Allen: 'We've got to play smarter'
SAN DIEGO – The Raiders are one loss away from being 4-12. Again.
All the losing has brought Dennis Allen’s job security into question, especially now that the Raiders have lost five straight and seven of eight.
Owner Mark Davis said the final games would play a role in his evaluation of the team, and the Raiders haven’t played well. Sunday’s 26-13 defeat at San Diego is the latest in a long line of disturbing losses with Allen at the helm.
While the vultures will circle heading into next week’s season finale against Denver, Allen insists this franchise’s future doesn’t consume his thoughts at present.
“I can’t speak to how anybody else feels,” Allen said. “I can only speak to me. I’m trying hard to win a football game. That’s the only focus I have. It’s the only focus I can have. It would be selfish of me to think any other way.”
Uncertainty looms around every corner save the front office – Davis’ recent praise suggest general manager Reggie McKenzie will be back – and it’s bearing down on the locker room as this season winds down.
The Raiders have a lot of money to spend and very few contracts extended beyond the season. That goes for most of Allen’s assistants, a group that that Davis declined to extend a few weeks ago, according to ESPN.
The players are trying to stay focused despite possible transition in the coaching ranks. It works to varying degrees.
The players are falling on the sword, especially after so many losses. They’re taking blame for these results.
“The coaching staff has done a good job this year,” free safety Charles Woodson said. “When it all boils down to is going on the field as players and put it all together. I can’t put that on the coaching staff. It’s us not executing calls or gameplans well enough.”
Players put their support behind the staff and are publicly pushing for continuity.
“I really like this group,” receiver Rod Streater said. “As time goes by, the connection and the chemistry will continue to grow. We’ve improved in many ways during this stretch, and I’d like to keep this thing going.”