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Dennis Allen was overmatched as Raiders' face

When the Oakland Raiders hired Dennis Allen in 2012, he was highly regarded as a defensive assistant under head coaches Sean Payton and John Fox.

Less than three years later, he was fired while standing over the smoldering ashes of a talent-poor, over-the-hill defense that ranked 31st in the league during his tenure.

Owner Mark Davis distanced himself from Allen back in February, making it clear there would be "no more excuses" for a coach handpicked by general manager Reggie McKenzie.

Inheriting a roster languishing in salary-cap hell, Allen must have realized he was facing long odds when he accepted a prestigious one of 32 NFL head-coaching jobs.

But that's an excuse.

The Raiders have lost 10 consecutive games going back to last season. Among coaches with at least 36 games, just five in NFL history have a worse winning percentage than Allen's .222.

Even if McKenzie followed two years of roster deconstruction with a head-scratching reconstruction plan built on paycheck veterans, Allen failed to mold those misfits into a cohesive unit.

Even if McKenzie's track record in selecting signal-callers would make Jerry Angelo and Lovie Smith blush, Allen exacerbated the problem by consistently mismanaging the quarterback room.

Forced to carry the front office's water on an obviously washed-upMatt Schaub as the focal point of an offseason campaign aimed at rallying local support for a new stadium, Allen went overboard with gusto.

In reality, Allen's quarterback plan was flawed from the outset.

Once it became abundantly obvious even to casual football observers that Schaub could no longer convincingly throw beyond 10 yards much less drive the ball outside the numbers or down the seam, Allen attempted to pull the wool over his fanbase's eyes, claiming he had witnessed no loss of arm strength.

By the time he was forced to place the organization's already scant hopes in the hands of a rookie quarterback, Allen was exposed as a huckster, pedaling a propaganda campaign that never had a prayer of coming to fruition.

Allen is a trusted defensive mind and a good man, by all accounts. He will have an open invitation to rejoin the staffs of Fox and Payton.

As the public face of an NFL franchise, though, he was simply overmatched.

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