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Saints coaches, players identifed Allen as head coach material early on

The year was 2006, when Dennis Allen was in his first year as an assitant coach for the New Orleans Saints. Allen didn’t have much NFL experience, yet he made an immediate impression upon fellow assistant coach Joe Vitt, now the Saints interim head coach during Sean Payton’s year-long suspension.
Vitt said he realized right away that Allen had what it takes to be an NFL head coach.
“There’s some people that have that ‘it’ factor,” Vitt said. “There’s some people, some coaches, not only are they extremely well versed at coaching their position but they have the people skills and game-day awareness and knowledge of the game that you just know that they’ve got that ‘it’ factor. And D.A. has always had that ‘it’ factor.
“So, when he left here and became the coordinator in Denver, we knew he was going to try. Dennis Allen has coached both ends of the ball now. He’s coached defensive line. He coached it here for one year in ’06, then he coached the secondary. He’s won a world championship, he’s succeeded as a coordinator. D.A.’s succeeded as a player at Texas A&M.”
And he’ll succeed in Oakland Vitt said, because Allen has succeeded at every stop during his football career.
“The only reason that D.A. was hired to be the coach at the Raiders is they wanted to go in a different direction and improve their football team,” Vitt said, “and as anyone knows, you’re going to go through tough times your rookie season as a head coach.
“That head coach and Reggie McKenzie are going to get the right people in there to fit the scheme that they’re playing, and it’s going to take a little bit of time. But you talk about two highly qualified guys that have won big-time at this level and know what they’re doing, that’s a great combination.”
Vitt was just getting started. He said fans need to be patient with Allen. His time is coming, even if it’s not in his first season with the Raiders.
“D.A. has been through tough times before,” Vitt said. “Let me tell you something about D.A. There’s not a more qualified guy to be coaching that team than Dennis Allen right now. … Dennis Allen is smart, Dennis Allen has great people skills. Dennis Allen knows how to teach, motivate and inspire.”
Then, perhaps in a slight toward the man Allen replaced, Hue Jackson, Vitt said Allen has the proper demeanor to persevere through tough times, whereas Jackson lashed out during his postgame news conference after the regular-season finale last year.
“Dennis Allen’s not going to go off the cuff and off the reservation by saying or doing dumb things,” Vitt said. “He’s going to have his football team focused and he’s going to have to get better. … So, D.A. is going to stay the course. He’s going to get people healthy, circle the wagons, and we’re going to get the Raiders best game of the year. We are well versed in that.”
When asked Thursday about his coaching aspirations, Allen seemed more intent upon looking forward, as is his wont.
He didn’t feel compelled to say things such as he always has wanted to be a head coach in the NFL or that this is the job he dreamed of from a young age. He’s all about the now.
“I never really thought about it that much; I really didn’t,” Allen said. “I was fortunate to be in a situation where I got this opportunity, and I’m thankful for that. I don’t really think about how I got here, I think about how I’m going to continue to work to get this team better.”
Raiders free safety Matt Giordano played for Allen with the Saints for one season, when Allen was the defensive backs coach. He, too, recognized that Allen was headed for bigger and better things before long.
“When I was there in New Orleans, I just looked at him as my position coach, but everyone knew he was fully capable of being a defensive coordinator or possibly a head coach,” Giordano said. “He understood the defense there so well. I was thankful to have him that one year as my position coach.”

– Allen said running back Darren McFadden took his injured right ankle for a test run Thursday, with trainers monitoring his every step.
McFadden hasn’t practiced or played in a game since he suffered a high-ankle sprain against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Nov. 4. He has missed five straight practices.
“McFadden was out today and ran around on the side with the trainers, which was, obviously, a good sign,” Allen said. “I don’t know whether or not either (McFadden or fellow running back Mike Goodson) will be able to play this weekend or not. But that’s a good sign that he was out here able to move around. These guys are working extremely hard to get back out here.”
McFadden was spotted at the team’s facility rehabbing his ankle at 6 a.m. today, another encouraging sign. Still, it’s a stretch to envision McFadden playing Sunday against the Saints.
Goodson has not been able to give it a go with his high-ankle sprain, Allen said. Same goes for injured defensive tackle Richard Seymour (knee, hamstring).

