If you can't beat them, take their coach

If you can't beat them, take their coach
January 25, 2012, 2:01 am
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After watching the Broncos take their roundabout route to the playoffs, Raiders players knew they had their chance to be the AFC West champion. It didnt play out for the Silver and Black this season, but you know all the ol saying, nothing beats actual playoff experience.

Well then, enter Dennis Allen, who reportedly was hired as Raiders coach Tuesday.

REPORT: Raiders hire Allen as head coach
The Broncos' defensive coordinator is no doubt ready to get back into the mix after Denvers AFC Divisional loss to the Patriots, 45-10. And he probably knows a thing or two about the Raiders, after spending the last season with their division foe.The last time the Raiders hired from within their rivaled Rocky Mountain opponent was back in 1988, when Broncos assistant coach Mike Shanahan joined the Silver and Black.
And after the Raiders' most glaring struggles this season happened on the defense side of the ball, so it seems like a defensive-minded coach may be the way to go. Although new general manager Reggie McKenzie did say offense, defense it doesnt matter, he just wants the right guy.
McKenzie also shared with the media in his introductory press conference on Jan. 10 that he let Hue Jackson go, in favor of bringing in my guy. At that time, McKenzie said there was a short list of candidates he would be focusing on. But as the Packers, Saints, Broncos and others dropped out of the playoff hunt, the short list became seemingly longer and longer with DCs, OCs and former head coaches from coast to coast and all stops in between, surfacing on this rumored short list.And now for the first time, in a long time, the Raiders reportedly are turning to a man with a defensively-sound background to lead their team. It seemed to work out the last time they went this direction -- look back to 1969 when a linebackers coach by the name of John Madden was promoted to head coach. Although, looking back on the Al Davis era with the Silver and Black, the late managing general partner never went to outside the organization to bring in a defensive coordinator or such as head coach, so this would be a new direction for the Raiders.But it could be a step in the right direction. After all, in his inaugural season with the Broncos, Allen helped the team improve from allowing a league-worst in points and yards per game, to climbing the ranks to 20th and 24th, respectively. Throw in an AFC West title, and some impressive number increases when it comes to the Broncos and their individual players stats (ie tackles, sacks, etc) and Allen just might be the guy, McKenzie was looking for. Allen also runs a 4-3 defense, which matches the Raiders' philosophy as of late.As of Tuesday night, the team has yet to confirm the Allen reports. But it appears, as McKenzie and Mark Davis promised last week, a new era is upon the Raider Nation.