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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

  • hwnrdr

    I was lucky to have a boy than a girl! Now I am done…A Raider and a little Raiderette!!! Woohooo!
    But Congrats to the newest Raider!!!

  • DMAC

    Morning/afternoon peoples!
    Whats smoking Green Party?
    Weed is getting cheaper and cheaper evryday in Northern Cali.
    Bought half an once of some type of kush for $40.
    :)

  • bcz24

    749.Raider O Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 9:27 am
    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.
    **************
    Fugg yeah. Lego’s are the best toy EVER! LOL

  • JLofty

    Ok am crew honest now: shootout + trampling? Or DA and Tarver pull out all the stops and hold NO enuf for a vic…

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Good Morning Mr. Prez.
    $40 will get you an average 1/8 down here.

  • bcz24

    752.DMAC Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 9:35 am
    Morning/afternoon peoples!
    Whats smoking Green Party?
    Weed is getting cheaper and cheaper evryday in Northern Cali.
    Bought half an once of some type of kush for $40.
    *********************
    I can’t even get a 1/2 of shwag for that! I pay $40 for an 1/8th of nugs. Fvck New York!

  • bcz24

    Honestly I think we will match or beat the Saints in scoring in quarters 1 2 and 4… hopefully they don’t hang 60 on us in the 3rd…

  • DMAC

    Theres $$$$ to be made Green Party.

  • DMAC

    Another 3rd quarter meltdown??????

    Hope not!!

  • JLofty

    Yeah wtf is our 3rd qtr prob? Tarver growing pains…?

  • J Hill

    Bought half an once of some type of kush for $40.

    ————————————————————-

    LOL

    Smokin that buuhhhlllshhhiiddd still, eh?

  • DJ Johnny

    721.JONGRUDEN2013 Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 8:24 am
    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.

    In fairness, he can’t actually talk and laugh hysterically at the same time.

    You hear alot of good things about DA from other coaches too, but i don’t know if i like that necessarily.

    Being a “good guy” doesn’t always translate to being a good football coach. In fact i don’t know if it ever does.

  • DMAC

    2 bad that dude (Underwood) at the begining of camp got hurt.
    Wasn’t he playing a little safety for us?
    I recall him smacking a few fools hard in preseason.
    He was bringing it.

  • J Hill

    Underwood would have CERTAINLY been starting at FS for us.

    CLEARLY the best S we had.

  • bcz24

    760.JLofty Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 9:40 am
    Yeah wtf is our 3rd qtr prob? Tarver growing pains…?
    ***************
    We had the same problem last year though. Whatever their halftime regimen is, CHANGE IT!

  • DMAC

    761.J Hill Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 9:40 am
    Bought half an once of some type of kush for $40.

    ————————————————————-

    LOL

    Smokin that buuhhhlllshhhiiddd still, eh?

    =======

    Never that J Heezy!
    Only smoke the best.
    lol
    Got some schit right now that will bring your fked up hair line back to life.
    LMAO

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Bcz24 Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 9:35 am
    749.Raider O Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 9:27 am
    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.
    **************
    Fugg yeah. Lego’s are the best toy EVER! LOL
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    I saved my Legos since I was 5 yo, I have a huge box of Legos, and I gave it to my daughter. She was excited for a few months, but now she is over it.
    I want a kid who will appreciate my favorite toy, and someone willing to play. I still enjoy playing Legos.

  • bcz24

    Did we cut Underwood? I saw him tweet out the other day something about still being unemployed.

  • J Hill

    Bartell and Huff at CB

    Underwood and Mitchell at S

    Woulda shoulda coulda been a damn good secondary.

  • DMAC

    764.J Hill Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 9:43 am
    Underwood would have CERTAINLY been starting at FS for us.

    CLEARLY the best S we had.

    =======
    I think so 2.
    If dude is healthy, I wouldn’t mind Reggie bringing him back next season to see what he has to offer.

  • DMAC

    768.bcz24 Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 9:45 am
    Did we cut Underwood? I saw him tweet out the other day something about still being unemployed.

    =======

    Injury settlement I believe

  • bcz24

    I had a massive collection of Lego’s. My wicked evil cvnt of a step-mother threw them all out when I was like 18 while I was at school. She threw out a ton of my Transformers too, which makes me even madder now after the movies cuz those things are probably worth some cash!