– It seems as if every coach or player has some sort of recollection of their dealings with late Raiders managing general partner Al Davis over the years.
Vitt laughed when asked about the first time he met Davis.
“You really want to know?” Vitt said, while laughing, in a conference call.
Sure, coach, fill us in.
“The year was 1981,” Vitt said. “I was in the league for three years, my first year was 1979 I was the strength coach and quality control guy for the Baltimore Colts under Ted Marchibroda. After three years there, we were fired, and after three years, I was 26 years old.
And I want to say the (scouting) combine workout that year was at the Pontiac Silverdome. Fired coaches, the club usually flies them to the combine workout or the Senior Bowl to try and help them secure another job. So there I am, I’m in the locker room, doing the player weigh-in, and there I spot Mr. Davis.
“So, I go up to him, I say, `Hey, coach, my name is Joe Vitt. I’m only 26 years old but I’ve been in the league three years. I was the strength coach, I was the quality control coach, I gave out the tickets on the plane.’ I told him all the wonderful accomplishments I had over my three-year-period with the Baltimore Colts.
“He looked me in the eye and said, `Son, when I was 26 years old I was the commissioner of the AFL.’ I crawled out of the lockerroom. And he never forgot that, and I never forgot that. I’ve always enjoyed my time and my conversations with them since then.”
Great stuff.

– Offensive coordinator Greg Knapp reiterated what Allen has said, that second-year running back Taiwan Jones still has to earn the trust of the coaches before he gets more action in games.
The issues that remain, Knapp said, are Jones’ ball security and blocking assignments. Once Jones gets those down in practice, he will get more of an opportunity to show what he can do in games.
“I’ve got to see ‘em in practice first, consistently,” Knapp said. “And I haven’t seen it consistently in practice, and that’s what we look for, is perfection in practice.”
Knapp said he and Allen can tell whether Jones is ready by watching him in practice, there isn’t the need to see him in a game to make that determination. Jones still isn’t hanging on to the ball as well as the coaches would like.
“Sometimes it’s handoffs and sometimes it’s been on contact,” Knapp said of Jones’ struggles.

– Strong safety Tyvon Branch missed practice for the second straight day today. If he can’t play Sunday, Allen said Mike Mitchell will make his first start this season.
“If he’s able to practice tomorrow, then I’d anticipate he’d be able to play,” Allen said of Branch. “I would have some real concern if he’s not able to practice tomorrow.”
Allen is high on Mitchell because of his passion, desire and ability. The key for Mitchell is playing under control.
“He’s a very passionate player, he works extremely hard, he loves the game,” Allen said. “So, sometimes you just got to slow his heartbeat down a little bit and get him to calm down a little bit. I’ve been pleased with some of the things that I’ve seen Mike do. It’s important to him, and that’s what I like about him.”
Defensive coordinator Jason Tarver echoed that sentiment, saying Mitchell just needs to harness his energy and play within himself.
“I’m more than capable of starting in this league and being a very good football player,” Mitchell said. “I just got to slow my heartbeat down and go play good football. I’m really looking forward to this opportunity. I feel like coach saying that says a lot. It gives me an opportunity to go out there and earn their confidence, earn their trust and just go make plays.”
There won’t be much margin for error Sunday, with Saints tight end Jimmy Graham adept at working over the best of defensive backs.

– If Allen is bothered by the growing discontent of the fan base, he isn’t letting on.
“Hey, listen, I understand that that’s part of the business,” Allen said. “My focus is on doing whatever I can to make this team better. That’s all I can focus on.”
With that said, Allen said that he doesn’t encounter any hostility from fans.
“No. Listen, you can’t please everybody, and I understand that and I know that,” Allen said. “You have to try to do everything you can to give this team a chance to win. That’s the sole purpose and sole thought process of what we’re trying to do.”

– The Raiders sold enough tickets in advance of the league-mandated deadline Thursday so that they can televise Sunday’s game locally.
This marks the fifth straight regular-season home game that will be televised this season and 13th straight, dating back to the start of last season.

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Steve Corkran

  • http://raiders.com Albert Bigelow Paine

    Dakota Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 7:50 am
    692.nycraider Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 7:48 am
    BASE SALARY S. BONUS MISC. BONUS CAP HIT
    2012 925,000 1,315,000 – 2,240,000
    2013 7,500,000 1,315,000 7,500,000 16,315,000
    2014 7,500,000 1,315,000 7,500,000 16,315,000
    2015 7,500,000 1,315,000 7,500,000 16,315,000
    2016 7,500,000 1,315,000 7,500,000 16,315,000
    2017
    here is seymours new contract ..guessing the misc bonus is a roster type of bonus which doesnt hurt us capwise if hes cut,.

