The Raiders officially have reached an agreement with Dennis Allen on a four-year deal, two sources told CSNCalifornia.com on Thursday.
At age 39, Allen will be the second-youngest head coach in the NFL -- six months older than Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin.He will be the first new Raiders coach to come from the defensive side of the ball since Hall of Famer John Madden was hired in 1969. He will be Oakland's seventh head coach since 2003.Hue Jackson was fired earlier this month after one season on the job.
Allen spent 2011 as Denver's defensive coordinator. The Broncos improved in every defensive category from 2010. Allen runs a 4-3 defense, which the Raiders have used the past seven seasons.
Point allowed: 32nd in 2010 -- 24th in 2011
Rush yardsgame: from 31st to 22nd
Pass yardsgame: from 25th to 18th
Total yardsgame: from 32nd to 20th
Third downs: from tied for 17th to 6th
Red-zone TDs: from 27th to 15th
His NFL coaching career began with Atlanta in 2002, assisting with the secondary. He then moved to defensive assistantquality control, with emphasis on the defensive line. He was hired by the Saints as assistant defensive line coach in 2006, then moved to secondary coach in 2008.Wednesday, while attending Senior Bowl workouts in Mobile, Ala., new Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie indicated to CSNCalifornia.com via text message that he had a "handshake agreement" with Allen to become the next head coach of the Raiders.Raiders punter Shane Lechler spoke as if Allen's arrival is all but official, telling NFL.com this week that he thinks it's the right hire.
"I think it will be a good fit for us," Lechler said. "He's a young, energetic guy. Smart guy. Been through a lot with Atlanta, then a lot with New Orleans, over to Denver and that defense. We'll take all the help we can get right now."Denver cornerback Champ Bailey, speaking to reporters at the Pro Bowl, had nothing but praise for the former Texas A&M defensive back."I know what type of team he's going to have," Bailey said. "Very intense, hard-nosed. Tough. That's the way he is. That's what I expect his team to be."The last time the Raiders hired a former Denver assistant as head coach was Mike Shanahan in 1988.
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