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Oakland Raiders Coaching Search: Who Is Dennis Allen?

The Oakland Raiders reportedly hired their next head coach on Tuesday evening, selecting current Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Dennis Allen to take over control of the team. While the franchise is yet to confirm the hiring as of early Wednesday morning, it is sounding like a done deal, pending a few small details being hammered out. So who is Dennis Allen?

Allen was in his first year as defensive coordinator with the Denver Broncos after being named to that position on Jan. 24, 2011. A fresh and innovative defensive mind, Allen, 38, has nine years of NFL coaching experience despite being the NFL's second-youngest defensive coordinator at the time of his hiring, according to his bio on the official team page.

He spent five seasons with New Orleans, instructing the team's secondary from 2008-10 and serving as assistant
defensive line coach from 2006-07. Under his tutelage, the Saints' secondary helped the team rank fourth in the NFL in 2010, allowing just 193.9 net passing yards per game while giving up a league-low 13 touchdown passes.

As for reaction to the supposed hiring, here was a snippet from Tim Kawakami's piece:

Note to Raiders fans: I am not ripping the Allen hire. I know you might be a little sensitive, but all I'm saying is that I don't know enough to HAVE an opinion. Everybody has to do the quick study on this guy. What's Allen like, what's his style, what aspects will he focus on in this job, does he know personnel, what's his relationship like with McKenzie?

Oh, and a huge one: Who will his offensive coordinator be? (I'll be getting back to this one.)

Don't know the answer to any of these, but do know that some veteran Bronco defensive players liked him a lot, which is a good thing for his credibility, obviously. Give McKenzie credit for this-I didn't think his first major hire would be just as anonymous as any recent Al Davis coaching hire, but McKenzie has done it.

It remains to be seen how the current players react to the hiring of Allen, an up-and-coming coach in the league without any head coaching experience at this level, but this looks like a strong hire on the surface. Allen will not bring along any baggage with him to Oakland and may even give the team the upper-hand over the Broncos in the coming years. What is there to dislike about that?

To discuss the coaching hire and the Raiders, head on over to Silver and Black Pride.