle Boller are eligible to become free agents in mid-March.
Campbell has no interest in returning as a backup. However, if Allen decides to part ways with Palmer, Campbell would be a possibility to return for a third season.
Allen likely will have suitable answers for all these questions. Whether they are the right answers remains to be seen. No one knows how Allen is going to pan out as a head coach. It’s just another on a long list of questions that beg answers.

Follow me on Twitter: @corkonthenfl

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Steve Corkran

  • RaiderRockstar

    ddwight,

    what did you want Hue Jackson to do about the turnovers???

    yell a little louder?

    LOL – J/K

  • hwnrdr

    Good Morning Nation!!!
    Yeah, I heard SeaBass had 11 points in that game! 8 PATs??? Wow!

  • ddwight

    700.RaiderRockstar Says:
    January 30th, 2012 at 6:12 am
    ddwight,

    what did you want Hue Jackson to do about the turnovers???

    yell a little louder?

    LOL – J/K

    ——————————————————-
    Again, im just tellin you that this new GM and Coach are gonna change the environment in which the Raiders have failed, there is a new sheriff in town, named Reggie, and I get the feeling that there is not 1 Player on the Raiders that they deem as unexpendable and unless these players get on the bus, and do as these guys want in building a perennial winner, THERE WILL BE A LOT OF CHANGES THAT WILL SHOCK US! Which I believe will be a good change for the Raiders.

  • Carl Weathers

    Everytime I read someone post “there’s a new sheriff in town” I think of eddie Murphy in 48hours!

    There’s a new sheriff in town… and his names Reggie Hammond!

  • DIRT-LOT FOOTBALL

    DdWIGHT,I AGREE I GUESS.JUST WONDERING WHY THE LAST 6-8 “SHERIFF’S”COULDNT CHANGE THINGS.PENALTYS HAVE BEEN AN ISSUE WITH THE RAIDERS 4EVER.

  • Carl Weathers

    So what time is the presser, 1pm?

  • Carl Weathers

    DIRT LOT, it’s because the last 6-8 weren’t the sheriff, they were just deputies.

  • edward teach

    697.RaiderRockstar Says:
    January 30th, 2012 at 6:08 am
    Cam Newton went 9/27 yesterday with 3 INT’s

    he sucks …

    who called it?

    RRS!

    ********************************************************

    And you would be wrong.

    A guy that sets all sorts of rookie records and leads his team to five more wins than they had the year before, doesn’t suck.

    You don’t like him, fine. Say so. You sound really foolish when you say he sucks.

  • ddwight

    706.Carl Weathers Says:
    January 30th, 2012 at 6:29 am
    DIRT LOT, it’s because the last 6-8 weren’t the sheriff, they were just deputies.

    ——————————————————
    I couldnt have said it Better!

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    DMAC sucks!

  • hwnrdr

    Good Morning Bo! LOL

  • DIRT-LOT FOOTBALL

    WELL,CALL AL DAVIS WHATEVER U WANT,SHERIFF,MARSHELL,DICTATOR,MANAGER OF THE GENERAL PARTNER.HE WAS IN CHARGE HERE QUITE AWHILE I THINK.PENALTYS WERE A PROBLEM THE ENTIRE TIME.DAMN THINGS DRIVE U CRAZY.

  • bcz24

    Seymour looked like his normal ‘ferocious’ self yesterday playing paddy cakes with the olineman. lol

  • Raiderbuck

    The probowl reminds me of professional wrestling

  • ddwight

    713.Raiderbuck Says:
    January 30th, 2012 at 6:45 am
    The probowl reminds me of professional wrestling

    —————————————————-
    What a waste,it is the most unwatchable all-star game!

  • RaiderRockstar

    A guy that sets all sorts of rookie records and leads his team to five more wins than they had the year before, doesn’t suck.

    ***

    ET,

    6 wins impresses you?

    Cam Newton = Aaron Brooks

    did you even watch the guy play yesterday?

    hot garbage

  • hwnrdr

    Funny is that the reason why the Pro Bowl was moved to the week before the Super Bowl is so that fans would remain interested while it kicks off Super Bowl week! I guess that strategy hasn’t worked!

