Allen setting sights on 2013 and beyond


Raiders coach Dennis Allen survived the so-called Black Monday, the day NFL teams routinely jettison head coaches and general managers. Yet, as expected, someone had to pay for the team’s 4-12 season with their jobs.
“I said this from the very beginning, I’m not in this for a one-year deal,” Allen said. “I’m in this long-term. I’m in this to build this thing the right way. And I’m excited about looking forward to the future and where this organization is going to go.”
As it turned out, the future won’t include offensive coordinator Greg Knapp, offensive line coach Frank Pollack, special teams coordinator Steve Hoffman and linebackers coach Johnny Holland. Allen fired those four Monday morning.
Allen said he doesn’t “anticipate” firing any other coaches. There was plenty of speculation on whether defensive coordinator Jason Tarver would survive a season in which the Raiders allowed 443 points, more than last season and the third-most per game in franchise history.
The fact the Raiders held the Chiefs, Panthers and Chargers to an average of 13.7 the final three games, including a shutout of the Chiefs, no doubt helped Tarver’s cause.
“I was pleased with where Jason was,” Allen said. “J.T. does a good job for us. He’s a very smart football coach. He, like all of us, he’s the first time in that position, and so we all go through a learning curve in that position and that’s something we’ve looked at throughout this organization, guys that are the first time doing that particular job, and we’ll grow from it.”
For now, it’s on to 2013, without dwelling too much on the season that ended Sunday the same way it started, with a loss to the San Diego Chargers.
The Raiders tied for the third-worst record in the league, with three of their victories coming over the 2-14 Chiefs and Jaguars. They lost 11 games or more for the eighth time in 10 seasons.
Through it all, Allen sees a time when the Raiders do more than muddle along and experience things greater than moral victories and emptiness at season’s end.
“Listen, at the end the day, you are who you are,” Allen said in owning the fact the Raiders finished 4-12. “You are what your record says you are. Do I think we can play better and have enough talent on this team to be better than we were? Yeah. We feel short in that area.
“But that’s the past. I’m looking toward the future. We’re looking to build this team the right way. We’re going to get the right players, we’re going to get the right coaches and we’re going to build this organization the way it’s supposed to be done and we’re going to get back to the glory days of the Oakland Raiders.”
To that end, Allen said, he and general manager Reggie McKenzie met several times within the past few weeks in an effort to identify which of their prospective free agents they are interested in re-signing.
“We’ve identified those guys that we’re trying to get back and we’re in the process,” Allen said. “How long that process takes, at the end of the day Reggie will handle that part of it. But we’ve met a lot over the last few weeks and where we’re going as an organization and what we’re looking to do. We’ve got a clear plan of what we’re trying to get done.”
It’s a safe bet that McKenzie will target players such as linebacker Philip Wheeler, running back Mike Goodson and defensive end Matt Shaughnessy in an attempt to get them back in the mix before they are eligible for unrestricted free agency in March.
Even then, there’s still plenty of work to do, countless positions to be filled, problem areas to be fixed and moves that need to be made between now and the start of next season.
The foundation has been laid, though, Allen said.
“Our guys really understand what they’re going to be accountable for and the things we’re looking for in a football team and the things we’re looking for in players,” Allen said. “They also understand that we have to develop that leadership in the locker room that will allow us to sustain success over a long period of time.
“This is a players game. Players make plays and the best teams are able at some point in time to hand the keys to the car over to the players and they’re able to run the program the way it needs to be run. We’re not at that point yet but we’re developing that every day.”

— Allen declined to go into detail on how he plans on proceeding with displaced middle linebacker Rolando McClain.
Therefore, we’ll lay it out for you.
The Raiders kept McClain on the roster the final three games after he returned from a two-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team for one reason: in the hope that they can peddle him via trade and get a draft pick or two in return.
There’s almost no conceivable way that the Raiders bring back McClain next season, not after the way he behaved, not after he got replaced by rookie Miles Burris in the nickel package and certainly not at the salary he is slated to receive.
Of course, the other teams are aware of that, too, so they likely won’t offer much, if anything, for McClain. If they have any interest, they simply can wait until the Raiders release McClain.
It’s worth a shot, though.

— Quarterback Carson Palmer missed the regular-season finale with broken ribs and a bruised lung. Allen said he expects Palmer to make a full recovery and be the Raiders quarterback next season.
“To my knowledge, there’s no long-term implications,” Allen said. “To my knowledge, he’s going to make a full recovery and be fine.”
Palmer suffered his injury against the Carolina Panthers on Dec. 23 and was placed on season-ending injured reserve. He is slated to earn $13 million in base salary next season.
The Raiders would take a massive hit against the salary cap if they opted to trade or release Palmer. Also, they don’t have another proven option on their roster.

