OAKLAND -- And now, the waiting game begins.
A second consecutive 4-12 season for coach Dennis Allen, in which the Oakland Raiders lost six straight to end the season and eight of nine overall, would have spelled doom under the late Al Davis. But with Mark Davis as a more “patient” owner, and a general manager in Reggie McKenzie who has called Allen “my guy” from Day 1, you have to wonder.
Does Allen, who was a rookie coach as Oakland began its self-described two-year “deconstruction” period in 2012, deserve a shot at returning, despite his platform of progress and discipline being shelled since Thanksgiving?
“Deserve” might be too broad a term; “fair” might be more accurate.
Davis said this week he was going to take a “wait-and-see” approach, that no decision had been made and he wanted to see how the Raiders played this weekend.
In the Silver and Black spectrum, the Raiders outscored the Denver Broncos in the second half on Sunday, 14-3.
In the Silver and Blechhh spectrum, they trailed at halftime, 31-0 (which is when Peyton Manning left the game), and fell to the AFC’s top seed, 34-14.
Allen anticipates sitting down with Davis and McKenzie in the very near future, and believes he “deserves” to return.
“Yeah, I do,” he said. “I expect to be back, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to come back. Those are decisions that somebody else is going to make, but yeah, I expect to be back.”
Asked if he considered the possibility that he was done, Allen did not flinch.
“That’s a decision that’s made over my head. I fully expect to be back. I fully believe that I deserve the opportunity to come back here and get a chance to, as we said, go through the deconstruction phase. I want to be part of the rebuilding phase.”
Said quarterback Terrelle Pryor: “Personally, I love Coach Allen. He’s a great leader. He’s a great leader. The thing I really liked about him, he didn’t change. When we started losing, he didn’t change one bit. A lot of guys crack under pressure. I think coach Allen handled himself. We look at that stuff (as players). I think he did a phenomenal job this year. I have a lot of respect for Coach Allen ... I respect coach Allen, but that’s really not my call. That’s Mr. Davis’ and Reggie’s, and really, Mr. Davis’."
Left tackle Jared Veldheer, who will be an unrestricted free agent, said he also endorsed Allen.
"One of the biggest things we need is continuity," Veldheer said. "It would be very tough to see massive turnover."