  • DJ Johnny

    Let’s be honest.

    Do we have a chance in hel.l of beating the Saints on Sunday?

    I don’t even know if I wanna watch it.

    Sick of these guys ruining my Sunday’s.

    I just don’t see it.

    The only uncertainty appears to be whether DA will be laughing it up with Joe Vitt after he gets his arse handed to him.

  • J Hill

    Got some schit right now that will bring your fked up hair line back to life.

    ————————————————————

    Hmmmm

    Your weed stories are like old men and their fishing “stories”.

  • DJ Johnny

    Tennessee picked up good ole CJ37 and GB resigned Vic So’oto, much to the dleight of packers fans who were upset they let him come to us in the first place.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Bcz,

    I think every kid should play Legos. It helps develop their imagination and creativity, and it stimulates the brain while playing.
    Great Toy.

  • DMAC

    DJ Johnny Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 9:49 am
    Let’s be honest.

    Do we have a chance in hel.l of beating the Saints on Sunday?
    =========

    If the Dline can bring it, then we’ll have a chance.
    If roll over like last week.
    Then we’re done after the half.

  • DMAC

    774.J Hill Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 9:50 am
    Got some schit right now that will bring your fked up hair line back to life.

    ————————————————————

    Hmmmm

    Your weed stories are like old men and their fishing “stories”.
    ======

    Some old folks are cool to kick it wit.
    You can soak up some of their OG game of the past.

  • http://raiders.com Albert Bigelow Paine

    DJ Johnny Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 9:49 am
    Let’s be honest.

    Do we have a chance in hel.l of beating the Saints on Sunday?

    I don’t even know if I wanna watch it.

    Sick of these guys ruining my Sunday’s.

    I just don’t see it.

    The only uncertainty appears to be whether DA will be laughing it up with Joe Vitt after he gets his arse handed to him.
    ——
    Saints best when they are at home. It’s going to be raining. Yeah, we have a chance. If they can almost beat Atlanta, they can compete with the Saints.

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    If any of you are on the fence about current Raider REGIME you really owe it to yourself to check out a clip from the NFL website titled Sound FX: John Harbaugh’s Ravens Flying High.

    It’s just a small clip up of Harbaugh mic’ed up, whooping it up on the side lines while out coaching the Raider’s coaching staff.

    For those of you with weak stomachs I’ll paraphrase.

    After the fake FG, Harbaugh can be heard joking with a referee “You can’t line up in a total overload from the five yard line and expect us not to do something like that. It ain’t rubbing it in your face if you are going to give it us.”

    Another coach walks over to the Harbaugh and says “You said it would be there all week.”

    After a Raider’s blown coverage, Harbaugh asks what the original call before the audible. The Coach tells him “That was the call. He(Flacco) made a dummy call to make it seem like they checked into a run so they(Raiders)came down and blew the check.”

    It is a short clip but it illustrates just who far this REGIME is over it’s head.

    Just Win Baby.

  • DJ Johnny

    So Taiwan needs to earn the trust of the coaches?

    Like Philip “fumble’s” Adams has?

    I guess when they announce the move to LA at the end of the season all these moves will begin to make sense in hindsight.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    DJ Johnny Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 9:51 am
    Tennessee picked up good ole CJ37 and GB resigned Vic So’oto, much to the dleight of packers fans who were upset they let him come to us in the first place.
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    We need impact players on defense, and I doubt we are going to find them on other teams PS.
    We need to be more active in FA (if we can), and we need a solid draft. Can’t afford to draft 26 yo rookies who are going to be inactive for half the season.

  • DKnight007

    313.RaidersAllday_LtsGeTit Says:
    November 15th, 2012 at 8:42 pm
    all u have to hang your hat on is the is weak qb wannabe stat.

    Fact is Hue won 8 games and was the right man for this Raider job.

    DA has shown zero so far except being able to keep 3 timeouts at the end of each half and write down notes with a red marker

    ^^^^^^^
    Exactly!

  • http://raiders.com Albert Bigelow Paine

    Where’s the Black Supremacist today?

  • bcz24

    775.DJ Johnny Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 9:51 am
    Tennessee picked up good ole CJ37 and GB resigned Vic So’oto, much to the dleight of packers fans who were upset they let him come to us in the first place.
    *****************
    I thought Baltimore signed CJ37

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    We have a chance of giving up 70 points.