    +++++++++++++

    Oh man, I hope the majority of that is not guaranteed lol.
    ——
    I doubt Seymour is even on the team next year.

  • bcz24

    If we cut Seymour before the roster bonus is due, all we are on the hook for is the remainder of the signing bonus, which is about 5.2 mil. Not good, but not as bad as it was this year, especially with the baths we took on Routt and Wimbley

  • nycraider

    my guess or my hope is the next 4 years seymours base salary is 7.5 million with an additional 7.5 million of a roster type bonus. the 1.315 per year signing bonus which has been paid already will count towards our cap and will accelerate if cut.
    base salary wont hurt us when he is cut. the big question to me is that misc bonus of 7.5 mil. what is it and how does it affect the cap if hes cut. my instinct is that it doesnt count. it better not ..

  • bcz24

    700.Gdog Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 7:55 am
    Now wait… the “bonus misc” is probably the restructuring of the guaranteed money, so if we cut him next year that all accelerates. That’s 5.2 mill. Maybe that is all it would cost if he retires…
    *********
    Nah, the ‘misc bonus’ category on that site refers to roster bonuses, workout bonuses, statistical bonuses etc. None of which are guaranteed. The signing bonus is in its own category.

  • Gdog

    I like Palmer. But, he sacrificed the future for an aging QB who hadn’t played for a year just so he could get into the playoffs and go nowhere. It was a stupid trade. He was fleeced by the Bengals. And, it was his and Al’s fault the Raiders were in that situation since they went with Boller as a backup QB.
    >>>>

    Cmon… you can’t call it a stupid trade until his career with the Raiders is fully over.

    Right now, he is the ONLY reason to go to the stadium and watch games, so as a business stand point.. no way.

    And lets see what kind of players he puts around him next year… a true number one receiver and better right side line help might make him up there with Brady…

  • bcz24

    my guess or my hope is the next 4 years seymours base salary is 7.5 million with an additional 7.5 million of a roster type bonus. the 1.315 per year signing bonus which has been paid already will count towards our cap and will accelerate if cut
    *************
    yep, you are spot on.

  • Gdog

    bcz24 Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 7:57 am

    700.Gdog Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 7:55 am
    Now wait… the “bonus misc” is probably the restructuring of the guaranteed money, so if we cut him next year that all accelerates. That’s 5.2 mill. Maybe that is all it would cost if he retires…
    *********
    Nah, the ‘misc bonus’ category on that site refers to roster bonuses, workout bonuses, statistical bonuses etc. None of which are guaranteed. The signing bonus is in its own category.
    >>>>>>

    well there is no way to tell what the cap hit would be then without knowing how much money he has left that is guaranteed… right?

  • Gdog

    bcz24 Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 7:59 am

    my guess or my hope is the next 4 years seymours base salary is 7.5 million with an additional 7.5 million of a roster type bonus. the 1.315 per year signing bonus which has been paid already will count towards our cap and will accelerate if cut
    *************
    yep, you are spot on.
    >>>>

    Uhh that’s what I just said, and you told me I am wrong.

  • bcz24

    This is what makes the AM crew around worth showing up for… we have our disagreements but we can actually discuss FOOTBALL…

  • Gdog

    bcz24 Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 8:01 am

    This is what makes the AM crew around worth showing up for… we have our disagreements but we can actually discuss FOOTBALL…
    >>>>

    NO KIDDING!

    So are we in agreement that Seymour would cost us over 5 mill in cap hit next year if he is gone, and 16 mill if he stays?

    If so… his last game as a Raider is coming soon…

  • bcz24

    Here’s the deal. The ONLY thing guaranteed about Seymours contract next year is the signing bonus he has already been paid. There are dates when certain dollar amounts kick in to the ‘guaranteed’ category, like for example he may have a 3 million roster bonus that becomes guaranteed if he is on the team on may 1st (just an example, not a fact) so if we cut him before that date it is not guaranteed.

    If we cut Seymour on day 1 of the new league year next year it will cost us the remainder of his signing bonus. Nothing else.

