YSTL: Is Dennis Allen's return surprising?
The Raiders finished 29th overall allowing 28.3 points per game and 22nd in total defense, allowing 363.7 yards per game. (USATSI)
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The Raiders re-signed defensive coordinator Jason Tarver, a move formally announced by the team on Tuesday afternoon.
Tarver was an assistant the entire front office, owner Mark Davis included, hoped to retain. A deal was done the day Tarver's old contract expired, which prevented him from formally talking with other teams.
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Tarver’s return means the principal players of head coach Dennis Allen’s staff were retained. Offensive line coach Tony Sparano signed a two-year deal last week. A source confirmed that special teams coordinator Bobby April was re-signed, a fact originally reported by 95.7-FM’s John Middlekauff.
Offensive coordinator Greg Olson remains under contract for another year. Linebackers coach Bob Sanders remains under contract as well.
A source also confirmed running backs coach Kelly Skipper, quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, defensive line coach Terrelle Williams and receivers coach Ted Gilmore who were all on expiring contracts have also been retained. It remains uncertain whether the remaining assistants have been retain.
Tarver’s innovative blitz schemes kept the 2013 defense competitive early in the season, although his unit slipped as the year went on due to a lack of depth and struggles establishing a consistent four-man pass rush.
The Raiders nose-dived at season’s end and finished 29th overall allowing 28.3 points per game and 22nd in total defense, allowing 363.7 yards per game.
Tarver got a pass on those results due to poor play from a worn out unit that continued to praise the coaching staff until season’s end.