— Running back Darren McFadden averaged 5.2 yards rushing in 2010 and 5.4 last season, when Hue Jackson called the plays. This season, that figure dipped to 3.3.
That played a part in Allen’s decision to fire Knapp and Pollack. It doesn’t sound as if the Raiders have any plans to part ways with McFadden, though.
“I like Darren,” Allen said. “He’s a good running back, he’s an explosive player and I’m hoping that he can continue to produce in the future.”
McFadden has one year remaining on his rookie contract.

— Allen said he considered Al Saunders for the offensive coordinator position before he hired Knapp last offseason. Saunders is back in the mix now.
“We’re going to look at all the possible options,” Allen said.
Allen also made it clear that he isn’t looking for a coach that runs a specific system.
“I believe the zone scheme running scheme is a productive running scheme,” Allen said. “Obviously we didn’t have the success that we needed to have and there were a lot of factors that contributed into that. I’m not tied to a specific system. I’m tied to trying to find out what our players can do really well and try to put them in those positions to give them a chance to have success. I’m looking for production and execution, and that’s where we have to be better.
Allen added that he is fully aware of the success McFadden enjoyed under Jackson.
“There were some good things that were done the year prior as far as what they did, the execution,” Allen said. “What I want to do is get the right guy for the job. I’m not tied into the system but I want to make sure that we’re able to be a successful, productive offense. We have to have some rhythm and some explosiveness in our offense.”

— The Raiders set league records for penalties (163) and penalty yards (1,358) in 2011. Therefore, there was bound to be improvement this season in that regard.
Sure enough, the Raiders reduced their penalties by one-third and finished with 108 for 939 yards. Both figures were the eighth-highest in the league.
So, there’s still work to be done in that area, as well. Call it progress, at least by comparison.

— Second-year quarterback Terrelle Pryor watched the tape from his starting debut and came away impressed by some things, bothered by others.
Seems fair, given he was thrust into a tough situation after spending most of his first two seasons on the bench as the No. 3 quarterback and not receiving many reps with the first-team offense.
“I haven’t had a lot of reps with the guys, so it’s tough to be on (the same) page,” Pryor said. “But, just for going out and having fun and trying to get some plays, draw ‘em up and make them work, I thought we did a decent job.”
Agreed. I watched the tape last night and felt as if Pryor acquitted himself well, all things considered.
Sure, he still needs work on his accuracy, timing and touch, but he did a nice job commanding the huddle, avoiding penalties and sacks and keeping alive plays with his feet.
If nothing else, he showed enough to warrant a longer look next season.
“Definitely it’s something to build off of. I wish we could have won, obviously, but it’s something to build off of,” Pryor said. “I’m very excited that I started. I can go home and can feel like somehow hold my head up high that I accomplished one of my goals of starting at least one game and lead the guys like I know how to do.”
Pryor said he intends to work on things such as his touch and completing passes in the face of pressure. He is hopeful that his teammates will be just as committed.
“When the (coordinator) gets in here, I’m going to be in here and I want to know exactly, I want the playbook, I want to start getting on it,” Pryor said. “Now we leaders that are going to step up and say, ‘Alright, you guys get on our back, and I’m going to lead.’ That’s what we need from guys. We’re going to have that starting in February. I hope guys are accountable, we can hold guys accountable to be here and get some good work in here in February, when they open the doors.”
With that, we close the doors on the 2012 season.

— Join me tomorrow as we ring in the new year with a Raiders live chat at noon PDT.

— Follow me on Twitter at @corkonthenfl


Steve Corkran

  • 1- Luke Joeckel [LT]
    2- Quanterus Smith [DE/OLB]
    3- John Jenkins [NT]
    4- Tyrann Matthieu [DB/KR]
    6- Brandon Magee [OLB] / Joe Vellano [DE]

    Much better, but I doubt Jenkins will be available in the 3rd.

  • SilverNBlackPA

    Agreed on giving up hope of getting Joeckel if we trade back.

    On the other hand, trading back and drafting Texas A&M’s other tackle (Jake Matthews) would be fine by me. Great player.

  • Hwnrdr….

    Might get them fired up.If you were playing linebacker and made a mistake – would you want to face Ray?

  • DennisAllensVisor

    Tyrann Matthieu didnt look slow in the SEC, plays bigger than his frame and is dangerous as a returner.

    If around in the 4th, its a no brainer.

    Kills 2 birds with 1 stone..

