More than 20 years ago, the Raiders pilfered from the Broncos an assistant coach named Mike Shanahan. Oakland’s most recent raid on Denver has yielded the team’s new head coach, former Broncos defensive coordinator Dennis Allen.
Though the Shanahan situation worked out well in the end for the Broncos, what with Shanahan later returning to become the head coach and leading Denver to its only Super Bowl wins, current members of the team acknowledge that Oakland’s gain will be their loss.
“He knew how to get us ready,” cornerback Champ Bailey told NFL Network, via the San Francisco Chronicle. “I give him a lot of credit for the success we had this year. . . . He’s one of the most intense coaches I’ve had.
“I know what type of team he’s going to have. Very intense, hard-nosed, tough. That’s the way he is. That’s what I expect his team to be.”
Linebacker Von Miller agreed. “They’re getting a guy that’s going to come in right away, and he’s going to get it done,” Miller told NFL Network. “That’s what he did for us. He came in, he laid out a plan for us, he told us, ‘This is how we’re going to do it, and this will work,’ and that’s what happened. We improved our defense an incredible amount. . . . I think he’ll do the same thing with the Oakland Raiders.”
Raiders fans asking “Dennis Who?” should keep that in mind. Instead of latching on to an established name (i.e., someone who has been fired from an NFL head-coaching job), the Raiders are trying to find the next big-name coach before he becomes the next big-name coach.
Hopefully, that’ll happen for the Raiders before Allen is fired and later becomes the Broncos’ head coach and leads the team to back-to-back Super Bowl victories.