Oakland Raiders Rumors: Mark Davis indicates Dennis Allen, Reggie McKenzie are safe

Oakland Raiders coach Dennis Allen reacts during the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders decided not to cut ties with either head coach Dennis Allen or GM Reggie McKenzie on “Black Monday”, and it looks like Allen will get to keep his job in the 2014 season. McKenzie has always been in a safer position than Allen despite a roster bereft of much talent, because the Raiders are in full-blown rebuild mode. He deserves one more year to get things together, and this offseason is a critical one for the Raiders. Not only will McKenzie need to cobble together a strong draft, but he will also need to settle on a franchise quarterback and wisely use the bountiful cap space the Raiders have cleared out. Plus, their two best players are set to hit free agency, so the stakes are high.

The San Jose Mercury News’s Tim Kawakami interviewed Raiders owner Mark Davis yesterday, and they spoke about the job securities of the GM and head coach. According to Kawakami, Davis “gave every indication” that both Allen and McKenzie will be retained, but it seems like Davis isn’t a big fan of Allen’s. Based on the comments he gave, Allen will stick around, but it seems like Davis is tolerating Allen more than actually liking him as a head coach. He does seem to have a great deal of respect for McKenzie, though, and Davis comes off as an owner who values continuity and knows that quickly firing Allen won’t reflect well on the Raiders organization. Maybe more importantly, he also realizes that Allen is McKenzie’s “guy”.

Allen is safe for now, and I think he will most likely stick around in Oakland. That said, Allen’s status with the Raiders could change at a moment’s notice, because Davis also indicated that he’s willing to fire Allen if he knows that he can get a better head coaching option. Jon Gruden would be the dream guy for the Raiders, but he has repeatedly stated that he is not interested in coaching in the NFL.

Topics: Dennis Allen, Jon Gruden, Mark Davis, Oakland Raiders, Reggie McKenzie, Rumors

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  • Scott N Liz Barnes

    Great, a third 4-12 season again

  • TribalX

    Mark Davis said a lot of things in the interview with Kawakami, but he definitely didn’t give any indication Allen would be back. Here’s the quote from the interview that is most revealing in my opinion…”I’ll do whatever it takes to make this team better.” That is not a ringing endorsement for Dennis Allen.

    • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

      Good point, but Kawakami got the sense that both are safe, and it was reported that Allen will most likely be safe as well. I get the feeling that Davis likes McKenzie and is only keeping Allen for another year because of McKenzie and because he doesn’t want to fire Allen without a proper contingency plan. It also seems like Davis values continuity.

      • Phil Mokate

        This is why I think MD is not putting all his eggs in one basket just yet. If he can land Wise then it’s time to act.. Just like MD said about keeping his mouth shut because of the competition in my short version of Kawas interview w/him.

  • PJ

    Its also worth mentioning that Mark wanted to wait until the playoff weekend is over before meeting with DA. Which would give a good indication it would seem that MD has his eye on the most likely to be 1 and done in the Chargers. Putting possibly Wisenhunt in his cross hairs. Wis is a proven coach and especially with what he did this year without tearing it all up in SD. He just built on what was there and got the best out of his players. Not to mention he took the Az.Cards from last to the SB. Keep praying Raider Nation there might be hope still??!!

    • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

      This Whisenhunt theory is an interesting one, and there’s some solid logic to it, PJ. Wis has had success as a head coach before in Arizona, and Davis has obviously seen what he’s done with the Chargers as an OC rather closely. In the interview with Kawakami, Davis hinted that he isn’t willing to fire Allen and doesn’t want to fire an HC for the sake of firing him (that would be dangerous), but he also hinted that he’s willing to fire Allen if he sees a better candidate on the open market, assuming that candidate has mutual interest. If that’s the case with Whisenhunt, then things could get very interesting.

      • Phil Mokate

        Very interesting indeed. Good piece by the way.

        • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

          Thanks, Phil. And thanks for commenting on the site with your point of view, because it’s always good for me to hear what fans who follow the team closely say. I can learn a lot from you guys, and the importance of you guys commenting can’t be understated.

          Happy New Year, guys.

          • Phil Mokate

            HAPPY New year to you Joe and Raider Nation, Baby!

    • TribalX

      Al Davis tried to get Wisenhunt back in ’06. I’d bet Mark Davis will give it a shot as well. In my opinion aside from the Quarterback position, the Raiders already have more talent on the roster than the Chargers do. I think that alone could be something Wisenhunt may be interested in pursuing.

      • Phil Mokate

        I agree. We just need a HC that knows how to put it all together and Wise knows how to do that. It’s a huge possibility because now Wise has AFC West experience too. Just a sweet little scenic drive up the coast line from SD to the Bay!

  • George McHugh

    This is the worst Raiders news in 10 years.

    DA is a failure, or more accurately, a loser. He has proved to be stubborn, sticking with the ZBS
    after seeing what a disaster it was, and unable to adapt. His half-time
    adjustments have been counterproductive. His decisions have cost us several
    close games. Many of his in-game moves are head scratchers. Not to mention that
    he is a Bronco. I will never support a Bronco as head coach. Period. Mr. Davis
    must be puking in his grave.

