By Steve Corkran
Monday, December 9th, 2013 at 1:51 pm in Oakland Raiders.
ALAMEDA – Raiders coach Dennis Allen said Monday that his team this season is “closer” to being a playoff-caliber team than it was last season and that he isn’t concerned about his job security.
“Listen, that’s not what my job is,” Allen said, when asked if he has received assurance from owner Mark Davis that he’ll be retained beyond this season. “My job is to try to get this team better, get this team ready to play against the Kansas City Chiefs.
“I’m not going to talk about speculation or anything like that. I’m going to worry about winning a football game this week.”
The Raiders were 3-10 at this point last season. They finished 4-12 on the heels of an 8-8 campaign in 2011, the season before Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie arrived.
The Raiders are 4-9, with three games remaining against divisional foes – Denver Broncos (11-2), Kansas City (10-3) and San Diego Chargers (6-7).
“We’re a lot closer,” Allen said. “Obviously the record doesn’t say so. We all recognize that, at the end of the day, this is a production business. We understand that you are what your record says you are.
“But I also know there’s a lot of areas where this football team has improved. We’ve got to continue to improve in those areas and other areas so that we’re able to win football games and not come away and be disappointed.”
Allen said he and McKenzie are in lock-step with their long-term outlook for their complete rebuild of a franchise that last finished with a winning record and qualified for the playoffs in 2002.
“Reggie and I have been on the same page in everything that we’ve done,” Allen said. “We understand what the vision is, we have a plan for what we’re trying to get accomplished and we haven’t varied from that, and we won’t waver on that.”
Safety Charles Woodson called the Raiders loss to the New York Jets on Sunday “embarrassing” and reflected badly on players and coaches. The Raiders were in all but two of their first 12 games, but they got outplayed by the lowly Jets in a 37-27 defeat.
Allen said he hasn’t spoken with McKenzie or Davis since the Jets game ended.
Davis vented about the Raiders poor play after the 10th game last season, saying he wanted to see progress. He hasn’t weighed in on his team’s play this season at all to date.