  • Gdog

    Plus with CP playing at such a high level, it might make it easier to pick up some cherry FA’s next year… that’s kind of how it worked once Gannon started playing so well…

  • nycraider

    To me the one missing link of info is Mark Davis. Earlier in the year someone joked at least we are not the jaguars(i think they were approx 20-30 mil under the cap). I assume probably because of our history with Al that we will always assume the raiders will try to spend at the cap level. I just hope that Mark Davis will at least let reggie spend to the cap level next year and not force him to get rid of contracts and find their replacements at bargain prices and hope for the best. To me 2013 will reveal alot, reggie’s ability to draft and sign legit free agents, DAs ability to mature and coach, and what Mark Davis is all about. 2013 is the year of no excuses(and hopefully no knapp) imo.

  • Gdog

    Here’s the deal. The ONLY thing guaranteed about Seymours contract next year is the signing bonus he has already been paid.

    >>>>

    I know… that’s why I assumed all of the “misc bonus” would be exactly what is left on his contract… 5.26 mill. 4 times 1.315.

  • Gdog

    nycraider Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 8:07 am

    2013 is the year of no excuses(and hopefully no knapp) imo.

    >>>>>

    Agreed.

    Although I would go further and say DA should still get three years regardless.

  • nycraider

    anyone know is jacoby ford is signed for next year, i cant locate any contract info on him

  • boss01

    Jacoby should be cut, hasn’t seen the field in 2 years.

    I think it is safe to label him as injury prone. He should be first to go after Seymour and Kelly.

  • LILALDAVIS

    Man the Raiders need to Dig Deep this Sunday in order to pull off a Win… JUST WIN BABY, NATION CHECK OUT THIS RAIDER FAN’S VIDEO CLASSIC.
    http://youtu.be/4ckd45q6dYs <~~~~~~

  • Marks hair

    Our coaches have that shÎT factor

  • nycraider

    if Jacoby’s contact is cheap, id keep him and have him return punts and kickoffs only so he doesnt get hurt playing WR. he can make a big difference in the return game. not sold on him being able to stay on the field as WR.

  • JONGRUDEN2013

    You shut ins want some truth about Joe Vitt?…all that praise for DA,..that was a conference call phone interview with media people,…that whole time he was glorifying Dennis Allen, he was on the floor laughing hysterically, his assistants had to leave the room because it was so God damn funny.

  • Marks hair

    Our players have the shÎT factor as well..

  • Marks hair

    Reggie showed his shÍT factor by not treating this as the rebuild season it is.. no mass cuts or firesale…

  • Marks hair

    You know what that makes us?…. a shÌT factory

  • Marks hair

    Code shìt factor!

  • Marks hair

    Go raiders! Happy fùcking friday everybody

  • MiamiRaider78

    I’m going with Nycraiders slogan for the Raiders in 2013:

    NO EXCUSES!

  • Marks hair

    Eat a bag of dìcks greg knapp!

  • http://www.insidebayarea.com/raiders Silverandblack666

    “You shut ins want some truth about Joe Vitt?…all that praise for DA,..that was a conference call phone interview with media people,…that whole time he was glorifying Dennis Allen, he was on the floor laughing hysterically, his assistants had to leave the room because it was so God damn funny.”

    Why not ask Sean Peyton he is not suspended from giving interviews is he?

    Probably because Sean Peyton would not hide his on the floor laughing attack

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    Did any of you guys catch the Ravens Head coach mic’d up while slaughtering the Raiders?

  • bcz24

    716.nycraider Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 8:13 am
    anyone know is jacoby ford is signed for next year, i cant locate any contract info on him
    *********************
    He signed a 4 year 2.2 mill deal when we drafted him. He is under contract next year, and he costs peanuts.

  • http://raiders.com Albert Bigelow Paine

    Marks Hair Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 8:36 am
    You know what that makes us?…. a shÌT factory
    —–
    The winds of sh*t will be blowing over the Coliseum this Sunday.

  • nycraider

    Bcz24 Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 8:49 am
    716.nycraider Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 8:13 am
    anyone know is jacoby ford is signed for next year, i cant locate any contract info on him
    *********************
    He signed a 4 year 2.2 mill deal when we drafted him. He is under contract next year, and he costs peanuts.
    ———————–
    id keep him as a return guy only so lowers the chance of injury, have him do punts and kickoffs..would make a big difference

  • http://www.GodIsImaginary.com RaiderDuck

    Gdog Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 7:43 am

    Why else bury your fastest RB on the bench and play a PS player?

