The Oakland Raiders finished the 2013 season 4-12 after losing rather easily to the Denver Broncos yesterday, but nobody should have expected anything other than a low total of wins and an easy loss to the Broncos for the Raiders this season and in Week 17. This is a team that came into the season without a franchise quarterback and with a horrible defense. There were some people who believed that the Raiders could end up finishing the season without a win, and most analysts believed that the Raiders would be the worst team in the NFL. Well, they didn’t finish last, and they were actually competitive this year and surprised some people like me. Despite a purged roster with little talent, the Raiders managed to always fight out there, and I think credit goes to head coach Dennis Allen for keeping these guys going.
But despite this, there are many fans who believe that Allen should be fired and will be extremely upset at owner Mark Davis if he doesn’t decide to fire him. Nobody knows what Davis is thinking so Allen’s status on Black Monday is still up-in-the-air, but it is worth noting that Davis was unwilling to retain Allen’s assistants when Allen asked. It’s also worth noting, though, that the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting that there are strong “signs” that the Raiders will keep Allen.
In my opinion, the Raiders should keep Allen, because firing him would really hurt the Raiders ability to hire a high-level head coach in this offseason. That logic sounds a bit weird, since the whole point of firing a head coach is to get rid of a bad coach, but that’s exactly where the logic starts to make sense. How do you know that Allen is a bad coach? You don’t. It’s impossible to evaluate a guy who is coaching a team filled with fringe-roster players, largely because the main task of the Raiders was to blow it all up, rebuild, start from scratch, purge the roster, and hoard a lot of money under the salary cap to start getting better players. How do you know you are getting an upgrade by firing him? And if you do fire him, the good coaches will say, “But what a minute, if I sign up here then I’m not going to be given enough time to do anything and will be blamed for absolutely everything. I don’t want to be your scapegoat.”
Don’t make Allen your scapegoat, especially when the Raiders are looking better than they did last year at this time.