The spirit and presence of Al Davis will be referenced around the Oakland Raiders for years to come, and BIll Williamson of ESPN believes that the longtime Raiders owner and NFL icon would be "proud" of the team's new head coach. Dennis Allen has been selected as the Raiders new choice to replace Hue Jackson as the team's third head coach in three seasons. They hope this one sticks around for a little while.
The former Broncos defensive coordinator only has one year of experience at the coordinator level and no head coaching experience. Yet it's the kind of gutsy move to grab the young, dynamic coach that Williamson said Davis would love Reggie McKenzie to make. He writes:
Allen is the first Raiders head coach who is a defensive specialist since Al Davis hired a 32-year-old John Madden in 1969. While Al Davis was partial to offensive minds, he certainly wasn’t afraid to hire a young coach and he no doubt would have saluted McKenzie for sticking to his gut and hiring the coach who he thought was the most impressive. This isn't the first time a hot-shot Denver assistant has become the Raiders’ head coach, either. Al Davis hired Denver assistant Mike Shanahan in 1988.
It will be an interesting subplot to watch next season in Allen's first season. For now, Davis would be pleased with the divisive nature of the headlines of a team willing to risk it all to chase the playoffs.