    Bottom line is that DA has to go, and go at the end of the season. A coaching change causes disruption
    and the Raiders have had too many. But to keep DA for that reason is suicidal.
    I cannot bear watching another season without hope. Make the switch to Gruden,
    a proven winner and a Raider, and give him several seasons to manage the turn
    around. He could win 4 games in his sleep. The Raiders need his player input as
    well. RM has struggled and we need JG’s expertise.

    RM did a magnificent job clearing the cap space problem. He made the hard decisions and
    still put a competitive team on the field. One that would be running for the
    playoffs with a better coach. His personnel decisions are another matter. Flynn
    was an idiotic decision. At that point it would have been better to stick with
    Pryor, save the cash and not create another cap issue. NEVER use a 1st round
    pick on a high risk player. Not only was the injury risk with Hayden enough to
    walk away he has shown no basic skills. He seems lost on every play, he chases
    the play and is used on most plays where he is targeted. And most infuriating,
    he cannot tackle. That said I would give RM another year to complete his
    turn-around. Let’s see if he can learn from his mistakes. Give Gruden final
    approval of personnel and playoffs will become a reality.

    QB is not as bad as some are making out. McGloin has shown tremendous potential. He is cool in the
    pocket, goes through his reads and is accurate. He is a rookie who has never
    been through a proper camp. As a fourth string walk-on he did not receive much
    attention. His decision making will improve with good coaching. Play calling
    has put him in risky situations, especially deep at our on end. An upgraded OL
    will also help. He is ACCURATE which is essential. Even on deep throws he is
    better than “+ or – 10 yards” Palmer. He has completed more third-and-longs
    than any QB since Gannon. If fact, many of those conversions remind me of
    Stabler to Fast Freddie or Cliff. Exciting. With McGloin you have a reasonable
    expectation of a first down. With Pryor you wonder if we’ll still be in FG
    range for 4th down.

    A risky first round pick is not worth it. QBs are risky picks, just look at the draft history. Take
    a CB or DE instead. If we have a shot at a premium QB with consensus potential,
    then maybe. A value mid or late pick perhaps. Give McGloin another year and use
    the off season to fill all the other needs, or at least as many as possible. To
    spend the wad on a QB and not upgrade around him would be a waste and mean
    another hard-to-watch season.

    And what to do with Pryor. Serviceable backup with game breaking potential. But he could be more
    than that. I would love to see him used situationally as a tail back and slot
    receiver (I assume he can catch). I bet he would be effective in sweeps and
    pitch outs (I loved the Stabler pitch-outs when the D was blitzing!). With his
    agility and eye for moving holes he should be able to take full advantage of
    the fluid line that these plays create. I also wonder how well he could play
    DB. With his speed and athleticism he might be able to successfully make the
    transition. He is smart and a good student of the game. The improvements that
    he made are impressive. Can he be a back-up QB with an active role as a
    situational, impact player? Defenses will have to plan for him in a variety of
    roles. He could throw from anywhere, as a RB or receiver. Take the HB pass to a
    new level.

    Forget WRs in the early and mid-draft rounds. We need OL and DL. An affordable FA WR would be
    welcome but the draft should be focused on serious need.

    LT, C and hopefully LG are looking good for ’14. The right side of the OL needs high impact
    players. Late round depth would be welcome.

    The DL must be able to pressure QBs without LB and DB help. I love our aggressive defense and like
    the myriad of blitz packages but the DL must not depend on it. At critical times
    we cannot always expose our secondary to get pressure. Our new D Coordinator
    needs more options that will come from a DL that can pressure QBs. Early round
    picks and maybe a premium FA DE may be in order.

    Corner Back is another position that needs upgrade to reach the next level. We need a starter
    and depth. Hayden is a bust. He looks lost, chases plays and is a horrible
    tackler. None of that is injury related. When he is in opposing QBs have a 3rd
    down sure thing against him. He gave up a big play on a very high percentage of
    his targets. I don’t see him making it in the NFL. Early round draft picks may
    be wise here along with an experienced, appropriately priced FA.

    Much of the same can be said for the Safeties. Mid to late round picks and bargain FAs should be
    considered.

    DMC should be history. Even at the veteran minimum he is not worth it. He is of Zero value on
    the bench. We have some talented backs who will explode with an upgraded OL. Do
    not sell the farm for a new RB. Mid round pick for a potential gem would be
    appropriate. Not sure what FA may offer but DO NOT overpay. The need is not
    worth it.

    And if RM and DA let Lamar slip away they should be run out of town on a rail. His comments
    yesterday that he thinks the staff wants to go in another direction tells me
    that Mark must fire DA ASAP.

  • Jaime Olguin

    Wow you guys crack me up, 2014 will be a year that we finally have cap room and we wont be handcuff so to speak
    I do have faith in Reggie & Dennis to finish what they started, win lose or tie a raider till i die