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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

  • CJ Legend 34

    743.djohnnyg Says:
    January 30th, 2012 at 7:30 am
    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.

    ———————————————–
    The media can roll their eyes until they go dry! Do you know how much jack we would save by cuting Seymour? Cut Huff, trade Branch, trade McClain, and cut Aaron Curry. For starters and keep going from their. We won’t win more than 8 games if that this year any how.

  • CJ Legend 34

    749.Pretty Rick Says:
    January 30th, 2012 at 7:38 am
    Always a dice roll with in-laws.

    —————————-
    A dice roll how many in-laws have you had? : )

  • bcz24

    The media can roll their eyes until they go dry! Do you know how much jack we would save by cuting Seymour? Cut Huff, trade Branch, trade McClain, and cut Aaron Curry. For starters and keep going from their. We won’t win more than 8 games if that this year any how.
    *************************
    Branch is a FA… can’t trade him, besides, he is one of the few guys worth hanging on to!

  • Pretty Rick

    I think most of the D can be saved,, I wanna see what they can do with a hard nosed coach who’s known to be very disciplined, as opposed to a DC who has vanilla football IQ and calls a vanilla defensive scheme. Fix the interior D-line though.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Cam Newton is JaMarcus Russell minus the cough syrup & candy bars

    Right, Debo?

  • Pretty Rick

    CJ34,,lol. Only one set. I would never get married 2wice. It’ll be a one time thing for me bruh. Lol

  • HGDaddy

    JasonLaCanfora Jason La Canfora
    Todd Bowles taking Eagles DBs coach job. Turned down offer from Oakland. #insideslant

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Resign branch.
    Restructure Wimbley.

    Restructure/ trade: TK, Huff, and Seymour.

  • Just Fire Baby

    All I want from today is some type of confirmation on our staff, and if Saunders is staying, and what the coach/GM plan is for QB.

    I’m sure everything else will be fluff.

  • hwnrdr

    756.HGDaddy Says:
    January 30th, 2012 at 7:50 am
    JasonLaCanfora Jason La Canfora
    Todd Bowles taking Eagles DBs coach job. Turned down offer from Oakland. #insideslant

    Ouch! I guess it was HC or bust, huh?

  • Seymour Bush

    ddwight Says:
    January 30th, 2012 at 6:08 am

    I dont think that Mckenzie & Allen, are going to just stand by and allow Palmer to throw the amount of picks that he threw and still be our starter (no matter how much he cost), these 2-guys appear to be no nonsense,
    ==========================================

    I don’t know, Favre threw a lot of picks in GB and they all seemed fine with it up there.

  • bcz24

    Ouch! I guess it was HC or bust, huh?
    ************************
    Bowles is a 3-4 guy, Allen is primarily a 4-3 guy, and I have heard Allen plans on mostly being in charge of the defense as well. Bowles going to philly is probably a solid option, he has a hell of a core of players there.

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

    HGDaddy Says:
    January 30th, 2012 at 7:50 am
    JasonLaCanfora Jason La Canfora
    Todd Bowles taking Eagles DBs coach job. Turned down offer from Oakland. #insideslant

    ::::::::::

    Kinda glad. Didn’t really want a DC that would end up leaving after one year. We probably offered the same thing (DB) not DC.

  • http://www.addictedtoquack.com RaiderDuck

    Also, per NFL Network, Bowles is from the Philadelphia area. If you’re offered one DB position at home and another across the country, home might be more inviting.

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

    Seymour Bush Says:
    January 30th, 2012 at 8:08 am
    ddwight Says:
    January 30th, 2012 at 6:08 am

    I dont think that Mckenzie & Allen, are going to just stand by and allow Palmer to throw the amount of picks that he threw and still be our starter (no matter how much he cost), these 2-guys appear to be no nonsense,
    ==========================================

    I don’t know, Favre threw a lot of picks in GB and they all seemed fine with it up there.

    ::::::::::

    True, not the same amount if he can cut that rate in half, he will be a Great QB for us, if he can’t protect the Ball better it’s not gonna work.

