Personnel will determine 4-3 or 3-4 defense

681746.jpg

Personnel will determine 4-3 or 3-4 defense

It's the equivalent of the old chicken-or-the-egg conundrum -- will the Raiders switch to a 3-4 base defense, or will they stay in their 4-3?It depends, new coach Dennis Allen said today at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, on the personnel the Raiders have on their roster. Then again, the rookie coach also said he would adapt to what he had at his disposal.Chicken, meet egg.

"Those are really all the things we're still working through," Allen said. "We'll see, after we go through free agency, after we go through the draft, which grouping gives us the best chance to be successful. I would expect that we'll be very multiple in that regard."Allen ran a 4-3 as Denver's defensive coordinator last season and, with their current crop of defensive linemen, the Raiders are better suited to run the same as they have no true nose tackle to anchor a 3-4.The new coach should have a better handle on things on April 2 -- the date he said new coaches can first have players into their respective facilities."That's when we'll expect to have a full load of players in," Allen said, "and get an opportunity to start working with them and start talking football."Until then, Allen will continue to pow-wow with his handpicked defensive coordinator, Jason Tarver."I'll be involved," Allen said. "I'll be involved in both aspects of the team. Offense, defense, special teams, all of it. But I would say, especially this first year, I'll probably spend a little bit more time with the defense."Jason Tarver is an extremely bright young coach. He was a part of the San Francisco 49ers' defenses, and I thought they were extremely well coached, extremely talented. When I interviewed Jason, there was no doubt in my mind that this is a guy who had answers for everything. I'm extremely excited about working with him, and I think, with him and the defensive staff as well as myself being involved in the defense, I'm excited about our opportunities."No matter the alignment.

Oakland stadium authority director doesn't want Raiders in 2019

Oakland stadium authority director doesn't want Raiders in 2019

PHOENIX – The Raiders hope to play the next three years in the Bay Area before moving to Las Vegas. They were approved to relocate on Monday at the NFL owners meetings, but can’t leave right away because Las Vegas doesn’t have a suitable temporary NFL venue.

The Raiders have team options on one-year leases to play at Oakland Coliseum during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, and are expected to do exactly that. Owner Mark Davis said he’s open to negotiating a lease to play the 2019 season there as well before moving into new Vegas digs in 2020.

The Oakland Coliseum authority may not grant that request.

"I would say to you with the highest level of confidence, my opinion and recommendation and that of my board members, I don’t believe there is any appetite for a third season (in Oakland),” director of the Oakland Coliseum joint powers authority Scott McKibben told USA Today.

McKibben said hosting a Raiders game is a financial loss for the JPA.

If the Raiders can’t reach an agreement to play at the Oakland Coliseum in 2019, they have other options in the Bay Area, though none is ideal. They could play at Cal’s Memorial Stadium or use Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara as a last resort in the Bay Area, sources told CSN California reporter Scott Bair.

They could renovate UNLV’s Sam Boyd Stadium – locker room and security upgrades are mandatory – though the Raiders would prefer to avoid that route.

Raiders HC Jack Del Rio believes he could help Aldon Smith

Raiders HC Jack Del Rio believes he could help Aldon Smith

PHOENIX – Raiders edge rusher Aldon Smith has been banished from the NFL for over 16 months now as a repeat offender of the league’s substance abuse policy.

Commissioner Roger Goodell hasn’t ruled on Smith’s reinstatement application and it’s hard to imagine movement coming soon on that front after a pair of recent run-ins with the law.

He was reportedly involved in a domestic incident and was questioned by San Francisco police last month. Then he was a passenger in a vehicle that hit an unmarked police car on March 10, an incident where the driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Smith seemed out of sorts when interviewed by media after emerging from a San Francisco police station.

Smith’s banishment states he can’t have contact with Raiders personnel outside the director of player engagement, a stipulation head coach Jack Del Rio has criticized in the past.

He did so again Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings, saying it’s unfortunate the organization can’t support Smith during difficult times.

“It’s a little bit frustrating to not be able to be a part of the process,” Del Rio said. “My feel is that I could help him, but the experts know. The experts don’t allow that. We have to follow the rules.

“It does get frustrating to not be able to help a young man and provide support and provide structure. Somebody else has to make those decisions. It’s just out of my hands.”

The Raiders can’t petition for greater involvement, and are therefore in a wait-and-see mode regarding their troubled, yet talented player.

“He has to get himself together,” general manager Reggie McKenzie said. “(Smith’s status) is totally on the league office. They know more than what we know.”