Last season, Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen was mocked and ridiculed by the national media and more importantly, the Raider Nation. Many fans were still solidly behind former head coach Hue Jackson and did not understand why he was fired. Jackson had the Raiders on the precipice of making the playoffs while Allen had turned the Raiders into a 4-12 nightmare. Although Allen’s first season at the helm of the silver and black was a total debacle, it was a necessary transition to the bright future of the Raiders.
I have to admit that I was very skeptical of Allen during the preseason, especially when he was sticking by the atrocious Matt Flynn. However, Allen stuck by his off-season mantra that no position was guaranteed and that there would be competition throughout training camp. When it was obvious to everyone who follows the Raiders that Pryor was the only quarterback option, I was skeptical that Allen would see the same thing.
When Pryor was announced as the starting quarterback of the Raiders my whole disposition about Allen had changed. Not only did Allen make the right decision to start Pryor but he also catered the whole offensive philosophy around Pryor. The Raiders are now leading the league in rushing after two games which would not have happened under Flynn. It has been because of the pistol offense and the read-option that the Raiders are able to break big runs.
While we should all be ecstatic about the Raiders offense this year, it is Dennis Allen’s hybrid defense that is really turning heads. Who would have thought that the Raiders would be leading the NFL in sacks right now? It is because of Allen’s vaunted aggressive hybrid scheme that the Raiders should be 2-0 right now. Opposing quarterback’s don’t know where the blitz is coming from when playing the Raiders, which is what makes Allen’s scheme so effective.
No matter what happens this year, the Raiders are sure to improve tenfold in coming years as they will finally have money and draft picks to spend on high impact players. Imagine what the Raiders could do with more talent throughout the roster. Great job so far coach Allen, you have turned one doubter into a believer.
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Jorge is the co-founder of Football and Futbol , Bay Sports Report , Cascadia Sports and Sports Report Arizona