After the Oakland Raiders fired Hue Jackson, it seemed like a sure thing that one of the Green Bay Packers Assistant Coaches would end up taking the job and turning Oakland into "Green Bay West". Weeks later, it seemed like the Raiders were left staring out at an open field and waiting for the corn to grow. There were no good candidates left that would coach the Raiders.
Enter Dennis Allen. Despite looking 14 years old, Allen is actually 39. His extensive NFL coaching experience includes being the Secondary Coach for the New Orleans Saints from 2008-2010 and being the Denver Broncos Defensive Coordinator last season. Actually, that's pretty much his entire coaching resume.
Here is where I point out what I've been pointing out all season. The reason the Broncos defense went from one of the worst in the league to one of the best in Allen's first year had everything to do with them adding two elite pass rushers (Von Miller, Elvis Dumervil). Miller was a rookie this past season and Dumervil was coming back from missing the entire 2010 season (after leading the league in sacks in 2009). In addition to having an instant top-tier pass rush, Allen was handed Champ Bailey and Brian Dawkins to take care of the back end of the defense. Not exactly the world's most difficult task.
Still, it was enough to land Allen the Raiders gig. He's the first defensive Head Coach the Raiders have had since John Madden, and considering his age it's a good bet that the Raiders front office is looking for Allen to stick around for decades.
Here's what Wikipedia has to say about Dennis Allen:
Allen, nicknamed Mr. Death or Mr. D, was believed to have been involved in up to 13 underworld murders, including the dismembering of a Hells Angels biker with a chainsaw. One victim who survived was guitarist Chris Stockley of The Dingoes, whom Allen shot in the stomach while attempting to gatecrash a party.
Hmmmm, that doesn't seem right. Maybe there's another Dennis Allen....oh, yes! Here he is:
Allen is known for his aggressive "bend but don't break" defensive play calling that gives up a lot of yards, but also forces many sacks and turnovers. In 2009 in New Orleans, the Saints ranked 3rd in interceptions despite giving up 321 yards per game. Allen's Broncos were in the bottom half of yards allowed, ranked 23rd, but were 5th in the league in sacks.
If you didn't laugh at Allen being known for his aggressive "bend but don't break" defense, you are missing the point of football. Also, those stats tell me that if you give him elite talent in the secondary (like Darren Sharper) or at pass-rusher he won't stand in their way. However, his gameplans aren't exactly shutting anybody out.