The Raiders’ top executives spoke with reporters today following the firing of head coach Dennis Allen, and general manager Reggie McKenzie and owner Mark Davis each offered insight on the move and the future in Oakland:
- The decision to fire Allen was McKenzie’s; the GM took his plans to Davis, who approved the dismissal, according to NFL Network’s Around the League (Twitter link).
- Despite speculation that he too could lose his job, McKenzie claims he “will hire the next coach,” per ATL (on Twitter).
- While Davis says he’s never considered firing McKenzie (Twitter link via Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle), Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News notes (via Twitter) that Davis made it apparent that the rest of the season will determine the GM’s fate.
- The Raiders have reportedly shown interest in bringing back former head coach Jon Gruden, and Davis says he “may reach out to…Gruden and [Gruden] may reach out to [Davis],” according to Tafur (Twitter link). Davis also implied the permanent coach could already be on Oakland’s staff.
- A close friend of Gruden tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) that “one of these days, [Gruden is] going to accept these offers he gets every year. Maybe it’s this one.”
- Interim head coach Tony Sparano almost left the team after his contract expired last season, but McKenzie essentially told him that he was next-in-line in the event of Allen being fired, tweets Jerry McDonald of the Oakland Tribune.
- Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk thinks the fact that Sparano will be judged on 12 games will help guard against any “artificial improvement in performance” that often leads to teams retaining interim coaches, and then regretting the decision.
- Stanford head coach David Shaw denied any interest in the Raiders position, writes Jon Wilner of InsideBayArea.com. “Everyone knows I’m dedicated (to Stanford), that I love it here,” Shaw told Wilner. “It’s great. It’s flattery, and I tell players that’s sign that we’re doing something right here, when they get attention and I get attention. But our work here is unfinished, and I love being here.”