  • edward teach

    712.bcz24 Says:
    January 30th, 2012 at 6:43 am
    Seymour looked like his normal ‘ferocious’ self yesterday playing paddy cakes with the olineman. lol

    ********************************************************

    Yeah, he looked pathetic. Ray Lewis and others hustling after ballcarriers and really making an effort, and Seymour (looking like he’s put on 30lbs since the season ended), playing patty cake with blockers and doing just enough to stay out of the way. It was embarrassing to watch as a Raider fan.

  • hwnrdr

    You guys think Reggie will drop the axe on Seymour this season?

  • Pretty Rick

    They still have the pro bowl? SMH.

  • bcz24

    Yeah, he looked pathetic. Ray Lewis and others hustling after ballcarriers and really making an effort, and Seymour (looking like he’s put on 30lbs since the season ended), playing patty cake with blockers and doing just enough to stay out of the way. It was embarrassing to watch as a Raider fan.
    ****************************
    I mean, he looked no worse than the rest of the DLineman that were there.

  • Just Fire Baby

    I will be a tad more interested when we play Carolina next year, good candidate for an early-season prime time game BTW, and also when the two greatest collegiate mobile QB’s face-off, Cam vs Tebow.

  • edward teach

    Rockstar,

    6 wins from a rookie QB whose team was 1-15 the year before impresses me. So does the records he broke while doing it.

    I prefer to go with his body of work over an entire season. If you want to determine whether or not he can play based on his performance in one meaningless, end-of-year “all-star” game, go right ahead.

  • Just Fire Baby

    The only guy I saw hustling defensively and trying to rush the passer was Von Miller.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Seymour looked like his normal ‘ferocious’ self yesterday playing paddy cakes with the olineman.

    ***

    Gary Kubiak couldn’t coach him up?

    1 tackle = suhweeeett!

  • hwnrdr

    So now its truly Super Week!

  • edward teach

    720.bcz24 Says:
    January 30th, 2012 at 6:56 am
    Yeah, he looked pathetic. Ray Lewis and others hustling after ballcarriers and really making an effort, and Seymour (looking like he’s put on 30lbs since the season ended), playing patty cake with blockers and doing just enough to stay out of the way. It was embarrassing to watch as a Raider fan.
    ****************************
    I mean, he looked no worse than the rest of the DLineman that were there.

    ********************************************************

    Dude, there were guys out there trying. Maybe not giving 100%, but trying. Seymour made no effort at all.

  • hwnrdr

    Well, Seymour was truly there to gain his $50K!

  • bcz24

    You say Cam Newton sucks but yet tout Terelle Pryor as the next coming of Jesus. Come on man. Unless you are just say Newton sucks because he plays for a team other than the Raiders…

    and JFB, you think we are going to acquire Tebow? How are we going to go about this?

  • bcz24

    Dude, there were guys out there trying. Maybe not giving 100%, but trying. Seymour made no effort at all.
    ************************
    I dont know about that. I saw about 10 minutes of the game and I didnt see one DLman try to do anything but mutually hold each other up with the olman. I counted one play where rodgers had 10 seconds in the pocket, while Freeney was on camera standing there not trying to get to him.

  • Just Fire Baby

    and JFB, you think we are going to acquire Tebow? How are we going to go about this?

    **********************

    No, I was saying I will be intersted to watch the Bronco’s play the Panthers next year and see Cam vs. Tebow.

  • Pretty Rick

    Pro bowl,,, lol. I’ve seen more body contact in Pornos than I’ve seen in a pro bowl. I don’t think I’ve watched a pro bowl since Rich Gannon was our Qb.

  • hwnrdr

    Haven’t paid attention to a pro bowl for about 20 years…and I was living in Hawaii then…

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Davis The Realist Dirty Raccoon

    Good morning JFB, RR, HWNrdr, bcz24, Edward, Carl, Dirtlot, NATION!

    We get our first look at Allen today.

    Saunders
    Woodson for PR only
    Wiz
    Fassel
    Bob Wyle
    Can stay, the rest need to kick rocks.

