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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

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  • DennisAllensVisor

    2nd time we’ve signed Jason Slowey..

  • DennisAllensVisor

    I like Anthony Spencer, but why would Dallas let him go?..

  • DennisAllensVisor

    Didnt they franchise him last season?..

  • Al_is_theraiders

    lmao at luke…3 years from now….srupid we couldve had….(see robert gallery)….

  • J Hill

    Palmer can really get his statue on if we draft the LT from A&M.

    Palmer fans want to talk about how fasts he get rid of the ball being a reason we don’t need the big HOG LT.

    Ppfftttttt!!!!!

    If Pryor is starting, ok, we don’t need an upgrade at OT. But since Palmer WILL be the starter, I just don’t see how we pass on the LT.

  • RaidingTexas

    SilverNBlackPA Says:

    I repeat: Do not believe the hype.

    —————————————-

    Good luck with that. Too many Al Davis Jrs running around on this blog.

  • SilverNBlackPA

    What makes you say that?..

    ++++++++++

    Against the best competition, he often disappears. He comes off the snap slower than I want to see from a top 5 – 10 pass rusher. He tends to overrun the QB. 5 pressures ALL YEAR so it’s not even like he’s getting close a lot.

    I just don’t see it. All the physical tools in the world, but no indication he’ll ever put it together.

    I will say that Werner WILL probably actually tally a few sacks at the NFL level, unlike Gholston. But never enough to justify his draft position.

  • J Hill

    OC + Joeckel + Dwayne Bowe = Elite Carson Palmer

  • J Hill

    I don’t know, Deuce.

    Can they pay Ware and Spencer?

    Who are they going to cut?

  • Al_is_theraiders

    bowe would be good now that krapp is gone…as long as its a downfield attack…

  • J Hill

    I won’t be mad if we have to “settle” for Star, Moore, or Mingo though.

  • DennisAllensVisor

    Or this draft w/tradedown:

    1- Luke Joeckel [LT]
    2- Quanterus Smith [DE/OLB]
    3- Kyle Long [RT]
    4- Tyrann Matthieu [DB/KR]
    6- Darius Slay [CB]

  • SilverNBlackPA

    I’ll be especially tweaked if Damontre Moore is still on the board and we draft Werner.

    Moore is the real deal.

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    dr_robert Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 7:32 am
    Palmer=19th best qb of all-time. We are lucky to have him. U know u al agree.

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

    That’s some list.

    I like Palmer but Palmer’s 19th and Stabler’s 101?!

    I didn’t see Johnny Unitas on the list or Bart Star so I guess they weren’t good enough.
    I guess those guys just weren’t good enough.

    Just skimmed it and didn’t read the whole list because I couldn’t stop laughing.

  • DennisAllensVisor

    J Hill Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 9:51 am
    I don’t know, Deuce.

    Can they pay Ware and Spencer?

    Who are they going to cut?

    —-

    Ware is having some serious surgeries, so IDK if he will get his payday..

    They can franchise one.. So its pretty easy to keep both IMO

  • DennisAllensVisor

    Please, no QB rating talk.

    PLEASE!!…

  • DennisAllensVisor

    Quanterus Smith will be a steal for someone, hopefully us.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Pass on Mingo.

    1- Star
    2- D Moore
    3- JJ
    4- Hankins
    5- Milliner

  • RaidingTexas

    DennisAllensVisor Says:

    Please, no QB rating talk.

    PLEASE!!…

    ——————————–

    QBR is everything. It proves what a stud Chad Pennington was. LMAO

  • The_Judge37

    1785.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.
    —–

    One of the boldest predictions for 2013.

  • SilverNBlackPA

    Raider O Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 9:58 am
    Pass on Mingo.

    +++++++

    Agreed.

    4.5 sacks all year though he did manage 12 hurries.

    Plus opposing offenses ran right at him all the time and he couldn’t do a thing about it. That’s my concern with Jarvis Jones too actually, though I think Jones is such a monster pass rusher that he’d be worth it regardless.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Trade down:

    1- DT/ NT J Hankins
    2- CB Xavier Rhodes or Amerson
    3- DE/ OLB Brandon Jenkins (1st rd prospect before his season ending injury)
    4- ILB Andrew Jackson

    We can sign a RT in FA.

  • Dakota

    The_Judge37 Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 10:00 am
    1785.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.
    —–

    One of the boldest predictions for 2013.
    _________

    lol…..was that weak sauce?

