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Tony Sparano named Raiders' interim head coach

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The Oakland Raiders have settled on their replacement for Dennis Allen.

The team announced Tuesday it has elevated offensive line coach Tony Sparano to interim head coach. The decision comes one day after Allen was fired four games into his third season in Oakland.

"Tony Sparano has a strong presence in this organization," Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said in a release posted by the team. "His experience and leadership qualities will serve the team well in helping reach the goal of everyone here, which is to win football games."

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported the Raiders decided on Sparano over two other in-house candidates: offensive coordinator Greg Olson and senior offensive assistant Al Saunders.

Sparano, 52, likely benefited from recent experience. From 2008 to 2011, Sparano served as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins. The team went 29-32 during that time with one playoff appearance. He was fired after Week 14 of the 2011 season with the Dolphins at 4-9.

Sparano inherits a difficult situation. The talent-deficient Raiders are 0-4 and just lost Derek Carr to an injury that could sideline the rookie quarterback several weeks. Matt Schaub has been away from the team due to a personal matter and Matt McGloin struggled badly in relief of Carr on Sunday.

Wins will continue to be scarce in Oakland, regardless of who's wearing the big headset.

For his part, Sparano promised to shake things up during what little time he has left in Oakland.

"Again, I respect Dennis Allen tremendously but I'm not Dennis, Dennis is not me and so on and so forth," Sparano told reporters Tuesday. "Things can change with philosophies and that will be the case. We will have a different philosophy."

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