  • RaiderRockstar

    I will be a tad more interested when we play Carolina next year

    ***

    JFB,

    as always STUFF THE RUN = WIN THE GAME!!

  • edward teach

    729.bcz24 Says:
    January 30th, 2012 at 7:05 am
    Dude, there were guys out there trying. Maybe not giving 100%, but trying. Seymour made no effort at all.
    ************************
    I dont know about that. I saw about 10 minutes of the game and I didnt see one DLman try to do anything but mutually hold each other up with the olman. I counted one play where rodgers had 10 seconds in the pocket, while Freeney was on camera standing there not trying to get to him.

    ********************************************************

    We must have watched a different 10 minute segments, lol. The 10 minutes or so I watched it looked like everyone on defense except Seymour was making an effort. I’ll defer to the 10 minutes or so that you watched, because I obviously didn’t see what you saw.

    It’s hard to watch an entire Pro Bowl. I’ve tried it many times and don’t think I’ve ever succeeded. Not exactly riveting television.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Want to make the Pro Bowl a more intriguing watch?

    Spend your Sunday night with your boring azz in-laws (like I did), and you won’t mind wathching the Pro Bowl at all!!

  • bcz24

    No, I was saying I will be intersted to watch the Bronco’s play the Panthers next year and see Cam vs. Tebow.
    **********************
    I got ya… sorry, its Monday morning. I am not firing on all cylinders yet.

  • bcz24

    I have never been able to watch a full pro bowl. Hell I only turned it on yesterday because I was looking for something to watch until Shameless came on at 9… something I wouldnt get invested it. LOL

  • Pretty Rick

    JFB,, my condolences,, thank GOD I got some cool ass in-laws!

  • RaiderRockstar

    You say Cam Newton sucks but yet tout Terelle Pryor as the next coming of Jesus. Come on man.

    ***

    BCZ,

    Jesus is black?

    link? source?

  • Just Fire Baby

    The in-laws can cook there azz off, Italians, and they are nice as hell, but not the most entertaining bunch.

  • edward teach

    I think they ought to just can the whole idea. Send the guys that make the All-Pro team and their families to Hawaii for a week’s vacation or something (as long as players and coaches get the vote and the fans don’t). Heck, they can’t even fill the stadium and these are the best football players in the world.

    The only reason I tuned in at all was to see if Jano was going to get a chance at the record. After seeing the winds and the game itself (and listening to Mayock analyze everything like anyone cared), I figured there would be no 64 yarder, and turned it off.

  • djohnnyg

    718.hwnrdr Says:
    January 30th, 2012 at 6:55 am
    You guys think Reggie will drop the axe on Seymour this season?

    I don’t mind if we drop Seymour. I think he’s a guy who’s already got his rings and just doesn’t feel like playing that hard anymore.

    Let’s face it. I think NE demands more from their players. Don’t know if that had to do with Al Davis always having their back no matter what they did or what it is/was.

    One thing we know for sure, the media will roll their eyes wondering how we could do such a thing as dump him.

    They never really watch the Raiders so they don’t see the same stuff we do.

  • Just Fire Baby

    That’s why the baseball All-Star game is so awesome, it actually means something.

    Well, at least to fans of teams that have a chance of being in the World Series (sorry A’s fans).

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Jesus was from the middle east. He was Palestinian.
    He wasn’t black, white, or Roman.

  • djohnnyg

    No matter what happens I think Allen is a guy who’s gonna not take any crap from the players who don’t give it 110%.

    THAT will be a very refreshing change.

    I just don’t wanna see any of that 99 1/2 yd. drive garbage with the game on the line stuff anymore.

    Am i asking for too much?

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    I love you Jesus!!

  • CJ Legend 34

    Seymour is one of the most overrated players on our roster. I was not surprised in his production in the Probowl at all. Being a vocal leader is great, but sooner or later you have to back it up.

    I will say it until we get rid of at least 70% of the players on our defense. They suck! Period!

  • Pretty Rick

    Always a dice roll with in-laws.