The Oakland Raiders are 0-2 in 2014 and 8-26 since Dennis Allen took over as head coach. Many, including Raiders owner Mark Davis, gave Allen the benefit of the doubt for back-to-back 4-12 seasons, citing poor rosters. But now that Allen has a roster built without salary cap concerns and with an almost full complement of draft picks, Davis says there are no more built in excuses.
There was a lot of excitement in Oakland leading into the season, which has turned into despair after only two games. The Raiders struggled in their opener but were at least able to keep the score close at 19-14. In Week 2, the flood gates opened and the Raiders were demolished by the Texans 30-14. In both cases, the score makes the game seem closer than it was.
Firing Allen in season probably wouldn’t do much to help the team’s fortunes, since the Raiders’ problems appear to run much deeper than the coaching staff. Put simply, the roster still does not look very good. But this is still the Oakland Raiders, and Mark Davis is still a Davis. He has already shown much more patience than his father ever did, but it’s clear that his patience is wearing thin.
From Tim Kawakami:
Mark Davis called me back on Wednesday with all of his thoughts lined up persuasively, all of his arguments sharp and sensible.
None of them were about the shaky status of his coach, Dennis Allen, however, because the Raiders owner didn’t want to comment on that situation right now.
When I kept asking, Davis agreed that the correct time for re-evaluating things might be in two weeks, as the Raiders head into a bye week.
Let’s just surmise that Davis’ no-comment puts a large circle around Monday Sept. 29, the day after the currently winless team gets back from its trip to England to Miami.
When asked what he would be looking for as far as progress is concerned, Mark Davis pointed to the blow out in Kansas City as the type of thing that cannot happen anymore. From what he has said, it seems that Davis is more concerned with seeing a team that is clearly getting better than he is about the actual record … for now. But the Raiders look even worse now than in 2013, and the loss to the Texans was just as embarrassing as the Chiefs rout.
Traveling to the eastern time zone — where the Raiders simply don’t win games — and taking on their biggest challenge this season is not a great recipe for success for Allen. If the Raiders get blown out, and there’s a strong chance that’ll happen, it’ll be hard for them to bring much enthusiasm to London, where they will face the Miami Dolphins in a “home” game. If the Raiders go into their bye week 0-4 with two more embarrassing performances in that span, Davis could make a change.
The Raiders have a former head coach under contract in offensive line coach Tony Sparano who would be the obvious choice as an interim replacement. Unless Sparano pulls off a miracle, his post would only be temporary and the Raiders would spend the rest of the season scouting prospects for their next head coach.