  • J Hill

    At least I can dream right?


    Oh, only you can dream?

  • Drink the kool aide my friends. Breathe the fresh air. The sky is a little more blue today. We have gone from woe and misery to hope. Yes. This is good. Very optimistic to see Allen did not waste any time making his moves. You know that’s right.

  • RaidingTexas

    Neilb Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 10:17 am
    We give Woodsen a chance why not Lewis.


    He’ll probably stay east. Pretty sure he’s from Florida. Can’t see him going to Oakland to coach.

  • raidertalk

    I think we should probably draft for defense in the 1st round; we desparately need playmakers there.

  • Neilb Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 10:17 am
    We give Woodsen a chance why not Lewis.

    Ray Lewis as CB coach and Manning as QB coach. Future DC and OC.

  • The_Judge37

    theghostronin79 Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 10:21 am
    Gdog Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 10:11 am
    The_Judge37 Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 10:08 am

    It takes a lot to trade down. Is there anyone in the Draft that a team would want to move up for?


    Its a LOT more common now that rookie salary restrictions are in place. Someone will want three!


    Yeah man, last draft there was all kinds of movement. Remember what Atlanta gave up to get Julio Jones?

    But is there a Julio Jones this year? And would they be willing to go #3 to get him, or wait and trade with someone else at 6-10?

  • DennisAllensVisor

    Raider O Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 10:22 am
    1- Luke Joeckel [LT]
    2- Quanterus Smith [DE/OLB]
    3- John Jenkins [NT]
    4- Tyrann Matthieu [DB/KR]
    6- Brandon Magee [OLB] / Joe Vellano [DE]

    Much better, but I doubt Jenkins will be available in the 3rd.


    Yea, afraid thats true.

  • hwnrdr

    neilb Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Might get them fired up.If you were playing linebacker and made a mistake – would you want to face Ray?

    LOL, hell no!
    I just keep thinking about Singletary when he pulled his pants down to let the team know that they are getting their butts kicked!

  • I’d like to see us get the WR from Georgia. Conley.

  • zopi

    Junior might do a lot things wrong, but he’s already a master of saying a lot of garbage in the same way every time, robocoach speak. The media asked the questions we needed to know, but Junior never answered anything same BS, skated circles around them.

  • RaidingTexas Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 10:24 am
    Neilb Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 10:17 am
    We give Woodsen a chance why not Lewis.


    He’ll probably stay east. Pretty sure he’s from Florida. Can’t see him going to Oakland to coach.


    Just thinking out loud really……..Reggie should ask quietly.Can’t do any harm.

  • Just Win Baby

    What free agent DL will be available this year?

  • hwnrdr

    LOL, Seymour!

  • RaidingTexas

    The_Judge37 Says:

    But is there a Julio Jones this year? And would they be willing to go #3 to get him, or wait and trade with someone else at 6-10?


    Well you’d have to look at the 6-10 teams and see what their most pressing needs are. And then see if any of those teams really need to jump the teams ahead of them to get the best player for that need (that is, will one of the teams ahead of them be likely to take that player). And then you need to determine if that player is really worth giving up multiple picks to get.

    Is it possible? Sure. But I think it’s very unlikely to happen.

  • Just Win Baby

    Michael Johnson? Cliff Avril? Any takers?

  • DennisAllensVisor

    Starting to really like the ILB Jackson, O..

  • DennisAllensVisor

    Just Win Baby Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 10:31 am
    Michael Johnson? Cliff Avril? Any takers?


    Can they play 3-4?..

    I dont think they can

  • Just Win Baby

    Beats me. Can anyone on our roster play 3-4?

  • J Hill

    We are going to get a really good player with the 3rd pick in rd 3.

  • hwnrdr

    J Hill Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 10:34 am
    We are going to get a really good player with the 3rd pick in rd 3.

    Good one!

  • hwnrdr

    I guess a lot has to deal with who is our OC? Who is our LB coach, although, not sure that would matter!

  • Just Win Baby Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 10:28 am
    What free agent DL will be available this year?


    Thought there might be something on nfl.com.Nothing.

    Just Ray Lewis retiring and Gruden not going anywhere.

  • Dakota

    do we get the third pick in round three or do they rotate it with the other two 4-12 teams round by round?

  • raidertalk

    LOL, hell no!
    I just keep thinking about Singletary when he pulled his pants down to let the team know that they are getting their butts kicked!

  • DennisAllensVisor

    Dakota Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 10:39 am
    do we get the third pick in round three or do they rotate it with the other two 4-12 teams round by round?


    First 2 only rotate.

  • Dakota

    thanks DAV

  • Time to go.

