What might Allen's staff look like?

January, 25, 2012
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It will be interesting to see how Dennis Allen builds his staff in Oakland.

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Allen, the youngest head coach in the NFL, spent only one year as a defensive coordinator in Denver. He spent the previous eight years in Atlanta and in New Orleans.

Allen’s most important hire will be offensive coordinator. With Allen's defensive background, he will need a strong offensive leader.

I’d have to think incumbent Oakland offensive coordinator Al Saunders has a solid chance of staying on. He is reportedly in Mobile, Ala., scouting the Senior Bowl for the Raiders. Allen is in Mobile, so the two will get a chance to talk immediately.

Saunders would provide stability to the Oakland offense, which is on steadier footing than the Raiders defense. Make no mistake, former head coach Hue Jackson ran the offensive show in Oakland. But Saunders is familiar with the Raiders offense and is capable of running it.

I also wouldn’t be surprised if assistant offensive line coach Steve Wisniewski sticks around, along with some other offensive coaches. Wisniewski is a bright, young coach and the uncle of Raiders guard Stefen Wisniewski, who was a standout out as a rookie.

Because Allen will run the defense, the defensive coordinator job is not as important. But perhaps someone such as Denver linebackers coach Richard Smith (who will also be a candidate for Allen's spot on the Broncos staff) could interest Allen.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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