The reason why Oakland Raiders Head Coach Dennis Allen has produced two losing seasons in a row is simple: he and the organization, which includes General Manager Reggie MacKenzie, dont have a plan to chart the organization’s path for the next five years, let alone a course that’s set for what players are supposed to do. In short, Allen’s just throwing stuff up against the wall and seeing what sticks to it.
Want proof? Look at this 2013 interview with former Oakland Raiders Quarterback Rick Gannon. Gannon does a great job of making Allen comfortable in the conversation, yet issuing tough questions. Here it is:
One of the statements that Allen made, and which caused me to realize the Raiders don’t really have a sound plan for football organizational growth, is when he said “we’ve got to figure out what our guys can do.”
That’s alarming. It also explains why they go through so many QBs:
I want you to think this through.
The Raiders supposedly go out and do a lot of research on players before they make deals to have them in the organization, right? Then, once there, the Raiders have drills and tests and play scenarios to not just teach them the plays they run, but see what they can do, right?
And finally, there’s game day, where the Raiders see how players respond to what they’ve been taught and against real NFL competition.
All of that, and with one year under his belt to the point of that interview, Coach Allen says “we’ve got to figure out what our guys can do.”
For him to say that tells a lot about how little the Raiders really know what they’re doing. It should not be a matter of undoing what Al Davis did. Mr. Davis, for all of his mistakes, had a plan that was simple and communicable. On offense, he wanted speed to go deep, pass from any place on the field, and scare the hell out of your defensive backs. The running game supported the passing game, and was tough and hard-nosed – no reverses here. On defense, it was man-for-man, so Davis wanted speed, and the squad was to play like it was angry: eleven angry men.
So tell me what Dennis Allen’s plan is? He tells us he doesn’t want to run all the time, but when he does, he wants it to be effective. Well, doesn’t everyone? What’s the plan?
Maybe I’m being too hard on Coach Allen, but planning works. This year, the plan seems to be ‘let’s get all of the castoffs from other teams and employ them.’
OK, great. But how do the Raiders propose to do that? Without a plan here, all of those pissed off gents will be upset not with the team that got rid of them, but the Oakland Raiders for not forming a plan for them to succeed.
Of course, Coach Allen could get lucky here, but I’m going to take an “I’m rooting for you, but I’m scared you’ll mess up’ position.
Coach Allen, have a plan.