Allen impressed with Raiders, excited for opportunity

January 24, 2012, 11:09 pm
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MOBILE, Ala. -- Denver defensive coordinator Dennis Allen was prepping for the interview of his professional life Tuesday afternoon during Senior Bowl week.Ace his interview later in the evening with new Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie, and Allen most likely becomes the 18th head coach in franchise history, the eighth since 2002. No pressure, right?"No, not at all," Allen told with what, nonetheless, appeared to be a nervous smile.Then where does the excitement of the opportunity outweigh the nervousness of the event?

"I think anytime anybody considers you in that category as a head coach," Allen said, "it's obviously exciting and hopefully things will work out."Earlier in the day, I spoke with Broncos defensive line coach Wayne Nunnely, who spoke glowingly of Allen while saying it would be a blow to Denver to lose Allen."He's a great leader, organized," Nunnely said. "I think he does a great job in preparing gameplans as well as getting the players (ready to play). He does a great job in front of the players."He'll do a good job. And really, he's young and he's energetic and that type of stuff, and has a great football mind and he'll do a great job. A great, great job."Allen, who turns 40 on Sept. 22, would be the first defensive-minded Raiders head coach since John Madden was promoted from linebackers coach by the late Al Davis in 1969. That's 13 coaches ago, counting Art Shell twice."It would be an exciting opportunity," Allen said. "I'm looking forward to getting a chance to talk to Reggie (tonight) and see how it goes."I want to be a head coach in the National Football League and hopefully, I'll get that opportunity."A safety as a college player at Texas A&M who also coached in the NFL with Atlanta (assistant defensive line coach) and New Orleans (assistant defensive line coach and secondary), he became Denver's defensive coordinator last season for first-year Broncos coach John Fox.I asked Allen what he knew of the Raiders, both as a team and as a franchise."We played them twice this past year," Allen said. I think they're an outstanding organization and it would be an honor to be able to work for them."