  • DennisAllensVisor

    1- Luke Joeckel [LT]
    2- Quanterus Smith [DE/OLB]
    3- Kyle Long [RT]
    4- Tyrann Matthieu [DB/KR]
    6- Brandon Magee [OLB] / Joe Vellano [DE]

    I really cant imagine a draft going better than this.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    The only player I’m sold in from that LSU defense is Safety E Reid.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    On*

  • The_Judge37

    1823.Dakota Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 10:02 am
    The_Judge37 Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 10:00 am
    1785.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.
    —–

    One of the boldest predictions for 2013.
    _________

    lol…..was that weak sauce?
    —-

    That was just Tomato juice my friend.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    1- Luke Joeckel [LT]
    2- Quanterus Smith [DE/OLB]
    3- Kyle Long [RT]
    4- Tyrann Matthieu [DB/KR]
    6- Brandon Magee [OLB] / Joe Vellano [DE]

    I really cant imagine a draft going better than this.
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$)

    Trade down:

    1- DT/ NT J Hankins
    2- CB Xavier Rhodes or Amerson
    3- DE/ OLB Brandon Jenkins (1st rd prospect before his season ending injury)
    4- ILB Andrew Jackson

    That’s better.
    More value

  • The_Judge37

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

  • RaidingTexas

    The_Judge37 Says:

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

    ————————————–

    I think that will be a problem for the Raiders. Unless they package a player into the trade, I doubt they can get out of that #3.

  • DennisAllensVisor

    Raider O Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 10:02 am
    Trade down:

    1- DT/ NT J Hankins
    2- CB Xavier Rhodes or Amerson
    3- DE/ OLB Brandon Jenkins (1st rd prospect before his season ending injury)
    4- ILB Andrew Jackson

    We can sign a RT in FA.

    —-

    Jenkins at OLB is an unknown.. And he’s too small to play DE in a 3-4.. But in the 3rd, he’s good value.

  • Gdog

    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!

  • papertiger418

    I’ve got it, guys! The solution to all our problems:

    Bring in Cam Cameron as OC, with Hue Jackson as the QB coach.

    Now everyone in Raider Nation will be happy…right?

  • Dakota

    At #3 we can get

    1. the best DT in the draft-Star, or
    2. the best LT in the draft-Joeckel, or
    3. the pick of any of the DEs.

    We need all of those things.

    We should stand pat unless an offer blows us away.

  • J Hill

    Mingo as a 3-4 OLB would be a beast. Passed the eye test yesterday for me. Dude was all over the place.

    Agree that him and Jones only fit at OLB, not 4-3 RDE.

  • http://www.safc.com/the-club/stadium/about-the-stadium-of-light neilb

    Ray Lewis as linebacker coach?

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    DAV,

    It’s all about value.
    We Have Veldheer, so we don’t need to draft 2 OTs.
    The short/ slow/ troubled LSU CB is a NB in the NFL.

  • raidertalk

    I think if we get a shot at Star we gotta take it. I also heard alot of noise about Clowney DE. What do you think of him?

  • DennisAllensVisor

    I apologize, my latest mock was not the best I could think of.

    This is :) :

    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]

  • http://www.safc.com/the-club/stadium/about-the-stadium-of-light neilb

    We give Woodsen a chance why not Lewis.

  • papertiger418

    We totally need to draft that Jekyll guy from Texas A&M

  • DennisAllensVisor

    raidertalk Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 10:16 am
    I think if we get a shot at Star we gotta take it. I also heard alot of noise about Clowney DE. What do you think of him?

    —-

    Not draft eligible. Will be Top pick in 2014.

  • J Hill

    We are not trading back and getting Joeckel.

    He MIGHT go #1 overall.

  • hwnrdr

    I think Ray Lewis will go on to tv commentating next year! Doubt that he would want to travel across country to be a coach here. But hey, you never know! And…will he be good at coaching???

  • J Hill

    Pretty funny that aren’t talking about who the fastest guy at the combine will be.

  • http://www.safc.com/the-club/stadium/about-the-stadium-of-light neilb

    Shouldn’t we wait till after free agency before talking ’bout who to draft?

  • papertiger418

    Can’t take Star. That guy has got a stripper’s handle for a name.

  • SilverNBlackPA

    J Hill Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 10:20 am
    Pretty funny that aren’t talking about who the fastest guy at the combine will be.

    +++++++++

    Refreshing!

  • theghostronin79

    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?

    Sheeeeeit…..

  • Dakota

    neilb Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 10:20 am
    Shouldn’t we wait till after free agency before talking ’bout who to draft?
    +++++++++++

    In theory, yes….but what else is there to talk about? The Pryor delusion?