Part of the Bay Area News Group

Allen setting sights on 2013 and beyond

By Steve Corkran
Monday, December 31st, 2012 at 2:41 pm in Oakland Raiders.

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

  • Share/Bookmark

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

  • SilverNBlackPA

    Some good defenisve ends coming up for free agency.

    Osi Umenyiora, Cliff Avril.

    In my dream scenario we get Avril in free agency and draft Damontre Moore.

    Avril-Houston-Bryant-Moore would be a HELL of a front 4.

  • Gdog

    If you trade Palmer, you are going into a full rebuild, so it wouldn’t matter to me if we start Pryor….starting him would guarantee the #1 pick next year

    >>>>

    Well thats true, but I, for one, cannot handle one single more stinking a$$ losing season. I’m done. 9-7 or 8-8 should be our goal next season.. and perennial playoffs after that. We’ve been in the gutter for too long…

    And we have our HC for 3 more years. Sorry.

  • DennisAllensVisor

    SilverNBlackPA Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 9:14 am
    Some good defenisve ends coming up for free agency.

    Osi Umenyiora, Cliff Avril.

    In my dream scenario we get Avril in free agency and draft Damontre Moore.

    Avril-Houston-Bryant-Moore would be a HELL of a front 4.

    —-

    I think Osi is better all around, Avril the better rusher..

    But Avril disapeared this season.

    Plus it looks like were going 3-4, so they really dont fit..

  • SilverNBlackPA

    Doubt Trestman is leaving a head coaching gig for an offensive coordinator gig, even if it is a CFL HC job.

    Kromer is an interesting idea.

    Right now I’d guess it’d be Mornhinweg, but we all know a lot can change in the NFL overnight.

  • SilverNBlackPA

    Plus it looks like were going 3-4, so they really dont fit..

    +++++++

    You think so?

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Start TP next season.
    Draft DE Clowny with the 1st pick.

  • Dakota

    The annual 3-4 Defense speculation….you can set your watch by this place.

  • DennisAllensVisor

    If Reggie came out and said we are going to start Pryor, to give him experience, but lose next season to get Clowney, id say thank you sir.

    LOL.

  • Gdog

    DennisAllensVisor Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 9:14 am

    SilverNBlackPA Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 9:12 am
    Who do the semi-pros want as our new OC? I was all for Whisnehunt, but it looks like he’ll land on his feet with a new head coaching gig.

    Mohrninweg? Shurmur? Some hotshot QB coach we don’t know about yet?

    —-

    Turner, Kromer, Mornhinweg, Trestman..

    >>>>

    No to Turner. Yes to Trestman. He might come back too. Turner wouldn’t. And I still don’t get why anyone would want him. Haven’t we had ENOUGH under-achievement the last decade? Thats all he has accomplished since Dal.

  • DennisAllensVisor

    SilverNBlackPA Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 9:17 am
    Plus it looks like were going 3-4, so they really dont fit..

    +++++++

    You think so?

    —-

    For sure. Played it more and more as the season went on.

  • Dakota

    Raider O Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 9:18 am
    Start TP next season.
    Draft DE Clowny with the 1st pick.
    +++++++++++++++++

    From Suck for Luck….to Down for the Clown?

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Why pay a DE $10 million in FA when we can draft one.

  • SilverNBlackPA

    DennisAllensVisor Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 9:19 am
    SilverNBlackPA Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 9:17 am
    Plus it looks like were going 3-4, so they really dont fit..

    +++++++

    You think so?

    —-

    For sure. Played it more and more as the season went on.

    +++++++++++

    I’d be all on board. Been screaming about going 3-4 for years now.

    Star Lotulelei as NT or Jarvis Jones as the rush linebacker threat sound like a damn fine idea to me.

  • Dakota

    DennisAllensVisor Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 9:19 am
    SilverNBlackPA Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 9:17 am
    Plus it looks like were going 3-4, so they really dont fit..

    +++++++

    You think so?

    —-

    For sure. Played it more and more as the season went on.
    ++++++++++++++

    That just looked like 3 Dlinemen, because Kelly disappears.

  • SilverNBlackPA

    Pryor as QB next season and either succeeds and gives us a franchise QB or fails and we get Jadaveon Clowney. It has a certain beauty to it.

  • SilverNBlackPA

    For sure. Played it more and more as the season went on.
    ++++++++++++++

    That just looked like 3 Dlinemen, because Kelly disappears.

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

    LMAO

  • Raider-in-PA

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

    Long time Ault fan here, back to when he coached Frank Hawkins to the National rushing title.
    —————-
    Wow, havent heard #27 Frank Hawkins brought up in a long time!! Dude was a little rock (@ 5′-9″ish), tough as he!!…

  • DennisAllensVisor

    No team just switches schemes in 1 off-season.

    I beileve Allen is taking us to a muliple look defense that will be based out of a 3-4.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Down for Clown!!

    If TP plays well, then we found our franchise QB.
    If TP sucks, then we get the best player in the nation and one of the best DE prospects to come out of college.

  • DennisAllensVisor

    +1 for Dakota.

    Well played.

  • DennisAllensVisor

    This draft has a lot of quality players at the Nose Tackle position..

    Perfect timing for us.

  • Al_is_theraiders

    teams are interviewing setting up more…reggie? Walking out the donut shop….

  • hwnrdr

    Ray Lewis to retire at the end of the season

  • Raider-in-PA

    Draft Star, a great CB & a good center, sign Osi & Greg Jennings, then we may have something!!

