Sources: Allen signs 4-year deal with Raiders

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Sources: Allen signs 4-year deal with Raiders

The Raiders officially have reached an agreement with Dennis Allen on a four-year deal, two sources told CSNCalifornia.com on Thursday.
At age 39, Allen will be the second-youngest head coach in the NFL -- six months older than Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin.He will be the first new Raiders coach to come from the defensive side of the ball since Hall of Famer John Madden was hired in 1969. He will be Oakland's seventh head coach since 2003.Hue Jackson was fired earlier this month after one season on the job.
Allen spent 2011 as Denver's defensive coordinator. The Broncos improved in every defensive category from 2010. Allen runs a 4-3 defense, which the Raiders have used the past seven seasons.
Point allowed: 32nd in 2010 -- 24th in 2011
Rush yardsgame: from 31st to 22nd
Pass yardsgame: from 25th to 18th
Total yardsgame: from 32nd to 20th
Third downs: from tied for 17th to 6th
Red-zone TDs: from 27th to 15th
His NFL coaching career began with Atlanta in 2002, assisting with the secondary. He then moved to defensive assistantquality control, with emphasis on the defensive line. He was hired by the Saints as assistant defensive line coach in 2006, then moved to secondary coach in 2008.Wednesday, while attending Senior Bowl workouts in Mobile, Ala., new Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie indicated to CSNCalifornia.com via text message that he had a "handshake agreement" with Allen to become the next head coach of the Raiders.Raiders punter Shane Lechler spoke as if Allen's arrival is all but official, telling NFL.com this week that he thinks it's the right hire.
"I think it will be a good fit for us," Lechler said. "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."Denver cornerback Champ Bailey, speaking to reporters at the Pro Bowl, had nothing but praise for the former Texas A&M defensive back."I know what type of team he's going to have," Bailey said. "Very intense, hard-nosed. Tough. That's the way he is. That's what I expect his team to be."The last time the Raiders hired a former Denver assistant as head coach was Mike Shanahan in 1988.

Donald Penn: Raiders players trust McKenzie will add right pieces

Donald Penn: Raiders players trust McKenzie will add right pieces

The Raiders were pretty darn good last season. A 12-4 record proved that point. There was plenty of talent on a team with a penchant for high-wire acts in victory that masked the fact there were holes on the roster.

They need to be filled for the Raiders to improve in 2017, and new players will be imported through free agency and the draft.

Left tackle Donald Penn is excited to see who gets added, but said there’s no doubt talent is coming to Oakland. He speaks for Raiders players, who have faith that general manager Reggie McKenzie will make the right moves.

“Things that Reggie has done in past drafts have been great, and we’re looking forward to seeing what he brings back towards us,” Penn said recently during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network. “We can’t wait to get back out there healthy. We’re ready to hit the football world with a storm.”

While new guys are coming, a few might head out. The Raiders have several unrestricted free agents. Penn wants to keep his guys around – he mentioned running back Latavius Murray by name -- though he has some ideas for McKenzie’s checklist.

The Raiders don’t need much with most key players under contract – the Raiders should be less active in free agency over past offseasons – but a few key components could put this team over the top.

“If we stick to Reggie’s plan, we’ll be great,” Penn said. “I know he’s going to have a great draft, add a couple little pieces here and there – maybe somebody in the secondary to help out a little bit.

"On offense, you could always use a weapon. Maybe we get another receiver to take (pressure off Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper), but we have a good nucleus right now.”

Raiders LT Donald Penn: QB Derek Carr 'almost 100 percent'

Raiders LT Donald Penn: QB Derek Carr 'almost 100 percent'

Derek Carr is on the mend. The Raiders franchise quarterback had surgery to repair his fibula shortly after he broke it in a Week 16 victory over Indianapolis, and is recovering well during the offseason.

Carr insisted on intense rehab this winter in an attempt – however unlikely it may have been – to return should the Raiders have played in the Super Bowl. It slowed to a normal pace after the Raiders' loss at Houston in the postseason’s opening round, but those in contact with him say he’s making strides.

Left tackle Donald Penn was recently in contact with Carr, and provided an update on Monday during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network.

“I texted Derek (a few) days ago checking in,” Penn said, “and he said he’s almost 100 percent.”

Surgically-repaired broken filbulas take significant time to heal, and the Raiders plan to be conservative with their MVP candidate during the offseason. Derek Carr’s brother and NFL Network analyst David Carr, who was on set with Penn on Monday, said Derek could be back for offseason work.

“He’s doing good,” David Carr said. “He’s walking around already, stretching it out. You can’t do a lot for the bone, right? But he’s going to be back. He’s going to get a whole full offseason in. That’s going to be the best part.”