OAKLAND – Raiders head coach Dennis Allen didn’t mince words after Sunday’s 34-14 loss to Denver secured his second 4-12 campaign in as many seasons at the helm.
Allen believes the Raiders have made progress. He believes the franchise is on the right path. He believes, strongly in fact, that he’ll keep his job title.
“I expect to be back, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to come back,” Allen said in a postgame press conference. “But those are decisions that somebody else is going to make, but yeah, I expect to be back.”
Allen said that, even during the darkest periods of a disastrous slide, he never feared for his job. He believes he’s earned the right to see this thing through.
“I fully believe that I deserve the opportunity to come back here and get a chance to, as we’ve said, go through the deconstruction phase,” Allen said. “I want to be part of the rebuilding phase.”
Raiders owner Mark Davis said the last two years were spent improving the team’s salary cap standing and preparing for a competitive future. Davis said the “reconstruction phase” begins this offseason.
It will be the first time in a while the Raiders aren’t handcuffed by the cap, a period Allen is excited about. He believes they’ll be able to attract high-caliber and high-character free agents.
“I think it’s our job to go out and identify those guys of who we want to try to bring in to this program,” Allen said. “And we will. We’ll go out and find good, quality players that want to come here and want to play and want to be a part of this and want to be a part of building this up the right way and turning this thing around.”
The Raiders aren’t expected to declare Allen’s fate right away. Sources have indicated that the team will take some time before making a proclamation one way or the other. Allen will sit down with general manager Reggie McKenzie to discuss the team’s future.
Allen was outwardly confident that the content of that conversation will focus on a future that includes him. Allen believes he’ll return because the Raiders have made progress despite a whole lot of losing.
"It’s been a tough couple of years," Allen said. "It’s been a tough couple of years on everybody. It’s been a tough couple of years on [the media]. It’s been a tough couple of years on the fans. It’s been a tough couple of years with everybody within the organization. It was something that needed to be done and we’re excited about the future and moving forward.”