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

    Me thinks Tommy Kelly is gone. I’ve been to Camp every year fir the last 5 years and his attitude is still the same. Just like Turdell Sands. Trade this lump for the best pick we can get, then use it on a NG.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Todd Bowles taking Eagles DBs coach job. Turned down offer from Oakland.

    -Jason La Canfora

    ***

    Oakland’s offer was DC or DB Coach?

  • http://www.addictedtoquack.com RaiderDuck

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    January 30th, 2012 at 8:19 am

    Todd Bowles taking Eagles DBs coach job. Turned down offer from Oakland.

    -Jason La Canfora

    ***

    Oakland’s offer was DC or DB Coach?

    =========================================

    If he turned us down for a DB Coach position in his hometown, I assuming we didn’t offer him DC.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Bowles chose Nnamdi Asomugha, Asante Samuel & Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie over Routt, CJ37 & DVD …

    anybody surprised?

    what players stand a better chance of making him look good ???

  • RaiderRockstar

    new post!

  • edward teach

    763.RaiderDuck Says:
    January 30th, 2012 at 8:11 am
    Also, per NFL Network, Bowles is from the Philadelphia area. If you’re offered one DB position at home and another across the country, home might be more inviting.

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

    Smart move on his part. He’s closer to home, and in the driver’s seat should Castillo fail to get them to play better on defense. You can bet that the Eagles’ front office is looking at it that way.

    If he came here as a DB coach and was somehow elevated to DC he would be running Allen’s system instead of his own. I’m sure he’d rather have the flexibility that the Philly job provides.

  • bplatvoet

    SnB offense defense specialteams Says:
    January 29th, 2012 at 3:12 pm
    Palmer is the QB going forward and is a good QB. However, I think this radical pursuit for a “franchise QB” leads to laziness from coaches and fans.

    John Fox and Jim Harbaugh made chicken salad out of chicken shhhhhh…

    Coaches have to become coaches and work with the talent they have.
    =================================================

    Agree 100%.

  • djohnnyg

    752.bcz24 Says:
    January 30th, 2012 at 7:44 am
    The media can roll their eyes until they go dry! Do you know how much jack we would save by cuting Seymour? Cut Huff, trade Branch, trade McClain, and cut Aaron Curry. For starters and keep going from their. We won’t win more than 8 games if that this year any how.
    *************************
    Branch is a FA… can’t trade him, besides, he is one of the few guys worth hanging on to!

    Why cut Curry? He is cheap AND he played pretty well. One of the very few guys I would want to keep on defense.

  • raiderhaterhater

    Englander- Gannon was found by Gruden…Al didnt like his noodle arm but trusted Gruden with the call…Otherwise Al had been whiffing on QB’s for years..starting with Pastorini..

  • raidertbone

    We definitely need to trade/restructure Kelly, Seymour and Huff. The majority of the defense is undisciplined and not very “with it”. Defensive meltdowns at the end vs. both the Bills and the Lions cost this team a playoff berth. I feel comfortable with Carson Palmer at QB – for now. We need healthy playmakers, a couple of big name free agents on defense and draft picks, draft picks, draft picks!

  • http://www.cannacenters.com R8rArt

    Pastorini.
    Was a story going around back then that he threw a football up to a 6th floor balcony from the parking lot.
    Those present commented “ya, but he was aiming for the 5th floor”

  • raidertbone

    776.R8rArt Says:
    January 30th, 2012 at 1:12 pm
    Pastorini.
    Was a story going around back then that he threw a football up to a 6th floor balcony from the parking lot.
    Those present commented “ya, but he was aiming for the 5th floor”
    _______________________________________

    I thought that was Tebow .. oh yeah, right, Tebow’s throw hit the swimming pool, instead!

  • raidertbone

    Keep Shaugnessy, keep Houston, keep Curry, hope that Goethel comes back strong from injury. Most of the rest of the defense is a collection of overpaid, undermotivated buffoons.

  • Musaeus

    Corkran’s to do list:

    1) Learn the art of formatting and bulleting.

    2) Resist the temptation to recite recent Raiders history. Has anyone seriously forgotten/never known that Norvo was our coach? I haven’t.

    3) Realize that a person’s name needs no indefinite article.

    4) Provide insights for us regarding the Raiders footwear and how it has affected many recent players.

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