    Have a great Wednesday everyone.

  • RaidingTexas

    Just Win Baby Says:

    What free agent DL will be available this year?


    Not sure how accurate this is:


  • DennisAllensVisor

    1- John Hankins [NT]
    2- Quanterius Smith [DE/OLB]
    3- Logan Ryan [CB]
    4- Andrew Jackson [ILB]
    6- LaAdrian Waddle [RT]

    *Drops Mic*

  • Steve on sabbatical?

  • DennisAllensVisor Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 10:32 am
    Starting to really like the ILB Jackson, O..

    6’1 255-260

  • DennisAllensVisor

    My Mock would have our D as follows:

    DE- Lamar Houston/Matt Shaughnessy
    NT- John Hankins/Tommy Kelly
    DE- Desmond Bryant/Christo Bilukidi

    OLB- Quanterius Smith/Andre Carter
    ILB- Andrew Jackson
    ILB- Rolando McClain
    OLB- Miles Burris/Phillip Wheeler

    CB- Logan Ryan/Brandian Ross
    CB- Phillip Adams/Chimdi Chekwa/Joselio Hanson
    FS- Michael Huff
    SS- Tyvon Branch

  • Moose

    Dr_robert Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 3:34 am
    Moose Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 3:30 am
    Dr in all fairness the kids played one game ,in the pissing rain i might add

    doesn’t matter. he still showed his passing form. horrendous. look, i like pryor a lot. he’s one of my favorite raiders. but he’s not a qb. i assume u watch nfl games. did u see an nfl qb out there? his passes were embarrassing.
    yeah i watched as we couldnt even score for many quarters even from the 1yard line it was painful to watch,then the kid gets 3 in one game and not one of his td`s could Palmer make
    1 hes not thrown any back shoulder td all season

    2 did you ever see CP3 run like that for a td?

    3 td to dmo would of been intercepted and you know it

  • RaidingTexas

    New post.

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    There is an absolute glut of over emotional fan worship on this board and it obscures the issues.

    Palmer vs pryor

    Try to set aside your emotion adn answer this from a strategic stand point.

    22 tds 19 turnovers and 4 wins. Some like me believe that this tells the story on carson, others disagree.

    Carson is 33, I dont think it is a death sentence others say that is too old.

    How much do yuo want to invest moving forward with carson? based on the performance since he has been a raider, how long do yuo think he can match what he did this year?

    My observation is i dont see carson sustaining what he did this year, just as he was not able to sustain what he did in the first 4-5 games for the rest of the year.

    Palmers salary consideration is major. He is scheduled to make a ton of money. How much are you willing to commit at the expense of the rest of the roster, considering age, performance, and shelf life?

    From business stand point, unless you thought you could bring in an oc and win a superbowl next year with carson and some new offense, why would you build an offense around him?

    Think about it for a second. In order to install the wco look at all of the supporting moves and money was spent to make it happen.

    hired knapp, and pollack, spent huge money for brisel, traded for goodson for b campbell, drafted bergstrom, a zone blocker.

    Installing an offense is a huge undertaking and takes a commitment of draft picks money and time.

    On the other hand pryor is only 23 years old and just happened to hit the nfl at the perfect time in the perfect spot.

    He hits the nfl at the time when the wave of the future and the super athletic sharp shooters are taking the nfl by storm. At a time when football offense and the qb position is being revolutionized with various offense schemes have been successfully blended with option offense creating a hybrid an offense the likes have never been seen in the nfl.

    This is akin to the forward pas being introduced, or air coryell, or the birth of the wco.

    This is what football is becoming and the raiders have the perfect guy to build it with. The raiders also have payers to support this hybrid approach on offense right this moment!!! Reece dmac dhb moore streater are built for this.

    Dmac pryor streater ALL PLAYED IN OFFENSES IN COLLEGE THAT FEATURED OPTION OFFENSE. They are experienced in it and dmac and pryor were stars doing it.

    All of the guys are threats to score from any where on the field both running or receiving.

    This seems to be a no brainer in my eyes. Bring in an oc that builds around the youth pryor. Carson will not last more than a year ( i think that is even a stretch) or two at the most. The rest of the cast will naturally out last palmer.

    the raiders have a chance to do both the prudent business move with a youth moment , but also take part in the cutting edge of offensive football with a hybrid option offense with pryor and dmac and the rest!!!

    If you take the emotion out, truly this plan would be best for this team now and moving forward.

  • Tezooo

    I’m betting some big $$$ on the Atlanta Niner game, not done it yet! What’s you guy’s thoughts on the odds Alanta can take the niners?
    Thanks 🙂