  • DMAC

    I think every kid should play Legos. It helps develop their imagination and creativity, and it stimulates the brain while playing.
    Great Toy
    ========

    “Stimulate your mind Craig!”

  • http://raiders.com Albert Bigelow Paine

    Dr. Hunter S. Thompson Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 9:59 am
    We have a chance of giving up 70 points.
    ——
    There defense is pretty bad too. If the Raiders can hold onto the ball and score, that will limit the Saints.

  • inonewordraider

    will the highlight of the year be “we almost beat the falcons”

  • bcz24

    If you look through the Saints last couple of seasons, they have been pretty bad outdoors on grass. Mix in some rain… I think this game may be a lot different than anyone expects.

  • DJ Johnny

    780.Dr. Hunter S. Thompson Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 9:53 am
    If any of you are on the fence about current Raider REGIME you really owe it to yourself to check out a clip from the NFL website titled Sound FX: John Harbaugh’s Ravens Flying High.

    It’s just a small clip up of Harbaugh mic’ed up, whooping it up on the side lines while out coaching the Raider’s coaching staff.

    For those of you with weak stomachs I’ll paraphrase.

    After the fake FG, Harbaugh can be heard joking with a referee “You can’t line up in a total overload from the five yard line and expect us not to do something like that. It ain’t rubbing it in your face if you are going to give it us.”

    Another coach walks over to the Harbaugh and says “You said it would be there all week.”

    After a Raider’s blown coverage, Harbaugh asks what the original call before the audible. The Coach tells him “That was the call. He(Flacco) made a dummy call to make it seem like they checked into a run so they(Raiders)came down and blew the check.”

    It is a short clip but it illustrates just who far this REGIME is over it’s head.

    Just Win Baby.

    Wow.

    I wish DA and Reggie..and heck, Mark, see that and it shames them.

    That kind of stuff makes it look like the Raiders are just a schlep organization…still.

    Listen, every year there are more than a few 1st yr. head coaches, so that’s no excuse for DA to be so badly clowned.

    Last Sunday was not only an embarrassing beatdown on the scoreboard, but the added insult of the fg and the sound bites above make us appear to be an inept joke of a team.

    This is just all so freaking sad.

  • bcz24

    They have also not traveled to the west coast very well…

  • bcz24

    Last Sunday was not only an embarrassing beatdown on the scoreboard, but the added insult of the fg and the sound bites above make us appear to be an inept joke of a team.
    **************
    That crap happens every week around the NFL, on every sideline. Don’t take it to heart man.

  • http://raiders.com Albert Bigelow Paine

    Inonewordraider Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 10:02 am
    will the highlight of the year be “we almost beat the falcons”
    —–
    most likely

  • DJ Johnny

    785.bcz24 Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 9:57 am
    775.DJ Johnny Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 9:51 am
    Tennessee picked up good ole CJ37 and GB resigned Vic So’oto, much to the dleight of packers fans who were upset they let him come to us in the first place.
    *****************
    I thought Baltimore signed CJ37

    You’re right. My bad. It was Balt.

  • bcz24

    I still firmly believe that Harbaugh called that fake FG because Douchelio Hanson was running his mouth to Boldin in the end zone.

  • DMAC
  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    LOL DMAC.

  • DMAC

    796.bcz24 Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 10:06 am
    I still firmly believe that Harbaugh called that fake FG because Douchelio Hanson was running his mouth to Boldin in the end zone.

    =========

    I was cool w/ it beacuse it seemed that Boldin was talking schit 1st.
    When he made that grab on him and fell over Hanson and was jabbing his mouth, talking hella schit all in his face.
    Thats why Hanson talked schit in the endzone after the play.

  • DJ Johnny

    793.bcz24 Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 10:05 am
    Last Sunday was not only an embarrassing beatdown on the scoreboard, but the added insult of the fg and the sound bites above make us appear to be an inept joke of a team.
    **************
    That crap happens every week around the NFL, on every sideline. Don’t take it to heart man.

    The sound bites are just a little bit of icing on the cake.

    When we get hammered 55-20, and get clowned doing it…it’s not good.

    Heck, NFLN ESPN both did pieces on the issue of “Did Harbaugh run up the score?”.

    Man it’s sad when you’ve got people around the league feeling sorry for you cuz you got clowned so bad.