As Black Monday began, many believed there was a good chance that owner Mark Davis would fire Dennis Allen. Especially considering that the Raiders finished 4-12 in consecutive seasons, not to mention how the Raiders played over the last five weeks of this season.
But as Raiders fans watched head coaches around the league receive their pink slips, there was silence in Oakland. That afternoon, Dennis Allen held his end of the season press conference in which he stated he had received indications that he would keep his job as head coach. By all appearances Allen seemed confident in the fact that he would be retained for another season.
Later in the evening, Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News posted a transcript of a phone call he had with Mark Davis about what was going on with the Raiders and Dennis Allen in particular. Kawakami pushed Davis to give a straight answer on whether or not Allen would be back in 2014, but Davis refused to budge.
Instead, Davis continually confirmed that Allen had not been fired by stating that he was currently still the head coach but would not go so far as to confirm that Allen would remain the head coach for much longer. Davis refused to divulge content of conversations with general manager Reggie McKenzie and passed on an opportunity to put to rest rumors of flirtations with Jon Gruden.
-Q: Dennis said today that he’d gotten some indications that he’ll be back for 2014. Is that accurate?
-DAVIS: My main thought is that Dennis has a contract that he signed two years ago. He’s fulfilled two years of it and Reggie and I will sit down and talk, but yeah he’s the Raiders head coach right now.
Really, the only people who’ve been replacing Dennis as head coach of the Raiders is the media. Am I correct? I’m still going by what I told you earlier, just let the process play itself out.
I’ll do whatever it takes to make this team better.
-Q: So it sure sounds like Allen will remain your coach.
-DAVIS: He is the coach of the Raiders right now, there’s no question about that.
-Q: Is there a scenario where he isn’t the coach any more?
-DAVIS: There’s always a scenario, you know that. I don’t know, what if John Madden decided he wanted to be a coach again?
-Q: Have you talked at all with Jon Gruden, seeing if he’d come back?
-DAVIS: I’ll never talk about what I’m doing in those respects. It’s such a competitive business, there’s no reason anyone should know what I’m thinking until I do it.
At least for now, it still appears as though Allen will be coaching the Raiders in 2014. But this is still the Raiders we are talking about — the fact that Davis has left the door open to still terminating Allen must mean something, even if it’s only that Davis is not sure yet himself if Allen will be back.