By Steve Corkran
Monday, December 30th, 2013 at 3:15 pm in Oakland Raiders.
ALAMEDA – Dennis Allen has yet to meet with owner Mark Davis, but he said Monday that he has a firm sense that he will be back for a third season as the Raiders head coach.
“I’ve been given the indication that I’ll be back,” Allen said during his year-end news conference, “but it will be important for me and Mark to be able to sit down and communicate and talk about the things that we need to talk about. I have every intention of being back.”
Allen said he intends to meet with Davis in the near future and that he is excited about the next phase of the process implemented by Davis, general manager Reggie McKenzie and Allen two years ago.
That marked Davis’ first full year as the owner, McKenzie’s as a general manager and Allen’s as a head coach.
The Raiders went 8-8 in 2011 under Hue Jackson. Allen guided the Raiders to 4-12 records each of the past two seasons in what Davis termed the “deconstruction” phase.
Allen said the Raiders now are entering the rebuilding phase and that tangible progress is on the horizon.
“We’re closer than what our record might indicate,” Allen said
When asked what he meant by “closer,” Allen said the Raiders have the ability to compete for one of six spots in the AFC Playoffs, perhaps as soon as next season.
“You’ve got to take it one step at a time,” Allen said. “I don’t think we need to be talking about Super Bowl. We need to be talking about competing in an area where we could possibly be a playoff team.”
Allen pointed out the Raiders being flush with salary-cap room in 2014, in possession of a slew of draft picks – they own the rights to the No. 5 selection in the NFL draft in May based on their finish this season – and several building blocks already in place.
The goal, he added, is to add two to three playmakers on offense and defense, be it through the draft or free agency. One of those players almost certainly will be a quarterback.
“That’s a position that we’ve got to make sure that we address,” Allen said. “I’m not sure that we have the quarterback of the future in the building right now.”
Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin are the only quarterbacks on the Raiders roster right now. They cut Matt Flynn early in the season and waived Tyler Wilson twice before he was signed by the Tennessee Titans off the Raiders practice squad.