Dennis Allen -- what they're saying


Dennis Allen -- what they're saying

The Raiders have remained silent on the hiring of Dennis Allen as the franchise's 18th head coach. But that hasn't kept everyone else quiet. Here's a collection of comments about the 39-year-old defensive coordinator and soon-to-be NFL head coach:

"I think it will be a good fit for us. "He's a young, energetic guy. Smart guy. Been through a lot with Atlanta, then a lot with New Orleans, over to Denver and that defense. We'll take all the help we can get right now."
-- Raiders punter Shane Lechler, whom Allen hosted on a recruiting trip to Texas A&M, via

"I know what type of team hes going to have. Very intense, hard-nosed, tough. Thats the way he is. Thats what I expect his team to be. ... He knew how to get us ready. I give him a lot of credit for the success we had this year. . . . Hes one of the most intense coaches Ive had."
-- Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey, via the NFL Network

Theyre getting a guy thats going to come in right away, and hes going to get it done. Thats what he did for us. He came in, he laid out a plan for us, he told us, This is how were going to do it, and this will work, and thats what happened. We improved our defense an incredible amount. . . . I think hell do the same thing with the Oakland Raiders.
-- Broncos linebacker Von Miller, via the NFL Network

"I heard (Raiders GM) Reggie (McKenzie) had been following him for a few years, watching his progression through the coaching ranks. Evidently he's been on somebody's radar."
-- His father and former NFL linebacker Grady Allen, via the Bay Area Newspaper Group

"There wasn't any doubt about what he wanted to do. He was going to coach, and he stepped right into it. It's kind of hard sometimes for guys who just finished playing to make the transition of being a coach and part of the staff. A lot of them think they're still kids. Dennis never had that problem."
-- Allen's college coach, former Texas A&M coach R.C. Slocum, via the Bay Area Newspaper Group

Relocation approval 'offers more clarity' when Raiders recruit future free agents

Relocation approval 'offers more clarity' when Raiders recruit future free agents

PHOENIX -- The Raiders are entering a limbo period, with just a few seasons in Oakland before relocating to Las Vegas. NFL owners formally approved a move on Monday, though the Raiders don’t want to leave the East Bay until a new stadium is ready in 2020.

While there are contingencies to leave the market early based upon how fans react to the Raiders remaining in Oakland after committing to Las Vegas, that isn’t what the Raiders want. After years of stadium uncertainty, they leave the NFL owners meetings with clarity regarding their long-term future.

General manager Reggie McKenzie believes that should help free agents considering silver and black. The uncertainty prompted questions in recent years that McKenzie can answer when recruiting veteran talent now that relocation has been approved.

“By Mark saying that the plan is for us to be in Oakland for two more years (at least), but we will be in Vegas, I think it offers more clarity,” McKenzie said. “It lets the players know. It’s better than two months ago, when everyone had questions. When you were talking to a free agent, they know we want to move but weren’t sure if it was going to pass. They didn’t know. Now they know a decision has been made by the league to let us move.”

That will help McKenzie more in the future than present. Roster turnover is high these days, meaning most currently employed by the Raiders won’t play for the home team in Las Vegas. Only David Amerson, Kelechi Osemele and Marquette King are would be under contract when the team wants to move.

The Raiders are working on extensions for Derek Carr, Gabe Jackson and Khalil Mack, with others possibly locked up down the line.

In addition to playing with Carr and Mack and for head coach Jack Del Rio, there’s another attraction to signing with the Raiders. There’s no state income tax in Nevada, meaning a contract there is worth more than the same deal in California. The Golden State generally takes 13.3 percent of significant income earned there.

There will be other issues about playing in Las Vegas, where gambling is legal, a drink can be had 24 hours per day and vices abound in a place called Sin City.

The Raiders will construct a support system to keep players focused, and are ready to handle any questions players and their families may have about an upcoming move.

“Now there are questions from the drafted guys about when they become free agents, because they might be in Vegas. That’s going to be different. There are questions that way, but it’s not going to alter the way we go after players. Some of the guys, parents and agents may have questions, but I don’t think it’s anything out of whack.”


NFL centralizes replay reviews, Del Rio wants more freedom in challenges

NFL centralizes replay reviews, Del Rio wants more freedom in challenges

PHOENIX – Fans won’t see special teams players leaping over the long snapper in an attempt to block a field goal or extra point. Seattle’s Kam Chancellor made some big plays with that technique, but won’t have the chance anymore.

The NFL outlawed that option on Tuesday as one several rule changes enacted at the league meetings.

“There are some safety concerns,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “that are legitimate.”

The NFL also centralized replay reviews, taking that power away from officials on the field. NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino and associates at the NFL’s command center will handle reviews in an effort to add consistency to important calls.

Del Rio hoped replay challenges would be expanded further, but a proposal by Seattle and Buffalo allowing coaches to challenge any play save scoring plays and turnovers, which are automatically reviewed, did not pass.

“I think there are a number of coaches who feel like, if there’s an obvious error, we should have a mechanism to correct it,” Del Rio said. “We catch most of them, so you’re talking about a small percentage. It’s hard to move the needle for such a small percentage. That’s the problem. The fact is, if it’s important enough that we’re willing to use that challenge, we’d like that right and ability. Things happen, and you don’t want to lose a big game, a game that decides whether you advance in the playoffs or make the playoffs and it’s something you could overturn, that you could challenge or change. Why not?”

Here's a list of new rules and bylaws adopted by the league on Tuesday.