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.