Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen has to be the most under-the-radar new hire in the NFL. After Lane Kiffin, Tom Cable, and Hue Jackson, under-the-radar sounds pretty good.
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Jerry McDonald of the Oakland Tribune -- one of the best beat writers in the country -- describes Allen as "focused, driven, intense and well-prepared." We believe it based on everything we've read and heard.
Allen has a difficult task with this Raiders team. He's changing schemes dramatically on both sides of the ball without the benefit of many new players.
In that situation, most coaches would try to do everything to make their imprint on the squad by calling plays. By controlling everything possible. Allen won't go that route.
Defensive coordinator Jason Tarver will call the defense. Offensive coordinator Greg Knapp will call the offense.
"I've got to oversee the whole operation, and it's hard to do that when you're so focused in on one side of the ball or the other," Allen said.
This is a mature approach. Allen has been in offensive meetings. Special teams meetings. He's trying to lead the entire organization instead of making his side of the ball look good.
"We haven't had that here," punter Shane Lechler said. "Special teams a lot of times do the dirty work, and to have him in there kind of helps out the mood of the room a little bit."
"I think head coaches probably get more involved than they want if they don't complete trust their hires," Carson Palmer said. "He trusts the guys he hired and he doesn't feel the need to go over and interrupt or cut in."