  • Gdog

    Trestman is coaching in Montreal and its currently -15. CALL HIM REGGIE! He’s been doing nothing but win since leading us to the SB as OC!

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Start TP next season:
    If TP plays well, then we found our franchise QB.
    If TP sucks, then we get the best player in the nation and one of the best DE prospects to come out of college

  • dr_robert

    Pryor on 3rd downs and red zone? It won’t happen. It’s just an answer to satisfy media. Pryor hardly gets on the field next year. Maybe as a punt returner.

    No same coach takes out a good qb in a crucial situation and puts in mr. Rainbow duck. Fail.

  • SilverNBlackPA

    DennisAllensVisor Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 9:24 am
    This draft has a lot of quality players at the Nose Tackle position..

    Perfect timing for us.

    ++++++++++

    Lotulelei, Hankins, Jenkins are all first round talents. Jesse Williams out of Alabama would be a great choice too in 2nd-3rd round.

  • Dakota

    Luke Joeckel….upgrade two positions with 1 pick. JV moves to RT.

  • Gdog

    You guys must be used to losing to root for drafting a player number 1 in 15′.

    Sorry, not jumping on this bandwagon!

    Give me Trestman as OC though!

  • Dakota

    2015?

    You mean 2014?

  • dr_robert

    Put Pryor in and it will be 14 AND 15.

  • Dakota

    The Oakland Raiders were defenseless at times in 2012.

    Over a four-game stretch in November, the Raiders gave up 42, 55, 38 and 34 points, and for the season overall, Oakland seven times allowed 30 or more points in a game.

    The defense ranked 28th in the league, allowing an average of 27.7 points in a game, ranked 18th in total defense (allowing 354.5 yards per game), and 20th in both rushing and passing defense.

    Jason Tarver is staying? WOW

  • Gdog

    Dakota Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 9:30 am

    2015?

    You mean 2014?

    >>>>

    Yup. I want to draft somewhere in middle. lol

  • Dakota

    I predict that one year from now, there will be a universal fire DA & Tarver movement among the Nation, as there was with Knapp.

  • SilverNBlackPA

    One tidbit I might as well share here: Do not believe the hype you’re going to hear about Bjoern Werner.

    O. Ver. Rated. I hope Reggie stays far, far away.

    He had one monster game against a top quality opponent with his 3.5 sack game vs. Florida.

    Other than that he piled up stats against tomato cans. 4 sacks against Murray State for example.

    In the ACC Championship and Orange Bowls he was held to zero sacks, zero tackles for loss and zero QB pressures.

    I repeat: Do not believe the hype.

  • dr_robert

    Werner sounds exactly like the kinda guy this board will love.

  • hwnrdr

    49ers G/T Jason Slowey and TE Mickey Shuler was signed to reserve contracts today by the Raiders. Huh???

  • papertiger418

    And so, with another beat-writing season coming to an end, the Cork returns to his den to slumber peacefully through the harsh winter ahead…

  • DennisAllensVisor

    Draft [w/tradedown]:

    1- Dion Jordan [DE/OLB]
    2- Sylvester Williams [NT]
    3- Kyle Long [RT]
    4- Tyrann Mathieu [DB/KR]
    5- Kevin Reddick [ILB]

    Free Agents:

    NT- Ricky Jean-Francois
    DE/OLB- Trevor Scott
    DT- Justin Bannan
    LB- Chase Blackburn

  • dr_robert

    Draft Joekel and move veldheer back to center!

  • SilverNBlackPA

    dr_robert Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 9:39 am
    Werner sounds exactly like the kinda guy this board will love.

    +++++++

    Already seen people talking about him.

    He’s the German Vernon Gholston.

  • DennisAllensVisor

    Dakota Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 9:29 am
    Luke Joeckel….upgrade two positions with 1 pick. JV moves to RT.

    —-

    I like this too.

  • J Hill

    That just looked like 3 Dlinemen, because Kelly disappears.

    ———————————————————————-

    LOL

  • Gdog

    Dakota Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 9:36 am

    I predict that one year from now, there will be a universal fire DA & Tarver movement among the Nation, as there was with Knapp.
    >>>>>

    I’d take that wager if you are making one. He has us on the right path, he was hamstrung by his own doing and inexperience by hiring the worst OC in the history of the NFL.

    Now if he screws up a SECOND time with OC, you might be right.

    BTW… if there was a can’t miss QB like Luck or RG3 waiting in the wings for 2014, I wouldn’t mind enduring another horrible season. Nobody on defense guarantees wins though. JJ Watt is helping Houston, sure, but thats not how they will win the SB!

  • DennisAllensVisor

    SilverNBlackPA Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 9:41 am
    dr_robert Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 9:39 am
    Werner sounds exactly like the kinda guy this board will love.

    +++++++

    Already seen people talking about him.

    He’s the German Vernon Gholston.

    —-

    What makes you say that?..

  • Al_is_theraiders

    cork woke up from last year?

  • Gdog

    DennisAllensVisor Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Dakota Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 9:29 am
    Luke Joeckel….upgrade two positions with 1 pick. JV moves to RT.

    —-

    I like this too.
    >>>>

    Hey, we agree on something! Its a new year…

  • J Hill

    Luke Joeckel….upgrade two positions with 1 pick. JV moves to RT.

    ——————————————————————————

    Agree!!!!

    Sign Spencer from Dallas to play OLB and draft a NT in rd 3.

  • J Hill

    You stole my Luke Joeckel propaganda.

    Even though I’ve been calling hime Jake Loeckel, lol.