11:00pm: The Raiders’ interim head coach options are Sparano and Olson, according to Schefter (on Twitter).
10:32pm: The Raiders have informed head coach Dennis Allen that he is fired, according to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The Raiders dropped to 0-4 after getting blown out by the Dolphins in London on Sunday. Now in the midst of their bye week, the time off should give them time to adjust to an altered regime.
Allen, 42, first broke into the NFL as a defensive assistant with the Falcons in 2002. Over time he climbed the ladder, moving from the Saints’ staff to Broncos defensive coordinator to Raiders head coach in 2012. After back-to-back 4-12 seasons and an abysmal first month of the 2014 season, the Raiders decided that they have had enough. Allen, who has served under big names like Sean Payton, John Fox, and Dan Reeves, will probably have to climb the ladder again before he gets another crack at a head coaching gig.
There’s no word on who his fill-in will be, but Adam Schefter of ESPN (via Twitter) reported last night that Tony Sparano would be expected to take over as interim head coach. Al Saunders could also be a consideration, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network (on Twitter). Offensive coordinator Greg Olson is a strong candidate, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com.
The news doesn’t come as a great surprise given the awful start to the Raiders’ season. The outrage from fans has been palpable and even veteran cornerback Charles Woodson aired his frustrations after the team’s Week 2 blowout at the hands of the Texans:
“That’s embarrassing. I’m embarrassed for this team. I’m embarrassed for these fans. And the thing about it is, I’m part of it. I don’t know what we need to do as a team going forward. I know something is going to have to be done,” Woodson said.
Apparently, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in Oakland. Al Davis sacked Lane Kiffin and Mike Shanahan four games into their final seasons with the Raiders and son Mark Davis has done the same with Allen. In a poll last night, 65% of PFR readers said that Allen deserved to lose his job.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.