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

    Because the fastest RB can’t even hold onto the ball in no-contact practice sessions.

  • VanHeathen30

    Amazing how much BIG Money gets thrown at these guys and they can’t get therir assignments right?
    Or they come here with a previous history of achievement and then dissappear on the field, or get exposed through penalties or poor play…
    What a RIP OFF to the fans who buy the tix and merch and 12 dollar beers to be rewarded with this crap…

  • Marks hair

    The stench of our shìt factory is polluting California…

  • VanHeathen30

    Did any of you guys catch the Ravens Head coach mic’d up while slaughtering the Raiders?

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

    Yeah, it only ded to the misery…
    as did the 5 plys on C’Mon Man before the Monda nite game…PATHETIC

  • nycraider

    MiamiRaider78 Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 8:46 am
    I’m going with Nycraiders slogan for the Raiders in 2013:

    NO EXCUSES!
    —————-
    there are none, should find a billboard to remind reg ,mark davis and DA everyday(hopefully knapp will be a qb coach somewhere else next year)

  • http://raiders.com Albert Bigelow Paine

    Jacoby Ford is supposed to make $575,000 next year.

  • http://www.insidebayarea.com/raiders Silverandblack666

    “Gdog Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 8:06 am
    Plus with CP playing at such a high level, it might make it easier to pick up some cherry FA’s next year… that’s kind of how it worked once Gannon started playing so well…”

    This is a good point by Palmer being a good soldier and working hard in the midst of a rebuild he makes this place look attractive to other free agents good point!

  • nycraider

    its not happy hour here in ny yet, so try not to call me crazy on this one. but i feel Taiwan jones should try to convert to cb in the OFFSEASON. the difference between him and dvd is taiwan seems to be a good tackler. as a gunner he does a good job tackling. his hands are an issue which wont be an issue at cb. he has the speed to cover. yes its a reach, but over time it could work. and its not like our current secondary has any lester hayes roaming around anyway.

  • http://www.AmyTraskshouldbeonmountrushmore.com Whats a Drexl?

    Davis called Kiffin “# ####-### ####” and said he was guilty of “bringing disgrace to the organization”.

    Ive redacted the liar part of the quote,(coach cliches don’t count as lies, unfortunately),
    but DA is treading very close to the “disgrace” line IMO.

  • MiamiRaider78

    Today is a happy day. Between my all 3 of my brothers, they had 3 girls. Now I just found out that my younger brother will be welcoming a boy to our family. In other words, another addition to the Nation.

    Whew who!!!

  • nycraider

    MiamiRaider78 Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 9:08 am
    Today is a happy day. Between my all 3 of my brothers, they had 3 girls. Now I just found out that my younger brother will be welcoming a boy to our family. In other words, another addition to the Nation.

    Whew who!!!
    ————–
    congrats and wishing good health for our newest raider fan.

  • MiamiRaider78

    Thanks NYC. Hope all is improving in your neck of the woods.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    MiamiRaider78 Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 9:08 am
    Today is a happy day. Between my all 3 of my brothers, they had 3 girls. Now I just found out that my younger brother will be welcoming a boy to our family. In other words, another addition to the Nation.

    Whew who!!!
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$!

    Congratulations. I have a girl, and now I want a boy. I want O JR.

  • MiamiRaider78

    Raider O, girls are awesome though! Tough saying no to anything she asks for. lol

    I’m thinking by the time my brothers son is ten, the rule will kick in and we’ll be a really good football team.

    10 and Then. LOL

  • http://raiders.com Albert Bigelow Paine

    When I have a child, I won’t let them watch sports. Why subject them to that kind of misery?

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    MiamiRaider78,

    LOL
    It’s hard saying no, but I have to do it. Can’t raise spoiled little brats, but she is my princess.
    I want a boy who likes to play Lego, Sports, etc… I’m tired of playing pretend and dress up.

  • Dakota

    748.Albert Bigelow Paine Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 9:25 am
    When I have a child, I won’t let them watch sports. Why subject them to that kind of misery?

    ++++++++++++++

    Your cousin will never give in! Get over it!