Raiders fire Dennis Allen after two-plus seasons

  • By Gregg Rosenthal
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Dennis Allen's doomed tenure with the Oakland Raiders has come to its predictable end. The only surprise is that he lasted this long.

Fewest games into season a head coach has lost job (since 1970)
Coach Team Games
Jack Patera, 1982 Seahawks 2
Bruce Coslet, 2000 Bengals 2
Howard Schnellenberger, 1974 Colts 3
Jerry Williams, 1971 Eagles 3
Dennis Allen, 2014 Raiders 4
Lane Kiffin, 2008 Raiders 4
Scott Linehan, 2008 Rams 4
Mike Shanahan, 1989 Raiders 4
Kay Stephenson, 1985 Bills 4
Tommy Prothro, 1978 Chargers 4
Rick Forzano, 1976 Lions 4

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday, per a source informed of the situation, that the Raiders fired the head coach over the phone. Oakland fell to 0-4 on Sunday after another embarrassing loss, this time a 38-14 bludgeoning at the hands of the Miami Dolphins at Wembley Stadium in London. Fox Sports' Jay Glazer first reported the news, and the team confirmed the firing Tuesday afternoon. 

Hired prior to the 2012 season, Allen was 8-28 in his two seasons and four games into the 2014 campaign. Rapoport reported that offensive line coach Tony Sparano, senior offensive assistant Al Saunders and offensive coordinator Greg Olson are options to take over for Allen.

Oakland had lost nine straight games dating back to the 2013 season before Sunday's contest with Miami. Rapoport reported it would take a meltdown against the Dolphins for Raiders' management to terminate Allen after four weeks, but Sunday's lopsided contest reached that level.

It's always hard to understand a mid-season firing, especially so early in the campaign. Is Allen an appreciably worse coach than a month ago? The writing has been on the wall in Oakland regarding Allen's future for a while. Raiders owner Mark Davis stressed this offseason that general manager Reggie McKenzie is "the one guy I hired" and fully supported him.

"He's Reggie's guy. Reggie is my guy," Davis told the San Francisco Chronicle in February. "The coaches, they're all signed. Dennis Allen has every coach that he wanted."

McKenzie's job is safe, according to Rapoport. But the general manager has struggled to put together a reasonable depth chart since taking the job in 2012. He inherited an awful roster, but his drafts and reckless mismanagement of the quarterback position haven't helped. McKenzie might not necessarily be wanted by a potential new coach.

We believed Allen did a decent job coaching up one of the worst defensive rosters of our lifetime. Allen went 4-12 in each of his first two seasons with three-win talent. No one would have saved this mess.

By firing Allen now, the Raiders will get a head start on their next permanent hire. If Mark Davis is anything like his father, this could take a while.

UPDATE: The Raiders named Tony Sparano the interim head coach Tuesday afternoon.

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