Raiders head coach Dennis Allen carries an air of confidence these days, an outward optimism that’s impossible to miss. An offseason full of quality free-agent acquisitions and an NFL draft class lauded by most has changed a typically stoic disposition with the press.
It’s clear that Allen is excited about the progress his team has made, and believes it will translate to improved play. That’s why he chose to share that sentiment with Raider Nation. He wrote a letter to season-ticket holders last week spelling out why he sees brighter days ahead.
“I just thought it was an opportunity to reach out to them, to let them feel the excitement that I have for our football team, what we’ve been able to do in the offseason,” Allen said Friday. “I think we’ve changed our team and I’m excited about it and I’m looking forward to getting out there and working with them and then getting into training camp and excited about this season coming up.”
The letter was forwarded to the press by a recipient. Here’s the full content of Allen’s open letter to the fans:
“It has been almost a week since we wrapped up the 2014 NFL Draft, adding eight strong new players to our increasingly talented roster. As we move forward in our offseason program, I wanted to take a moment to share with you the excitement I feel for the upcoming season.
Our mission from day one has been to assemble the talent we need to be consistent and competitive in every quarter or every game. We have been focused and disciplined as an organization, acquiring the right players for the right positions who will represent our organization exceptionally, both on and off the field.
Step by step, we are building a smart, tough, disciplined football team that will play this game with the passion and energy the fans deserve. Reggie McKenzie and our personnel staff have done a tremendous job of bringing in players that fit the vision and goals of our organization.
There are three areas where I am particularly optimistic:
1. As with all great teams, there must be strong leadership within the locker room. We have brought in a lot of veteran leadership, players that understand what it takes to win a championship because they’ve been there before. They bring with them that team chemistry and winning culture, and I believe it will be felt in the locker room from day one. You can already feel a positive vibe with our coaches, players and administration.
2. To win consistently in the NFL, you must be solid at the quarterback position. We were able to significantly upgrade our talent, giving us genuine experience and more depth that will give us an important advantage throughout the season. We have a proven veteran that has been a Top-10 quarterback in this league, as well as players at quarterback with tremendous promise and potential as we build toward the future.
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3. Finally, we wanted to upgrade our offensive and defensive lines. We were able to improve both sides of the line with not only proven veterans, but with some of the most promising rookies. We believe the game is won in the trenches, with big, physical line play. As Reggie said last week, ‘We want to do the pushing around. You do that with big people.’ They have a genuine commitment to win, and you’ll see that on the field from the very first game.
We’ve had a good offseason, but we’ve only just begun. Our players and coaches will continue to work tirelessly to return the Raiders to the level of play that you deserve. We are building a team that you will be proud of in 2014 and for many years to come.
Thank you for your support. It means everything to us.